I hate phone cases. Over the years, I’ve tried many. It started with PalmOS PDAs, continued with smartphones and on to the iPhone. Cases generally bulk up the phone more than I’d like and the protection offered doesn’t outweigh the reduction in utility and comfort.
However, the iPhone 4 Bumper from Apple is great! For the cost of very little added bulk (and $29), I now have the following added utility:
- The small grippy edge on the back of the case lets me rest the phone at an angle on mugs, books, walls – whatever is handy – to get exactly the angle I want for browsing Instapaper or watching video. Without the grippy edge, the iPhone will slide off of anything I lean it against.
- The slightly raised edges on the back and front of the case protect the screen and back against falls.
- By minimizing the amount of grippy rubber on the case, the sides of the phone are ALMOST as smooth as the bare metal.
There are some issues with the case.
- It does add a small amount of bulk and it hides the beautiful metal edge of the device.
- The vibrate switch is slightly harder to access.
- Not all 3.5mm patch cables and and headphones will fit through the hole in the case. Anything that works with the recessed jack on the original iPhone should work with this case.
- With the Bumper on, you can’t put the iPhone in a dock. I don’t use a doc, so no biggy for me.
Robert Scoble mentioned that there are some great iPhone games that haven’t been ported to Android, yet. I agree – it’s one of the things that keeps me on the iPhone (along with a number of other categories of high quality apps).
Here are my favorite iPhone games (and 2 distractions for the kids):
Some rapid fire thoughts on the WWDC 2010 product announcements.
- iOS 4: The Folders feature isn’t great. With the release candidate installed on my phone, it’s very hard to tell two stacks of icons apart from one another, so you have to rely on the tiny text with the name of the folder to tell the difference. Apple should let you choose an icon for your Folder.
- The design of the iPhone 4 is remarkable. Watch this video to see that all visible metal on the device is either a button or an antenna. Also, the front and back are a new kind of glass that is stronger than most plastic and very flexible.
- I can’t imagine using FaceTime (video calling) much. I’m not the target for that feature, though.
- iMovie for iOS (video cutting and editing on the phone) looks great. I expect that it won’t be very responsive, even with the A4 chip, though. We’ll see.
- I’m jazzed about the faster processor and larger battery. If RAM is limited to 256MB like the iPad, though…. What are they thinking? It’s not enough and will impact the usefullness of multi-tasking.
Overall, I’m looking forward to the iPhone 4 release. The A4 chip is blazing fast in the iPad and I’d love to see that speed on my phone. The better screen, front facing camera, gyroscope, 720p video recording, etc wouldn’t have swayed me, though. Battery life, speed and the possibility of better reception were the key announcements for me.
Other misc notes:
- I’m not bothered much by the AT&T switch to $25/2GB of Data. It seems very reasonable, especially since an additional 1GB is only $10.
- I would very much like MIFI-like tethering in iOS. Being able to connect multiple devices for data would be more enticing than single device support. For now, I’ll keep paying for my MIFI rather than depend on iPhone tethering.
- I’m enjoying the iPad. It’s my primary machine at home, now, unseating my MacBook Pro, in that context, for most things. I don’t use it at all at work, though, since I need a fully equipped computer all day. I am not surprised that many people don’t see a place for an iPad in their lives, yet, but this form factor is here to stay.
Here is a quick comparison chart I created in Numbers on the iPad. Sketchbook Pro is the best of the bunch, I think. I looked at Brushes, Sketches 2, Sketchbook Pro, Layers and ArtStudio.
[Update: Had to replace the table with a better image. Couldn’t find a crop utility for the iPad with decent output quality.]
Yes, I’m looking forward to the iPad release. I set my alarm early on Pre-Order day and raced through the process, just in case.
I’ve been tagged as an Apple fanboy, but I’m not sure that’s the case. I’m a mobile technology fanboy. I’ve tried the gamut of mobile device models and brands, yet I come back to the Apple product lines time and again. I spent months with the Palm Pre (great SDK!) and weeks with Android (the Droid) and Windows Mobile devices, but the iPhone (despite its limitations) is #1 for me. Similarly, I’ve spent a lot of time with the Archos 5 Android, UMPCs, Nokia Internet Tablets and the Kindle. Knowing what I know about the software and hardware that makes up the iPad, it’s clear that Apple has another winner.
I spend a lot of time on the computer. I read and write email, read and write documents, read news (twitter, articles), listen to audiobooks and podcasts, write code, watch video. At home and at work, I’ve been spending less time at my desk – so, for many of these tasks, I rely on my iPhone (especially reading email, listening to audiobooks/podcasts and watching video). Going forward, at home I expect that the iPad will be my go-to device for reading and viewing email, news, and video.
Meanwhile, there are a ton of new experiences that the iPad will enable. It’s not clear which of these will ‘catch on’ with me or with you, but quite a few new possibilities will be opened up on April 3rd at the intersection of the iPad and the terrifically innovative development community that has sprung up around the iPhone OS.
Beyond the obvious use cases mentioned above, I’m looking forward to:
- The competition for the best iPad Twitter app – who can use the large, multitouch screen the best? I expect that it will be a more compelling experience than desktop/notebook alternatives.
- Similarly, but probably with a longer horizon, the competition for the best RSS newsreader on the platform will be intense. I version of Reeder 2 or MobileRSS reorganized for the iPad form factor will be a lot of fun to use.
- I’m still hoping that Netflix and Hulu will work something out with Apple to get their streaming solutions available on the iPad. Apple has an obvious financial incentive to block these apps, but subscription or ad based video streaming is going to win over $2.00 TV episodes some day. I’m surprised ANYONE is paying for TV that way on a regular basis.
- An iPad optimized Flickr browsing app would be interesting.
- Remote Desktop. It’s usable on an iPhone, but would be more so on the iPad.
- Games. Just as we saw completely new kinds of games with the iPhone (and the Wii and the DS), we’ll see some new things on the iPad.
- Comic books and graphic novels continue to be an exciting narrative model. It will be interesting to see the mix of mainstream and independent content that ends up on the iPad. Lots of people are excited about how magazines will make the leap to this device, but I think the leap that comics make will be just as interesting.
- Interactive charts and data visualizations via touch. This technique could bring new life to informative textbook and magazine content.