March 31, 2008:

A different flavour of Fruit!

Yes, it’s happened … goodbye Blackberry, hello Apple!

An early – and expensive – birthday present ;)

In some ways, I feel that the iPhone is a little like our MINIs … when I first heard about the iPhone I felt “interesting … but I don’t want one”
But then came the day when I actually saw one close up, and tried it – actually it was an iPod Touch, but similar – and using the web browser to visit GBMINI.net was a revelation! Look at how it renders the webpage exactly how it looks at home … look at how the text is readable even though it’s teeny tiny … and wow, it redraws wider if I turn the thing round, even easier to read :)
At that time, I had no idea about zooming, scrolling, etc – but it was so cool and it just seemed to work “right”. Once you’ve tried one, you don’t want to use a regular one any more – similar to how I feel with MINIs.

Margaret, also, is close to falling for an iPhone – although she’d never own a MINI. So I guess they’re not quite the same ;)

Anyway, to put this slightly “on topic” (do I have to do that for my own website):
I tried the iPhone in GBMINI#6 tonight – with the R50/R52/R53 factory iPod interface. The iPhone put up a message about not being compatible:

And yet, it actually played fine, working just like my regular iPod with the factory interface – which is, pressing CD6 to get any music (I haven’t bothered creating MINI1-5 playlists), and basically having no ability to navigate or see what’s playing:

You can press << and >> to navigate track by track (or 10 tracks at a time if you hold the buttons down), but with no way to know where you are, it’s best just to use random play mode.
Random play actually works better on the original factory iPod than on the R56 – in that pressing << / >> skips to the previous/next RANDOM track, but against that, the HU forgets that it’s in random play every time the car is turned off (or even if you just switch to radio).
Another plus of this factory solution over the R56 is that it continues where it left off after you turn the car off – but the negative here is that if you disconnect, then on re-connection it goes back to track 1. That’s a big pain in the iPhone, since you’re very likely to remove it from the car whenever you park.
Finally, you can’t look at the iPhone to see what’s playing, since it displays an unhelpful blank message:

Curiously though, you can still browse the web, check email – and presumably use the phone (but the wires not long enough – I’d have to put my head in the glovebox!)

Meanwhile, back in the land of iPhones – and following DB’s lead – I put the Content Robot iPhone WordPress plugin on to GBMINI.net … so now, my website displays quite differently on an iPhone to how it displays normally.
I can’t decide if I prefer the original “webby” layout, showing complete entries and pictures but very small text, or the iPhone custom layout which is much easier to read, but doesn’t show the whole page:

Feedback, please :)


Comments: 14 (post new comment)
  1. Mark Vogler (2008/03/31 @ 6:55 pm)

    Congrats bud!

  2. deathcab4qt (2008/03/31 @ 7:14 pm)

    I don’t know what all that DB/wordpress stuff is about, I find my website looks and reads just fine and seems complete. I rotate it and drag my two fingers across it and I can get the type as big, even bigger that I see on my display at home.

    Once Stevie gets all the new cool stuff up to speed as described at Apple.com under roadmaps.. http://www.apple.com/iphone/…. it will be even more cool.

    I’ll really be glad when they get some type of voice activation on it for hands free dialing and get us out of EDGE.

    One word of advice, it’s very slippery be careful.

    So let’s see, got rid of the JukeBox thingy, got an iPod, got rid of the Blackberry thingy got and iPhone, iCarumba, what’s next… 30″ display and Apple tower. ;-)

    Congrats on the iPhone. I too was not sure I’d ever buy one until I held the thing, WOW! As you said it’s like driving a MINI, once you try one it’s over for anything else.

  3. Ernie Oporto (2008/03/31 @ 10:58 pm)

    I just got a 32gb iPod Touch. I wish the thing would show album art and other stuff while it played in the Mini, but I guess the idea is not to distract you. =(

  4. paul (2008/03/31 @ 11:11 pm)

    Man, everyone has an iPhone but me. Was at a wedding this weekend and everyone at the table had one. I’m trying real hard to hold out until the new Pro version with 3G but it sure is tough. Congrats Ian!

