Tuesday, August 25

Return to Eden (AKA Back to the iPhone)

Getting into the iPhone 3GS.

Aaaand... here we are. Yeah, I know, I know... just a few posts ago I seemed to be past my days as an Apple Addict, satisfied with my Nokia N97 'mini-laptop phone'. Well, I had to make some choices recently and re-assess my priorities and needs in my everyday companion gadget. Ultimately, I chose- no, I REALIZED- that Fun and Ease of Use are what really mattered to me. All this time I've been looking for my needs in devices that not really to my tune. The N97 just wasn't me- in the end I realized it was just too 'professional-looking' and 'officey' (no, that's not really a word) for someone like me who regularly wears t-shirts and jeans to work, who still enjoys videogames and cartoons. All this plus the most enjoyment you can get out of it requires you to be online and connected- and I'm not really one to spend frivolously on 3G and GPRS unless it's being paid for by the office.

I can only blame myself for doubting that I am, for better or worse, Heart and Soul an Apple Addict at this point- I own a freakin' iMac at home after all, and have spent (and am spending) obscene amounts on apps from the Appstore. But then, I don't regret the time I spent with the Flagship Nokia- it's still a great phone... it's just not for me. Perhaps in another life, in another reality, but not here in this one.

Anyway, moving on... yeah, I now have an iPhone 3GS. Moving back into Apple's fold was a particularly easy and problem-free affair, thanks to a lovely 'Import from SIM' button (ah, no more inputting contacts by hand!!!) and the seamless syncing with iTunes for the return of all my apps and content. In a flash, my brand new iPhone was good as OLD!

There are probably thousands of other writeups online raving about the new stuff about it, but what the heck. Even though it looks pretty much like the previous iPhone 3G (albeit now there's a variant with a white back, which I have), many new features and improvements have been incorporated. Overall there's the faster, zippier aspect of the whole thing, as the 'S' in 3GS stands for Speed after all. Certainly, the phone IS faster though I never really had a problem with loading times before. Thanks to the more powerful guts and processing power, the 3GS runs apps and games, particularly those with 3D graphics, a lot better and faster. Yeah, Time Crisis played a LOT better.

The highly-upgraded memory is pretty great- I got the 32 Gig version, which makes this the equal to my now-gone iPod Touch 2G. Of course, there's the ability to nicely organize all the tons of video and music I have thanks to iTunes (something sadly lacking from the N97). The 3GS's speakers are a LOT louder than the previous models, making the whole video experience a lot better now. This pretty much translates to me no longer having to strain myself listening to vids without headphones... AND having a lot more fun with my Lightsaber and Gun apps. WAHAHA!!!

Then there's the new camera- it's now 3 Megapixels, which admittedly is not that impressive given that my N97 had 5M's and a flash. Most that can be said is that the 3GS camera has a neat 'tap to focus' feature which makes it more fun than it really is, and now has the ability to record pretty nice and clear VGA video. I don't really think I'll be editing much on the actual phone (I'd rather sync the phones at home and edit on iMovie if ever), but it's a neat thing to have. Anyway, I really won't be relying on the 3GS for video, since I have my Flip Mino HD anyway, but it's still great to have decent video recording anytime, anywhere.

Then as I said, there are all the apps and games. The Apple AppStore simply has no equal in terms of easy access and use- other companies really need to do their homework to keep up. The huge variety of apps, and the relative cheapness of most of 'em is awesome. And man, there can only be tons more to come. Who's to say there won't be an iPhone Tekken game? At the very least, I'm looking forward to a port of that cool Plants vs Zombies game later this year. There are those who still doubt that the iPhone and iPod Touch is really, truly, actually a new game console... maybe they're right. But then again, quite a few (okay a lot) crappy games and countless Tower Defense titles aside... an iDevice fully loaded with games is a sure-fire bore-killer.

Now, all these features would be useless if, well, the battery life sucked. I initially was worried about the 3GS's battery, thanks to several reports of horrible battery life with some iPhones. Well, apparently I confused the 3GS with the 3G- supposedly the 3GS's life is a lot improved from before, that is, if you're not a heavy user who has everything turned on and online all the time. Anyway, after my first full charge, with unneeded online functions like WiFi, 3G and Push Email turned off and the screen set to about 20% brightness (which is still quite fine to the eye in any case), my 3GS is still at a healthy 65% battery life on the second day, which is pretty good. I tested it, and playing an hour of video eats up about 10% power, which makes Apple's claims of 10 hours of video playing quite accurate. So... yeah... If I ever wanted to I can watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy on my 3GS. WOOHOO!

That all said, what can I say? The last time I had an iPhone, I was in mobile gadget bliss, and that was with a 'measly' 8 Gigs of space, free 'bootleg' apps and so-so battery life. Now, with everything pretty much perfected and still as fun and easy to use as it ever was, with TONS of proper apps and games and very good battery life to enjoy all these things... I think I can safely say... I think I've found my Perfect Gadget. The fun, ease, elegant simplicity and just overall excellent quality build just SINGS to me. I can't say it enough how much I love this freakin' device. All this time I've been looking for something I've never found in other phones, other devices, other brands, no matter how cool-sounding the specs. It's here, in the iPhone 3GS. Found it. Gadget Shangri-La for me.

So I guess I'm set. That's it. Over. Done. Live Happily Gadgety After.

At least, till the iPhone 4. Heheh...