iPhone Limitations

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I am glad I bought the 8 Gb version of the iPhone since I have nearly filled up that space now.

iPhone Capacity

The video includes two movies and several video podcasts. The audio includes my 4 and 5 star rated music and many audio only podcasts. The photos include all my photos I have in iPhoto for 2007. I am sure they will have a 16 Gb version of the iPhone soon since they are now offering that in the new iPod Touch. I don’t think I need a hard disk based iPhone like some want with 80 Gb. That would defeat the function of being slim enough and long enough battery to use as a phone.

Another limitation that I am finding is Apple’s approach of not allowing the installation of programs by 3rd party developers, except what they can do with Safari. I just think there would be a lot of neat little programs like were developed for Windows Mobile, that would be useful. On the top of my list would be a real version of Skype and a version of Slingbox player. They have a version of the Slingbox player for Windows mobile, Windows smart phones and Palm phones. But all of those allow the installation of a program. Currently with the iPhone the only thing a developer can do is host something on a website you browse to with Safari. Considering that Apple claims the iPhone is running OSX, it should not be difficult for them to open it up. Their claim about security is most likely a cover for what they really want, and that is to control everything, typical of Apple.

The final limitation is the use of the AT&T Edge network. When I am at home it uses WiFi which is fast. But Edge is slow. But I had that on my old Windows Smartphone so I guess I am not sure what I am missing.

Even with those limitations, the iPhone is by far the best phone I have ever purchased and I continue to be amazed by is capabilities. The user interface is outstanding.

Hre is an update to the post about buying a new iPhone, after I have had a chance to use it for a few days. On Saturday, I broke down and finally bought a new iPhone. After Apple reduced the price of the 8Gb model by $200, it seemed like a good deal. My existing phone with AT&T cost me $20 a month for the data plan (with no text messaging) and the new iPhone data plan is the same cost, so on a monthly basis there was no increase in costs, plus I get 200 text messages included. There is just no comparision between my old Windows Mobile phone and the new iPhone. I can actually use the iPhone for email and web browsing while that old phone was almost worthless for that. I actually don’t use my phone as much for voice calls as for data, so it made a lot of sense to go with the iPhone.

I have now had a chance to use the phone for a few days and clearly state that this is by far the best phone I have ever used, even exceeding the Blackberry phone that I had while I was working. I would even go as far as to say it is the best user interface on any device I have ever used.

My previous phone was a Cingular 3125. It had Microsoft Mobile 5.0 on it but had a regular cell phone keypad. It was very hard to read email messages on it and for me to send a message meant only a few words. I did like the slim design. However it got poor reception. When I complained about that initially, the Cingular store said it was just our local town and since I was new to Cingular, I was not sure. But with the iPhone, now on the same network, gets 4 bars of reception in the exact same place my old phone barely could get one.

The iPhone is the first phone I have ever seen that browsing the web is at all practical. Sure it is not as useful as a regular computer, but you can’t put a computer in your pocket either. The fact that it uses WiFi is a big plus since the Edgne network can be slow (as I already knew from my old Windows Mobile phone). It would have been nice to have the iPhone use the new 3G network, but for me I rarely would be in a place to take advantage of that at this point in time.

There are tons of reports on the workings of the iPhone so I will stop here and just say I am very pleased with the phone. I just need to learn to type on the touch sensitive screen that has no tactile feedback. I am improving but have some ways to go. Apple has once again taking a mature market and turned it upside down.

I wrote previously about installing iLife ’08 on my Mac and have now had a chance to play around with iPhoto ’08. I even went as far as importing all my family photos into iPhoto. However I setup iPhoto to not bring the photos into the iPhoto library, for a very good reason. I first experimented having iPhoto bring in the photos but the file size of the iPhoto library grew to 18 Gb because there is a single file that contains all of your photos and other data that iPhoto needs. This is different than older versions of iPhoto.

While this may have some inherent advantages, there is a big disadvantage. It means that if you add a single new photo that big huge file gets changed. So what happens when you do a backup of your data, as I do daily to an external hard drive? The entire 18 Gb file gets copied, instead of just the new single 5 mb photo. After realizing this, I started over and set in the perferences to not copy the photos to the iPhoto library. I just keep the photos in my own structure as follows:

2000-2009, with sub folders 2001, 2002, etc. So I group all photos by year.

iPhoto doesn’t really care where the files are stored or in what structure, it imposes it’s own framework. I find this to be the best of both worlds since I can use the Finder to get to a photo if I want, or use iPhoto. I still get all the benefits of iPhoto, including the Events structure.

So when I first open iPhoto it looks like this (click to enlarge):

iPhoto 08 Events

When I first imported the photos, I brought in all photos by year, and that created a seriest of events labeled 2007, 2006, 2005, etc. I opened each year to see all the photos for that year. I then used the neat Split feature in iPhoto 08 to split the photos into events. You can see how this works in the image below for 2005, where I have yet to split into events. I select the photo where the event needs to split then click the Split button in the lower left. It divides the 2005 photos into two events, thos above into one event, and all the rest into another. I enter the label for the event of the photos above that I had just split off of the rest and then I then work my way down and create additional events.

Splitting photos in iPhoto to seperate events

As I use iPhoto going forward, it will create new events for new photos I bring in, making all photos taken the same day under one event (you can change this setting).

You can also use iPhoto 08 to edit your photos, including adjusting the curves as shown below. I find I can do most of the editing I need right inside iPhoto and only need Photoshop for the more tricky stuff.

Edit Photo in iPhoto

So in summary, I like iPhoto ’08, as long as I don’t have it import the files into it’s own library.

I just installed iLife ’08 on my Mac computer. So far I have only tried iPhoto but a neat feature there is that photos are grouped by events. That happens automatically as you import them from your camera, or you can manually move events groups around. It was quite easy to drag and drop two events together because they were on different days but the same vacation, for example. This is how it looks when I start iPhoto.

iPhoto ‘08

(click above image to enlarge)

When I click on any event it shows the photos in that event (or just run the mouse cursor over the event and it does a mini slide show).

Photos inside Event

Click on any photo and you can view it full size with tools to edit it, email it, or send to the web.

Editing Photo

I hope you didn’t try to click on part of the image to get the photo to enlarge. You need to get a Mac for that! This blog just has some static screen shots 🙂