The iPhone 4 and Its Camera

Sunday is our long day at pastry school. We go from  9 AM until 5 PM but we do get a 20-minute break. Whenever lunch rolls around I pull out my iPhone to check email, Twitter and the like. Well, this Sunday it wasn’t working. The little ATT icon showed up but the 3G icon did not. I figured the entire network was down.

I looked around the room and saw another woman was using an iPhone. I asked her if she had service. Her’s worked. I restarted. When it started up again, nothing worked. The ATT icon was gone as well as the 3G icon. It read “No Service”. I no longer had a working phone.

Toby’s iPhone died several weeks ago. So he’s been living without one since. And that’s been hard for us especially since we don’t have a landline and haven’t since November 2001. For weeks we’ve been using the DM service through Twitter to communicate. (Why not email, I’ve no idea. But it did keep our correspondence to the bare minimum and there’s something to be said for that sometimes. You get to the point when dealing with 140 characters!) So he needed a new phone. He went back and forth on what to get, whether or not he wanted to switch away from ATT altogether or sign another contract. (Toby hates contracts more so than most people.) But in the end, given his job an all, he decided to stick with Apple.

I didn’t really need a new phone. Mine works, albeit rather shoddily since Emory gave it a sponge bath. But it does work.

But here’s the skinny: I need a new camera for school. We were told on day one that we’d need a small, but decent digital camera to document our work. At the end of our time there, we’ll need a photographic resume of everything we bake. I don’t have a small digital camera. My camera is a massive Nikon D200. And since we already have so much to carry with us to and from class (knives, a bag of pastry supplies, towels, a scale) there’s no way I could include that in my repertoire. So, I would need a new camera at some point. And I told Toby this in passing one day. It was such a non-comment, I kind of forgot mentioning it all.

Well, Toby apparently had an idea and his idea traveled uptown and entered my head right as I restarted my iPhone for a second time: my husband was, right at that very moment, buying me an iPhone 4 as well.

(Thank you, lovely husband!)

You’ve probably read all about the controversy surrounding the iPhone 4. And I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Consumer Reports basically said DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE. And they have to; it does have a problem. And Steve Jobs was less than accommodating when it came to responding to the backlash. He went from suggesting the user not hold the phone that way, to offering up free bumpers to fix the problem. Consumer Reports suggested duct tape. Another user suggested buying an Ove Glove. All those perpetually drinking the Apple Kool-Aid responded to the naysayers and critics by holding their hands over their ears and repeating, “LA LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”  The whole mess was quite entertaining for those of us in the middle.

Straight up: I don’t use the phone part of the phone very much. If I were a heavy caller, I’d probably have taken my iPhone back. But I use it to browse the Internet, check email and Twitter, as well as text people. I’ve used the actual phone application maybe four times since Sunday and thus far I haven’t had any dropped calls. I know it will happen and probably at the most inopportune time, but for now I’m really pleased with my new phone.


The Screen

The screen is amazing. It’s just beautiful. Whenever the very first round of buyers got a hold of it and my Twitter stream lit up with tweets about the screen, I rolled my eyes. But you know something? They’re all right! It’s really wonderful. So much better than what I had been using.

The Speed and Ease

The applications run so much faster and smoother. I use the New York Times application every single night. I fall asleep reading. At least three times a week for over a year I have complained to Toby Joe about how buggy that application is. It takes forever to load, if it loads at all. It crashes. It crashes the phone itself. It spins and spins and often times you can’t scroll through the article. With any other application, I’d have trashed it on day one. But I like reading the NYT, so I put up with it.

That’s all in the past. It’s fixed. It runs supremely fast. Other applications run better as well. It’s just faster all across the board. No joke. And noticeable for even us laymen.

The Camera

But, guys, the camera. Holy shit! The camera. The camera is outstanding. It will definitely do the trick for class. And I’ve been inspired again! A phone has inspired me to take pictures again. I just want to snap everything I see, which is totally circa 2002. For those who haven’t been around since the beginning, that’s how this blog began. I took pictures of my everyday life. I snapped hundreds a day—to an from work, during lunch—all over NYC and beyond. I loved doing that and often miss it. It was super easy to do because I had a Canon ELPH back then. I shot from the hip and most of the time my subjects didn’t even notice me.

Well, this phone has me doing that once again. I’ve taken dozens of shots in the past few days. I just can’t get enough of it. And with the added application Hipstamatic forget about it. I’m a photo-taking machine.

So, yeah. I’m really happy with this phone. No regrets at all. We’ll see how I feel with the first dropped call, but I super pleased with the phone’s camera ability. I haven’t even used the video yet!

That’ll be a post for next week.

For now, I’d love to share some more of the pictures I’ve taken in the last couple of days. I hope you enjoy!

I’m so enjoying this, my friends. And you know there’s going to be a whole lot more of this. It’s like I’ve met NYC and 2001 all over again.