Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My iPhone and me: initial impressions (including a FedEx vignette)

Regular readers — bless you — can boast that, among the vast stores of absolutely useless information we all have, they know I've acquired an iPhone — as many of you said I should.

I received it... hm, something like Tuesday, June 30. Its delivery was a testimony to how lame FedEx can be.

The FedEx part: skip if only want the iPhone part. My 9yo Jonathan has a forever-grudge against FedEx, and makes bombing sounds when he sees their trucks. It traces back to a story from several years ago. I am not making this up. My dear wife had had a procedure and badly needed rest. So as soon as we got home and I settled her, I made a big paper note saying "DO NOT RING; knock quietly." I taped the note — this is important — over the doorbell. In other words, it covered the button.

And what happened? Shortly my wife had settled down and was resting... the doorbellrang! Not once, but again and again.

Incredulous and furious, I stormed over and jerked the door open. To see what? The figure of our FedEx guy, waving cheerfully at me, please with himself, hopping into his truck and departing. He'd left a package.

I called FedEx, shoved my way through to the supervisor, complained vividly, and was told apologetically that that particular driver was not the sharpest scalpel in the tray, or words to that effect. I shared the thought that drivers should at least be required to be able to read and understand simple English. No argument.

Now, years later, I can only guess that the same driver has our route.

Our front door is at the end of a walkway and is visible from the street and exposed to sunlight. But the whole porch isn't. The right-hand side (as you face the house) is shaded, and occluded behind some plants and other things. Drivers regularly put packages in that area if no one's home. Some even to to some lengths to hide them from public view. Very thoughtful.

My iPhone arrived during a several-hour period when no one was home. I drove up, wondering what I'd see.

What I saw was the package, placed directly in sunlight, plainly visible from the street. Not six feet to the right, where it would be shaded and hidden.

I think those drivers are well-paid. Well-trained and well-disciplined? Not so much. Not this one, anyway.

The iPhone part will be shorter, because I've less to say just now.

You may have read dire warnings such as this, which may give the impression that the 3GS is a colossal failure dropped like a huge anvil on an innocent public. All I can tell you is: not me!

I love this phone. It is incredibly intuitive and powerful. I'm simply amazed at what it can do, and I've only begun to scratch the surface and skim the available apps.

While I'm driving through the Sierra with my fam, hiking and fishing and barbecuing, I get "ding" as I receive email. (You can turn that off, of course). The compass immediately tells me where I am, provides a map, advises me of traffic. The keyboard is about as terrific as such a tiny thing; my sausagelike thumbs do just fine with it.

My only gripes are with AT&T, not with the iPhone... and I've not many of those at present. (Mainly that their coverage is not as great as Verizon — but that was less of a problem on our trip than I'd expected.)

As you should see later this week, I took most of our 4th of July pictures with my iPhone (including videos). The iPhone makes it easy as pie to send a picture right off to someone.

If I ever become a significant person who actually gets phonecalls, I'm set!

Right now, I'm just beginning to check out apps, and should have some reviews eventually. For instance, I'm using Olive Tree Bible software. Initially quite impressed; more to come.


Aaron said...

my wife and I both love our Iphones. The Iphone had advantages over the GPS unit I use for work in that it had traffic and satellite images. I may check out the Tom Tom application when it is launched.

I also love the cardstar app as does my wife.

My biggest complaint...no pics via text message either receive or send yet (either that or I haven't figured it out). The only other problem is that there are soooo many applications that it's tough to decide!

And yes, the battery life is abysmal, but considering the horsepower the phone generates, it doesn't suprise me.

Charley said...

The pix over the text is awaiting ATT activation of that ability. ESV Study Bible on the iPhone is fabulous! Of course, there are the obligatory Skype (text only unless you have a wireless connection), Facebook, and Twitter. If you fly often, I highly recommend Flight Tracker, FAAWait, and Aeroweather. As far as games go, FlightControl is addicting, as is Sudoku and Backgammon.

You will LOVE it more and more as you work with it!

Paula said...

My almost 18-year-old son just got an i-pod touch (iPhone wanna-be) and now, sadly, I never see his face anymore, only the top of his head. Don't be that guy!

The Zippo lighter app is cool though : )

Fred Butler said...

If they can only give them plutonium based batteries, they would be absolutely perfect.

CR said...

I appreciate your updates and look forward to them.

Mike Westfall said...

Hey, those delivery truck drivers are in a hurry! They have lotsa packages to deliver. The reason he didn't put your iPhone package where it would be hidden and in the shade is probably because he only got within ten feet of the porch and tossed it the rest of the way to save a few seconds time.

I've seen this happen more than once with our local UPS driver...

DJP said...

Well thanks, MMike, now I feel a lot--

< coffee spray >

Aaron said...

I'm thinking about using my boarding pass on my Iphone this weekend.

Jay said...

Fred Butler said.."If they can only give them plutonium based batteries, they would be absolutely perfect."

Perhaps Apple is testing those plutonium batteries. That could explain those instances of the new iPhones that start glowing they get so hot.

Jacob said...

Check out the Bible Touch ESV and NASB variants. Excellent Bible apps, and they donate the purchase price to Samaritan's Purse.


JackW said...

I've been using olive tree for years now on my palm. Recently got the iTouch and transferred all my olive tree stuff to it. ESV Study Bible, MacArthur NT commentary, NASB with strong numbers and more ... I had a lot invested and was happy to see that it all went to the iTouch without re-purchasing anything.

Susan said...

Oh, it could be worse (the FedEx/UPS experience, that is). Around 4 PM today I jaywalked across a one-way street in downtown LA, causing a car that I didn't see to quickly brake. Why? Because our UPS driver delivered not only our boxes but another next-day-air box that didn't belong to us, and I had to catch him before he drove away!!!

(You think that's bad? One time he didn't pick up all the packages and tried to blame us for putting in the package late! Thankfully, we set him straight and he hasn't done that again.)

DJP said...

Mine's worse.


Susan said...

(Oops, Dan, I wasn't thinking about your reference to "Hey, it says not to ring but I'll ring anyway!" I was thinking about the package being left in the open.)

DJP said...

OK; a near-miss tops inane placement. Granted.

JustJan said...

I could make a comment on this post about how much I would like to have one. Instead I am going to go and repent of my covetousness.

Someday I will have an iphone, but today I still have a Verizon contract. :(

DJP said...

Verizon has better coverage. We had Verizon also, had to cancel.

Daniel said...

I am also an olivetree alumni, as it were, having Little kittel's and gramcord on my palm, as well as the NASB with strongs. I am still waiting for them to deliver my iPhone (ordered it on the 25th of June). I was really hoping I could port over all the stuff without having to repurchase it all - though I don't think they have the gramcord or the TDNT ported over yet...

I will have to settle with vicarious iPhone fun for now.

Ryan said...

So far I love my iPhone... had it a week and I'm already solidly sold. I'll never go back. So much productivity (and toys) in a such a small package, not to mention the quality and smoothness of the pics, video, and internet!

By the way... I'm a manager at FedEx!

DJP said...

1. I know. Isn't it just amazing?

2. So... what does the training manual say to do when a note is taped OVER the doorbell that says "DO NOT RING" ?