4. I would have been willing to keep the phone and pay for the re-branded .Mac service now called MobileMe to synchronize my calendar but guess what - although I could get my Contacts to go up to MobileMe in the cloud, my Calendar got stuck and no events will synchronize.
5. Since to date, you cannot synchronize Notes in Outlook to the iPhone (the software explicitly doesn't do this, unlike the Calendar sync which is really a bug), I had to re-create all my Notes as Contacts. This would have been OK if it were the only issue, but not combined with the big issues: Battery Life and Calendar Sync.
6. Within 4 days, my initial phone's motion sensor failed so I actually had to return my phone twice - once for a warranty replacement unit (Thursday night) and once for money (Friday night, when I decided to give up because I needed to sleep and get my life back). (Given that I wasn't the only person showing up for hardware replacement less than a week after launch, that is probably enough to make anyone nervous.)
7. When I tried to return the phone for money (OK, I was the first person to try to do this at the Apple store I went to so no one, not even the "geniuses" had any clue how to do it), the store manager eventually found out that there was no record of me ever buying the phone - in other words, they essentially gave it to me for free! She basically freaked out because she now thinks that they gave away more than just my phone in the frenzy to accommodate customers during the first 3 days it went on sale. The return took over 2 hours for this reason. I was lucky because an AT&T corporate store is literally around the corner from the Apple store in my local mall so I was able to get my Blackberry Pearl back to life in about 10 minutes after finally leaving the Apple store. I'm still a little nervous, however, because the manager would not give me a credit slip for the return (since her records show I didn't really buy it, despite the fact that I have a printed receipt). I did finally convince her to write a note that I actually returned the phone so I have some evidence in writing in case the charge actually shows up on my credit card statement.
I could go on, but here's my new resolution: I WILL NEVER, NEVER AGAIN BUY A NEW GADGET OR SOFTWARE WHEN IT FIRST COMES OUT!!!! I made the same mistake with Windows Vista so I really should have known better, but, I somehow thought that this would be different. I should have known.
But, here's the really sad part, I'm incredibly unhappy because I really, really, really wanted to keep the phone:
1. The applications: OMG, these are so much fun! Where, which tells you where the nearest Starbucks is (until they all close, of course) in one button and then also helps you find the cheapest gas. Shazaam, which lets you hold your phone up to any song and it tells you what it is and provides a link to You Tube and iTunes versions of the song. (We had a lot of fun with this - it even correctly identified some very obscure music.) Pandora - free customized internet radio. Check Please, which helps calculate tip and divide up your restaurant bill based on the number of people in your party (I was looking forward to using this for my monthly book group dinners). Remote, which lets you use your iPhone as a remote control for iTunes on your PC. These are only some of the free applications, there are also some pretty cool ones that you pay for, but thankfully, I didn't get around to that.
2. Visual Voice Mail: You can see who left you voice messages and play the messages back in any order you want. This is so handy because you can prioritize how you listen to voice mail the way you can with e-mail. I really LOVED this feature, but I actually think that part of the hardware flaws I experienced had something to do with this software. My phone died several times when I tried to access or play voice messages.
3. User Interface: The user interface is nothing short of stunning. The ability to rotate and zoom on text is unbelievably helpful for eyes like mine that are starting to deteriorate with each year after the "big" birthday. I will REALLY miss that aspect of the phone. Reading my e-mail (when it would fetch the whole message) was a great experience, pictures were beautiful and surfing the internet was spectacular.
If you really pay attention to all the reviews of the iPhone 3G by the tech gurus, you will find that most of them point out that it won't be for everyone. It definitely isn't for me, at least not yet. I've now got my eyes on the Blackberry Bold. I only hope I can resist the temptation to get it when it comes out in September!
Susan Hanley is an independent consultant and president of her own firm, Susan Hanley LLC, where she specializes in the design and development of portal solutions and knowledge management consulting.