The O2 store down at the Horsefair end of Broadmead had some in stock the other day, so I went and waited in a line of 3 people for over half an hour: the purchasing procedure has been made a lot more complicated since the original iPhone came out. Still, I passed the time chatting to a very friendly Brazilian lorry driver.

So I have an iPhone 3G. What’s new?

  • It’s black.
  • It has much better wifi reception – from one room in the house the last iPhone could barely get any wifi, the 3G one sometimes even gets up to full bars in the same place/orientation.
  • Difficult to tell if it has better phone reception: like most 3G phones it prefers to lock onto a weak 3G signal than a strong 2G one, so comparison is hard. No trouble with it yet, though.
  • The buttons are slightly harder to press. Or maybe the old ones just loosened up over time. Either way, if you press on the edge of the Home button it feels like you’ve pressed it but you haven’t: you need to press it in the centre to get a greater traveling distance. I don’t remember that with the original iPhone.
  • Even on the weakest 3G signal, browsing is impressively fast. Well worth the upgrade if you need to browse on the move.
  • I’ve only used the GPS once, but it was pretty accurate and worked well. I was however in Liverpool at the time, and felt a *weeny* bit self conscious walking through the streets staring at a brand new iPhone.

Any problems?

  • Although almost everything (except music, which I sync on a different computer) transferred over to the new phone,  no passwords did. I had to re-type my email and wifi passwords (and cursing a lot at the latter before remembering you still have to put a “$” before hex WEP keys – they phased that out of OS X years ago, no idea why you still have to do it on the iPhone).
  • If you sync multiple calendars, they now have colours, but not necessarily the ones they have in iCal (how stupid is that?). See this hint for how to get the colours right – basically, wipe all your calendars from the iPhone, then sync each one in turn to match the colour order the iPhone uses using dummy calendars where necessary. Oh, and the first two you sync need to be in alphabetical order (case sensitive too, so “a” is after “Z” for instance).
  • Lots of things seem slow and clunky. I don’t think this is the new phone, I think it’s the 2.0 software (had the same issues on the old iPhone too). Upon launching “Contacts” (the standalone address book app), it won’t let me scroll or get out of it for several seconds, and I don’t have that many contacts (100 or so). Oddly, the contacts tab in the Phone app works perfectly. Other programmes also have an unacceptable pause on loading, and it’s starting to feel like my old Windows phone sometimes. I really hope a fix comes out soon.

What happened to my old iPhone? Well, I use Pwnagetool to jailbreak it, and I have to say it worked brilliantly. By sheer coincidence our cat tipped a cup of tea into my wife’s handbag a few days before I upgraded, soaking and ruining her phone, so I’ve popped her (Virgin) SIM into the jailbroken iPhone as a temporary measure and it works a treat. Have had to move all potentially networked apps (Safari, etc) onto a second home screen so she can’t accidentally run up massive data bills, but I think a cheapish SIM-only contract from Three would sort that problem out.

Bloody cats.

I’m also starting to get annoyed with the way Safari insists on reloading pages. If I load up a page (with directions, maybe, or train times) when I’ve got good reception, I don’t want it suddenly to go blank and try to reload when I’ve got poor reception or need to look at the info urgently (sometimes on sites like, this involves having to go back through the form, re-typing in the stations and times I want). Why on earth Apple thought people would want to  a page that’s only a few minutes old to reload automatically when swapping between Safari windows I don’t know.

Finally, I’ve emailed the fine folks at perversiontracker to ask them to start up their fine rants against crap software now that you can get such amazing apps as “Flashlight” from the Application Store – it just shows a white screen so you can use your phone as a torch. *Nggggggggggggggg*. Apparently “it’s under consideration”… I do so hope they start writing again.

So in conclusion, the new iPhone is great, but I think the 2.0 software needs some work.