UPDATE 7/13/2009: The iPhone 3.0 Firmware is now out and it has a bunch of great new feature. Unfortunately, many of the things I felt were lacking in the iPhone 2.0 Firmware were not addressed. But one was and so I've updated the information below accordingly. Look for the "UPDATE" tags.
I thought some of you might be considering iPhone 2.0 and so I thought I'd post these insights (to add, I'm sure, to all those insights others have posted of late). For those who like executive summaries, here you go: I recommend iPhone 2.0.
I am using earlier generation hardware with the new 2.0 firmware so I can't review 3G for you or any other new features of the iPhone 2.0 hardware.
Major Pros of 2.0 Firmware:
- Data push. This works really well for calendar, contacts, and email. I've never had a phone with data push before so I can't make comparisons (my main point of comparison is to Palm and synching locally to Outlook). My favorite features are multi-contacts groups and multi-calendars--I have always wanted this in order to keep my business contacts separate from my personal contacts and to keep my business calendar items separate from my personal calendar items. In iPhone Contacts and Calendar you can choose to view all or just one particular contacts group or calendar, respectively.
- Directory lookup. This is the other part of Exchange integration: you can look up any contact in the Adobe directory.
- Extensibility via add-on apps obtainable with the App Store application. There are numerous useful apps available, many of which are free.
There are also existing pros like the browser, the Google Maps app, the solid camera, the in-phone voice mail control, and the chat-style text message conversation threads.
Major Cons of 2.0 Firmware:
- If you set the view of Contacts or Calendar to a particular contacts group or calendar, respectively, then exit the application, the view sometimes changes to all when you re-launch the application.
- While there is a way to set the default calendar for new calendar items and there is a way to set the calendar for a new calendar item when it is created, there is no way to move a contact or calendar from one group to another and there is no way to set the default contact group for new contacts and there is no way to set the contact group for a contact when it is created (instead it automatically goes into the contact group you're viewing or, if you're viewing all, it goes into the top-level Contacts group).
- There is no support for Tasks. There are some 3rd party apps available, some even free, but these do not synch with Exchange Tasks.
- There is no copy and paste. Word has it that Apple just doesn't see this as a priority. Unfathomable. UPDATE: Copy and paste is now present in the 3.0 Firmware!
- There is no "quick text" for SMS...and since there's no copy and paste, there's absolutely no way to send a text message without typing the whole thing in. UPDATE: Well, at least you can copy and paste in 3.0 Firmware, which is better than nothing.
- No trial period for add-on apps that cost money (ditto for add-on apps that are free, but of course that's a moot point).
- No ability to configure how many recent calls are stored. You're stuck with the default, which is something like 50 or 100. I would like to see a configurable setting for number of recent calls displayed and I would like for one of the options to be "all" so that there is no limit. This device has gobs and gobs of storage space--it has 1000 times the storage space of my Kyocera QCP-6035 that I bought in 2001 and that device could be configured to store up to 999 recent calls with no problem--so storing an effectively limitless amount of recent call information should not be an issue--and just to be safe, it could be programmed so that if space did fill up, the last item went out every time a new item needed to come in.
- No ability to replicate contacts, calendar items, etc. This would be really useful, particularly on calendar items. When you go to the dentist, do you make your next appointment? I think most of us do. And so you put it immediately into your iPhone. Well, you're standing there looking at the item that got you there that day; wouldn't it be nice to copy it and just change the date and time for the new appointment? Obviously the dentist is just one of many examples of how useful this functionality would be.