OK so I am now the owner of Apple's latest and greatest must have gizmo, the iPhone 4. In fact I have two of the little buggers as I got Mrs Dracunculus one as well.
Now regulars will know that I'm not mad keen on Steve Job's toys (see my comments on the iPad down the page a bit) and Apple fanbois like this one deserve setting on fire, stomping on and then setting on fire again just to be sure. However a couple of weeks ago I was, much to my surprise, given an 8Gb iTouch as a "thank you" gift from my gaffer at work for all the stuff I did in Honkers which was rather nice. Now I liked my little nano iPod and just saw this as a bit of an upgrade but the more I played with it, got it all working with the wi-fi, added a few apps that I actually use including a very nice graphical calculator that does matrices and calculus the more I liked it. So much so that I thought, "this is good, all it needs is to be online all the time, kind of like a phone" and as I was thinking that Orange my mobile provider rang up and said "Hello Mr Dragon, phone upgrade time again, what would you like?" and I said "iPhone please". And then they told me if I hung on for a week I could have the nice shiny new one when it was released.
So the day after all the sad fucks had queued up for hours to get their Apple heroin the nice man from DHL brought me a couple right to my door and I didn't have to queue up for anything. Nor did I have to pay through the nose as they went onto my 30 quid a month package which has 10 hours of calls and as much text messages and internet as I can eat and they only cost me 32 quid a pop, oh and the contract period is 12 months. The advantages of Orange still thinking I'm a business I guess :-)
So what's it like. Well it's rather nice. The screen display is to die for, brilliantly clear with text incredibly crisp. Sure you would not want to read War and Peace on the thing but for a bit of light surfing it's excellent. There was a but of a brown smudge on the bottom left of the screen (which Peter Ibbotson tweeted back at me was the glue curing or the blood of one of the suicide vicitms from the Foxconn factory where they make the phone, something like that) but it seems to have gone now. Its also very quick and smooth and the pinchy, grabby, wave it in the air like you don't care user interface becomes quite natural quite quickly. I didn't seem to have a problem with the signal dissapearing either but then living in the middle of the swamps as I do I barely get a GPRS signal at the best of times so today in town is going to be the true test of that.
The downsides as far as I can tell are just the normal ones you get with any Apple product and the reasons I don't own any Mac type products. First you have to use iTunes which is just about the suckiest piece of software in the Western Spiral Arm and you can do with it only what Steve Fecking Jobs says you can. Want to add words to the spell checker... no, can't do that. Want to set your ringtone to Kraftwerk's "Computer Love" which you have loaded up... no, can't do that either. How about using it as a portable hard drive? Nope, sorry. Want to write your own little app for it... oh do sod off, look buy "iCrap" from the hideously overpriced app store, we know what's best for you, little person.
Now if I could do all those things on my piddly little Sony Ericcson i910 how come I can't on your box Steve?
Still those niggles aside, I do rather like it and it can stay. I'd say get one if you can on a good tariff where you don't have to pay that much and you're due a phone upgrade anyway but if you go and pay 600 odd quid for one you need your bumps read.
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