Links for the Week of July 2, 2017

Hoisted from His Archives in 2007: Glenn Fleishman on iPhone: "It truly feels like something dropped out of the future..."

Glenn Fleishman: Glenn Fleishman Likes His iPhone "My Real iPhone Review: I haven't had time to write up all my impressions of my first day with an iPhone...

...but I am perfectly happy to admit that it exceeded my expectations, partly because I was prepared to be slightly let down by some of the bigger promises.... What's still valid about my hesitation in recommending the first-generation iPhone is that AT&T's EDGE network truly is too slow for anything but simpler text-heavy Web sites and for email, and that viewing Web pages and other text that's designed for wide-column layout is hard to read on screen. The former problem will be solved with an updated piece of hardware that uses the third-generation (3G) cell network. The latter problem could be solved in software, by offering an option to rewrap text streams into narrower columns for better legibility.

That said, the damn thing is a wonder. It's the niftiest piece of technology I've ever used or held. It truly feels like something dropped out of the future. Every feature works, even if I'm finding some rough edges or missing pieces. But nothing I've tried is broken. That's a big deal in an age were stuff is shipped too early, or in quasi-beta states. The iPhone probably tries to do too much in a first release, and some of that shows, but by biting off a specific set of Internet-focused tasks on top of telephony and iPod features, Apple's team made it achievable.

And more:

TidBITS: BuyPhone: My reaction so far is that the iPhone is the most remarkable cell phone I've ever used, and Apple made a lot of good design decisions. There are frustrating bits and pieces here and there, which are missing refinements. Browsing in Safari is just about as frustrating and lovely as I thought. The pinching and expanding (bloating, I prefer to call it) works terrifically, but I haven't yet figured out how to get the Location bar back in place without dragging it into view.

I do think Apple gave short shrift to the notion of extracting and reformatting text from a Web page as an option. In quick testing, I've found that even in widescreen view, it's rare that a Web page with any real text on it can be read at a comfortable size without dragging. (I've got corrected 20-15 vision.)

I'm finding typing awkward so far, but have only entered a few hundred words. The most irritating element of it is that when you enter a password in a dialog box or on a Web page, the character you type is hidden immediately after you type it. But if you accidentally hit the wrong character or two in a row you didn't mean to type, there's no good way to figure out what you did is wrong. There should be a hide/reveal password option to allow easier correction. I had to type in my home Wi-Fi network's password three times; I'll never need to re-enter it, but I can imagine many other passwords I will...