By now, it’s quite possible that the whole world (plus dog, cat, or other assorted pets) has reviewed the new and improved Apple iPhone 3g. I, however, decided to wait and see; to use the device for a few weeks and determine exactly what it offers before offering my opinion on it. Read on for the results.
First off, a short history lesson entitled “My Mobile Life” by yours truly. I’ve always been one of those people that has to have the latest nifty phone and after a while that’s evolved into a kind of phone dependency. I’ve been a heavy user of mobile browsers for awhile, so much so that mobile browsing has probably replaced the newspaper and magazines in my daily routine. Over the years I’ve sampled a number of phones, from Nokia’s earliest smartphones, to Windows Mobile devices of numerous size and shape, to, yes, Apple’s original iPhone.
I’ve tried both flavours of N95 and a procession of HTC devices (such as the T-Mobile Vario, Vario 2, Vario 3, and HTC’s own Touch), amongst others. A comparison of these three different platforms – Windows Mobile, Apple’s Mobile OS X and Nokia’s weapon of choice Series 60 – will almost certainly be a topic for a future article. For now, we’re here to focus on the iPhone 3g.
Or are we? Some of the 3g’s most important features are actually part of Apple’s 2.0 software update. Which means they’re not exclusive to the 3g at all: you can easily get them on your first generation iPhone.
The most prominent of these are, of course, Apple’s iTunes App Store and support for Microsoft’s Exchange server. Both of these work brilliantly. Much has been written on the App Store’s game changing introduction, and it’s certainly the most impressive mobile app installation experience I’ve had since, well, the jailbroken iPhone I owned before this one.
Many will claim that Apple’s offering is actually less capable than the jailbreak + installer combo, as applications for the store can’t run in the background on the device. This kills any potential MMS applications, chat applications, or even Last.FM’s excellent Scrobbler utility – which would monitor the tracks you listen to and upload them to Last.FM.
Current Apps range from novelties to budget trackers, to games, to blogging apps (hooray for the recently released WordPress client). There probably really is something for everyone and this is growing on a daily basis.