Yes, I did take the plunge--and, unlike my first iPhone purchase, I took it fairly quickly. The new phone went on sale on Friday, July 11--annoyingly, the same day my partner and I were scheduled to take the train to Chicago (more on that in another post). Since I didn't think it would be appropriate to take a few hours off to stand in line, I figured I'd wait until I returned to Michigan. Fortunately, when we returned Sunday night, the handy utility on Apple's website told me the nearest Apple store had the white 16GB unit (the one I wanted) in stock, with stores opening at 10am.
Then came the dilemma--how early to get there? Or, phrased differently, "How big a geek am I?" [No, that's not an invitation to send me an email with an answer]. I decided to leave for work at the normal time (around 7.30 or so), but, instead of going to work, I went to the Caribou Coffee near the Apple Store. With the free wireless connection, I figured I'd get a solid hour or so of work done, and then head over to the store around 9ish to wait on line. [Yes, as it turns out, I am that geeky].
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I wasn't the biggest geek in the room; there were already three other people there ahead of me. Then, wonder of wonders, one of the Apple staff came out and said that, if we were there for an iPhone, they'd open up early for us! And so my tale began...
So now, nearly two months later, what's the verdict? I revised my earlier review of the first-gen model, just to remind myself what I said.
- Unfortunately, with the exception of the Edge connectivity issue, all my other objections were not addressed at all. Bummer. And, bigger bummer, I had hoped the availability of third-party applications might address some of these shortcomings. So far, no luck. Really, folks--how hard can repeating alarms be?
- Having never owned a 3G phone, I pretty much had no basis for comparison; that being the case, I'm definitely far more pleased with the 3G connectivity than I was with the previous model. I'm also noticing stronger signals (which I hear is partly attributable to replacing the aluminum backing with plastic); in some venues where I previously had pretty much no connectivity, I'm now getting two or three bars. I did go to Wired's iPhone survey site, where I discovered that, while my 3G speeds were about four times faster than Edge, they were quite a bit slower than they should be. On the plus side, I am connected to 3G about 99% of the time here in the metro Detroit area; strangely, though, AT&T's coverage map shows a faded 'dead zone'--a small area about a quarter-mile in diameter--over our house on Cape Cod.
- The Application Store is amazing. The volume--and affordability--of apps (especially compared to the third-party software I frequently purchased for my Windows Mobile devices) is staggering. That being said, the number of duplicate apps is equally staggering (how many To Do lists do you really need?), and the lack of try-before-you-buy is a bit annoying.
- As is being reported elsewhere, stability is a major issues. Both built-in and third-party apps seem to crash regularly--about once every two days.
- Biggest surprise? The grey lady of journalism, the venerable New York Times, apparently can't program their way out of a paper bag. The official Times app is not only slower than simply surfing their mobile site via Safari, but the app appears to carry fewer stories and lacks the capability to email stories to others.
- GPS functionality is amazing. Plenty of great apps tie into your location, and using the GPS in conjunction with the onboard Google Maps app is seamless and slick.
- Will I jailbreak it? So far, no; it appears Apple is being much more vigilant this time around, and, with upcoming software updates expected to address 3G and stability, I don't want to have to continually re-jailbreak it. I do miss the customization capability of my previously jailbroken iPhone, but not enough to offset the current upside.
Rumor has it there's more Apple news coming on September 9. Let's see what happens...