back to article Apple under the gun to master the iPhone's 'second album'

When your band scores its first big hit album, your work isn’t finished. No, sir . . . your troubles have just begun. You and the other three members of Lower GI had seven years to put together your smash CD, “Negative For Lupus.” And you got to do it with the benefit of no expectations or attentions from the record industry, …


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  1. Tom Chiverton

    Err... no ?

    '4) A “real” web browser. ... the iPhone was the first to mate a real desktop browser with a UI that actually made it practical for palmtop use.'

    You must have missed the SE phones that have had Opera on Symbian for ages before the iPhone got it, and never mind Opera Mobile (Java), ditto.

    It's bad enough Apple spread this gruft, without you doing it too.

  2. Glenn Gilbert

    @Tom Chiverton: Opera mobile - you're having a giraffe

    Please don't compare Opera Mobile or that hideous IE with the browsing experience that the iPhone offers; it's akin to comparing Netscape 1 with Firefox.

    I've had Opera on my Sony Ericsson P900 for years and it was rubbish (although somewhat less rubbish than the completely useless native Symbian browser).

    I use my iPhone browser all the time. Opera was unusable except in dire emergency and then you'd be better off calling someone to browse for you.

    The reason the iPhone's so good is the completely intuitive interface and its adherence to web standards. Browsing is not only possible, but it's a pleasure even on the GSM network offered by O2 (edge is rarely available). With the aforementioned Opera & IE it was only possible if the website used CSS to enable rendering without layout. As for zooming text and graphics with the multi-touch interface... you can sit and find some hidden setting to zoom your browser. I'll just use the iPhone and double-tap the image to zoom in.

    This won't need to change on iPhone 2; it's right and that's that.

  3. Ed


    There is no comparison between internet on Opera on my N95 and internet on Safari on my iPod Touch. No comparison at all! Apple are miles ahead in this department.

  4. Alex

    Err... yes !

    I had one of the Opera on Symbian SE phones before I got my iPhone. Mobile Safari dumps on it from a great height. I will use my iphone to surf the web in preference to getting up and fetching my laptop. I would never have done that with my last phone. Maybe i just got lazy recently, must get me a segway for that long trip to the fridge for beer.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    And could you actually use Opera for anything useful with a miniature screen a-la N95? Er, no. It's slow, clunky and only shows the top left hand inch of the web page and you have to scroll everywhere to use it.

    I used to work in the mobile phone industry and had access to the latest and greatest handsets pretty much before they came out, all in the name of research.

    (including Blackberry before it was even heard of over here, and it was still running on a Pager technology in the USA)

    I do now own an iPhone - mainly because I played with one in America for a couple of weeks in June last year and just found it to be out and out better than anything else on the market. The web browsing is just 100% better than anything else on any other phone (IMHO of course - and having used the competition I am aware what they're like to use)

    Even my trust old HP Jornada can't come close. I do hope someone writes a voice dialling app though...

    The only handset I could see being useful against it is the Xperia X1, but it's perpetually being pushed back and just doesn't do enough against the might of the (sad but true) Jobster spin machine. After all, this new iPhone is just the same old iPhone but with 3G and GPS. I spend most of my life in London where I get ubiquitous Wi-fi - I'd much rather use that than 3G with it's droppy calls and variable coverage.

  6. jai

    re: Err... no?

    and exactly how useful was Opera on the SE's? scaled nicely did it? easy to flick around the page to find the text you want? simple to fill in text on a form and submit it?

    i had Opera running on my M600i and it was not "practical for plamtop use" it was small, cramped, pages were a pain to read. it was so bad it was preferable to view WAP versions of sites than to try and navigate their real site when rendered on the tiny screen

    that said - surely this article is very badly timed

    it should be updated now that we've seen that 3G is only a minor part of what the iPhone2 will bring to the consumer next month

  7. Anonymous Coward


    You seem to have missed the second half of the sentence that say's "that actually made it practical for palmtop use".

