Monday, July 23, 2007

Replacing My Laptop on a Trip with My iPhone

This weekend I was away at a wedding and while I still had my laptop with me, I decided to see if I could do everything I needed to do with my iPhone instead of using my Mac. This decision was made partially because the hotel didn't have free internet access (which is ridiculous considering it was a nice hotel and in a tech-centric area) and I decided to refuse to let them nickel and dime me in that manner.

So, how did the iPhone do? I used it to check my email (POP accounts), check on the sites, and basically make sure everything was running smoothly, all over the EDGE connection. In general the iPhone did a damn fine job in taking the place of my Mac, but still there are some DEFINITE improvements that are needed:

  • Mail needs to support a signature for each email account. Not all of us have only one account and will only be using one signature. Anyone doing business email with the iPhone needs signatures for each account.

  • Mail seriously needs a setting that limits the download size of an email message, just like desktop Mail. All it takes to really screw things up and make managing your email over EDGE difficult is one of your clueless friends deciding to send you 10MB worth of their vacation photos in an email message. Otherwise, it's not so bad.

  • There really needs to be some kind of a clipboard, ideally multiple clipboards. While typing, I find, isn't bad, having to type the same things over and over using the virtual keyboard can be a chore.

  • iPhone Mail needs both a junk mail folder and smart lists. I know, it's starting to sound like I want iPhone mail to be on par with desktop mail, but really, these things just make email in general a LOT easier.

  • I really wish when set to manually check email, that you could manually check each account separately. Right now all accounts get checked.

  • Ok, while Safari on the phone is a REAL web browser, I still love WAP and phone sites because they load SO much faster than most regular web sites. It's nice to have the ability to go to any site, especially when you have a WIFI connection, but when you're using EDGE, it's just a lot nicer to be able to cut all the "noise" down to a minimum.

  • I'm still kind of annoyed that unlike my previous, inferior cell phone, I can't use my iPhone as a bluetooth modem for my laptop.

So, in general I was impressed. While I didn't have to deal with any major support issues, the iPhone served me very well in letting me keep close tabs on things while I was away, and respond to some support email. This is something my previous "internet-enabled" cell phone was never even close to letting me do.


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