Best. Phone. Evar.

I finally got my iPhone activated. I have to say that both of the AT&T customer service representatives that I talked to were absolutely first class. The one woman, Lindsay Brewer, tried to activate my phone 5 times and was on the phone with me for over an hour, well past 2AM her time. That was literally the best support call I’ve ever been on and she couldn’t even get the phone activated in the end ;-) Mad superchamp points all around to the AT&T CSR staff; they appear to be holding up extremely well with must be a powerful onslaught of pissed-off people.

And we’re back: man, this thing is totally fucking awesome. I can’t stop playing with it. I haven’t had this much fun with a piece of hardware since… uh… since… um, oops, different story. Nevermind. Anyway, as usual, I have a ridiculous proclamation to purport:

Toby’s iPhone Proclamation #1

Every other phone on the market is now officially a piece of shit.


Because the iPhone isn’t a phone: its a Mac that happens to make phone calls.

That’s the real beauty of it, I think. The mobile landscape today is highly disparate and varied today, much more so than the desktop environment. This leads to wildly different user experiences across phones and even applications for the same phone. By enforcing Mac-like standards on the phone’s apps and functionality, they’ve drastically reduced the impedance mismatch between the desktop and phone experiences.

Oh, yeah, and they rocked out on a bunch of other things, too:

  • Fixing issues and adding features via iTunes-based software update is pure genius; people are already totally acclimated to that mode via the iPod
  • Apps based on open Web standards and Safari will be a ginormous win for the platform over time; potentially any app on the Web is just an URL away on the iPhone (although Orbitz’s calendar Javascript widget is annoyingly dysfunctional on the iPhone). Plus, crazy bad apps have very little chance of crashing the phone this way
  • Getting YouTube to spit H.264 video so that the hardware decoder can take care of it. Flash would have required main CPU time, thus reducing battery life: this way, people get YouTube videos and longer battery life! (unlike the new Flash Lite phones from VZ)
  • OMFG: tabbed browsing on a phone!!!! Dood, that might be worth the loot right there, for realz
  • Only one hardware button: beautiful and no need to figure out what to do with all those other buttons when you reconfigure the UI with a software update

I think the Verizon executives will rue the day they kicked Jobs out of their offices. It was an incredibly stupid move not to ride this wave. Others think that perhaps that mistake will come to be known as the “not-buying-DOS-outright” mistake the ultimately leads to their irrelevance in the marketplace.

I never had a smartphone before and never had a data plan, either. I’ll probably keep the latter for a good while, but “smartphones” are now a total joke. Oh, and to all the naysayers talking about “iPhone won’t work with corporate email systems”: I was up and running with email from our Exchange servers in under a minute from the iPhone. Eat that.