The rumors are true. I stood in line last Friday night and came home with an iPhone, and to say I love it is a complete understatement.
Seeing as I have 3 kids under age six I decided against camping out at the Apple Store. And I did this with much reluctance as my local store is the Palo Alto, California one and there were only about a million people in line there who I would have LOVED to meet. It was definitely a geek mecca and I wish I could have been there.
Instead, my plan was to get online at 6pm right when they re-opened the online Apple Store and try to grab one right away. I knew I’d have to pay through the nose for overnight shipping, but getting one within a week of release was going to have to be enough for me.
Leading up to 6pm the Apple Store was closed as it always is before the release of something new, and here’s all they were saying:
Not a lot of info, but at 6pm on the dot the store was open again. I quickly put an iPhone in my cart and then I noticed the horror: “Ships in 2-4 weeks” Fuckers!
Well, Mr. Plain had just gotten home from work and I said “I’m going to the Apple Store — feed the kids chicken nuggets or something!” I kissed each boy twice — once for “goodbye” and once for “goodnight” just in case I missed their bedtime. Mr. Plain was convinced that I was going to be there all night, and you can just imagine how thrilled he was with my departure.
But I had bigger things to worry about! Like where was I going to park?
Turns out parking wasn’t horrible. I found a spot maybe 5 blocks away and walked in.
It was a typically gorgeous evening, not hot, not cold, and I arrived at the store at 6:20pm. The line was maybe half a block long when I got there, so I didn’t even break out my book. I just took in the scenery and the scene. If you know the area, I was across the street from Zibibbo when I got in line.
Some highlights from standing in line
— A sweaty guy in a black Google polo shirt and shorts rapidly pushing two brand-new desk chairs down the middle of the street.
— A guy who drove by and yelled “There are people standing around in lines like this for food!” A decent point possibly better made while not driving your big, shiny SUV.
— People cheering each time they let another group of people into the store. Let me clarify, the people cheering were not in line — they were on the street watching the line.
— Did I mention all the people watching? Watching a line? And there were news crews, satellite trucks, and the police had to close off the side street and stand in the main street to keep the onlookers from getting crushed in traffic.
So then it was finally my turn to be ushered into the Temple of Mac. You know what Apple Stores look like, and this one is no different. Tidy youths in black t-shirts kept the crowd from being disorderly and in no time I was saying “I didn’t stand in line to get a 4GB phone!”
I paid and got the hell out of there. It had only taken 40 minutes from the time I got in line to when I walked out the door with my new 8GB iPhone! And the only sad people I saw the whole time were the zombies wandering around the nearby Sprint store.
So who cares?
To those of you who have asked me what’s the big deal about a new cell phone, let me just say this: I have yet to place or receive a call on my iPhone and I don’t care if I ever do.
For me my iPhone is a tiny computer that fits in my pocket. Oh, and yeah, if I need to make a call I can do that too.
One of my big goals is to take this phone to Blogher next month and be able to post (!) and take notes without lugging my laptop around all day. Hopefully I can find some sort of keyboard that will work with it, and then I’ll be able to do just that.
But it isn’t all perfect
Sure, a first-generation product is going to have some problems, and the iPhone is no exception. You’ve probably read folks complaining about Apple choosing the EDGE network over the much-faster 3G. And OK, it would be nicer if it were faster when I was away from a wireless network, but I’m just happy to be able to be online anywhere I need to be.
The only problem that affects me, and it is a huge one, is going to be able to be fixed in a software update. It is also something that is so surprising to me: there is no Copy / Paste function. Wow, I was stunned. That’s a pretty big deal, but like I said I expect that to be added soon.
Otherwise I love this tiny computer that fits in my pocket. And people who complain about it’s shortcomings are pretty picky folks. It would be like saying “Yeah, this jet-pack is awesome, but I cannot believe it doesn’t come in blue!”
All that and a bag of chips
Of course you want to know what my favorite part is, right? This phone makes me laugh! It is quite literally a joy to use. The bits and pieces move around with whimsical motions, but not in a way where you say “Yeah, cute, but that’s going to get old fast.”
Scrolling and moving things around is just like you expect, except you don’t know how to expect something like this. The interface designers at Apple are legendary, but they really pulled out the stops on this one.
I’ll end this monster-post with the best proof of how easy to use this phone is. Chip, who is 2.5 years old, accidentally discovered how to do the scrolling “gesture” when I was showing him some photos I had taken on my iPhone. He then kept flipping through the pictures on his own. Laughing the whole time until I just had to put the phone away.