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iPhone 3G Review – by Mitch McWherter ®

At first glance, the second generation iPhone doesn’t appear much different. The truth be told there are only small physical differences between the two generations. The real changes can be found in the 3G abilities and the new firmware. The new iPhone comes in two memory capacities of 8gigs and 16gigs. The 8gig available is in black and the 16gig available in black or white. With my inherent need to say “my phone is cooler than yours!” I went with the 16gig white model.

The new phone’s main physical difference is that the body is made of plastic, apparently to accommodate reception with added radios, over the old model which was cased in aluminum. The phone is roughly the same dimensions, slightly thicker in the middle and thinner around the edges.

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Now for the real changes to the new iPhone 3G, The name really says it all, we have gone from the iPhone to the iPhone 3G. The part is the new generation phone’s ability to access AT&T’s 3G network. The 3G network is a data network advertised as improving the speeds of internet and all applications using data. While I have not done any real testing, it is definitely faster. When Wi-Fi is not available, the first generation iPhone’s internet browser and other applications loose much of their luster. With the addition of the 3G network the speed of the browser and data allow the iPhone to be a useful tool even when not connected to a wireless network. With out needing to be connected to a network, you will be able to use the internet browser to access MLS on the go. The new flex MLS is also said to be much easier to access from a smart phone. Just yesterday, I was trying to locate a newer home that was not located in my car’s outdated GPS, so I pulled out my iPhone and was able to use the maps application to locate the home. The addition of the 3G network is said to improve reception for calls as well as its improvements on data. While I have only had the phone a little less than a week, this is somewhat true. I have seen improvements in Arizona City and Maricopa, a couple of my problem areas; however reception is still ‘spotty’ at best. After all is said and done the addition of 3G is a major improvement.

In addition to 3G, Apple has upgraded the firmware to the new 2.0 version, which is also available on the first generation phone. A couple of improvements have been made here. First and foremost, the 2.0 firmware adds an application store which allows you to download applications via the native app store and ITunes. These applications vary from games to utilities, to productivity. There are many handy applications including file editors and readers great for working on files on the go. The applications are produced by third party companies, and then submitted to Apple for approval, then distributed thru the app store. While some are free, others vary in price. I have seen prices as low as $.99 and as high as $39.99. By opening the iPhone to third party applications, the iPhone is ready for untold innovations. I’m personally waiting for Tom Tom’s navigation application that I hear is in the works.

Email has also been improved. The addition of Microsoft exchange allows for more option for those using corporate email accounts. Push email can be crucial for those needing there email on the road. It also has the traditional email options that make it easy to access just about any email account you have.

Second generation iPhones have also been equipped with AGPS. I am told AGPS is assisted GPS. The way I understand it, AGPS uses cellular towers to assist traditional GPS for locating and tracking. It seems to work fairly well. I found that the better your signal strength the faster you will be located. When I read the AGPS abilities are for location purposes and not navigational purposes, I was sure I would be disappointed. On the drive home, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised at how well it was tracking my location. It was very accurate in regards to my location, to the point of noticing a change in location when I changed lanes. This was an unexpected level of accuracy. The afore mentioned Tom Tom application I’m yearning for could prove to be quite useful with this level of accuracy.

After dragging my brother to stand in line with me for 2+ hours, convincing him along the way that he would be part of the event that was the launch of the second generation iPhone, I would say I am happy with this purchase. Apple has listened to owners of the first generation iPhone and put what they learned into action. I continue to find minor improvements from the first generation are continually improving my experience with the new IPhone 3G.

Mitch Mcwherter

Property Manager
Golden Touch Realty