Now that the iDust is settling

So Friday’s launch of the new Apple iPhone 3G has come and gone. But for alot of us, there are still lingering pains of heardburn.

This release, from all perspectives (software, hardware, logistics), was completely horrible.

Take from a guy who worked for the Mothership (Apple) for 5 years and knows a thing or two about information technology.

Before I get too deep into my rant let me first disclaim that:

  1. I no longer work for Apple
  2. I no longer have any financial/investment positions in either AT&T or Apple

8am PST Friday morning (and not a minute earlier) Apple released both the 3G iPhone and firmware version 2.0.

I was one of the folks in the minority who was actually able to download version 2.0 at 8am. The upgrade piece went rather smoothly – I knew it would take a bit of time to upgrade then do the restore process since I have a ton of movies, music, podcasts, and audiobooks on my 8GB iPhone (yes I’m talking about the original iPhone here NOT the 3G). Where the morning got a bit tense was after the final reboot of my iPhone in preperation for the AT&T activation. I think I experienced a mini stroke after the 10th or 12th time have to restart iTunes since there was the now infamous overload of the activation servers. Now, is that an AT&T thing or is that Apple’s fault? I don’t know and I prefer not to point blame. But ARE YOU KIDDING ME ??! These guys went through this same thing last year – and last year I stood in a line for 8+ hours, then stood in the AT&T store for another 45 minutes waiting for the activation process to complete.

After about an hour (around 9:15am) I finally connected successfully and was able to activate my phone with the new 2.0 software. Since we got the gift on Thursday of iTunes 7.7, I had already found a handful of apps that I wanted and had them downloaded so the sync process there went relatively smooth – since it isn’t written anywhere that you have to: go to the applications tab in iTunes and select sync all applications I wasn’t getting my apps installed the first couple of times.

Fast forward to today – 2 days of use with version 2.0. My overall thought…it’s definitely a significant improvement. The Exchange integration is fantastic, the apps that I’ve tried out have, for the most part been pretty slick (a bit annoying that they all want to use the new location services and know where you are all the time, but that can be turned off if you like). I’m pleseantly surprised at the install size of the apps I chose. That’ll keep me content with the 8GB for atleast a few more months. On the obviously negative side I’ve noticed a marked decrease in overall battery life. I would venture to think that the location services (GPS tracking) has something to do with that as well as the default timed autofetching of application updates, email, etc.

End of the day: If you already have an original iPhone – just upgrade to the 2.0 firmware and latest iTunes. You’ll get tons of new features and functionality. You won’t have the fancy 3G network to connect to and you’ll still have “pseudo GPS”. But outside of that there’s no significant reason to upgrade, in my book. Now, if you’re totally new to the experience and this is going to be your first iPhone – go with the 3G. Even the prices at the Apple refurb store for the original iPhone can’t compare to the massively subsidized price for new 3G iPhones for new users.

James Hicks
James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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