Author happy iPhone 3GS much faster than IIGS


— 10:24 AM on June 26, 2009

It finally happened. After nearly two years of watching friends and Freemasons alike demo their iPhones with apps they only use while demo'ing their iPhones, I, Jason Fox (not the Foxtrot character), purchased an iPhone.

Actually, make that two.

On the day the iPhone 3GS, née 3G S, née Bob, was released (Friday, June 19, 2009, for those reading a Google cache of this blog in the year 2000), I happened to be lancing freely at a company located about a quarter of a mile from an AT&T store. Normally, I'd have been more excited about the Dunkin' Donuts next door, but not that day. And especially not when I drove by and notice not a single person in line outside the store.

So, assuming there was no mad crush for the not-quite-yet-laser-powered new iPhone, I waited until after lunch to visit the store. And was promptly told they only had four iPhones left. All black. All 32GB. To which I coolly responded, "I'll take two. Chop chop, my good man!"

Twenty minutes later, victory was mine. $714, however, was not.

For those bored enough to watch a YouTube video of the excitement that is synching, click here.

You got what you deserved for clicking that.

Anyway, after a week of iPhone 3GS ownership, I must say that I am fairly pleased with the purchase. I haven't had nearly as much time to play with it as I would like (what's good for business is bad for fun), but I have managed to install the usual list of sorta must-have apps. Skype, iHandy Level, Palringo, Tweetie, Facebook, UrbanSpoon and Shazam have all found a home in my pocket. I've also snatched up a Woot-checker, iStat, AirCoaster (which runs exceedingly smoothly on the 3GS's faster processor), NeoReader, Lightsaber and about 16,326 translations of the Bible have also been installed. I'm particularly excited about Pinball Dreams—I played the snot out of this game in college when it was on the Amiga. Yes, actual phlegm would shoot from my A3000's disk drive when I'd rollover the scoreboard on the Graveyard table. This iPhone version is an exact port. Although I've yet to figure out how to nudge the table or if it's even possible. Like I said, work has been harshing my buzz, man.

My wife, Megan Fox, has also come to value the life-altering power of her pink case-enshrined iPhone. Even though she has very little interest in tech stuff, she's already come to appreciate the many things her iPhone can help her accomplish. Such as wasting the 14 precious free minutes she has each day playing Word Warp. The woman had never even bothered to use iTunes before this, leaving our home's multimedia, networking and all-around electronics management to me. Sans budgetary authority, of course. But now she's downloading apps like Jodie Sweetin on a meth bender and jonesing for the perfect shopping list helper. Suggesting a pen and paper did not amuse her.

There are, unfortunately, a few things about the iPhone that bug me. And by "a few" I mean "four." And by "four" I mean "4."

1. No "Hunt the Wumpus" app. Seriously. It should take someone 10 seconds to port this TI-99/4a classic over.

2. Had to switch to AT&T. True, I haven't experienced any problems yet, but I already have my DSL with AT&T and they just kind of annoy me. Although the rollover minutes should be nice.

3. The screen locks. This is quite possibly an app-related issued, but heck if I'm going to take the time to troubleshoot it. From time to time, the screen stops accepting gesture input. I have to give it the ol' three-finger salute (which is actually a single finger in this case, but calling it such seems a bit rude), put it to sleep, and wake it back up. I know this issue has been going on since the original iPhone's release, so either Apple is slacking or an app programmer is. Either way, annoying. Not Pink annoying, but still.

4. Mail. The included Mail app is dumb. Bikini Girl dumb. Again, two years into the whole grand iPhone era and Apple still can't add simple commands like "mark all as read" or "delete all." Also, no filters, so no automatic sorting of messages. Grrr. Arrrg. I've got three email accounts that all receive a decent numbers of messages each day. I need to be able to sort them and delete many of them en masse. So I bought ibisMail and use it instead. It's not great—it was written by some guys in China and the documentation is barely a step above that of a Roland JV-1080's from 1995 (and kudos to you if you get that joke). But it has folders and filters and lets me delete messages or mark as read in one Norman Fell swoop.

I'll undoubtedly add a number five to the list when our first bill shows up, but until then I'll just bask in the pale glory of my Just Light flashlight app and go about my business. Namely, finding me a wumpus to smack down.

Later,

Fox

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