    You really can't compare Opera on Symbian or Opera Mobile to Mobile Safari. On the other hand, perhaps *you* should compare them... you'll soon see...

  8. Joe

    Poor Tom Chiverton!

    Shame on you all, ganging up on him like that... :D

    I'm just amazed that anybody changes their oil every 3000 miles!

  9. Tom

    Too cool for school

    Apple has always been too cool for school - never wanting to stop creating new, proprietary stuff and play nicely with others. The pattern established with the old ipods is being played out again - slight upgrade justifies the same price a year later.

    There was never any issue about whether they could pull off the iphone 2, Moore's law saw to that. The real question was whether they would upgrade anything meaningful, and the answer is no. The "virtual" GPS has become real, the download speed is faster. Plus ca change.

    The camera is still 2 megapixel, the whole thing is a still delicate piece of glass. The worlds largest camera maker has nothing to worry about.

    Another Tom

  10. Dace

    Let Loose...

    The Fanboi's of War

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The deal breakers on iPhone ..

    Nope, went for a Nokia Communicator instead.

    Yes, it's clunky, but especially a work phone should have the features I need for work, and this is where it didn't work for me.

    Keyboard. I have an iPod Touch, so I know the interface. I'm impressed by the keyboard that it works as well, but it's not quite as super as it needs to be and I do need a minimum size of keys (the E90 keyboard could be less stiff, though). Other E90 advantage: able to interface with a laser keyboard, just in case I go that route, long live bluetooth..

    Lock in. I live in a country which has no carrier has yet received the Jobbs absolution of being able to sell it legally. Well, sorry, I have a HUGE problem with lock in because I've only been using a mobile phone since the NEC P3 came out (and it's diagnostic chip, but I digress :-) and I have seen all the problems it can create from not getting a signal where another carrier just works to cranking up costs. Lock-in, as amply demonstrated by the likes of Microsoft means MUCH higher prices because consumer choice as well as competition is removed, and we only just managed to get the carriers to stop making profits that would make an RIAA executive green with envy. And the percentage of money flowing Apple's way is rumoured to be huge but hidden. Call me awkward (join the queue), but I dislike that - all of the above turns back the clock on the competition the carriers have been forced to engage in.

    Apps. The SDK should have been there from day one. One of the key features that made that first usable PDA, the PSION Organiser II, a roaring success was that it was pretty much open - you could sit on a train, get a mad idea and before you got to the station you'd have the basics working (especially in the UK where trains add extra hours to your journey, but I digress). There were so many apps for it it was almost impossible to find a BBS without them (ah, BBS. OK kids, let's just say that we have been able to collaborate and email well before the web came along, it just cost a lot more money). There are a number of things I need in a smart phone but I no longer code myself (haven't for 20 years) which means I have to wait. The E90 is Symbian, plenty of apps for that. And again that lock-in - I am yet to be convinced that *contributes* to Apple's success. I think it serves more to *prevent* Apple from grabbing the market share it deserves with its innovation (I didn't say I didn't like Apple).

    So, no thanks. The new one is more interesting and may even be at a point where apps start appearing. And if someone finds a way to connect up a laser projection keyboard I may still buy one, because then there is almost no argument not to.

    And by that time I'll have worn out the E90 :-).

  12. Peter Gold badge

    You can change oil?

    Wow, interesting. Mine just has a light that comes on every 30 000 miles or so that it wants to the garage..


  13. Joste Dalsbreen

    @ Joe

    Me too. I never let it pass 2000.

  14. Rick Leeming

    It's nice, but it's not the answer to everything.

    I'm reminded of Bill Ray's comment in an article about the iPhone SDK. "But eliciting positive quotes about Apple products is a bit like asking children for their view on Christmas; whatever you hear is going to be predictable and pretty much devoid of insight."

