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.

Battery Life Final Words
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  • ninjit - Monday, July 2, 2007 - link

    Argh, looks like everyone bogged down the image server.

    I just happened to hit refresh right when the article went live, and was happily reading it for the first 10 pages, but now none of the images are load for page 10 onwards.

    grrrr
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Monday, July 2, 2007 - link

    I just finished it, took a minute for the last two images to show up. Great article by the way and now I know what to get the wife for her birthday next week. Reply
  • ButterFlyEffect78 - Monday, July 2, 2007 - link

    I love my iPhone. I love texting all my friends and showing them my poop. Its great. Thank you Apple. Reply
  • rADo2 - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    This phone is horrible.

    My needs e.g. are much higher than those offered by $500-600 dumbphone with Apple logo on it.. There are dumbphones on the market for $0 - 29.95, that can do more than iPhone. Take any Nokia phone (and they have MMS, voice dial, and record video)... And there are also many $199 smarpthones with Windows Mobile and/or Symbian UIQ that can install 10,000+ apps, many of them being freeware.

    No need to lock yourself in Apple overpriced monopoly with little functionality.

    If your needs are simple, and you value Apple logo above all, iPhone may still appeal to you. Why not. But "dumbphones" with many lacking features sold for $500-600 with 2 year contract most certainly do NOT appeal to smart and advanced users.

    In fact, biggest disadvantage of iPhone is not even missing features like voice dial, MMS, HW keyboard and/or GPS, but completely missing SDK. Developing SDK and giving it for free to developers is a major expense, and even companies like Nokia or SonyEricsson, which are on the market for "centuries", had problems with it. Microsoft has excellent SDK for Windows Mobile.

    Apple has no development platform / SDK. They try to hide this huge shortcomming by saying "Safari is your SDK". Hehe. They can fool "sheeps" that JavaScripts widgets running under Safari are real apps, but not tech people and business people. You cannot code (e.g.) GPS navigation handling 1GB maps, or advanced IM client under JavaScript/HTML/CSS.

    Thus their phone is basically a "dumbphone", not a smartphone, as installing native apps is a primary thing that distinguishes dumbphones for smart ones.

    Why devote 50+ pages review to something dumb? "Sponzored" by Apple?
    Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    You have to use it to understand, I think.

    You talk about features, but as the review mentions explicitly, it's the interface, a feature in it's own right, that sells the iPhone. Does any 0-$29.95 have a touchscreen as nice as the iPhones? You kind of have to compare it to other touch screen phones to "get it".
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Exactly. The strength of the iPhone is that it DOESNT have hundreds of features tacked onto it, all done, but none done well. The iPhone does what 95% of the phone buying public wants to do with a phone, and does those functions better than any other phone produced today. That is it strength. That is why its bound to change the way cellphones are made and sold.

    The reason smartphones havent taken off for a vast majority of the public was that they were simply too dificult to use, big, ugly, and counterintuitive. They were systems of endless ugly windows, with terrible fonts, on grainy screens. They were huge fields of buttons with multiple functions for each key. They tried to do everything. Thats NOT what the majority of phone buyers want in a phone. They want something functional, useable, and enjoyable.

    To put it simply, the iPhone does what nearly everyone wants to do on a phone better than anyone else. Anyone who touches it and slides that unlock bar over for the first time has fallen in love. I personally wont be purchasing one for another year, while i wait for my contract with Sprint to expire, and i hope that the second gen has arrived by that time.

    How can you justify spending $600 on a phone that doesnt do everything? The average american spends an ABSURD amount of time with their phone, doing standard phone things. Calls, Alarms, Texts. If i can make those hours of my day far more enjoyable for barely the cost of 2 car payments? I would say thats worth it.
    Reply
  • rADo2 - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Well, iPhone SW is poorly done IMHO, e.g. not being able to search through contacts by typing is major drawback. I cannot imagine having to scroll through my 1000 contacts...

    There are e.g. great Samsung and/or Nokia phones sold for $0-50 (with contract) that are better "dumbphones" than iPhone, have 3G, MMS, can record video, play music on stereo BT headset, etc.

    iPhone does lack some very basic features, and I consider it to be hype only. Apple has brilliant advertising and "wow" factor, but this will wear-off within next few weeks.
    Reply
  • dborod - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    There is an onscreen alphabet that lets you easily jump to contacts starting with that letter so you don't have to scroll all the way. Reply
  • rADo2 - Thursday, July 5, 2007 - link

    Yes, but that is only single letter. WM5/6 devices can do initial search (multiple letters) or even sequantial search, see e.g. http://www.sbsh.net/products/contactbreeze/">http://www.sbsh.net/products/contactbreeze/

    If you have like 100 contacts beginning with "K", it will be very hard to use iPhone to find and dial the right contact. And voice dial will not hell either.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Sunday, July 8, 2007 - link

    You make it sound like Apple won't be adding search.

    To my knowledge Apple has updated/upgraded via firmware every single one of it's iPods.

    Why do you think the software on an iPhone is "stuck" the way it is now? I imagine within a month of use, with feedback and real world experience, Apple will release an updated browser, mail client, media client, and text interface.

    Then what about your complaints?

    The iPhone is, for Apple, a miniature computer, and as such can be updated with fixes and software.
    Reply

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