Thursday, January 10, 2008

Apple iPhone Review By [7]

iPhone0036.jpgThe stocks app looks similar to the OS X Dashboard stock widget, just like Clock and Weather, which makes us question why these three apps weren't just placed under a widgets section instead of being made top-level. When Apple has enough good top-level apps, we're sure these will be buried. In any case, there are a variety of views ranging from 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. It, like Weather, is based off Yahoo.

The good news is that the search function works off actual company names in addition to tickers, which helps people (like me) who have no idea what they're doing when it comes to stocks. But the bad news is that thanks to either EDGE or Yahoo's own servers, stock charts can error out occasionally when you try to view them.

You can add an unlimited amount of stocks, but there's no way to reorder them to have your most important six on top (unless you delete everything and start over). Scrolling through everything uses the finger flicking, which works fine here.

We wish it would auto update (it doesn't update unless you go into the app), and allowed you to set an alert if a certain stock goes above or below a certain price. [top]

iPhone0043.jpg The 2-megapixel camera takes shots rich with color in plain daylight. It fails to do well with movement, and low light shots are grainy with bad halo effects. I rate it just below the cameras in Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones. I'm happy with still performance, despite the lack of any color, lighting, file size tweaking or zoom. We definitely agree with Pogue here. The big freaking problem is that there's no video mode on the camera. And there aren't even rudimentary edit tools, either, which again, isn't necessary for the bulk of the people who buy this phone. However, the camera as a whole is, at best, a glossed-over implementation. But are we still going to use it? Yes.

To get your photos onto your computer, you'll have to sync with iPhoto, which means everytime you dock, both that and iTunes need to start up. [top]

iPhone0037.jpgYouTube over Wi-Fi is probably the best mobile implementation of YouTube we've seen yet, both based on quality and on the user experience. YouTube on EDGE, however, is another matter. Not only are videos slow like 56k porn to download, the quality is degraded to the point where you're going to have a hard time making out faces and asses. And thanks to the fact that the YouTube and Apple collaboration is still in its early stages, 15-20% of videos we've tried can't be played even when the connection is up. If you try multiple times, it may eventually play, but at this point it's fairly buggy.

iPhone0038.jpgOn the other hand, the actual interface Apple came up with is quite nice. Bookmarking videos and searching videos is definitely convenient. The UI for browsing videos is clean, and scrolling through lists (with clear, high resolution bookmarks) with finger flicking is fast. Not all the YouTube content is there now, but it will be by fall.

Some of the gripes we've had were the fact that the most viewed for "Today" never updates (it's the same as the most viewed of all time), the delay in emailing someone a video, the fact that you can only view videos in landscape (which is nice most of the time, but we'd like the option to flip it to portrait), and the screen being neither 4:3 or widescreen, which causes black bars unless you zoom in and cut off part of the picture. The name of a video's owner doesn't hyperlink to the rest of the owner's videos.

IMG_0397.jpg When comparing EDGE video quality to Helio Ocean's YouTube offering over 3G, Helio's is noticeably better (but not incredibly better). When on Wi-Fi, the iPhone beats the Ocean hands down. [top]

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