The iPhone is really slick. Having a full web browser that works well on a compact device is really cool. At&t and their edge data network are definitely the weak half of this partnership. When it is good, it is *almost* good enough for most web browsing. The problem is that it often isnt good enough. Its also too slow at starting videos, which cuts into the instant gratification aspect that seems inherent in the whole idea of having such a device. WiFi hints at what things could be like when the iPhone makes it on to a less compromised mobile data network.
In the meantime there are probably a few things apple could do to improve the experience on EDGE, but that is another post.
Text entry isn’t too bad, but it does have its quirks. I’m still getting used to some of the predictive features, but that is to be expected. It bugs me that you can’t reorient the keyboard when you are on text entry mode. I think it is easier to type when the on-screen keyboard is oriented horizontally because it the keys are larger so there is less chance of hitting the wrong one. On the otherhand, if you have to edit some text its easier to do it in vertical orientation because it provides enough room to see the magnifier that lets you position the cursor. In fact, the magnifier is often offscren and useless, a substantial usabillity bug.
I realize as i type this that the predictive text entry and correction works pretty well, when it works. Unfortuntely it doesn’t work across space boundries, which often happen accidentally when trying to type letters on the bottom row.
The other annoyance i have noticed is that it can be difficult, or impossible, to position the cursor if the text on a web form is bigger than the text entry area.
I’m sure I will see other room for improvement. I’ve allready noticed some defficiencies. I expect apple to address many of them in the coming months. There are some that I worry that they will never address because the interfere with their own plans, or those of the carriers they partner with.