Sunday, January 9, 2011

iPhone 2G - Legacy iPhone, What Do You Use It For?

I am writing this post on my Macbook but I am listening to the latest podcast from Maccast.  And Yesterday, while I was donating a couple of units of platelets, the nurse whipped out her iPhone.  Earlier in the week, there was another iPhone that was still being used.  Now, seeing iPhones in public isn't like seeing the white tiger but seeing the original iPhone still in use is.

And while I know a few other folks who still happen to be swiping and tapping away on their iPhone 2G, they are quickly giving way to the iPhone 4.  So I want to know what they will use it for once their uses give way to more and powerful models.  

For myself, there is limited use as the battery life in my 3+  years old iPhone begin to give and crap under years of charges.  There is a slight crap on the upper right corner of the glass though unless you're looking directly at it, you can't see it.

Still, it works well as an iPod.  And while I go on runs, I use the iTreadmill app that more or less give me a sense of just how I am doing.  Accuracy in the general sense.  It's also a good device for my nephews to practice on.  In particular, the 14 months old loves to play with the pond apps and stare at his fingers and hands wondering why they're not wet.  

My mom has graduated to the iPad 3G for her Internet and Web use and her iPhone still works as her main phone. But years of drops has her claiming that the volume is erratic and sometimes, she does not see incoming calls.  But when needed and near a Wi-Fi hotspot, she is still able to e-mail and use the camera function.  

I don't know what the nurse was doing on her 2G iPhone.  I thought about asking but she seemed very immersed in her experience.  But I reckon she could be chatting away on SMS or updating her Facebook status complain how her patient's veins were so freaking hard to find.  

Here are some points that I think the 2G iPhone still shows that its still got some fight left:

  • Browsing is still a first rate experience.  So far, not even anything from Nokia, RIM, or Android's browsers come close.
  • A rich library of apps in the hundreds of thousands still work on the iPhone 2G.
  • Slow on the 2G but let's be honest, 3G use is still spotting while the 2G network, EDGE, still provides the widest coverage.
  • For Facebook, Twitter, emails, SMS, it can handle all your social needs as well as anything else including the iPhone 4.
  • Multi-touch.  Intuitive.  Only its iPhone cousins match its use.
  • Ease of use and clean UI.  Again, this is the only area where the 2G iPhone is matched by other newer iPhones.  And while devices on other mobile OS like the Android might be able to do more, it does not mean it is easy to use.  The 2G holds itself well in most areas and still manages to exceed anything else on the market.
  • 2MP camera.  Alright.  Not the 5 or 8MP that are on the iPhone or competing devices but for quite shots, it is still okay.  
  • Jail-breakability.  It has gotten easier over the years.  This is me we're talking about and if I can do it, it doesn't get any simpler than that.
  • I can go into specific tasks that the iPhone 2G can do but it would have been apparent that you can do them on other devices.  And these would have been tasks that 90% of the things you do on a PC anyway.  E-mails, todo lists, texting and IM, surfing the web, and other rudimentary tasks.  So yeah, the iPhone is still powerful for every day use.

Back to me.  There are a couple of main issues that is keeping me from using the 2G as I did in the past.

  • The battery life, I've mentioned above, was not quite it was like before.  And it is one of the main reasons that has kept from me using it even as a phone.  
  • The speed.  Having been on the iPad and the 4th generation iPod touch, I can say the slow response and using more of the sophisticated apps is maddening.  It's no fault of the iPhone.  Rather, it's largely due to the age of the device.  Once known for speed and the revolution features it sported, it has now been passed by the new iPhone editions.  It's the nature of things.  
  • Limited features.  The iOS 4 was the OS where Apple took the iPhone and really showed the world what mobile computing and communications was meant to be.  Folders, multitasking, and push notifications are just some of the new features that allowed the iDevices to stand further ahead of competition.  The increase ease of use is also something that may never be matched by other mobile OS platforms.  Unfortunately, the iOS 4 cannot be installed on the 2G and is stuck in version 3.  This is also the nature of things but I really love having folders.

Having said all that, I am not about to give up on my original iPhone.  I bought it outright from ATT to keep me busy when my dad was in the hospital for cancer treatment.  And it has been so good to me over the years and while it has been relegated to a glorified iPod, it still provides quick access to weather, stocks, and even quick memo recording.  

And the design is still unmatched as far as I am concerned.  The aluminum back cover is just nothing that was not matched until the Gorilla glass back of the iPhone 4.  And forget about the competition, shall we?  They're still stuck on the cheap plastic covers that are easily scratched up.  

So, this is what I plan on doing to prolong the life of my 16 GB 2G iPhone.  

  • I'm planning on sending it in to have the battery changed later in the year.
  • Having the front glass plate changed.  The crack I mentioned does not impede use but if I'm gonna get the battery changed, I may as well have that changed as well.  Or should I keep it and have it serve as a scar from the mobile experience?  

So, if you're still on the 2G, you still have one of the best mobile devices out in use.  In my opinion, this was the start of the mobile revolution we are currently going through.  It was upon the 2G iPhone that the current crop of iPhones and competing devices was built on.  And the future owes itself to this social-changing device from Apple.

And I owe it to prolong its use.  

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