ArsTechnica iPhone Review

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    If you're looking for a more technical review of the iphone, Arstechnica posted their extensive iPhone review along with their own stress testing. It's hard to provide an all encompassing summary blurb but they leave the reader with these pros and cons:


    • Web surfing experience is superior to other phones
    • Overall SMS experience is great
    • Practically non-scratchable
    • Looks fantastic in every way
    • Easy to use, self-discoverable
    • Soft keyboard is definitely usable
    • iPod interface rocks


    • iPhone is currently locked to AT&T
    • No worthwhile Exchange support
    • No wireless syncing over Bluetooth or WiFi, must tether via USB, no modem use at all
    • Extremely quiet ringer/alert/speakerphone volume
    • Windows version of iTunes cause a few hiccups
    • Application support is weak
    • E-mail implementation feels weak, uninspired

    Article Link
  2. macrumors newbie


    Jun 26, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    My response to this:

    "No wireless syncing over Bluetooth or WiFi, must tether via USB, no modem use at all"
    -Bluetooth is cool for phones that do not come with a way to connect your phone to your computer but the iPhone comes with a dock and cable! I mean seriously. Nitpicking.

    "Extremely quiet ringer/alert/speakerphone volume"
    -My ringer is loud. I actually use the alarm function to wake up in the morning and it hasn't failed me yet. I think the volume is quit loud.

    "Application support is weak"
    -1. Apple already gave reasons for this early on and we all know more apps are coming and there are already some amazing web 2.0 apps out there.

    "E-mail implementation feels weak, uninspired"
    -Just exactly what is this supposed to mean? Uninspired??? Are you for real? My email experience on iPhone has been flawless, easy to use and manage. Just what an email program should be. I have 3 email accounts attached to it and all run flawlessly (yes including a yahoo one). It's not a friggin song thats supposed to make me want to change the world! That is one of the most ridiculous "cons" i have ever heard.
  3. macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2007
    I agree. I'm not sure exactly what he wants his e-mail to do. Has there been some big innovation in emailing recently that I missed? Send/Receive emails, organize them in inbox/sent folders, check automatically for new e-mails...that's pretty much what I want from any e-mail program, especially one on my phone.
  4. Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    How about push email?

    In regards to bluetooth, every phone these days comes with a usb cable but i would still want bluetooth syncing for the iPhone for calendars, contacts etc. Means if i quickly update something on my computer when the phone is in my pocket/bag/elsewhere as I am about to leave I can get the sync going without having to dig around and find the phone. Or have to unplug a USB device from my computer just to sync it. Portable only have 2 USB ports for example.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2003
    I agree with some of the cons

    I also feel the ringer could be louder. Some of them are loud enough. But some really aren't.

    Email is great, but of course would benefit by some further enhancements. But I would not call it uninspired.

    Yes, it would be nice to be able to simply sync thru Bluetooth. But is it a major drawback? Nah.

    Overall, it is by far the best phone/handheld experience to date.
  6. macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006

    I rarely sync my phones via USB everything is bluetooth. Understandable to sync the iPod via USB as it has no bluetooth and you're mostly transferring songs/vids/pics with a little PIM data but if something has Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and syncs PIM regularly, then for the love of me use it for something besides BT Headsets.

    As for the email thing, yes it works BUT the little things that make life easier arent there such as deleting a bunch of emails at once. You have to do it one by one and you have to repeat this step when removing from trash as well (no empty trash option). Thats useful especially these days with spam and all. Also Exchange support is so so. No visual alerts like SMS

    Its a first gen product which means things will only get better
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2007
    email on iPhone

    I wanted my email to work. not sure if this was an at&t issue or what iPhone was constantly jumping on and off of the "edge network" which made emailing painful. I'd often get "unable to connect with smtp server " messages...this sucks.

    If you notice I refer to my iPhone in past tense...I returned it after 3 days of misery.
  8. macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    This is a review (a good one). He's not dinging the phone.
    Some of the suggestions are good. :apple:
  9. macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I think the point that the reviewer is trying to make is that Apple has the opportunity to use in OS X and totally sync the accounts, folders and all, but they're not doing this at all. I think the least they could do is sync up the sent mail from your iPhone with your Mac. It's such a basic thing that it baffles me why Apple didn't do it.

    I am hoping for changes to mail on the iPhone.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2003
    In the Bowels of the Cosmos
  11. macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    e-Mail "Uninspired"

    I agree with that comment completely; it give a very exact sense of the application. If you have ever used a Blackberry, you see that there are things that the iPhone just gets "wrong" in their mail application. I appreciate keeping it simple, but... a few basics:
    -If you get 50-100 mails a day and don't use Yahoo IMAP, Outlook, or on your desktop, you need to manually open all your messages on the iPhone to clear their "unread" status. This takes me 20 minutes to a half hour!
    -Copy and Paste. Been said before, no need to dwell, but it isn't easy to compose a message longer than two lines on the iPhone.
    -The "return" key sends the message when you are in the "to" field. If you are typing an e-mail address with a period in it, it is quite easy to accidentally send the message before you have written anything.
    -Only one account can be the outgoing address if you have multiple accounts on the phone.
    -Loads HTML messages, including remote images! Privacy concerns and speed aside, yuk! Increases page loading time.
    -Ironically, can't compose HTML messages (bullets).
    -How many taps are required to change between accounts?!
    -Awkward hand positioning is required to go between similar functions (next, reply, trash, compose

    There is much more, but if Apple really wants to court business users, a lot more effort is needed for the mail application.
  12. macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    My response to yours:

    The iPhone is dead to OSX with bluetooth. Why can't OSX see who's calling, sync address book contacts, use it as a modem?

