While the original iPhone 2G's shiny metallic backing was powdered by the uber-chopper, the iPhone 3G's plasticky backing, counter-intuitively, survived pretty much in one piece (one really thrashed piece, granted).
So I ventured out to an Apple Store yesterday hoping that since the iPhone 3G was a couple days old that I could easily grab one. No, not for me. For the girlfriend and my sister. I could have gone to the AT&T store only a few blocks away but whenever Apple releases a new product I prefer the full Apple experience at an Apple Store (Brea, CA); it’s just more complete that way. Expecting to get some hands on time with the iPhone 3G and pick up the Macbook Air again, I was pretty excited to get to the store.
As I cheerily walked through the mall eagerly anticipating the iPhone 3G, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was at least a 100-person line that stretched multiple storefronts! The Apple Store Employee ‘in-charge’ estimated the line to be a 5-hour wait! This was a Monday afternoon, didn’t people have work to do?
But it gets better (read: worse).
Read on for the rest of this very weird Apple Store Experience!
We had sort of been expecting that the iPhone 3G would be more difficult to unlock because it would be impossible to walk out of a store without signing a contract and activating the iPhone. We all know how that worked out on launch day -- iPhones were flying about unactivated anyway. Honestly, given that the 2.0 software has already been fully pwned (read: opened up, jailbroken, made to serve the whims of hackers everywhere), the early unlocking really should be no surprise.
Greg "Joz" Joswiak, Apple's head of iPod and iPhone marketing shed some light on the iPhone 3G/2.0 and some of its highly requested, yet still missing functionality, like where's our ability to select text, cut it or copy it, and paste it?
Apple has a priority list of features, and they got as far as they could down that list with this model
Why isn't there a constant yet ever-so-slightly-disappointed voice telling us we missed our last ten exists and threatening to "re-calculate"?
[T]here are some murky "complicated issues" preventing driving directions apps at the moment. "It will evolve. I think our developers will amaze us."
If Casey saw some bad experiences at the Apple Store, these poor people's experience can only be described as horrendous. Short version? Lady gets defective iPhone 3G, brings it back to Apple, Apple drops it, Apple tries to give her a new one, AT&T says sorry, nope, no activation for you! Apple ends up eating the price difference (good on Apple, boo hiss to AT&T), AT&T pockets the ill-gotten gain.
And telco's wonder why they routinely bottom out the customer satisfaction charts?
The App Store went live last week (what day exactly depends on whether you snuck in to iTunes 7.7 and snooped around on your own, or waited for the official links to surface), tying in to the iPhone 3G and 2.0 software launches. How'd it do? According to Steve Jobs:
“The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days. Developers have created some extraordinary applications, and the App Store can wirelessly deliver them to every iPhone and iPod touch user instantly.”
Probably why Apple has finally started putting a dent in its backlog of developer acceptances, eh? But is all happy in App Land? Nope. Find out why after the break...
Could last Friday have been any more massive for Apple? Following on the heels of slew of preparatory updates including OS X 10.5.4 and iTunes 7.7, the transition from .Mac to Mobile Me, and -- oh, yeah -- the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 3G hardware (see Dieter's review), Apple also dropped a little something called the 2.0 firmware. Available pre-baked in the new iPhone 3G, Apple didn't spare the love for owners of the original iPhone 2G who receive it as well as a FREE downloadable upgrade, as do owners of the iPod Touch (minus the phone, camera, SMS, and GPS functionality, and the FREE part -- $10 please).
The 2.0 firmware was first demonstrated back at the Apple iPhone SDK Roadmap event in March 2008 and immediately went through a very long, very public beta process where almost anyone could sign up and download it. In spite of the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), during the 8 different betas released to developers, many new features that weren't originally demonstrated still leaked out all of the interwebs. But did all of them?
We'll be bringing your our iPhone 3G review in two parts. Part one (the part you're reading now) is where we'll give you a full, in-depth review of the new iPhone 3G Hardware. Here you'll find details on GPS, 3G speeds, the feel of the actual physical device, etc. If you're on the fence as to whether or not you should upgrade to the iPhone 3G, we're here to help and here's where we are, uh, helping.
Part two will focus on iPhone 2.0 software, where a lot of the real magic this week is happening and it's available on both versions of the iPhone. That review is coming soon, for now, let's take a look at the iPhone 3G hardware with (much) more depth than we gave you in our iPhone 3G unboxing video and picture gallery
Sure, we're still only a few days out from the launch, but at the speed of the interw00ts, that counts as recent history. Here's a bit of nostalgia for you: Armed with my Flip Mino in hand, I took this video while waiting in line at my local Apple Store. I was able to handle the iPhone 3G before launch, played some of the Caveman racing game and asked folks some general questions about the iPhone.
If MobileMe is Apple's "Exchange for the rest of us", then ActiveSync is Microsoft's "Exchange for the most of them". After Windows and Office, it's arguably the 3rd pillar of Microsoft's business domination. Blackberry's can (and almost de facto do) connect to them, Windows Mobiles certainly connect to them. Even the aging Palm OS Treo's have ActiveSync support. And with the 2.0 software, the iPhone does as well.
Caveat: Microsoft loves them some monopoly power and proprietary solutions (in this case, for example, using their own MAPI rather than the IMAP IDLE standard for "push" email). They may be becoming increasingly open in the face of Web-based competition, but their crown jewels are still closely guarded. So, while Outlook connects directly to Exchange for -- according to them -- the "richest experience", and Windows Mobile probably follows a close second, iPhone like other ActiveSync licensees connects via something called Outlook Web Access, the same way a web browser might.
How does this experience stack up in richness? Read on to find out!
The iPhone 3G is a data monster. With speeds of 400, 600 or more than 1400kps reported in some areas, it sucks down information faster than El Jobso does veggie smoothies. Unfortunately, not every carrier in every country provides unlimited data plans to go with Apple's next generation revolutionary internet device, or even reasonable data. And even those that do typically have a "soft cap" (e.g. 5GB) after which they either throttle down your speed, or put a black mark in your record as a problem customer and eventually give you the boot.
If you're in one of the Scandinavian countries, in Mexico, Belgium, or any other Pacific or European, Latin or African country with very expensive data, or if you just want to keep track of how much you're using and when, Apple has provided you and easy way to do it. Read on to find out how!