Not an iPhone review

There are plenty of iPhone reviews out there. This is not another. This post is just an observation as to why the iPhone is so different and inspires such goodwill from those who use it. It is simple really, but Apple has taken tasks that on most (all?) other phones are cumbersome, non-intuitive, and often just plain crappy and made them a joy. I am not really over stating this, the iPhone is really fun to use. Browsing the web is not reminiscent of the “real” real web, it IS the real web (ok a web without Flash – for now). Google maps works just like Google maps should. Email is great, not some crippled version, and the phone, despite what some have said, is very nice too. Almost all the interfaces are easy to use and it is easy to know where to go and what to do to make things happen. My previous Windows Mobile phone and my Palm PDA phone before that, took a while to master and it was only because I learned their backwards way of doing things was I able to manage on those devices.

This should serve as yet another lesson from Apple that design matters. Make interfaces (both physical and virtual) that are fun and intuitive and people will enjoy using them and tell their friends.

A couple other observations – No wonder there is a 10% restocking fee if you return an iPhone. With the amount of plastic they use – wrapping everything multiple times in their way. It would take a while to wrap all that stuff back up, I imagine. And what is up with the industrial glue used on the bags they put the phones in when you buy them. Not sure if it is the same at Apple stores but at the at&t store the clerk put the phone in this bag and then pulled away a strip between the two insides and the bag sealed up tight – had to use keys to rip a hole in the bag to open it. When we asked him about it, he said Apple was making them do that. Think different, I guess.

New Nikon & Nikon news

I recently purchased a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera but haven’t even had the time to go out and really use it. I have posted a couple dozen photos taken with the camera. All of them are pretty much on the auto settings and none are very good, but I think they show some of the potential of this camera.

I considered getting the D70s and drooled over the D200 but in the end I realized that the D50 (nearly identical to the D70s – and in many ways better*) is still too much camera for the like of me and I still have much to learn before an upgrade is warranted.

This post about my new Nikon camera comes amid speculation that Nikon may discontinue its analog camera production. There is still some confusion over Nikon’s plans with seperate reports coming out in favor of and denying the rumors. But Nikon’s site seems pretty clear about the issue:

As a result of the new strategy Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses with sales of these products ceasing as soon as they run out of stock. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories. Although Nikon anticipates that the products will still be in retail distribution up to Summer 2006.

* the things I like about the D50 over the D70 are: the size and weight of it. Is a tiny bit smaller and I think it feels better, it uses Secure Digital cards rather than compact flash this saves me money and is faster, there are a couple other things, but I will save them for a more complete review in a couple weeks.

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* If you ever corner me in a bar or such place have me tell you the story about Bob Sagat that Paul Provenza told the entire theater at SXSW 2005 after the preview screening.

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