Privacy Concerns

Update: It looks like Apple has thoughtfully included a way to disable SMS notifications on the iPhone, it's tucked away in the Passcode Lock settings page (Settings > General > Passcode Lock). First supply a passcode, then under the Passcode Lock settings you can disable SMS notifications thus solving part of the embarrassing problem illustrated below. For sake of continued hilarity, we'll leave the hypothetical below as it should serve as a reminder to keep SMS notifications in mind when you start customizing your new iPhone.

The original unedited page remains as follows:

Do not, under any circumstances, allow someone to use your iPhone without your careful supervision.  Let me paint a picture:

You're using your iPhone, your boss walks by and asks to see it.  While playing with it, you get a text message from one of your friends who just wants to make you laugh at work.  Here's how the iPhone would display the aforementioned message:


Hello embarassing! There's no way to prevent this from happening to you, other than to get new friends (Update: It turns out that you can disable this from happening, the setting is under the Passcode Lock menu)

Note that it pops up on screen, giving you a preview of the message, regardless of what application you're in.  Even if the phone is locked, the message will sit there on the screen until you choose to ignore it or view it. 

Now if you're the only person using the phone, then there's no problem; in fact, the iPhone handles interrupting you with phone calls and text messages quite gracefully.  But you can't predict what sort of message you'll get and when, and there's no way to turn off iPhone's SMS preview notifications so be very careful before you hand your iPhone over to your mother.

Then there's the other big issue to worry about when letting someone use your iPhone: if setup properly, it has all of your emails, and pictures, stored on it.  Think about that one carefully before ever letting the iPhone out of the safety of your hands.

Obviously these issues only crop up when you willingly let someone far too curious use your iPhone; preventing unwanted use of your iPhone is easy to ensure, simply provide a passcode to lock the phone and you'll be greeted with the following screen anytime you try unlocking it:

Entering in your passcode is super easy thanks to the large touch screen and 10 digit keypad.  The iPhone will auto-lock itself after a user selectable time period.

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  • EODetroit - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Holy Comprehensive Review Batman! That took most of my morning at work, good thing its practically a holiday here already.

    Now my question is:

    How many poop pictures has Anand received from the A-Tech staff?

    Haha
    Reply
  • Shimmishim - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Yes. It was a good read. One of the best reviews of any piece of hardware (computer or consumer related) I've read in a long time. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Thanks guys :)

    And no, zero poop-pictures from AT staff.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    While not perfect as a product either, Anandtech completely skipped any Palm Treo devices for this comparison. The Treo has done SMS by contact for some time now, just as you have mentioned the iPhone does (I've had it on both the 650p and 750p; I'm sure the new 755p does as well). While I have some issues with Palm support as far as their product goes, I still haven't seen a smartphone that can do better --I blame this at least in part due to carrier wars and desire for control (i.e., crippled Bluetooth, not adding WiFi, so carriers can make you pay for everything through them), rather than blaming cell phone manufacturers. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    There were a number of products I would've liked to have included, but I was very limited by time so I tried to shoot for two of the most popular: the Curve and the Blackjack. I've already dropped Nokia an email but I'll do the same for Palm and see what comes of it :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Ya, quite alot of things like that the Treo has done, and done well for a long time now, all that and an open platform. The issue is the latest Treo is, 4 years later, still the same repackaged Treo, with a few minor upgrades. The iPhone is by far the best UI, and that alone will be its saving grace, and its legacy on the industry. A few years from now, REAL smartphone manufacturers will copy the UI and improve everything, and do it cheaply, and on all carriers. That is the best thing about the iPhone. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Actually, in 4 years, the Treo added Bluetooth (the first 600p didn't have it), EVDO (the iPhone has only EDGE, which has been rated far slower, and slowest when provided by AT&T/Cingular, the single carrier of the iPhone), an SD card slot (600p didn't have one), and several other features.

    As I said, the Treo isn't perfect. And I think the UI of the iPhone is pretty spiffy, plus I'll bet it has the best web browser of any phone on the market. But I don't think I could do without a real (by real I mean tactile) QWERTY keyboard (I rely on text messages for work, since cell reception can be spotty in a reinforced concrete building), I like having EVDO support, and I like the fact that I can choose from Sprint, T-Mobile, Alltel, Verizon, or AT&T Cingular for a Treo (AT&T/Cingular has little or no reception in my work area, so it nixes any thought of an iPhone, and by my understanding, they have a five-year exclusive agreement with Apple). And I can get a Treo for a few hundred less as well.

    I want to like the iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple set conditions of pricing and carrier that mean I'll never find out how good a phone it might really be.
    Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    Not only the Palm Treo, but the Nokia N95, which is just awesome:

    In-built GPS and Navigation Program (over 100+ countries maps)
    5 MP Camera with Zeiss Lens and Optical Zoom, and Video Recording
    Symbian OS
    Plays MP3, video, etc
    Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, TV out
    Quadriband GSM/WCDMA (3G)
    MicroSD Card Reader

    Among many other features.
    Reply
  • rowcroft - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    The iPhone looks great, but the big gotcha for me is that I routinely use my 8525 to access the internet on my laptop. Can't do that with the iPhone from what I understand.

    As for all the comparisons to Verizon & such, if you look at the total cost of ownership (Verizon's data plan is significantly more expensive), the iPhone is just a few dollars cheaper than the Blackjack w/Verizon.
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - link

    I've got a Samsung i720 with verizon... For a "last gen" PDA phone priced at just $100 brand new from verizon when I got it, it's pretty sweet. Admitingly the display isn't quite as good as apples, but as far as functionality it does everything the iPhone does and more. I also appriciate the sliding screen with which reveals a keyboard. There's also the other advanatages I mentioned earlier, i.e. Windows Mobile being open to 3rd party development etc. Reply

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