So it arrived. Not much of a surprise after a year of “will they? won’t they?” but the combination phone + iPod + web device is certainly more than most people expected. New Apple products always feel like a little taste of the future and this is no exception. The touch-screen interface is very impressive indeed. The iPhone pages on Apple’s site have some nice demos of the interface at work, all of which look very familiar to users of the current Mac OS. In effect, it’s like OS X blended with the old iPod interface. I’m knocked out by the way they’ve given the iPod what amounts to iTunes in miniature, with the same Cover Flow feature for selecting albums. The web part of the device uses OS X apps Mail and Safari for email and web surfing (proper web pages as well, not WAP foolishness). And the way the screen display automatically switches from portrait to landscape when the phone is rotated is one of those gorgeous design elements at which Apple excels. I’ve been complaining about the interface on my Motorola since I got it; this machine is simply light years ahead. As for the wretched Zune, now looking even more like something designed by an overworked Soviet committee, I almost feel sorry for Microsoft after today (almost…).
Would I buy one of these? It’s very tempting even though it’ll have a heavy price (UK cost not announced yet) and probably be tied to a single carrier. They won’t be available in Europe until the end of the year anyway so there’s plenty of time to decide.