Just found an amazing iPhone application. AllRecipes is like UrbanSpoon except for things to cook. You can sort by type of food (Main Dish, Dessert), ingredient (Beef, Pasta), and how long it takes to cook. Or if you don't know what you want, push the spin button and it'll give you something to make. Amazing for a graduate student who sucks at cooking!
The iPhone 2.0.1 firmware, which was released yesterday, addresses a lot of the qualms I had in my iPhone review. The whole phone feels a lot snappier, apps load faster and don't drag down the whole OS as much. A big issue before was that context switching between apps, even the phone, would take upwards of a few seconds, maybe even up to half a minute. Now it's down to at most a few seconds, and most of the time, it is instant. The amount of the OS X equivalent of the random beach ball has dramatically dropped. However, what I'm noticing now, is that I'll randomly get 5 bars, of reception then none, and it will swap in between these two modes. I have no idea what's going on. Great update on the iPhone snappiness, horrible on the iPhone reception.
I've had my iPhone for about two weeks, and in my totally biased opinion, WOW. Disclaimer: I'm a big Apple fanboy. I read MacRumors all the time, and am online at 10 AM pronto when WWDC and MacWorld come along.
The iPhone is the first smart phone I've ever had, and I'm probably now going to be an iPhone upgrade addict for life. Just like my iPod, I'm sure I'll start to feel like I'm missing something if it isn't with me. While the obvious things are awesome and have been covered to death such as GPS, 3g, mobile web browsing, and the app store, the real things that make the iPhone shine are the small things. Apple's notorious attention to detail truly shine.
For example, I love that I can have multiple alarms on at the same time. How many do you really need? Well apparently for me 3: One to wake up to go to work, one for the Daily Show, and one for random things that I may need to remember throughout the day. Another nice touch of polish is that when you are on a call, the iPhone LCD shuts off. When you move the phone away from your ear, the iPhone LCD turns back on even if the call is still going. It's such a nice little surprise that I would have never thought of. You can also change the iPhone home button so that upon pushing it twice, the iPod controls come up; great when you're listening to something on the go.
When 3g is actually available, it works wonderfully. There are a few addicting apps that I use daily, and have made my commute mentally much faster. Mobile reader is a great way to get AP feeds, the Bloomberg app keeps me up to date on business, and Google Reader on the iPhone works like a charm. Facebook is pretty nifty giving you information to the stuff you look at most like friends list, photos, the ability to update your status. You can even take a photo, and it'll upload the picture from your iPhone to Facebook. Some functions don't work such as adding friends or editing your profile, but you can always go on facebook.com via Safari if you really need to do those rare actions.
Finally, the really awesome app, as everyone has been raving about, really is Pandora. I tried Pandora way back when it launched a few years ago, but never quite got on board. I think the real problem with Pandora on the PC is that you usually aren't in the mood to actually LISTEN to music versus having background noise. Usually when I have music playing on my computer, I'm actually doing something versus actually listening on an iPod where I'm rocking out. Even when streaming over 3g, the quality is pretty good and the app is responsive when skipping songs. The responsive UI is what makes Pandora 10x better than the epic fail last.fm app. Pandora helps wonderfully in the find new music when bored scenario, and it seems to be the killer app for the iPhone. My one wish is that that it would stream in the background when browsing via Safari. Too bad Steve Job's walled garden said no background processes.
Most of the other apps are rather lackluster. AIM is a huge disappointment which really will only succeed once Apple activates push. Signing on and off is annoying, especially on AIM. What is the point if you never receive some sort of notification that you have a new message? Typing on AIM was slow at first, but the keypad is pretty good at recognizing common mistyped words and figuring out what you meant. Urban spoon and Yelp both use your location to find food, and it has been mildly useful. However, I find walking around and using word of mouth much more entertaining and reliable when I'm looking for a new food joint. Finally, to cater to my lazy sitting on my bed butt, the iTunes remote app is awesome. You'd be surprised how much lazier you get even though your mac is only 5 feet away! But alas I love it. I'm sure my gut will thank me later.
There are however, some glaring issues that have been mentioned elsewhere on the web. First off, I never thought I would have to reboot my phone so much. The stability on it has been better the past few days than the initial launch, but it's still not on a solid footing. Every few days, the whole iPhone becomes really laggy, then reboots. Apps like to crash and kick you back to the home screen. Thankfully, this hasn't happened while I was on a phone call... yet. I haven't really noticed any fingerprints or scratches on the back of my iPhone, but I hear this is a quality of the white iPhone and the black one is a magnet for them. The consistency that I've come to expect from Apple products is lacking for some of the apps. The scroll speed for the 3rd party apps are all different which is annoying when it doesn't scroll fast enough. Turning the iPhone on it's side has a 50% chance of actually making Safari go into wide mode.
iPhone coverage has already stormed the rest of the Internets, so theres my two cents to add to the pile of iPhone coverage. Back to playing with my iPhone.