I've had to get used to my iPhone now. I have some conclusions. - Before buying, I was a little worried that it would feel bulky in my pocket. After all, it's larger than my old Sony Ericsson handset. Larger in width and height, yes, but so much slimmer that this turned out to be a non-issue. If anything, I notice it less than I used to notice the old Sony.
There's a lot of crap in the App Store, something which took me by surprise. I thought Apple taking control of access to it was so that they could vet the applications to a certain extent. But a lot of rubbish has got through. The lack of any consumer-friendly way to try apps before buying them is a problem; I've wasted money on apps I got excited about, so I've no doubt other people will have wasted money too.
Talking of which; Band, one of the Apple-hyped apps available from day one, was a waste of money. I thought Sketches would be useful but I've only tinkered with it a couple of times.
On the other hand, there's a lot of very impressive innovation on the App Store too. I particularly like Andy Qua's Cube Runner game, Shazam, and FileMagnet (although that last one has a way to go before it reaches full potential).
My advice: be mindful of the temptation to download all sorts of stuff from the App Store, because it's free or cheap. Only download that which you are certain you'll need. If in doubt, wait.
Apps I use most: SMS (so much better than texting on normal phones), Calendar, Clock (for international times), Mail (I'm super-impressed with the way it does the Right Thing with Gmail), Camera (I know it's a rubbish camera, but to me that's a challenge: I'm determined to crunch some decent images out of it), and iPod (mainly for listening to podcasts).
I've moaned about this on TUAW, so I won't repeat much of it here: but I need a text notes app that syncs with something (anything) on the desktop. I'm just flabbergasted that this isn't built-in. I suspect it's because Steve doesn't see a need for it, so it gets booted.
I want a Tenori-on app. I will pay good money for a good Tenori-on. As long as it's a lot less than the 600 quid you need to buy the real thing.
I've never been geocaching, but always been interested to try. The iPhone might get me into it. I've seen one or two apps floating around, but (as per my advice above) I'm going to wait for a while before installing anything.
An unknown number calls me. Later, I want to save the number in my Contacts. But there's no way of doing this directly. Tapping the number starts a call - what if I don't want to start a call? I just want to save the number. Grrr.
I'm trying to keep the number of home screens down to just two. I don't want to spend half my time flicking around half a dozen screens looking for apps. So I'm being ruthless about what stays on the phone. If I don't use it, it gets removed. The App Store remembers what you've paid for, so it's possible to remove purchased apps if they're hogging space. You can always re-download them later.
An alternative would be a way of "hiding" apps; they can stay installed, but out of sight. I'd cheerfully wave goodbye to the Stocks app, and possibly the YouTube and iTunes Music Store apps, if I could.
Lots of people (including me) have said this already, but let me say it one more time: this reminds me of the Palm OS days, when there were thousands of apps available. Over the years, we found out what was good, and our Palms became super little computers. I have every confidence that the App Store will mature in a similar way. In a year or two, the App Store will be much more useful. (Also, I think it will make its way to other parts of the Apple ecosystem - Apple TV, yes, and to desktop Macs. But in the latter's case, not as the only way of installing software, just as an option for developers. Apple will offer them certain benefits for distributing through the Store [mainly: a captive audience], and continue to take a cut of the sales. You and I would hate it, but millions of non-geek Mac users would love it.
(25th July 2008)