    Yeah, and I can't wait for "real" apps to come along, so we can access some hardware, like the ringer, the phonebook, the SMS system, the wifi gear (iStumbler!). All the web2 apps out there are rather.. i dunno. Movie showtimes? App listers?

    I totally agree. A list of accounts on one page, then on the next page, "inbox" and "trash", and then finally messages, with sent+received all globbed together. No way to "mark all read". No search, no sort. It's a very, very simple mail reader, even for a phone. version2 will be much better.
  13. macrumors 603


    Apr 21, 2003
    This is another good review from Ars Technica. They tend to be very fair and balanced, always.

    Its good to see an in depth review of the iPhone like this, rather than the initial reviews we saw.

    Blue tooth is extremely convenient, no wires. Its a bit slower, yes, but if all your doing is syncing address book, small files etc then its fine. Syncing music over BT - no thanks!

    Those reasons were nothing more than weak excuses, and displays the current weaknesses of the OS. In the future Apple will make mobile OSX more robust and allow proper ( native ) 3rd party apps.
  14. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Funnily enough, if the iPhone were available here tomorrow, the Bluetooth limitations would be the deal-breaker for me. I send & receive files from my phone a lot (and obviously don't carry around a dock or installation CD with me), plus when txting from home I often send txts from Address Book.

    That said, the inability to bulk-delete mail messages would be another major annoyance.

    Here's hoping for a lot of changes in iPhone 2.0.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    I love ars technica stress tests, they're so... extensive.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2007
    hacker would free iphone if apple would not

    "iPhone is currently locked to AT&T" -- I believe that will soon be resolved by hackers. See, some tool like iPhone Unlock Toolkit can now activate iphone without signing the contract with AT&T.
  17. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
  18. macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2006
    Salt Lake City UT
    Wow, does this thing actually work?
  19. macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm still amazed that some people just can't admit to the very obvious and very basic shortcomings of this phone.

    It's really silly to argue that it's unreasonable to expect basics like bluetooth synching and programmable email prefs. To say that a dock somehow makes the lack of bluetooth synching OK just sounds like you're trying to hard.

    I mean, c'mon folks, it's a great phone, but it has some very serious flaws and omissions.
  20. s10
    macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2002
    Los Angeles

    Some things could obviously be better, wait for the software updates, but to call them Serious flaws and omissions? Are you?

    I think you should use a laptop if you have 50 to 100 emails daily and need to have all those functions... doing all this on (any) phone is like digging a tunnel with a corkscrew imho.
  21. macrumors 603

    Mar 20, 2007
    Maybe you didn't read the review. Just incase here is the text that leads up to their descision with regards to email in the iPhone:
    Email section Page 7

    Ars wrote very clearly what bugged them about the iPhone when it came to email. And yet they still gave it a very very good score at the end.
  22. macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2006

    I usually hate doing this but...


    Don't get me wrong. I love <3 my iPhone. Coolest, slickest device I've ever owned... and I'm a tech-junkie!

    But the lack of a "mark as read", a "default" email address (why can't I just pick?), no copy/paste, no filters (!!!).

    Anyway, it stills beats most other mobile email solutions. This is the one area that my blackberry (7250) walks all over the iPhone.

    But that would be like saying a Ford Ranger is better than a :insert high priced high value car here: because it's hazard light button is easier to access.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    I agree as well, but wait, I wonder why Apple is giving every employee a free iPhone. Sounds like a good chance for some R+D on mail and biz apps. The iPhone may not be everything the Blackberry is today but guess what's coming. Let's face it we are all test pilots, and what a great ride we are in for!
  24. macrumors 603


    Apr 21, 2003
    Other phones DO have such basic functionality as:
    Mark all -> Mark as Read
    Mark all -> Delete

    Or - more directly -
    Mark all as read
    Delete all.

    ( Or equivalent).

    If iPhone even lacks this basic functionality then its a serious usability flaw.

    How do you know that such flaws will be fixed in a software update? If so, how long will users have to wait? 1 month, 3 months.. ...
  25. macrumors newbie


    Jun 26, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    I guess as far as a phone email program and sincing is concerned, I don't really need all those extra "ommisions" you guys are talking about. I am never in such a frantic hurry that I cant take my phone out of my pocket for 1 minute to plug it into the dock and sinc it. Takes a whole 20 seconds to upload and download contact and calendar info. And I have had a flawless experience with an IMAP setup on 2 email accounts and Yahoo Push works perfectly for me as well. I can see any folder I want to on iPhone including trash and sent and any others i have on the account. I am an organization freak as well so I don't like to keep hundreds of emails in my inbox. I read them, reply, then either throw it in the trash or file it when I get home. Its simple. And thats the way I like it :)

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