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Local weighs in on new iPhone

Original post made by Nick V, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer, on Jul 2, 2010

On the day the iPhone 4 was released, reports came in from around the country that people had stood in lines outside of Apple stores in sweltering heat, pouring rain and chilly fog. No sooner had the phone been released and a different sort of report surfaced: that the new device had a glaring glitch. Users who covered a portion of the phone's exterior antenna would lose [Web Link

Now, a week later, all the hysteria over the latest iPhone -- good and bad -- has had a chance to level out. Apple has even owned up to the reception issues... [Web Link Sort of].

One Mountain View resident, Mike Gowen, took the time to reflect upon what he likes and dislikes about his iPhone 4.

"I definitely love it," Gowen said, first and foremost. Above all, he finds the phone's resolution astounding. "You can spend a lot of time just staring at the screen. You see no pixels at all."

Gowen, who has been an iPhone user from the beginning, said that he skipped over the 3Gs and moved straight to the iPhone 4 from his 3G, which, he acknowledged, may account for him being mesmerized by the device's display.

He also likes how fast the phone runs. On his 3G, Gowen said everything seemed to take a little time to load, something he has not observed yet on his new phone.

Conversely, Gowen said, he felt the iPhone 4 looked cooler in the commercials than it does in his hands. The device is much more angular than past installments, he said, and the brushed chrome lining the edge makes the phone look like "something broke off."

"It's just not as appealing aesthetically."

Functionally, he said, he also has issues with the new design. Because the phone is completely flat on the back and the lens of the backside camera is flush with the body, he worries that he may scratch the lens of the camera when he sets it on a table or desk.

He got an official Apple case, known as a [Web Link
"bumper"] to protect the camera lens. But he doesn't like the bumper, because it diminishes the fluidity of sliding the phone in and out of his pocket.

And then there's the reception issue.

Since Gowen owns a bumper, he doesn't experience the problem known to occur when the phone is cradled a certain way in the left hand. Still, he called the glitch an "oversight" and even suspects Apple knew about it before they released the iPhone 4.

"When you go to the store they ask you if you want to buy the bumper," a question he doesn't ever remember being asked in the past, leading him to speculate that the company may have introduced the bumpers as a way of retroactively -- and, as he sees it, haphazardly -- dealing with the issue.

"If it's an oversight they should deal with it and fix it."

Gowen has only dabbled in the application [Web Link FaceTime], which utilizes the phone's second camera -- located on the front of the device -- to allow iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 video chatting.

It's certainly cool and it certainly has its applications," he said, but felt that until enough people have the new iPhone it won't be used that much. "I think it's going to be a while before you can use it on a regular basis."

He said he is pleased with the newly introduced [Web Link multitasking] feature in that it doesn't cut down on device performance even when multiple applications are running.


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