So, some of you may already know because you follow me on twitter, but my beautiful, wonderful wife, Gretchen, bought me a brand new iPhone 3GS for Father’s Day. I had been lusting over it since I heard about the camera capabilities and the and the extended battery life, along with all of the enhancements that the 3.0 OS brings to the phone. I really am addicted to the thing. I probably don’t go more than a few hours without checking my mail, facebook or twitter, no matter where I am. So, after a few days of playing with the new iPhone 3GS, here are a few things I’ve noticed.
First, the camera. The tap-focus is pretty cool, but not something that I’ll use most of the time. The auto-focus usually picks up my kids, who are the subjects of most of my pictures these days, so that works pretty well. The video capability is a great tool, although I’m a little disappointed in the way apple handled this feature. The chip they used in the iPhone 3GS is capable of capturing video at 720p HD. That would be awesome, since that is what my Flip MinoHD captures at. However, apple decided to dumb down the capture capability of the 3GS and only allow it to capture at 640 x 480 (VGA), which is fine for uploads to YouTube, but if I want to capture family memories on my phone and later maybe burn them to DVD, this video just isn’t up to my standards. I guess I’ll still be carrying around the Flip (not that it’s that big or anything!).
Another thing I don’t like about the video is that the videos I record do not show up in iTunes. In order to transfer them anywhere outside of my phone I have to email them to myself or post them to YouTube (as far as I know). The first video I took was three minutes and fifty-two seconds long. The phone informed me that this video was too long to email it to myself and that I would have to select a clip of the movie to send. Major FAIL. It did however let me upload it to YouTube straight from the phone, which was pretty cool, but I might not want to upload all of my videos straight to YouTube.
The second major update, the speed. This thing is FAST. I use a service called Nuevasync to sync my google calendar and contacts with my phone. On the original 3G it took several hours to completely sync both the calendars and the contacts. With the new phone, both were completely sync’d in a matter of minutes. Pages and apps load faster, videos load faster, everything is just faster. And faster is good, especially when you’re trying to catch a picture of that cute thing one of your kids is doing and all you have is your iPhone. You need that camera app to load QUICK!
Third, the battery. There were days where I would have to charge the battery on the 3G in the middle of the day. Quite inconvenient. So much so that Gretchen bought me a case for it with an external battery, so that I could charge it anywhere and still be using it. That worked pretty well, but was still a pain because it made the phone bigger. The iPhone isn’t huge, but it’s close. And we don’t want to have to make it any bigger just to have a better battery. So far with the 3GS I’ve noticed better battery life, as Apple promised. I’ve had it for almost a week now and haven’t had to charge it mid-day. And I’ve been working it pretty hard between the pictures and video, not to mention the email, facebook, twitter and all of the other normal stuff.
All-in-all I’m happy with the update. It’s a better phone, that’s for sure. I may be posting more about it once I really get to run it through it’s paces.