Some people call me an “early adopter” — a term that does not universally apply. Unlike my father and brother, I’ve never gone after new stuff for the sake of new stuff. I still don’t have a Blu-ray player or an HDTV. (My older models still work.) But when it comes to a gadget of desire, I’m right there. Maybe not at the front of the line on opening day, but I'm there early enough.
So it was with the iPhone. I saw the ads for the first-gen model and knew it was the mobile phone for me — never mind that I’d have to pay to cancel my non-AT&T contract, or that it had the slower Edge network, or that you couldn’t change the battery yourself. It had term-searchable maps and an iPod and a real Web browser and a YouTube widget and just lots of other cool stuff. I had planned to wait until they got the glitches out, but a high-tech friend who bought one on opening day said it didn’t really have serious glitches. So I snatched one up the second weekend and never looked back. I even got the “early adopter” rebate a couple months later — and used it to buy an 80GB iPod Classic!
I loved my first-gen iPhone, and it served me well. Now, a year later, I’m two-and-a-half days into my second-gen iPhone — the iPhone 3G. (And yes, it really did take three weeks to get one into my hands!)
The first thing that became apparent with the new phone was that it works seamlessly with the 2.0 software. This software was built for this hardware. I used 2.0 for three weeks before my 3G arrived, and the first-gen phone ran awkwardly on 2.0. The original functions were fine, but the apps I downloaded ran slower and seemed buggier on the first-gen phone. This could be due to the fact that they were almost out of headroom (the phone had only 8GB of space; the new phone has 16GB). But whatever the cause, the apps don’t just chug along on the 3G. They zoom. Battery life is comparable between first-gen and second-gen iPhones (i.e., not incredible), and some apps are real battery drains. But overall, the new phone and the new software go nicely together.
It took a little longer for me to get an opportunity to test out the 3G network because my house is virtually in a dead zone. (I'm at the bottom of a steep hill.) The iPhone will use the fastest network it can find, which means that in my house, it will usually default to Edge because it can't locate 3G. (I do turn on WiFi for surfing). When I’m away from the house, though, the phone finds the 3G network easily. The 3G can load a slow-loading page like the iPhone version of “I Can Has Cheeseburger” (a.k.a. Lolcats) in about the same time it takes my WiFi — and substantially faster than the Edge.