I didn’t get to watch the Macworld keynote until a week after the fact on account of being abroad and rarely in the vicinity of a WiFi access point, so I didn’t post any slobbery fanboy remarks. Having taken a little time to mull over the iPhone, I present you now with some random thoughts from the departure lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport:
- The June ship date isn’t just waiting for FCC approval, it’s also waiting for OS X 10.5 to go gold (remember: OS X ≠ Mac OS X, though Mac OS X 10.5 should ship around the same time). iPhone uses enough 10.5 base technologies that I’d hazard a guess they’re still working on some of the software.
- Looking at the iPhone UI (the graphical appearance, I mean. Not the interaction), and looking at iTunes 7, I’ll hazard a guess that they’re both rough indicators of what Mac OS X 10.5 will look like. There’s a common theme.
- I really hope Australia is included in the 2008 Asian launch. AT&T doesn’t operate there, but I’m sure one of the local carriers would be more than willing to bend to Apple’s demands and retool their voicemail system.
- Touchscreen interaction means no more one-handed operation, or at least very uncomfortable one-handed operation. Fingers are more versatile than thumbs, sure, but we’ve all grown very accustomed to using our phones (and our iPods) one-handed.
- I really hope they’ve honed the “chuck scrolling” algorithm such that there’s adequate friction on short scrolls. It looks great when Steve flicks his finger and zooms through a dozen screens before he stops it dead with his finger, but I dread a gentle nudge (aiming for a mere half a screen of scrolling, say) having massive repercussions.
- Word on the street is that Apple is worried third party apps could destabilize the OS—disastrous for a phone—but they could (at the very least) open up for pure web widgets.
- I wonder if major iPhone OS updates will be available, free or otherwise, or whether they plan to hawk us a new phone every year like they do with the iPod. Two year contracts, and all that.
- Speed dial, it has been said, needs to be speedier. OK, it's only a slide-unlock and three taps. On my Sony Ericsson, it’s a slide-open and one button. Who’s the tap counter on this project?
- No flash on the camera means I still have to carry a camera. And here I was excited about retiring my (old, but trusty) Sony Cybershot. It’s not a big ask; the Cybershot is 2MP (same as the iPhone), lacks zoom (same again), but it has a flash. And that’s basically mandatory these days. No, LEDs don’t cut it either.
Don’t take these as negative commentary, I’m extremely excited about every part of this thing. Finally, somebody brought the pinch-zoom UI to market! A real browser! Et cetera! But the wooting and hollering has been going for a fortnight now, and though I’m far from a detractor I’ve had these little niggles at me since I watched the keynote. Let’s hope most of them are unfounded.