    While i'll admit the iPhone has some very cool features, it's come rather late to the smartphone party. I've been using Symbian, Windows Mobile and RIM devices for a few years on and off. Personally I really can't see the attraction with any of them. At least with Symbian and WM you don't have to cope with Vendor lock-in, and the restriction of buying your software through a single point of sale. Nor are you restricted to using a single piece of rather terrible software to connect to those devices (I know iTunes works brilliantly on OSX, but on Windows it's cack). Also RIM have pretty much stitched up the corporate push e-mail market. Any company seriously considering deploying the iPhone to it's people either only has a few handsets, or is only just considering giving their field guys mail capable handsets. Nobody of any size is going to drop their existing Blackberry+BES install in favour of the iPhone. Nor can I see RIM opening up BES to interface with the iPhone. Also taking economics into account anyone with a largish company gets their Blackberry handsets for free as part of their deal with Vodaphone/O2/T-Mobile.

    Is the iPhone a nice product? Certainly.

    Is it going to take the market? Not a hope.

    I was considering an iPhone the 1st time round, and opted for a HTC Wizard instead. I'm due a new phone this month, I'm asking for a Nokia 6500 Classic, because all the smartphones are Too Bloody big!

  15. Frank

    @Joe re. Oil

    Me too, every 3000 miles seems more frequent that usual (unless he does lots of short journeys and only does 3000 miles a year maybe)

    Let's ask Andy why he feels the need to do this..................

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Be free! Dump your mobile!

    I think you're all nuts! You have no idea how liberating it is to only have to use mobile when a) the Missus demands it so you don't get lost in the shopping arcade on one of her handbag & shoe gathering expeditions and b) on call for work, all other times, no way Pedro!

  17. Colin Wilson

    Oil changes

    It's just the way yanks have been "trained" - there's no practical purpose to it... there was a link in one of the motoring newsgroups recently that showed new oil was more likely to *damage* the engine for the first thousand miles or so.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    With an article like that you should get a free iWhitestick.

    The problem is not those that could it has always been about those that want to. and business wants to recycle the same old crap, and tommorrow it'll be a new flavour. businesses are not about giving you the ultimate now they will sell you it tommorrow, and tommorrow and tommorrow, and when your cupboard at home fills up with dead mobiles and the sky has turned orange you will say my phone it has everything!

    The only true device is one that is perfect to start with. not one that leads you to buy the next flavour tommorrow. and today that would be a lot better than the iPhone. they did something new as a route to market not to progress technology! why else would it have such a poor camera? no 3G? etc etc...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Almost ready

    3G iPhone is starting to look very useful. If they just add a couple of show stopper missing features I'd get one - firstly, Dial Up Networking bluetooth profile so I can get online with my laptop or other devices when I want to.

    Secondly, FFS just let us have background processes! Their 'workaround' sounds interesting in principle, but how is that going to work in the real world if, say, I want TomTom on the iPhone (as it will be replacing a HTC TyTn upon which TomTom runs rather nicely) and a call comes in? Or I need to check an address in a web browser and... copy and paste between apps? Whether it's a performance hit or not should be up to the user if they want to tolerate it or not. The proposed system smacks of Apple desperately trying to control every aspect of the iPhone which casts a Big Brother shaped shadow over the whole thing.

    Lets say TomTom never makes it to the iPhone; ok the iPhone with GPS enabled Google maps is now very useful on foot, and so I'd consider buying a dedicated TomTom for use in the car, but how is it going to get it's traffic data (one of it's most useful features) without bluetooth DUN on the iPhone?

  20. Colin Wilson

    Oil changes (part deux)

    Found what I think is the link...

    "Testing with partially stressed oil, which contained some wear debris, produced less wear than testing with clean oil. This finding was unexpected and initially confusing (further inquiry suggested that the result was not so surprising, as many oil chemistries require time and temperature to enhance their effectiveness)."

  21. Anonymous Coward

    but to be fair...

    the Lemonheads rode on the back of "Mrs Robinson" a song, they didn't even write.

    Oh iPhone blah, blah, blah....

