iPhone 3G S: My life is still the same, only faster

Not to burst anyone's balloon, but the Phone 3G S isn't a world-changer--unless you've never had an iPhone, of course

Not to burst anyone's balloon, but the iPhone 3G S isn't a world-changer--unless you've never had an iPhone, of course. For the rest of us, it's simply the world's most successful "speed bump" for an existing product.

The most important part of the newest iPhone isn't the hardware, it's getting search, cut-and-paste, and the ability to type more quickly and easily--in landscape mode, using both thumbs. But, those are all software features, available to all iPhone and iPod touch owners.

With a reported 750,000 units delivered the first weekend, the newest iPhone hardware has certainly done well, but after spending three days with mine, I must report that my life is still the same, just a bit faster.

Bottom line: If you already own an iPhone 3G, the 3G S isn't a "gotta have" upgrade. Once you've downloaded and installed the iPhone 3.0 software update, you already have the most important new features.

The main reason to buy a 3G S would be getting the additional memory that's available and if you really like one or more of the new hardware features, or just have some stimulus money burning a hole in your pocket.

I am not trying to talk iPhone 3G users out of a 3G S, just warning them not to expect what a speed bump--a term used to describe an upgrade that is mostly about an increase, or bump, in processor speed--can't deliver. This is evolution, not revolution.

If you are, as I was, still a user of the original iPhone, then the 3G S is a very nice investment. It gave me all the new features of the 3G, such as the GPS, plus a substantial increase in processor speed. And a huge increase in both application and storage memory.

Apple is to be commended for making the iPhone 3.0 software available for all three generations of the device. I was pleasantly surprised that the upgrade, which became available last Wednesday, did not dampen performance of older models. That's a lesson Microsoft needs to learn for it's new operating systems.

But, I digress.

By now, many or even most iPhones have upgraded to 3.0. If you haven't, by all means connect to iTunes and install the new software.

With the iPhone now starting to feel like a mature device, the pressure will be on Apple to "really do something" when the next release comes out, presumably about this time next year.

I have no idea what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve but the bar is a high one: To maintain it's lead, the 2011 iPhone must be so good that this year's 3G S customers will feel it's a must-have upgrade.

David Coursey has already dropped his 3G S onto the pavement and is happy to report it survived with barely a scratch. He tweets as techinciter and can be reached via e-mail from www.coursey.com/contact.

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David Coursey

PC World (US online)
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