  5. murmini (2008/04/01 @ 4:51 am)

    Nice Ian ! Yes I use mine in the MINI with he Dension IceLink Plus and it peforms flawlessly. Even fades the music out when you get a call and fades it in when its over. For hands-free dialing, AT&T offers the service for $4.99/month.

  6. Vin McCauley (2008/04/01 @ 7:36 am)

    Ian~
    I like the normal layout myself. I just got an IPhone about 3 weeks ago and I’m glad I pulled the plug and just did it. I too, was trying to hold out for the G3 version but my other phone broke and the Iphone was the phone I wanted. It’s just sooo functional for everyday use it’s hard to not have one. The calender feature is excellent, the web browsing is good. I flew to Kansas for business and rented some movies thru ITunes for a couple of bucks and watched them on the plane trip.
    I’m slowly Apple-izing my home. :-) Hope all is well!
    Vinny

  7. snid (2008/04/01 @ 8:34 am)

    You still cannot buy an iPhone in Vermont as there is no AT&T wireless up here.

    Some day, I’m going to make a list of all the things I see commercials for that don’t even exist in Vermont.

  8. Vin McCauley (2008/04/01 @ 11:45 am)

    SNID, ad Sonic Restaurants to that list. They have been advertising in Mass since 1996, but the closest Sonic is in Allentown, PA. Not that it looks like great food by any standard – but I see the commercials everyday and I have no way of even trying their food. That stinks about AT&T service!!! I just switched from Verizon, and their service was MUCH superior to AT&T for where I live/work/drive BUT the IPHONE wasn’t at Verizon :-(

    Vin

  9. deathcab4qt (2008/04/01 @ 7:48 pm)

    The calendar is just spank’n, I used the alarm clock at AMVIV this weekend, you get to choose the alarm tone, it’s just so kool!

    Murray, I gotta check out the hands free thing.

  10. lavardera (2008/04/02 @ 8:32 am)

    Hey, don’t hold out for the 3G iPhone. It may be faster than the Edge iPhone but surfing isn’t nearly as visceral…

  11. Dave Newman (2008/04/02 @ 3:16 pm)

    Ian – I have had my iPhone since November. I saw Faith’s at Stowe (it works fine in VT, it is a contract problem on cell vendors) and knew I needed one. By far, it is tne nicest PDA I have had – and I have had various Palms, Blackberry and Win 5.0 mobile devices (the worst). The phone reception blows away the Palm devices (600, 650 and 700) and the sharpness of the display is fantastic! I even check out your blog with it every few days and love the feature where the pictures can be blown up by tapping and pulling. The iPhone is to phones what the MINI is to cars!

  12. Dave Newman (2008/04/02 @ 3:20 pm)

    If you figure out how to teather the iPhone to your computer via bluetooth and use the computer as an Edge modem, let me know!!!!

  13. deathcab4qt (2008/04/02 @ 6:19 pm)

    Also, I found these films made by Power Support especially the matte finish one helps with the smeary face.

  14. GadgetGav (2008/04/02 @ 7:52 pm)

    The start of the slippery slope…! ;) Once you go Mac, you never go back..!!!

    True story: A friend of mine was very proud a few months ago with her new Blackberry Pearl. I’ve had the iPhone since Day 1 but I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. She navigated to a web page to show that the Pearl could do the web too and handed it to me. I honestly could not figure out how to move around the page it was on or even go back one page. She thought I was messing with all sorts of settings, but I was just trying to find something that said “Back”..! And this is the guy who got the nickname ‘GadgetGav’ for having so many gadgets. I honestly couldn’t figure it out. A few weeks later her finance got an iPhone and I think it’s only a matter of time until she gets one. Probably June as the Crackberry is a corporate phone, so she probably has to wait for the enterprise stuff that’s coming.

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