  22. Red Bren

    @Everyone except Tom (and Joe)

    "You must have missed the SE phones that have had Opera on Symbian for ages before the iPhone got it"

    And you all seem to have missed the point that while web on the iPhone now may be superior to web on the SE P-series then, it still wasn't first! There would be something seriously wrong if Apple couldn't offer a better product 5+ years later.

    When released, the P800 was a big step forward for mobile browsing compared with what else was on offer, i.e.WAP. Sadly, SE decided to go backwards with their more recent smartphone offerings with smaller screens and less intuitive interfaces so maybe the iphone is the natural successor. And now that Apple have dropped the ridiculous price tag and included 3G, it will probably be my next phone.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Whats Oil?

  24. Sparkypatrick

    The Lemonheads

    Never mind the dodgy Beatles analogy, the Lemonheads one is worse. Their first and 'difficult second' albums came and went without much of anyone noticing. They achieved their first real success with their fifth album.

    As for the assistant manager of the futon shop - the band has always has always been Evan Dando + friends. The world and his wife were once in The Lemonheads; though I don't remember any keyboard players.

  25. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Crikey ....if the analogy run true and we are just at the She Love You stage ....

    ...... there is a Revolution ahead, with Working Class Heroes measuring the Gains in God as an AI Concept for Pleasures not Pains

    All Apple has to do to corner/dominate/create Market Share ..... which is just the same for all and any other in the Communications/Entertainment/Media business ...... is to have Prime Intelligent Information/MetaData hosted through ITs Devices first or at least Information on where to find Prime Intelligent Information/MetaData hosted on Global Operating Devices...... which would make the IPhone much more of a In the Palm of your Hand, Network InterNetworking VOIP PC than a Cool Dudes'/Hot Chicks' Mobile Phone.

    PS.... On another completely different matter, is the Baywords Server, that Pirate Bay Stalwart Host of Blogged Free Speech, being Fiddled with? They are presently incommunicado....... unreachable ....

  26. John

    very healthy engine, Andy

    I just about manage to change my oil every 6000 miles or 6 months, and I should check it a bit more often too.

    I don't have pablo honey, but in general I tend to prefer a band's first album to its second. e.g. An End Has a Start has three outstanding songs, but the album as a whole is nowhere near as good as The Back Room. The Zutons are an exception though, I liked Tired of Hanging Around just as much as Who Killed the...

  27. Paul M.
    Dead Vulture

    What next - Goatberg?

    Please keep El Reg free of fanboy drivel like this.

    "It’s going to take much more than 3G data speeds to keep the hearts and minds of the people who drove in to hear the keynote"

    Er, maybe Apple isn't interested in the people who drive to Steve Jobs keynotes - but the larger potential market?

    The guy is a long-time creep -

    No wonder he thinks Apple has just invented the browser!

  28. Glenn Gilbert
    Thumb Up

    softare more important than hardware

    I'm pleased to see that the major update to the iPhone will be in the software. This will be made available to iPhone 1 users, arguably that is different to the rest of the phone industry which will force you to upgrade the phone just for a firmware upgrade.

    Thanks Steve: you've extended the life of my phone. Good for me, good for the planet:-)

    Message posted from an iPhone. I don't see any N95 owners doing the same. Now why's that? Oh, silly me, they won't be reading this website with their sub-standard browser; selecting anchor links by sequentially moving through every link using a cursor button; let alone type a message *with* punctuation on a 12 key keyboard.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Tom Chiverton

    Bad day at the office you just had there : )

    <--- I would if I were you !

  30. Matthew Morrison

    Opera Mobile

    I had Opera Mobile on a P880, P910 and P990 - it actually went BACKWARDS in terms of usability and at its height was never as smooth to operate as Mobile Safari (though the ability to save files onto memory stick was nice).

  31. Stuart Gibson

    Plagiarism - Oh, Wait

    I was about to complain that you stole the Pam Grier joke from Andy Ihnatko's Twitter feed and then noticed the author.

