As I mentioned yesterday, I now have an iPhone. So how did that happen, eh? Well, when I read the details of the new model, I did say I was thinking about it. And it just happened to all come together nicely. My Sony Ericsson phone was out of contract, so I could drop it at any time.
As I knew I wouldn’t have the time to hang around in an O2 shop on Friday, I decided to pre-order from Carphone Warehouse. Well, the website took my details, and sent me an acknowledgement, but there was no follow-up. No confirmation that the account had been set up with O2, or that the phone was being sent out. So, I filled in the contact form on their website and after a while got a response asking me for more details of who I was. I gave them that and didn’t get any further response.
But a quick check of City Link’s website on Friday morning showed me that they had indeed tried to deliver a package that had the reference number Carphone Warehouse had given me, so it looked like it had indeed been sent. Now if they’d told me that, I’d have managed to stay at home for a couple of hours and got my new toy, but never mind. A bit later, I got a text message from O2 about setting up text services, and one from Virgin telling me my number would be transferred to O2 on Monday.
When I got home, sure enough, there was the card. City Link would try to deliver again on Monday, but that would be no good for me, as I wouldn’t be able to stay home. Now I could have got them to deliver on the first day I could stay in, but that wouldn’t be until Thursday, and as my old mobile would stop working on Monday, that wouldn’t be ideal. Not to mention that I don’t like having to wait for new toys!
So, I took a little trip to Durham to collect it. A quick train ride, a taxi to the depot, where I had a bit of a wait while they found someone else’s parcel, then back to Durham in the taxi, where I was just in time to miss a train. And as the next one had been delayed, I had over half an hour to wait. Well, I didn’t really mind, as the branch of Costa provided me with breakfast in the from of an all day breakfast toasted ciabatta (lovely) and a quite excellent espresso.
Then I got home, and managed to make myself do my shopping before opening my new phone. I popped in the SIM, connected it to the iMac and watched it and iTunes to their thing. Unlike people who had fun with upgrading to the new iPhone OS the other day, I had no trouble at all activiating my phone, which immediately showed me some texts from O2 about my login details for their website. And then I started playing.
And yes, it’s nice. It’s very nice, in fact. The location awareness thingy is pretty accurate – I wasn’t expecting it to be perfect as I was indoors, but it got it down to the right end of the street, which is good enough for finding your way about. Typing on the thing is better than I expected – certainly easier in landscape mode where you get more room for your fingers, but not too bad in portrait mode, either.
I installed the WordPress client, which is a great free app – with that, I can take a picture and publish a post about it more or less instantly, and with a good degree of control over how the post will look, which beats the email to Mobypicture trick I’ve been doing.
Google Earth is amazingly usable and a lot of fun, too. It probably helps if you’re connected to a WiFi network rather than relying on 3G for that.
I’ll be trying a few Flickr apps to see which I like best for sending pictures there, and generally having a good play with it. Who knows, I may even make the occasional phone call!
As an iPod, it’s pretty damn nice. I’ve shunned the supplied earbuds in favour of a pair of Etymotic HF2s. I could have continued to use my Ultimate Ears phones, which are still doing nicely, but I wanted to have the ability to use the phone without having to disentangle myself from my earphones, so a change was needed. The Etymotics let me answer and end calls, pause and resume music and skip forward one track. Apple’s own headsets (they do a better one than the basic type included with the iPhone) do that and more, but it appears to involve more combinations of button presses than my brain could handle.
I’ve also tried it with video – and I’d say the screen is just about big enough to make watching a TV show or a movie a reasonable proposition if you’re on a train. Nice.
I’m sure I’ll post more about this as I start using it properly. I’m currently looking at apps to see what I need, what I want, and what will be fun to mess around with.
 The service, not the actual phone. Though come to think of it, I have dropped it once or twice. It survived.