Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mossberg Dishes on iPhone

Walt Mossberg has spent the past two weeks playing with the iPhone, and now he tells us what he thinks. Below is a snippet, follow the link to read the whole review:

The Mossberg Solution - WSJ.com: "We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the country. Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions."

Some of the more interesting tidbits:

  • He thinks the lack of a physical keyboard is a non-issue - after 5 days he was typing as well on the iPhone as he does on his Treo
  • While we knew this first model would only use AT&T's EDGE network (in lieu of their faster 3G network) - but this model will not be upgradable in the future. So, if you want 3G you either need to wait for the next version - or to Steve Jobs' delight - buy one now and another later.
  • The lack of any dedicated hardware buttons make some features a few taps farther away then most would like.
  • There is no way to cut/copy/paste - it sounds minor but I bet this becomes a big annoyance pretty quickly.
  • Battery life is very good.
  • The 2 megapixel camera only takes stills - no videos.
  • The only streaming media supported is the the newly available H.264 encoded versions of YouTube videos - no streaming audio.
  • No (Adobe) Flash support - this is major... all of the web widgets and embeddable players that we have all grown to love won't work in their mobile version of Safari.

On the last issue, I wonder if the lack of Flash support is specifically for the purpose of limiting the ability to stream MP3s from the web - as oppossed to buying them from iTunes. Conspiracy theory? Perhaps, but doesn't it seem like an odd omission to you considering Apple's claims that this is "the real internet" on your phone? If it was the real internet, why won't they support a technology that is installed on something like 98% of consumers' browsers?

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