Last night Jason and I stopped in briefly at the Apple store here in San Francisco, California, so that we could mess around with a new iPhone. Of course, the store was completely packed, and most people were simply there to do the exact same thing we were doing. Like most Apple stores, the one in San Francisco is currently sold out of iPhones.
After waiting only a few short minutes, I picked up an iPhone and started messing around with it. Right away, I liked how small and comfortable it felt in my hand. The user interface is pretty revolutionary, and it’s really intuitive how to use it. At the bottom is a MENU button that always takes you back a level or to the front menu. If you’re using Safari or something and want to see more information, you can zoom by putting two fingers together on the screen and opening them. This “pinching” action is really pretty slick. If you want to zoom in, put your two fingers slightly apart on the screen and slide them together.
Another feature I really loved is that you can move things on the screen in a panning motion simply by putting your finger on the screen and moving it. While lots of devices and applications do it, Apple actually gives everything a bit of momentum. That is, if you swing your contact list using your finger, it slows down according to physics where the velocity slowly decreases over time. It gives it an extra bit of realism that I think is really nice.
I messed around with email, SMS, iTunes, etc, and everything was really easy to use, and fast. You can bookmark websites in Safari and walk between them using a system similar to iTunes Cover Art. Also, if you rotate the iPhone it will automatically change the display to take into account the new aspect ratio.
Jason and I left thinking that Apple had outdone themselves again. My only complaint with the iPhone is that when typing on the virtual keyboard, it’s really easy to hit other keys than the one you’re trying too. Perhaps there are no pudgy ukrainians working for Apple, but I found it pretty tricky to use. I’ve been told this gets easier with time, but since I can’t actually buy an iPhone up here in Canada for some time, I’ll hold off commenting on that until I purchase one. If you have an iPhone, feel free to drop in a few comments on what you think.