    Made the second half all the better imagining it read it your dulcet tones.

  32. Rolf Howarth

    It's the platform, stupid

    The iPhone 2 hardware is nice - longer battery life, 3G, GPS - but you're right, it's evolutionary not revolutionary like the original iPhone was. The real news isn't about the hardware though but all the other stuff - reduced price, wider availability round the world, enterprise support, and 3rd party apps. Make no mistake, Apple will sell absolute shitloads of these phones over the next 12 or 18 months. Think "new computing platform" and "dominant" and "paradigm shift". It's no coincidence that Apple have dropped the Mac from Mac OS X (it's just OS X now, whether for Mac or iPhone), and renamed their .Mac online service to MobileMe. That's obviously Apple's goal, whether they will achieve it is another matter with competition from Google Android etc., but they would seem to be as well placed as anybody to achieve it.

  33. Sean Aaron

    Battery life and signal?

    My 3G experience has been marred by crap battery life and signal reception indoors versus good old reliable 2-2.5G phones. I'm happy to see the upgrade and hope it's available on 3 when my contract is up, but I also hope I have the option to switch 3G mode off so I can still use it as a phone without having to charge it every other day and go outside my flat to receive a call.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    So can it...

    ...copy and paste yet?

  35. MGJ


    Does the new iPhone let you connect up a bluetooth keyboard? If it did that I'd be interested enough to go for it when the contract is up on my N95 in October, assuming the camera got to 5Mp at the same time. Storage could be better too; why not a bit more than my old 3G iPod at 20Gb?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    might upgrade

    I have an upgrade due in November/December - so I might upgrade from my N95.

    On a slightly different note - I know Apple are meant to be the masters of UI and all that, but on my brand spanking new (and my my first) Macbook Pro's keyboard, there seems to be several missing keys.... I'm a programmer, and so moved/missing keys is a huge ball-ache as I generally hit symbols instinctively and rarely look back!

    FYI - I'm talking about a repositioned @, \, ", infact, the whole keyboard is almost american layout - witht he exception of my trusty £ sign, which is why I haven't rang Apple to see if they made a mistake... Oh - and considering it's based on a BSD system and therefore is a handy symbo to have, where the f*ck is the hash key?! And don't get me started on the shortcut's I've had to learn for what used to be a simple single button (cmd-arrow for home/end of line etc).

    Still - it's very purty, so Apple are forgiven for these small annoyances - as they will be if I bother upgrading.

    Paris: Too much Apple-talk is giving her a headache

  37. Jiminy Krikett


    The iPhone will only be worth buying (and not tethered to a single network either!) when they finally get with the now, and suppprt HSDPA. Nuff said.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oils well...

    The recommendation on my (admittedly 36 year old) car is for an oil change every 1500 miles...and I can assure you that the state of the oil that comes out after 1500 miles is significantly poorer than when it went in. Clearly the engine starts to break it down because the oil pressure starts to drop off as the change point 3k miles....nothing!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I have one big problem with this phone.

    I've played with it. Looks great. brilliant interface. Nicely made.

    But it's a woman's phone. I mean, look at it. It's like the Mazda MX-5 of phones.

    It's totally feminine.

    Think I'll wait for Jobs to deliver something a bit more butch.

  40. Noogie Brown

    I'm not enough of a wanker

    to get one of these. And also so are a lot of other sensible people. That's why this is no big deal really.

  41. Robert Long

    Poser's delight

    You lot can lug around a glass brick all you like. I want a phone that weighs about the same as my pen, takes and makes phone calls and charges people who send me text messages £10 a time and deposits it in my pay-as-you-go account.

    Like the iPod, the iPhone interface is designed for one purpose only: to force the user to take the damn thing out and show it off as much as possible. Usability came a long way down the priority list, which is fine because Apple fanatics have never cared much about it.

