Today I installed the 1.1.1 update of iPhone after reading many articles and blog posts about how it makes an iPhone a “brick” if you’ve hacked it to install or change things.
Lots of people look at the iPhone as a great device that can be hacked to do much more than it “officially” does. These individuals and groups have done some quite remarkable things with a singular goal in mind: Make the iPhone do more than it’s “supposed” to do. I find this kind of thinking exciting. The people who have provided software and hardware hacks to open it up to different carriers or to install new software are true entrepreneurs and they deserve every bit of credit they can get. Even though I have not chosen to try any of their options, their vision, ingenuity, and creativity deserves an enthusiastic two thumbs up and I congratulate them all.
I look at my iPhone slightly differently than the people in that group. I haven’t tried to hack it to do ANYTHING. I’ve lived with it from 1.0.0 to 1.0.1 to 1.0.2 to 1.1.1 (somebody please correct me if I’ve gotten those wrong). Because of my patience I feel as though I have benefited greatly. I do feel bad for those who have had their iPhones turned into paper weights. But I also feel reassured in that some of the things I have complained most about have been addressed – and most importantly, ARE being addressed by Apple.
Here are three things that bothered me about the iPhone.
1. Speakerphone volume.
2. Lack of a period key on the main keyboard.
3. Lack of ability to purchase and download music from iTunes.
Though Apple claims to have addressed these in the 1.1.1 release, I have to submit that I am still extremely disappointed in the volume of the speakerphone. Personally, i’ve noticed no difference (so far – I’ve only had one call). That thing needs to be TWICE as loud, not MARGINALLY louder. However, it’s a home run to note that the other two are now up and running. On my phone. Not one that I bought yesterday, but the iPhone I bought on June 29th, 2007.
Steve Jobs made a comment at MacWorld 2007. He had a photo of three “smart”phones up on his slide and talked about how it’s hard to add new features to those phones because you can’t add a key or reconfigure things because the devices have already shipped.
iPhone 1.1.1 is a classic (albeit small) example of what he was talking about. While I didn’t receive ALL the functionality that I had hoped for, I did receive SOME of it. And because of that, I am willing to be even more patient, knowing that Apple IS indeed making the effort to listen to customers and make the device better and better.
I therefore wait patiently for v1.2.0.