Information Technology is looking at the ever increasing number of smartphone devices, and how to best support the devices on campus. The trick is to find a device or two that we can standardize on that work with the campus wireless system, shared calendar system, and e-mail. IT is currently testing the iPhone from Apple. Here is Trey’s impression of the iPhone after two days of use.
- First impression – I have been using a handheld device of some kind (Apple Newton, Handspring Visor, Sony Clie, Treo, and currently a Palm T/X) for many years. The iPhone interface is excellent, and very intuitive. I find myself trying to use the iPhone touch commands on my Palm after only two days of testing.
- Text input – I have not mastered the keyboard on the iPhone. Poking at the keyboard with my finger gets tiring on a long e-mails or notes. I find using my thumbs to be a bit clunky, but I am getting better with practice. The autocorrect function saves me quite a bit.
- E-Mail – works very well with IWU’s e-mail system. Very easy to navigate, automatically checks mail every 15 minutes, and can be adjusted for manual, 30 minutes or 1 hour.
- Calendar – for Mac users the iPhone can sync to Meeting Maker, which is used in many areas on campus. The iPhone does not sync to Meeting Maker for people using a Windows computer. More testing to take place.
- Network connectivity – The iPhone uses the AT&T Edge Network for Internet access, and also supports Wi-Fi networks (like the ones found in Starbucks, etc.). AT&T iPhone plans all come with unlimited Internet access. The Wi-Fi connection is much faster than the Edge network. The Wi-Fi works great at my home, but the iPhone does not currently have settings to allow it to work on the IWU Secure network or corporate networks.
- Battery Life – Seems pretty good. I am recharging the phone for the first time today – day three.
- Audio Quality – The phone calls sound good. The speaker phone is okay.
I entered the iPhone evaluation with no expectations. I must say that after using the iPhone for a couple days that the “cool factor” is extremely high.There are many more features to investigate so more will follow.