The iPhone: Lots to Love, but Flaws Too

Other Features

The iPhone has a select handful of extra apps. Some are more noteworthy--for reasons good and bad--than others.

SMS messages look like emails do on the primary screen; then in conversation, they appear in fun balloon form. Unfortunately, you can't send picture messages, though; instead, you have to send images via e-mail.

The note application is fashioned after a yellow legal pad. Tap out your notes on the keyboard, and then save them to the device--or send them via e-mail. When you do send a note via e-mail, everyone will know where it came from: the bottom of the note I sent to myself had a "Sent from my iPhone" tag-line tacked on.

The clock is full-featured, with a world clock, stopwatch, timer, and multiple alarm settings (useful if you need reminders during the day, or to set up different wake-up calls for different days of the week).

Google Maps is conveniently integrated into the iPhone, as is Yahoo's six-day weather outlook and stock data. You also get a dedicated YouTube application (separate from the iPod video playback capabilities). Right now, only about 10,000 YouTube videos have been reformatted to accommodate the iPhone's screen; the company plans to have the entire library converted by end of year, though. YouTube videos loaded quickly, and I found the image quality as good as (or even better than) the source material as viewed on my PC.

When I left the device paused on a YouTube video, first the screen intelligently dimmed, then the phone shut off entirely. When I came back and powered up again, the YouTube video was right where I left it. I experienced the same level of resume when I was using other phone features, as well.

-- Melissa J. Perenson

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