I’m getting an awful lot of the features I’d hoped for, including:
- Mail/SMS/etc.: Landscape (large) keyboard available all over the main apps.
- MMS: Finally!
- Tethering: connect a Mac or PC via USB or Bluetooth and share the 3G internet love.
There’s also some stuff I’d like that just wasn’t to be, at least not yet:
- Voice Dial: Sounds like the new iPhone 3G S will have it, but not my 3G. Boo.
- Bluetooth file transfer: I guess they’re not down with OPP (or GOEP, or FTP)…
- Better App Management: No categories or dragging icons around in iTunes, but at least Spotlight search will let us find and launch instead of flicking left and right over and over and over and…
- Better App Store rating/searching: Ooh. Parental controls. Still no filtering or reordering search results, though.
All in all, not bad. Could have been better, but still pretty damn good progress for a year’s work.
But I’ve digressed. I come not to praise Apple but to kick AT&T squarely in the nutsack. Repeatedly. Until my foot hurts.
Here comes the WTF.
Per the keynote, 29 of Apple’s carrier partners (in 76 countries) will support MMS at the launch of iPhone OS 3.0.
US users have to wait for AT&T to get off its ass and enable a standard that was new and exciting 7 years ago, was last updated 4 years ago, and last had an update to its latest “candidate” version over a year ago.
AT&T’s marketing zombies now say they are in the middle of “system upgrades” and will enable MMS for iPhone users when the upgrades are complete, “later this summer”. They claim they want to make sure iPhone users have a good experience with MMS, although I can only compare this claim to the MMS experience iPhone owners have had since the original iPhone launch…
Did I forget to mention that lots of other AT&T phones send and receive MMS just fine, and have for years? Yeah, that might be important to note.
Apple finally puts a basic, common cellphone feature (that’s not even restricted to smartphones anymore) into their machine and AT&T, their original lead partner, who can thank the iPhone contract for their market-share (it isn’t customer service or their voice network; Verizon beats them on both), who must have had a clue this was on the way since Apple announced the original 2.5G iPhone, isn’t ready for it and claims “having nothing is better than having something”.
At this point in the keynote coverage my foot is starting to tingle in its special nutkick way. Then comes the next feature-announcement/AT&T-fail combo.
Twenty-two of Apple’s carrier partners will support tethering iPhones to computers for use as 3G network modems when the 3.0 OS launches.
The spokeszombies don’t even have a good story for this one, just mumblings of “we plan to offer” and “no date to announce” while they look for delicious brains. Never mind that they sell these plans (an extra $15-$30/month on top of the phone’s data plan) for about a dozen other models they carry, including BlackBerry phones.
I happen to have a business use for 3G access from my laptop, and unless they get specific (and soon) I’ll have no choice but to get a 3G T-Mobile card through my employer.
It’s also interesting to note that while overseas iPhone carriers are ready for the June 19 release of the iPhone 3G S (S as in “speed”) with 7.2 Mbps HSPA networks, AT&T will finally start upgrading their HSPA network from 3.6 Mbps to 7.2 Mbps later this year and won’t be finished until 2011. In the meantime, the updated radio in the 3G S will be exactly as fast as my iPhone 3G.
AT&T is pitching the new phone’s faster radio with “It will be twice as fast… eventually.”
I’m not planning on buying the 3G S anytime soon, so that won’t affect me and thus doesn’t make my foot shoot uncontrollably towards crotch, but I thought it worth the mention.
AT&T wireless has done 2 things right that I can think of (off the top of my head), and they second probably draws from the first: they used the same 2.5G (GSM/EDGE) and 3G (HSPA) voice/data standards as almost every other carrier in the world decided on, and they got the exclusive rights to the iPhone. That second point is the only reason I switched from Verizon to AT&T.
In 2 years or so (sooner, in some areas) Verizon is going to have their LTE 4G wireless network rolled out. LTE happens to be the same 4G network almost every other carrier in the world will use (including AT&T, some months behind them) and this happens to be about the same timeframe that tech pundits think AT&T’s exclusivity contract’s latest extensions will run out.
We’ll see what happens then…