I found out that where I’m going this week didn’t have coverage by Sprint. We’d be in the mountains (‘rustic’ cabins) but there is power, and I didn’t want to be completely out of touch as I was a couple of weeks ago.
I’d been waiting a year and half since my two year contract had expired, but wasn’t completely happy with any new mobile phone solutions. At first I hoped the iPhone was the solution, but it wasn’t quite ready for primetime. As a Palm fan (simplicity, solidity, great story about it’s design), the Centro was appealing, having full PIM (notes & ToDos as well as contacts and calendar), cut/copy/paste, a real keyboard, lots of apps, etc, but the browser’s weak, and no GPS or wi-fi is kind of a bummer. The Treo 800W is mighty appealing, except for Windows Mobile. I just *can’t* go there. It’s got to be dead reliable. Blackberry‘s just too closed for me, and Symbian‘s too odd (these are mobile OSs).
So, the iPhone 3G appealed (ok, maybe I’m an Apple fanboy, but I was a grad student in an interface design group when the Mac came out, and you had to love the leadership in user experience which has stayed market leading from then ’til this day), and the fact that ATT does claim to have coverage in the area was the kicker that got me to go wait in line Friday morning. And, yes, I know that the iPhone 3G does not have full syncing PIM yet, nor copy/paste. But it’s software upgradeable, and all the hooks are there. So, we’ll see.
So far, my experience is mixed. The screen is simply awesome, and the interface is quite cool. It does sometimes take a lot of work to get to various things. It’s got a non-standard jack, so suddenly all my hands-free wires are worthless (grumble mumble); I may be forced to get a bluetooth headset for driving! Typing’s OK. I’ve got music loaded, and photos (but dual copies of the folder I want, and can’t figure how to delete one). It gets email, but I managed to tap-dance over the push account I’d set up, and one of my accounts keeps complaining about connection ( I got one message only on the phone, not on my computer, and can’t forward it #$%^&!)
So, something (else) to keep me busy in the mountains. Besides prepping. In a week, I fly off to Chicago for the Guild’s summer seminar series on Collaborative Learning, and the one on Immersive Learning Simulations. I expect to learn heaps in the former, and think we’ve managed to design a great experience for the latter. I do believe it will be good value, good learning, and good fun.
BTW, my brother and family stopped thru on their way back from the mountains. Their boys have matured well of late, and it was great to see them and have them here. Pool, wildlife museum (live fox, owls, raptors, snakes, coyote, all wounded and saved), ultimate frisbee in the park, eating, drinking. Family is important to us. I reckon it’s something that’s wired-in, and to be nurtured. As well as having fun! Hope your summer is turning out fun too.
Fanboy indeed. It took you a year. Well, I am also completely pleased with everything about my new iPhone *except* the phone reception. I get the worst connections I can imagine here on the hill in San Francisco. I would expect the coverage to be great, and usually I have 5 bars, but the connections are so fuzzy and garbled that I only understand half of what is being said. “Can you repeat that?” is taking up 50% of my voice bandwidth. Data, streaming “radio”, email, everything else works like a charm. Voice is just not ready for primetime. My old analog cell phones worked far better than this.
I was thinking of dropping my wireline, but I can’t see it happening until AT&T puts a tower somewhere near me. Gotta go check that now…
Eric Wilbanks says
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for all the great insights and thought-provoking observations. However, I was sad to read that you chose an iPhone over Palm Centro. :-) My wife and I recently upgraded to Centro (we’re both on ATT). We absolutuely love them and have no complaints thus far. The best thing is all the killer apps for Palm…something Apple will be a long time trying to catch up on. Oh, and we have full internet access (the browser isn’t “wonderful,” but it is sufficient) and we use a Google Maps app in place of a GPS.
Sky, it was a year because the first iPhone had no GPS, and no indication of solving the deal-breakers. Apparently Sprint is going to sell you your own little cell-phone tower at home, if ATT comes out with this it should solve your prob. Not sure how good my own home connection is/will be; it’s nice up here in the mountains but no email (yet getting weather/google maps?!?!)
Eric, thanks for the feedback. I thought hard about the Centro, love the Palm apps, but the development community is all over the iPhone. And, yes, now Google Maps on Centro does do the cell-phone tower triangulation, but not quite as good as a GPS (tho’ that keychain one is pretty cool). But the browser…