It’s a bit of a strange one, this. I was going to write a straight review of the iPhone 2.2 Firmware, but I don’t think the circumstances under which I came to use it really qualify me to write a fair review, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you about my experiences with Firmware 2.2, which I hope is perhaps just as interesting.
I’ve never paid a penny for an iPhone, and the one I have now is an 8GB first-gen model which was given to me by my Dad, who’s decided that he doesn’t need all the bells and whistles and just wants a phone (I know exactly how he feels).
Obviously it doesn’t work as a phone anymore, but it still works over Wi-Fi and functions in every way, apart from voice calls, cellular data and SMS. It’s not got GPS or any of the other enhancements in the new generation of iPhone 3Gs and this is the primary reason I chose not to do a straight review, because a lot of my iPhones failings may because of the hardware, so to make summary judgment over the Firmware alone would perhaps be unfair.
Anyway, the iPhone is basically a big fat lie.
It’s the Internet on your phone? Err…no it isn’t. It won’t support embedded Flash Video, even though it will play YouTube videos. Well, it will play YouTube videos EVENTUALLY and will actually turn itself off before it’s cached enough to put itself in to “iPod always-on” power mode. Sorry, but that’s a massive fundamental flaw. By the way, this is the same wireless connection I used to wirelessly stream the BBC iPlayer High-Quality video to my Acer Aspire One, so it isn’t the connection Steve..
Everything is at least twice as slow as on a PC, and as you see your wireless point sitting there, not blinking, you just know what’s really going on…or not.
There is a particular flaw in the iPhone which I’d like to draw attention to here, which all us iPhone users can try. Open a web page, and then zoom in a bit. Next, scroll up and down the page a little. Now, without taking your finger off the device, try scrolling left. No? Try right. No? You can’t do it!
Try zooming the web page again and this time try scrolling sideways. Then try up and down. It’s the same thing! I suppose you could call this a “feature”, except for the fact that you can actually scroll in all directions with a single touch, providing the “attack angle” of your finger is on the diagonal and in a “null space” within the appropriate HTML page. Don’t know what this means? Well, it means you just have to lucky. What a missed opportunity, Apple.
The one good thing I have to say about ye olde iPhone with Firmware 2.2 is that it really is still the best iPod. Say what you want about buying movies on iTunes, but the chapter select feature on the iPhone/Touch makes you miss it elsewhere when you watch movies. It really is that amazing, and it’s what Apple is best at.
The “Apps” are also worth a look (although not the “world-changing” event that some would claim), you can’t argue with the 60p games. The iPhone integrates well in to the iTunes eco-system and it’s a well executed operation that should be noted here, in an otherwise bleak review.
My iPhone experience has been a largely negative one, but I think that’s more Apple’s fault than mine. It’s not the “portable internet” you might think it is, and it’s more “mobile phone” than “pocket computer”, but there are flashes of genius there, and it really is the best iPod. If only they would strap the 160GB HDD to it…
Was I perhaps expecting too much? Well, perhaps I should have known better.