So that other long awaited 2.0 has arrived – iPhone 2.0 software update. And like the web version, it’s all a bit emperors new clothes.
Eagerly awaiting this download, like thousands of other Mac zealots, I installed it, and set about grabbing apps like someone in a super market stockpiling for impending doom.
Also, with no address book integration (which I know may not be AOL’s fault), I have to look at my contacts in all their AIM username glory. Having grown accustomed to looking at them with their real names next to their ‘witty’ pictures, this isn’t a great step forward. I already get this, plus all my other accounts (GoogleTalk, MSN, Yahoo) from the iPhone version of Meebo.
Next up is another app I was itching to get my hands on – iPhone’s very own NetNewsWire client. Sadly though again I was disappointed. So disappointed in fact, that I’ve gone back to their News Gator mobile client.
The reason’s for this are fairly simple. Yes it crashes a lot, but more than that, the user experience, is, for me, a step backward.
The mobile version gives you three or four lines of preview text when you go into a feed, allowing you to see if you want to read more or not. With the native iPhone app version, you just get a list of headlines. Yes, you can click on each individual headline to view the post, but that’s not why I use a news reader – I use it to give me a quick overview. This app doesn’t do that.
The two apps I have kept, Light and Remote, well, they work, and they work incredibly well, in a does what it says on the tin way.
I’ve got a few Spanish phrase book apps to try, but as I’m not in Spain right at this instance, they’re not that much use to me. And yes, I am blaming Apple for that…
To me there’s not as much stuff that’s stand out shit hot. I don’t like rounders (or baseball as our American cousins call it), and there’s only so many to do lists one needs, and as I already have a perfectly good list maker (notes anyone?), I don’t need one of those either.
Of course I got Super Monkey Ball, as has everyone who’s got an iPhone it seems – I found it difficult to control the little fellas, having to contort myself into an odd holding position just to get a semblance of control. Of course this could just be that I am shit at it, but as Homer J Simpson said, ‘if you can’t win, don’t try’.
It sounds like I’m on a real downer about it, and mostly I am, but I have to say that one of my real bugbears about the previous version of the OS was the inconsistencies of the UI.
The biggest culprit of this was being able to tap the status bar (the bit with the time, battery and signal) at the top of the screen and it would scroll a webpage to the top. This didn’t work anywhere else in the UI, not in contacts, not in email. It now works, and it’s made using the phone a lot easier for me.
Now if the bloke who did the Camera app on the hacked OS, which added Zoom, burst mode, and a slew of other things could just get his app onto iTunes, I’d be quite happy (maybe it’s non-appearance means that this is coming in future updates to the official OS). It wouldn’t make up for the overall crappyness of the camera though – yes people do buy phone’s with decent cameras so they don’t have to take two devices on holiday (or European aways – pack light kids, you know it makes sense) with them.
If Apple could also develop me, and only me, an application that fuses a picture of the moon, with a lolly pop (or ‘popsicle’) stick, that’d cheer me up no end as well.