Tempted to get the iphone (pc guy though) and have a few questions

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by slappy sam, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. slappy sam macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Hey everyone, my contract with verizon is up in a month or two and I kinda want to switch to another provider - they have good service but their policies, the way they block phones features and remap the menus, and the fact that their phones aren't as good as the competitions make me want to change. I do have a few questions though because I am a PC user and I don't know how well the integration will go.

    1. Contacts/email/tasks - all this I have in outlook 2007. I understand that it will transfer to the iphone? Will the tasks transfer as well (I haven't seen this mentioned)? Also - I do have 3 email accounts I understand that is not a problem (all are IMAP - 2 from my own domain and one for school)

    2. Photos - I am a serious amateur/semi pro photographer and this is one of the main reasons I am looking at the iphone. The ability to show my photos to people on a very nice high res screen, wherever I am, is extremely tempting. If I was to get a device like the touch, it would just be one more thing to carry around - this way I can get my outlook data and my photos synched all in one nice portable device. My question is how do you load the photos onto the phone (I do not like itunes at all) and what resolution is the screen (my photos for web are mostly 400x600).

    3. Music - Do you have to use itunes? Also, all my music is in .wma - must I convert to mp3 or aac? I really really dislike itunes - I'm sorry if you guys like it I just can't stand it. This is probably the biggest thing holding me back, as well as the price tag.

    4. Family plan - We would have two normal phones and one iphone - as I see it this would run (for most basic plan) $70 for the plan, $20 to add two lines, and another $20 for my data/txt which would equate to $110 + extra fees. My question is whether or not you have to add texts per phone or if the 200 texts are good for everyone? If not, how much is the min. amt of texts I can add to a phone (just texts) and how much does that minimum amount cost?

    5. Are there any other fees that I am missing that might crop up?
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Yes, you do have to use iTunes. And it doesn't support WMA
  3. aphexacid macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2007
    2: You load your photos through itunes only.

    3: You load music in mp3 or aac format, only through itunes. itunes will auto convert wma's.

    4: you need to get a family plan. you can either add 200 text's (minimum) for $5 per line, or get a family text plan. make sure you get all your 3 phones first, and then buy your iphone. why not have a 4th free phone? you have to buy the iphone anyway.

    5: activation fee is $35 for the first phone, and $26 for for each additional line.

    Im a little surprised no one just told you to go to apple/at&t's website, because everything i just said is there. but what the hell i guess.

    if you dont like itunes, dont get an iphone.
  4. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I have spent the past few hours looking on their website among others to try to figure this out. Some of it I have read and want to confirm (like the outlook part) and some I have not read anything about - like the 200 text/5 a month.

    Thats nice that it auto converts wma to mp3/aac.

    Well, I want 3 phones total (1 is the iphone) - what do you mean by 4th free phone? Wouldn't I have to add a line ($10/month fee?) I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    I guess if you don't like itunes don't get an iphone is really what it boils down to. It's too bad apple isn't willing to let you use other software, or just let me drag and drop my files. That's all I really want.
  5. fr33 loader macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2007
    You cant really use the phone sans iTunes. I do really hope you get a different phone because you wont be very happy with your experience from the looks of it. No offense but I dont want you complaining knowing fully well that it only works with iTunes and I know you hate that software.;)
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you're dead-set on drag 'n drop, you can try this:

    In iTunes, create a new playlist. Call it "Drag 'n Drop" or whatever.
    From your iTunes library, drag 'n drop the music you want into the playlist that you just created.
    Set the iPhone's Music sync tab to only sync that playlist.

    I used to be a huge fan of Drag 'n Drop (and really, really despised being forced to use iTunes to get my music over to my iPod), but once I started to play around with Smart Playlists, there's no way in hell I'd ever consider going back to Drag 'n Drop.

    Here's a few of the Smart Playlists that I use to keep a great selection of music on my iPhone.

    Recently Added -- any music that's been added to my library in the last two weeks.

    4+ Rookies -- the 25 least-played songs from my library that I've rated 4+ stars. Basically, music that I like that I haven't heard recently.

    Rate Me -- 25 songs from my library that I haven't rated.

    Never Heard -- 25 songs from my library that have a play count of zero.

    Going Down -- Any song I've rated 4+ stars that's been skipped more than 5 times. (If I skip a song that many times, it probably means it shouldn't be rated so high)

    Smart playlists automatically update themselves. If I rate a song that's on Rate Me smart playlist, it immediately disappears from that playlist. If you can get some smart playlists that work for you, you can save soooooo much time over manually managing your music.

