I am a happy camper! The only issue I had with my phone, FaceTime activation, has been resolved. I’ve not actually called anyone yet with FaceTime yet, but will do so soon, hopefully. The problem was indeed related to my status as a former Alltel customer, and was apparently related to routing of the SMS/MMS messages used for activation. It was resolved by Verizon pushing a PRL to affected phones. See this for a writeup.
Otherwise, it’s been exactly what I expected. A great smartphone that works well as a phone! I’ve made a number of calls this week, and the iPhone has outstanding sound quality and “lots of bars.” I’ve not experienced the “grip of death” but I do have a Belkin silicone case on the iPhone. I’ve got my contacts synched with Google, my favorite apps installed, and rolling along. WiFi connectivity works well. I’ve done a Skype videoconference which worked well with the front-facing camera. I’m now looking into various camera-enabled apps that I didn’t explore on the iPad — “Scan to PDF” is an example, an interesting app that let’s you use the camera as a document scanner which outputs PDF files.
Thanks, Verizon, for combining the handset and the network! Can you hear me now? And see me, with FaceTime working!
My iPhone arrived on Monday 2/7, since I’d set my clock for 3AM on Thursday 2/3 and put in my order as soon as possible. I had a meeting Monday evening, but I had a few minutes to activate the phone. Unboxed it, hooked it up to my iMac, and poof, a live iPhone. Synched the apps and headed out. My first call worked, and it didn’t even drop the call 😉 . Came home, set up the apps, logging into all the myriad services and tools. Everything working perfectly. Headed to work today, used the iPhone rather than the iPad for listening to my regular Podcasts. Made several calls throughout the day, with excellent quality and clarity. As a longtime iOS user (iPod Touch and iPad, since May), I was familiar with iOS and the apps, and things worked as expected. The camera(s) are fine and the “feel” of the phone is nice.
There’s only one issue right now, and that’s activation of FaceTime. That’s not working, and I have Googled enough to know it’s not just me. I have an open support case with both Apple and Verizon. I think, based on my reading, that it has to do with the SMS-based initial setup messages and the routing of those messages. I got good support at both companies and they are both escalating to the engineers. I was very impressed with Apple, as their rep first sent me a direct email (to which I responded) and then a followup call. Unheard of in tech support! I’m slightly disappointed, but I’m confident it will eventually get fixed, and I’m just tickled to have an iPhone (on a network where the calls work and it’s a phone 😉 ).
I’ve been using Nudgemail since it came out in November. If you are not familiar with it, you should take a look. I use it for both work and personal email, and was prompted to write this as I sat down this morning to respond to several ticklers I’d set on my work email, and to set up new ones. I manage my much of my immediate “todo” queue through email (putting longer term things in Google Tasks) and while I don’t try to get to “inbox zero” I do strive to keep a manageable number of conversations in my Gmail inbox(s), under 100, and I find Nudgemail invaluable in being my “memory” to do followups. I will commonly put a “bcc” to Nudgemail on a message I send which will prompt me to take action or follow up at a future point. I’ve noticed now that Nudgemail has added recurring reminders, and I’m now beginning to use those. This is one of those services that you need to try to really appreciate, but when you do, you’ll have one of those “aha” moments, and you’ll most like jump to make it a part of your email strategy. Try it!