Now that I’ve had a few weeks to play with them, I think it’s time to take a look at the “big four” applications on the iPhone. the Phone App, the Email App, Safari, and the iPod App.
Phone – To me, the Phone App is classic Apple design. Either you’re in love with it, or you despise it. Obviously, I’m a fan of Apple design, so I really like the phone application. It can take up to 4 button presses from the home screen to call a contact, and I can see where that might bother people if they’re using their primary contact lists frequently, but I quickly started using my Favorites and Recent Contacts lists and that reduces it to as little as two button presses.
The only time I miss having a keypad in front of my without having to call it up is when I have to deal with an automated phone system, other than that, I’ve kind of forgotten about the keypad all together.
Visual Voicemail is the kind of thing that I expect all other phones to adopt eventually. It’s just a smarter way to do voicemail, and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for someone to think about it.
Mail – While Mail is probably my most used Application, it is also the one that I think needs the most work. I find it lagging pretty hard when an email conversation has gone on for more than a few back and forth replies, and I really, really, REALLY, want some delete all options. It seems like they focused so much on getting the HTML to look right in the App that they forgot several really important things.
I should be able to save those pictures in all that rich email that I’m getting…but I can’t.
Plus, the darn thing should rotate like Safari, so I can use the much roomier horizontal keyboard…but again, I can’t.
Of everything on the iPhone, it’s Mail 2 that I look forward to the most.
Safari – Ah, Safari, how I love thee. Webpages look beautiful, “tabbed” browsing works wonderfully, and the address bar has enough sense to get the heck out of the way when you need it to. Safari is the second most used App on my iPhone, but it clearly my favorite.
My only real problem with Safari is that I’m finding with increasing frequency that the browser isn’t flipping into landscape mode when I turn it on its side. That could easily be a hardware issue, but it gets annoying non the less.
iPod – I didn’t get the iPhone to be an iPod, and as a result, I haven’t used it like one very often. Not for audio anyway. I have several albums on it, though, and the Cover Flow trick is a fun way to navigate through them, and an excellent way to show the device off.
I use the iPod feature much more for video, and I think it works fantastically. The onscreen controls are snappy and easy to use. I never see fingerprints when I’m watching video, and the screen is so much bigger than a video iPod it’s like having a big screen TV in your hand. I really enjoy the video features, and I love watching podcasts on a nice sized screen with rich color.
So that’s a quick rundown of my feelings on the apps. Of all of them, Mail needs the most help, and I think the iPod is the most polished. Safari could still use some touching up, especially with the rotation issue (and I never have this issue with the iPod features, so I feel it has to be software related…at least partially). I’m sure there are some improvements to the Phone app that could be made as well, but all in all, I’m very satisfied.