My first 90 days of an iPhone

I traded my Cingular 8125 (an HTC product based around Windows Mobile) for an Apple iPhone.  Despite the fact that the 8125 perfectly integrates with my Microsoft Exchange server and my iPhone does not, I’m thrilled with the switch.  Here’s a quick summary of my behavior changes and what I like about the new phone.

Podcasts
Despite owning several iPods I’ve never really gotten into the habit of storing up and listening to podcasts, despite being deeply appreciative of radio.  I switched to the iPhone and set it to take podcasts on a daily basis and I’m entirely hooked.  When I’m commuting for any trip longer than 10 minutes I’ve got the headphones in my ear and I’m listening to one of these podcasts.  Note that I’m partial to long form radio stories, not breaking news.  I tried listening to the "news of the hour" but scanning the page of Google news (on my iPhone’s browser) is always more efficient than listening to a podcast.  However the long form of things like "This American Life" work perfectly for the medium on a lot of levels.

My current favorite podcasts from most to least favorite are:

  • This American Life
  • Fresh Air (NPR)
  • 60 Minutes (direct audio recording of the show)
  • The Moth Podcast (true life standup comedy pieces of 10 minutes or so)
  • Two Plus Two poker podcast
  • Radiolab
  • PRI’s Studio 360
  • American Public Media’s Marketplace
  • Newsweek On Air

Websurfing
I surf like a fiend now.  All the issues that exist with a small screen go away with Safari’s ability to "stretch" a screen with your fingertips.  Websites not designed for the iPhone are effectively surfed with the browser, and websites designed for the iPhone look beautiful.

E-mail and scheduling
Though my old phone could schedule from the device and perfectly send and receive e-mail, it turns out that the function of "accepting a meeting" was not something that I really needed to do immediately when someone invited me to something.  I just save those for when I can get to a computer and so far the world hasn’t ended.  I’ve also been running my e-mail through Gmail and syncing it to the iPhone and it’s been working fine.

Weirdly, my schedule is updated whenever I dock the phone with my laptop, and you might think that’s insufficient, but I’ve found it works just fine for me.

SMS
The iPhone lets you maintain multiple simultaneous conversations over SMS.  It makes SMS a pleasure to use, and maintains the context of the conversation over time.  Beautiful.

Google Maps
Are you insane?  This is great.  It triangulates your location with celltowers.  I’ve ridden down Market Street in San Francisco in a cab, watching it update my location accurately over and over again.  I used it to locate casinos on the strip for upcoming trips.

And on top of all that, the interface is pleasurable to use, even for the simplest tasks.  It’s a million times more reliable than my Windows Mobile device.  I won’t ever go back.

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