iPhone 3G shortcuts
We tell you what they don't want to
Reviews August 26th, 2008
By Roger Howorth

Most iPhone reviews tell you the good stuff but overlook the problems. We overlook the good stuff to tell you the problems.

First let me say I’m a fan of the iPhone. Overall it has the best software you’ll find in a phone today. But although it’s good, it’s far from perfect.

GPS sucks

For example, the built in GPS software is great at telling where you are while you’re looking at the phone, but it doesn’t record tracks of where you’ve been. While there are several GPS tracking apps, all the iPhone GPS tracking software we’ve tried goes to sleep when the iPhone does, like when you put it in your pocket. This is crazy, and we’ve heard rumours that the next release of iPhone software – version 2.0.3 – will fix it. Let’s hope so!

The iPhone email is also surprisingly limited. For example, there is no search facility, which makes it rather difficult to find an email from someone if you have a lot of messages. Surely a simple search tool is not too much to ask? And although you can delete multiple emails in one action, this feature is not very easy to find. In fact, just hit the Edit button in the top right of the Inbox screen, select some emails and press the Delete button.

Being good citizens we have not “jailbroken” our iPhone, which unlocks it from some of the restrictions imposed by Apple. A jailbroken iPhone can run software that a normal one can’t – such as DreamCatcher’s iPhone Video Recorder, which captures 15fps video. A trial version is available free of charge.

However, we’ve heard from several people that have jail broken iPhones, and they all say jailbroken iPhones frequently lock up. When this happens they need to reset the phone, which wipes all their personal data from the iPhone, such as contacts and music. They can restore this from a backup, but only once they have returned home and restored the backup from their PC.

Apple’s software is slick and clean to look at. However, some common everyday tasks are not available from menus. Things like deleting SMS messages are accomplished by sliding your finger over the screen in a particular way. Some of these strokes are not easy to guess, so you need either to ask a friend or download and watch a video from Apple.

In other respects we’ve found iPhone running 2.0.2 software to be pretty stable and reliable. Our test unit locked up only once in one week, which is comparable to other smart phones we’ve used.

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