Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone 2.0

So it seems that lots of existing iPhone (1.x) owners had serious problems in either downloading the new 2.0 OS or installing it ("got bricked") or activating their phone after installation. My experience was different. It did take iTunes a while before it was ready to update the iPhone OS. Around 5pm it allowed me to download and in 15 minutes the new OS was installed, 5 more minutes to restore settings from backup.

First review:
Very good set of usability improvements. Location-finding (even without A-GPS) seems to work a whole lot better (better than 1.1.3 atleast). But the App.Store is amazing. Find an app, select it for download, enter your iTunes Store password and in minutes it flies! Ofcourse this works best in WiFi covered areas. Have to see how long it takes to download a few megs over EDGE.

The range of app's seems pretty impressive for day one. It's hard to believe what will come in the next few months and years. All the promises and potential from the iPhone SDK preview are going to be true. This is the mobile platform of choice. The best developers are or will be flocking to produce iPhone apps.

Multi-Touch is Key
One thing is clear - the bold and courageous choice Apple made in using a touchscreen and forgoing any keys (except 'home', volume, vibrate & 'sleep') is paying off bigtime. Applications are free to define user interaction in a very very customized way. No crazy remapping or multipurposing (using alt/shift...) of the numeric keypad or other buttons; no need to cramp 3 letters of the tinniest font on/around each key. The slight loss of speed is replaced by the elegance of a well-defined, aesthetic and colored interface. App. developers have better freedom than PC's to create a new way for user interaction. Make no mistake, the new way is and will be more impactful to the consumer adoption than anything else.

iPhone meet IT
The addition of MS Exchange support, Cisco VPN and iPhone Configuration Utility to iPhone is as big as the switch to Intel for Mac's. These new features are basic product features to compete against Blackberry and Windows Mobile in the corporate market. The rest will be in continuous courting of corporate IT. Ofcourse employees bugging IT and the attraction of CXO's to the iPhone will push IT to start supporting the iPhone.

PC vs. Mac all over again?
The iPhone and its OS togather unquestionably form the best mobile platform today. Windows Mobile came out years before iPhone OS (unlike Mac OS vs. Windows), but has yet to mature in terms of user experience. WM has all/most of the needed functionality, but is defiicient in other areas. It took Windows almost 10-15 years to mature into a stable and, relatively speaking, usable form (with 2000 and XP). But the story of licensing OS' is worth considering. Will Apple license iPhone OS? No it won't! Not with the success of the Mac, iPhone and iTunes. They are more confident than ever of their beliefs, innovation and capabilities.

More on the following in later posts.

Real Challenger #1: Nokia/Symbian
Nokia/Symbian clearly see the challenge and their recent changes are interesting to say the least.

Real Challenger #2: Google Android

Wake up time: Microsoft Windows Mobile

No Hope #1: Pure Open Source/Linux-styled mobile OS's

No Hope #2: Blackberry OS/devices

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