First trip with the iPhone

by Dave in ,

My recent trip to New Media Expo was my first travel experience since I moved from the Treo 650 to the new iPhone 3G. Overall, I think it the move was positive. Web browsing was, as expected, far and beyond a better experience than I've had previously. No surprise here.

Those of you who followed my SXSW experience know I find Twitter to be an invaluable tool while traveling. On the Treo I was relegated to accessing Twitter with the Treo's wimpy web interface. On the iPhone I was able to use the Twitterific application and it was, again, a much smoother experience.

Email on the iPhone is a mixed blessing. It sure looks nice, but the UI is quite a bit slower than I had with ChatterEmail on re Treo. This is largely due to the lack of physical keyboard meaning I didn't have shortcut buttons for filing messages and such. That said, the virtual keyboard on the iPhone allows for MUCH faster typing than I had on the Treo. In fact, this blog post comes from the iPhone while on board a plane from Las Vegas to Dallas (thanks to the WordPress application).

Battery life was also a difficult bit to manage. I found I could make the battery last for a full day only by disabling Bluetooth, WiFi, Location Services, and auto-brightness. I could leave 3G on and make it through the day, though I found the speed benefits were outweighed by the battery savings gained by disabling 3G for all but the heaviest web-surfing needs.

SMS works very well on the iPhone, though I realized that I got very used to using copy and paste on the Treo. In situations where I had to alert multiple team members or colleagues to the same bit of info, I would simply type the message once and use the clipboard to facilitate sending to the rest. On the iPhone I had to retype the message over and over again.

So while the iPhone has a long way to go on its path to maturity, it is clearly a superior platform, especially with the growing App store. I look forward to more software updates and applications that will make use of the iPhone on future trips even smoother!