When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, one of my definite destinations was an Apple store. The iPod Touch had just come out and I could finally experience an iPhone in person. But getting to actually try one wasn’t going to be as easy as I hoped.
The tables with iPods and iPhones were crammed with people. There was about a dozen iPhones and a dozen iPod Touchs laid out to try and people were taking their time trying them out. Lineups formed around each one, people looking over shoulders, waiting for someone to put one down just to have it snatched up by the next interested person. I planned my strategy trying to predict who was next to put it down and then running around to the other side of the table, but it was too late – someone had already picked it up.
After about 10 frustrating minutes of cat and mouse, I finally got my hands on one. And it was sweet. It just felt right. I tried as many of the applications as possible. Music and coverflow worked fabulously. Picking music now felt much more like choosing from a CD collection. And I noticed there’s a rocker button on the side to adjust volume up and down. In my previous review, I expected it to all be screen touch.
Photo time. The built in camera takes amazingly clear pictures. Maybe it’s just the screen that makes it look so good, but lighting and crispness of images is amazing. This would be great to have at parties. The screen makes sharing the images so good as well. You can flip through the images, just like coverflow, pushing them to the side. Spread your fingers apart and you can zoom in. Push around and pan the image. I wish Photoshop editing was this intuitive.
The internet browser was the same. I opened a bookmark to a newspaper website and I could zoom into the page, slide it around, click into stories to read. So fast and clear. The text rendering is very sharp.
Actual calls and sending text messages on the phone was disabled for obvious reasons, but you could still get a good idea of how everything worked. The address book was great and visual. I tried to tap out a text message, and I won’t lie – it was difficult. But I expected that. I’ve heard people say you just have to type and not care that you’ve made mistakes – the software will correct it to the right words. But for me, I must have been typing too many wrong letters as it wasn’t correcting my words. I don’t even have large fingers and i found it hard to type the tiny keys. I’ve also read it takes a little bit of time to get used to it, but after a couple days, you’re flying.
Overall, it was just so enjoyable to use and drool worthy.
After my short trial, we grabbed some lunch at a nearby Thai cafe, Peep. The washrooms are hilarious. The door to the 2 individual unisex washrooms are right in the dining area. And once you get in, you’re shocked. When you look back to where you came in, you can see the dining room. It’s one-way mirror glass. And the opposite wall is a mirror reflecting the dining room as well. So at all times, you’re fully aware of people looking in your direction in the washroom, yet only you can see them. Very funny to experience.
The reason why I bring up Peep is that there were two girls sitting next to us that must have overheard us discussing the recent Britney Spears MTV VMA debacle. Shortly after, they had an iPhone out on the table, laughing and watching together the Britney performance from YouTube. Could the iPhone be the tool that makes the anti-social internet a social gathering? Will we huddle around it, reviewing photos from our recent trips? Watching the latest episode of The Office together? Listening to the latest album release?
Will you buy an iPhone?