This morning I saw that the "unofficial-official" update for iPhone 2.0 had been released. Not being the patient type, I went ahead and installed it.
It's pretty much everything I had hoped for... and more. Not so much for the basic functionality, which is largely unchanged, but for the stunning applications that are now available. Much like a drug habit, the ability to purchase games and other apps right on your iPhone is highly addictive. I've spent nearly $100 on loads of crap without even realizing it. And I can only imagine that even more amazing stuff is on the way, which is very bad news for my finances.
Here is just a sampling of some of the interesting stuff I got...
By far the best game I bought was Motion-X Poker Dice. It's so beautifully crafted that everybody I've shown it to wants an iPhone just to have it! You roll the dice by shaking your iPhone, at which point the dice click and clatter until you stop shaking. You have three rolls to get a better hand than the dealer. This would get boring kind of quickly, so there are unlock-able playing boards, dice sets, and prize gems for reaching certain goals. You can also just roll five dice to play games like Yatzee and Zilch on the go, which is a nice bonus. An instant classic I can't stop playing!
Another very, VERY interesting game is Trism, which uses all the amazing iPhone features at the same time to ensnare you in a puzzler that boggles the mind. I could post a screenshot, but to truly appreciate how cool it is, you need to actually SEE it in action...
On of the most beautiful games is Apple's Texas Hold'em, which utilizes video capture to create an immersive card-playing experience. Turn your iPhone 90-degrees, and you switch to an overview mode. Overall, the game is pretty darn sweet, but I sure wish it had more options (in single-player you always play against 8 computer opponents, which makes each hand a little longer than I'd like, and I wish I could change to less players). The most impressive aspect is that you can also play against REAL PEOPLE via wireless if they also have the game!
In addition to games, there are also some helpful utilities. The one I was most excited about was something called "Jade" which allows you to automatically enhance the murky, crappy photos that the built-in iPhone camera takes. It doesn't always work, but most of the time the app does improve your images by making them brighter. It seems to be a very handy thing to have, as you can see by the samples here...
Cool huh? Well I thought so too... until I realized that every photo which Jade processes is reduced from 1600x1200 pixels to 640x480 pixels, which sucks ass! NOWHERE on the iTunes sales page does it tell you that Jade shrinks your photos, and that pisses me off. Why can't I keep the original size so I get the best image quality? Who knows. STUPID!
Anyway, I got a lot of other cool stuff, but you kind of get the idea here.
In summary, iPhone is a killer development platform for software. Sure not all the apps are as good as they could be, but I'm sure as time goes on and programmers get accustomed to the tools and what they can do, we'll see better and better stuff. It makes me love my iPhone even more than I already did, which is a LOT.
Tomorrow Apple released the new generation Apple iPhone 3G.
To be honest, I am not sure I want one. The only feature I covet on the latest model is built-in GPS. This was a horrible, glaring oversight from the first model that still gets my blood boiling. If my current iPhone had GPS... AS IT SHOULD HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!... there would be no reason for me to upgrade. Sure the 3G speeds of the internet access would be nice... but they are charging too much for it. I would be perfectly happy sticking with my 2.5G speed at the current rate plan if I could.
So will I buy one?
I don't know. Sure I'd like to have it, but the monthly increase on my wireless bill doesn't make me at all happy.
But it DOES have GPS, which I want pretty bad.
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I’m like you, totally undecided about whether or not to upgrade. I LOVE my iPhone and it’s the only phone I have ever really used to it’s full capacity. The GPS would be extremely useful, especially with my sense of direction being so lousy, but it’s another £10 a month on the call plan. In a year I would have spent the same as it would cost me to just buy a GPS system.
Decisions decisions indeed!
So when’s ‘Ask Dave’ coming to the App Store? 🙂
Yeah, I am still waiting to see if we end up getting one… I have mine now and love it, so I won’t be too ticked if they don’t upgrade us.
Waaaaah, I want an iPhone! Can’t afford it right now, with my CA trip coming next week. Hell, I don’t know how I’m going to afford CA! That dice game looks amazing.
What would you do with your old phone? Just give it to someone and let them get a new contract with it? Will Apple allow that?
You can do whatever you like with it… you own it. I’m keeping mine as a backup in case my new one is lost or stolen. But yes, you could give it to an AT&T customer for activation. They just have to upgrade their plan to pay for the iPhone feature set.
I know you don’t get paid for it, but you totally should. You sell Apple’s/Mac’s stuff better then they do.
I looked at the iPhone but wasn’t happy with the increase in monthly plans. Of course, I’m a tightwad.
I got a sexy 3G iPhone today! Shiny happy people dancing all over Down Under tonight! 🙂
I feel like we’ve caught up with the world and can stop living in the dark ages.
Too bad the App Store doesn’t allow users to download trials of the new apps. I also wish they’d get the 2.0 software update released so iPod Touch users could get it already. Sometime today maybe, hmm.
Very cool stuff, and educational for me Sir Dave, thanks! …and I thought you went on a shooting rampage at Johnny Rockets?
I know. I can wait to download the update myself as I sit on my hands about getting the new one. Yesterday Edge was just so painfully slow that I felt like getting in line. The gps would be nice too, but from the demo I saw it still doesn’t do turn by turn instructions, so I’ll wait to get my gps fix and see what else might come down the pike.
Well, I’m already on AT&T Wireless, so if you buy a new one, I’ll relieve you of the old one depending on what you charge!
This phone is the one that is going to make me cave and turn in my free phone that is just a phone and become connected to EVERYTHING.
I blame you people and your iPhone love. 😉
The Trism game looks really interesting. I haven’t gone out and browsed the app store yet, but I’m going to have to do that soon.
I noticed the other day that my older iPhone can figure out where I am when I’m using the Maps app – using “current location”. It seems to be pretty close too – how is that different from the GPS coming in the new one?
I am sticking with the iPod touch for now, which as a bonus, once I pay the $10 to upgrade the firmware, I can start spending all of my spare cash and time with all the cool new apps.
The touch actually belongs to my wife (I will be getting a 32gb touch later on this year once the price drops), but having iPhone functionality without a monthly recurring bill is nice.
I’ve been reading some absolute horror stories about activation woes today. You are wise to wait before taking the plunge.
The poker dice and trism do look very cool. For now, I’ll try to forget about those and focus on playing Lego Indy when I have time. Whip it! 😉
i love that trism game! yet another reason that i need an iphone…
hey~~i escaped the 3rd floor hospital room~~i am on line~~hurry, read as much as i could~~dad is very bad~~thank goodness for funny sites…..miss you dave and the HOLE CELEBRITY SKIN and guest11 on jester~~will be back to bladio as soon as i can~~i ma asking for thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort for my mom and dad
I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more!!
My life will not be complete until I have an iPhone!
Sadly, I can’t even THINK about it until after september.. but maybe the price will have dropped by then??
To be honest, it’s the GPS making the new iPhone into a location-aware computing device that is strongly making me want to buy one. I’ve taken a look at a lot of the apps they have for sale that take advantage of this, and it’s freakin’ sweet.
I haven’t upgraded my “old” iPhone yet… I’m paranoid that it’s going to get screwed up.