  42. Andrew Woodvine

    Switching to 2G and using HSDPA

    Replying to Sean Aaron - you will be able to put the phone onto 2G only (and hence double the talk time) - Macworld confirmed this in their podcast yesterday after speaking to Apple.

    Replying to Jiminy Krikett - Apple's website confirms that HSPDA is supported.

    It appears that there is still no MMS support or video capture though.

  43. Warhelmet

    Not Needed

    I don't need one and I don't want one.

    I'm headed the other way. I'd rather have a small, crappy, no-features, almost disposable phone and not get funked in the arse with extortionate contracts - for instant response stuff - when the wife rings me to ask me if I'm still at the pub, etc, and a laptot for everything else including Skype.

    Actually, what I want is a wristwatch Dick Tracey phone... "Joe Jitsu calling Dick Tracey".

  44. Robert Armstrong

    I never had to change the oil on my cellphone

    So why does the iPhone require fresh oil every 3,000 miles?

  45. sleepy

    with all this vitriol . . .

    I'd like to quote Steve Jobs on iPhone 3G vs Blackberry in an interview yesterday (not verbatim):

    We've made the best iPhone we can, and people can choose what they want.


    All these abusive Apple haters are just frightened little boys behind their BBs and N95s.

  46. Jason Haas
    Jobs Horns

    Andy! You're on The Reg now!

    Not quite MacUser, is it? ;->

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i had an e90 too...

    complimented with an ipod touch for music and general picture showing.

    The e90, i thought, would be the answer to all my dreams - decent screen res (a horizontal of 800 pixels), keyboard, 3g, gps, camera...

    Shame then, that it didn't live up to my expectations. I didn't install very many third party app's on it - essentially little more than putty so I could get to my servers over SSH - so the rest was out of the box, and they were rubbish. The browser sucked, the email client sucked. These are important things that just didn't deliver how I'd have liked.

    Sure, I could have downloaded other app's that would have made my experience better, but that's not the point.

    The browsing and email capabilities out of the box on the iPhone are superb. They may not cover off all the features you want as a heavy and/or advanced user, but for Joe Public, they do it all.

    The lack of any (officially supported) third party app's to fill the gaps in the default offering simply didn't matter to most users, here's a device that (as the article says) plays music, plays video and does 'the web' extremely well without any user intervention.

    The e90 doesn't come close to this, which is why that and the touch went on ebay and I went for an iPhone. About the only thing it doesn't do as well as the e90 is offer decent SSH functionality, but then you'll never get that on anything that isn't widescreen format with a real keyboard. Plus, I've since changed job's so I don't need that functionality any's much more important that I can keep up to date on Boston Legal in works time :)

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @ Joste Dalsbreen

    <<Me too. I never let it pass 2000.>>

    Please go longer - you are wasting money and resources. (It really only needs to be changed every 5000 to 7500 miles - Consumers Union did a study on this ~5 years ago.)

  49. frymaster

    The iPhone's stunning popularity... completely non-existent in the UK

    Maybe the UK has a resistance to koolaid or something, but I don't know anyone who knows anyone who has an iPhone. I can't say that about other major smartphones. Lack of MMS text messaging, price of the thing, and lack of 3G are all reasons I was given by apple "afficionados" (size of the camera is not; who out there ever gets good results out of a camera on a mobile?)

    2 of those reasons are gone. The first generation iPhone was a collection of brilliant UI features in an untenable phone, and all it served to do was raise the game of the other manufacturers. The new iPhone is "possible" - it's something I'd consider when getting a new phone. Probably wouldn't get it, but that's cause I like different flavours of koolaid, not because of more concrete and immediate deal-breakers.

  50. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Web on a phone

    I prefer the web on a PC with a proper connection, proper screen and keyboard-mouse worthy of the name.

    A phone is a phone, as long as the stupid thing holds my address book, can connect and allow me to have a conversation, and doesn't need recharging every night, I'm happy.

    I use a PC all day long anyway, so I don't need a phone to browse with.

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