Friday, June 29, 2007

Often-Asked iPhone Questions

An extensive review of iPhone capabilities ...

"With its new iPhone, Apple pulled off two masterful feats: creating the machine and creating the buzz around it.

That machine, and that buzz, have inspired a lot of questions. Just how much of a phone, an iPod and an Internet machine is this thing?

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked iPhone questions. Consider them a companion to my review yesterday, which covered the big points like the touch-screen keyboard (adequate with practice), the AT&T Internet network (painfully slow) and the iPhone’s overall character (fun, powerful, amazing).

Before you dive in, though, a note about the “Does it have…?” questions. Apple has indicated that it intends to add features through free software updates, so the real, secret answer to some of the “no” answers is actually, “Coming soon.”

Phone
Does the touch screen work if you’re wearing gloves? Will a stylus or pen tip work? No. Skin contact is required to operate the buttons. Fortunately, most tappable elements on the screen are big and broad, designed for fingertip access.

Does the iPhone have a speakerphone? Vibrate mode? Airplane mode? Yes, yes and yes. The speakerphone and the vibrations are both weak, though.

Can I dial without looking? Can I dial one-handed? You can’t do much on the iPhone without looking. Then again, few people can operate a cellphone without looking. Dialing the iPhone one-handed, though, is easy. As your fingers grasp the iPhone, your thumb is free to tap buttons, scroll lists and so on.

Can I use a SIM card from another phone? The iPhone comes with an installed SIM card, the tiny circuit board that stores your account information and phone number. Apple says that you should be able to replace it with any recent AT&T card, once you activate it in iTunes. No other company’s SIM card works in the iPhone.

Will the iPhone work overseas? If you mean to use your AT&T account, yes; call AT&T to turn on international roaming, and then prepare to pay big roaming charges. If you mean to insert some other country’s SIM card, no.

How about voice memos, voice dialing or call recording? No."    (Continued via New York Times Blog)    [Usability Resources]

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