    As others have said, if you can't make peace with using iTunes, don't get an iPhone. Since you can download and install iTunes for free before you buy an iPhone, I'd recommend you do that and see if you can live with it. If smart playlists really do nothing for you, then maybe the drag 'n drop alternative might work.
  7. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thank you a lot for replying with a well thought out response and reading my post. I appreciate that. I use wmp11 right now, which I do prefer to itunes - it has playlist features that are essentially the same, but it sounds like itunes might have a few more features in this area. It sounds like itunes has probably advanced a lot since when I tried it last. That really would help in synchin my music though... So yeah I will try itunes again and see how I like it this time.

    I guess I came off a bit strong as disliking itunes - I just don't really like the interface and stuff, but its not that bad. I just wanted to see if there were any other options, but I guess theres not I can probably live with it lol.

    And I really wasn't trying to "complain knowing fully well it only works with itunes" - if infact you read my original post I was questioning with regards to both photos and music whether or not you had to use itunes - I assumed this might be true for music but I'm pretty surprised to see that you have to use itunes to transfer photos. How does that work exactly? I though itunes was only music..

    Thanks for the help.
  8. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Just to touch on the drag and drop:

    You can drag and drop to the iPhone as long as you are using iTunes. You just have to set iTunes to manually manage music and videos for the iPhone. Once that is done, you can drag and drop any files that are in your iTunes library right to the iPhone. You can also delete music and videos right from the iPhone from within iTunes.
  9. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Okay, I actually like the sound of using smart playlists - I didn't know you could just sync playlists so that seems like the way to go. I've been trying to figure out how to transfer photos from my computer to the iphone but I haven't had any luck. All I can find is how to transfer from the iphone to the computer.
  10. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    For photo synching from PC-iPhone, in iTunes, you specify a folder for photos to be synced from, just any old random folder. Drag the photos you want on the phone into that folder, and iTunes automatically syncs them to the phone.
  11. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Regarding email, 3 accounts is not a problem (I don't what the limit is, if there is one, but it's more than 3). You can set them up directly on the phone, and/or they will sync from Outlook. Contacts and calendar entries will also sync from Outlook, but the iPhone has no task function (as yet).

    Photos, when synced, are optimised for the iPhone. The original file is left alone, but iTunes creates a copy that is downgraded as necessary to the iPhone's screen resolution. This saves a lot of memory space, obviously. I have 3,300 photos on my phone, which take up 2gig.

    Regarding the plans, if you are an existing AT&T customer you don't have to change your plan. You simply add an iPhone to a line on your account and they charge an extra $20/month for the data service on that line (leaving the other lines as they are). If you're not an AT&T customer, it can be better to sign up with them prior to getting your iPhone. That way, you get more flexibility on calling plans and you get a free phone to boot. There's no penalty for signing up for a two-year contract, then adding an iPhone the next day if you wish.

    iTunes does support mp3 if you don't want to go all the way to aac. However, if you want to make your own ringtones, you will need to convert the final music clip into aac, which iTunes will do for you.
  12. Vegeta-san macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2006
    This is CRITICAL to note thread starter. iTunes does NOT send the full resolution photo to the iPhone. Rather, it downsizes it a bit and reduces its clarity. This is most prominent when one zooms into a photo.
  13. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Okay, I don't want the full resolution photo. So long as it shows my 600x400 photos nicely on the screen (like takes up the whole screen pretty much) that is fine. I would just like to show people my photos on the go and the screen looks awesome for this (and I've spoken with other photogs who use it as a mobile portfolio almost).
  14. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The iPhone screen is 480 x 320, so that's the best you'll get. They do fill the screen, and you can rotate the phone to get a full screen portrait or landscape as necessary. I find the image very bright and clear but, as has been said, zooming in will start to show the lack of pixels if you go crazy.

    If you have sub-folders in the target sync folder, they will carry over to your iPhone. You can view all your pics, or an individual sub-folder, in thumbnail view to easily pick out the one you want, or just scroll through photos one at a time. You can even view a folder/sub-folder as a slideshow, which avoids having to swipe to get the next pic (which is a shame, because swiping's just fun!).
  15. aphexacid macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2007
    Heres what you have to do. and yes, i mean HAVE to. thers no reason why you shouldnt!

    I needed 2 phones total, and i was going to be a new att customer. i was going to just sign up for all of it while doing my att activation with the iphone, but then i thought, hold on a second.....I have to buy the iphone outright. its mine. there is no contract im getting into just buying the iphone itself, and im not gaining anything whatsoever by buying it, ie a discounted price or whatever.
    So i thought, if thats the case, why dont i get started with at&t first, then activate my iphone later? I got a phone for my mom, and a an HTC tilt for myself. pretty awesome phone btw. after i setup all the account stuff, i then went and bought my iphone, and activated it.

    Take advantage of any special offers, or free phones. it will be an extra phone for you.

