Round Robin: Answers to Your iPhone 3G Questions

Since we're in that odd spot where the first week of the Smartphone Round Robin is over and I've yet to post the video review (AT&T Fuze, tomorrow!) to kick off the second week, I thought it'd be a good time to answer all the questions you guys had about the iPhone 3G.

Though the iPhone 3G is an uber-popular device there are still features (or lack thereof) that some may not know about!

Read more to see the answers to your iPhone 3G questions!

Also, this is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

Dave asks How much better is the glass screen than the G1's plastic one?  

The glass screen on the iPhone feels a bit smoother when its clean and well kept, but after smudges, fingerprints, and the usual mess that gets on it during daily use it doesn't feel as good. The iPhone 3G's glass screen at its best does beat out the best of the plastic screen on the G1

I do think the plastic screen on the G1 is more consistent regardless of muck. The difference either way isn't a deal breaker, the average consumer wouldn't recognize it unless pointed out.

  Loren asks How's the touch screen keyboard?  

It's good. But not because it's easier to type on a touch screen than a physical keyboard but rather because the iPhone's auto-correct feature is just so darn smart. Trusting the iPhone and just typing away seems to be the most effective strategy in dealing with the soft keyboard. I was a bit less effective when I was trying to carefully tap out the letters.

With that said, the iPhone's keyboard is still one of the best soft keyboards available. Even in portrait mode, the spacing and size of the keys are manageable. I hope that the future Android soft keyboard can be this effective.

  Matt asks Best advice: get a finger print resistant screen protector.  

Agreed. Fingerprints latch onto the iPhone and rarely disappear. If they do disappear they come back in hordes. Screen protector is the way to go.

  Loren asks Actually… What I really wanna know is whether there are a lot of good free apps on the apps store through the iPhone. I can't believe some of the good quality apps on the G1 that are free. Does the iPhone compare? And does it offer push email?  

Free apps on the iPhone are great. Remote, Pandora, Sportacular, Yelp, Shazam—it seems like a notable new app is released every other day. Though I've yet to encounter any free app as unique as some of the G1's offerings, the iPhone receives a lot of free applications from big companies and websites that use the iPhone to extend their services.

Push E-mail is offered through either MobileMe, Exchange, or Yahoo. There is no Gmail Push on the iPhone

  Connie asks Two questions, actually: First, do you need to be connected to a computer to sync your email application? Next, do you need to use iTunes to sync mail, contacts and calendar? I find iTunes and Outlook to be huge memory hogs. Thanks!  

No, the iPhone's email app syncs to your email account via IMAP. Contacts and calendar appointments do need to be synced over iTunes unless you have MobileMe or are part of an Exchange Server which would then simplify the process by syncing everything over the air.

  yoyobo asks hows the memory management on this, i know on the blackberry you always worry about low memory. does the iphone have this issue? or does it terminate the program when you switch from one to another?  

There's no real background processes on the iPhone (other than perhaps the iPod and the phone itself) so I guess memory management isn't a big concern. So yeah, it doesn't have the issue of low memory or memory leaks but it does terminate the program after you switch from one to the other. I'm not sure when, or if, we'll ever see background processes in the iPhone. The still unavailable push notification is the feature that Apple seems to be pushing over background processes.

  royk asks what's one thing the g1 could learn from the iphone, and one thing the iphone could learn from the g1?  

The G1 could definitely take a few lessons in design. The iPhone 3G is still the prettiest smartphone on the market and gives a great first impression. People were excited about the Google phone until they actually saw it, which is unfair because in hand the feel is completely different.

I think the iPhone 3G should learn to be open. Okay, it's asking a lot from a notoriously secret company like Apple but nobody is expecting the iPhone to be as open as Android. If they opened up even just a teensy bit, I'm sure they'll receive a lot of credit and goodwill. Give it a try Apple, it's not a bad way to be.

Casey Chan