Well I bought an iPhone 3G around 1 month ago so I have 1 month experience of using it so I think I have a good idea of it's capabilities.
First lets start with the positives.
The things I like about the iPhone:-
- Web browser. This is probably one the best parts of the device. It is usually quick and the zoom features and rendering engine are quite good.
- The phone. Of course a big part of the iPhone is the phone, is it any good? Yes very much probably the best phone experience I've had with any phone (although don't upgrade to v2.1 as since I've done this the phone just hangs up randomly while talking to people even though I have full signal)
- iPod built-in. The iPod is good. Apple doesn't have that stupid circular "wheel" to control the volume. There is a separate button for this.
The things I don't like about the iPhone:
- Web browser. I know I put the web browser as one of the good things about the iPhone but there is no support for Flash/Flash Lite or Silverlight and Apple (currently) don't intend to support either of these in the future.
- No support for forwarding SMS??!!??
- No support for MMS.
- No way to save attachments to the device via emails.
- No voice recording.
- No video recording support for the camera.
- Camera is only 2mp.
- GPS chipset sucks (even though it is SiRFIII, which is proven and works great in other devices). When you do get a satellite lock it only lasts for a couple of minutes then its gone again and I've tried this in various locations here in the UK and abroad. I have many GPS devices, phones, receivers and they all work once locked on. My older external GPS receivers maintain a lock-on while the iPhone loses it's lock.
- No sat nav software. Even if the GPS worked, what good is it without any kind of satellite navigation software for road users. You can use the Google maps application built-in that comes with the iPhone but it is certainly no match for software such as TomTom. In addition Google maps require the maps to be downloaded (tiles) on the fly, so if you have no radio, you lose you're way!
- iTunes - rubbish - I know iTunes is not part of the iPhone, but I could devote an entire blog post on its short comings
- Synchronization with Outlook. No support for notes. The iPhone has its own notes store, which has no relationship with outlook.
- It is also not possible to sync with an address book that happens to belong on exchange server in addition no support with syncing with offline emails that are part of an exchange server. However it is possible to sync with an exchange server OTA although I could never get this to work with my exchange server which is hosted with external access over HTTP.
- Images in emails are downloaded automatically, there is no configuration to turn this off.
- Long URLs are truncated in mail making them appear friendly when they might not be. The register has an article on this here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/06/unfixed_iphone_vulns/
- Only a max of 200 emails can be downloaded to the device until you scroll all the way to the bottom of the list then request another block (I think something like 10 or so). So even though I have 8GB of space it is a painful task to get my entire mailbox downloaded to the phone. Rubbish.
- There is no search facility in the mail program. I can't even filter by date or person so finding emails is a task in itself.
- The accelerometer (automatic adjusting of the screen in portrait or landscape depending which way up the device is) is ok for some features of the phone such as viewing pictures but when using the iPod software for listening to music I find it very irritating as when the screen is in landscape mode you lose pretty much all the features such as controlling the volume, skipping the track etc. Turning the device back to portrait is the only solution which is minor but just irritating. There is no configuration to turn this off.
- Connectivity. As I travel a lot I go from areas where EDGE, 3G are not available so when I previously had a connection, maybe 3G, reconnecting via a different protocol such as GPRS in this case just doesn't work very well. Getting emails and browsing the Internet takes forever and it is quicker to turn the device off then back on again.
- Contacts, why can I not search by contact name???? You can tap the letter of the persons name (small A-Z listed on the right hand side of the list) and focus to navigate to that area of the list. The contacts list pretty much always locks up for a brief moment on load which is irritating. Upgrading to 2.1 doesn't fix this.
- Email. There are options which allow you to configure the device to poll a pop3 server periodically - which is fine the smallest unit is 15 minutes. But it just doesn't work. You have to load up mail and hit 'request mail'. And why can't I set the device to poll my pop3 server every 1 minute I have an unlimited data plan.
- Locking the device. What is this all about. Every time you turn the device on you have to slide this button from one side of the screen to another. This is fine, but why can't I turn it off?
- I know the iPhone is a touch device, but why is there no hard button for hanging up or answering. It would be good to have these hard buttons in addition to the on screen touch ones - just a minor irritation.
- Security hold which allows you to bypass the PIN security number and gain access to features of the phone. See here: http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/08/massive-iphone.html
- Jason Langridge shows a comparison of push email between WM and iPhone here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonlan/archive/2008/07/18/iphone-2-0-windows-mobile-for-push-email.aspx
- No copy and paste functionality.
- The OS is single-task based, so coming from a multitalking desktop environment to the iPhone platform is painful.
There you have it, my comprehensive list. I have since retired the iPhone from my arsenal of devices. Maybe the iPhone will be a major player in future versions, we'll have to wait and see.