    And dont buy anything directly from at&t, go to letstalk.com. i found them through crutchfield.com (very well known)

    When activating the iphone, you just say, im an existing customer, added the iphone data plan, and bam!
  16. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Wait so your saying I should get two phones when I get a plan - to get a good deal, then buy the iphone outright after thats all sorted out?
  17. mugwump macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    Smart Playlists and meta data for the win. There are a few ways to batch change song info all at once, drag and drop in album art, etc.

    Rating them is useful, such as 5 stars for songs that you've never skipped out of, 1 star for potential delete, etc. Then create ratings playlists and sync the best ones to the phone.

    Someone recently gave me a ton of songs, so I created a smart playlist: 200 songs, play count is 0, comments contain "music from ___". Each time I listen to one, it's removed and new ones are added when I sync the iPhone.
  18. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Basically, yes. Get an AT&T plan and get the best available free phones. You'll get a better choice of calling plans and shared minutes etc. than you do if you're going directly to an iPhone plan. Then buy and activate your iPhone, and the only thing that will change is that they'll charge you $20/month extra for the iPhone data plan.

    Doing this doesn't cost you anything extra, you get more plan choices and a free phone to boot!
  19. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Whoa wait, I need to know something-

    With verizon it is $10 to add a line (so if you want 3 phones with family plan it would work like this)

    $70 for family plan
    $10 for phone 2
    $10 for phone 3

    With at&t is it just $70 + the price of the phones? Do you have to pay to add lines?
  20. Cudadown macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Just out of curiosity slappy... what is your prior experience with itunes. Did you have a iPod or just messed around with it as a music player/organizer?

    I did not like itunes either a few years ago. Now I have a 80gig iPod and a iPhone and my sons iPod nano and itunes is probably one of my favorite apps. Sometimes I spend a couple hours just messing around with the library while listening to music. And I also have 47 episodes of south park I watch now and again.

    So basicly, Im trying to say.. the new itunes with a ipod or iphone is a beautiful combination that you might not have had the chance to see in action before.
  21. Cudadown macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    I believe its just the phone and activation cost. Don't quote me though. I work in at&t engineering dept. Its a long way from at&t mobility.
  22. Bootsie macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2008
    I believe that with AT&T the family plans work like this...

    $70/month for family plan (includes 2 lines/ 700 minute plan) (+ activation $36 for 1st line, $26 for 2nd)
    $10/month for third line (+ $26 activation fee)

    So your bill every month would be $80+ taxes/fees for all three phone lines.

    When you sign up you could get 3 free phones, then you would just buy the iPhone and activate it for your line ($20/month extra for data). The other two lines would use their free phones, but this would give you an extra phone incase you need to downgrade for some reason or one of the other free phones gets damaged. It does not cost you any more to do it this way than if you just got two free phones and our iPhone.

    So you would end up paying $100/month for three lines and your unlimited data.
  23. G4R2 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    I'd like to suggest that you be very careful when switching from Verizon to ATT. I also switched over and have been somewhat dissatisfied with the quality of the service on ATT. I live in a major metropolitan area and have experienced serious reception issues. Despite what they advertise, dropped calls are an habitual occurance. I also have found that dead spots are a far more common occurance on ATT then on Verizon. I also find that the EDGE data network leaves a lot to be desired. It's ok for the widgets and Googlemaps, but no good for Safari or media streaming, so hopefully you'll be in an area where wi-fi is pletinful.

    The problem is likely with the GSM network. I've had T-Mobile in the past which is also a GSM carrier and it had similar reception problems.

    Verizon, in contrast, had great coverage and reception. I had a Motorola Q on that network and was satisfied with the service but greatly dissatisfied with the hardware, somewhat the opposite situation I am experiencing now.

    Despite the reception issues I'm really satisfied with the iPhone. If all it was was just a phone then I'd probably not recommend it, not because it's a bad phone but because the network it is on has been problematic. It's the other features that the iPhone has and that are either poorly or incompletely implemented on other devices that has made it so appealing to me.

    I do hope that the ATT network either improves or that Apple gets a new deal with Verizon when it comes time to change phones again.
  24. Cudadown macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2007
    Keep in mind... All reception quality is strictly a localized situation. Here in the Detroit area verizon is very hit and miss quality while at&t has been flawless for everyone I know on the network. But I do not hear many good things on verizon.

    I wish more people would realize that before judging one as worse then another. It has everything to do with where you are.
  25. slappy sam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    In my area I do think verizon is better - mostly everyone has verizon phones and I remember when we were deciding who to go with we went with verizon because it does have better service.

    But I really cannot stand the way they do things - locking certain features of their phones that and making you pay extra to use them, remapping the phones menu system with their own (there is a 2-3 second, not kidding, lag time when I press buttons on my phone cause of their stupid software).

    I'll have to do a little more research before I switch, just something to think about.

    I would really rather wait to get the iphone, maybe 2nd or 3rd gen when they get a few more features I would like, as well as more storage space.

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