The Ultimate iPhone Frequently Asked Questions

Wow. Predictably, the torrent — and I do mean torrent — of iPhone commentary from the citizens of the Web is practically outflooding spam this week. Most of it comes from people whose shirt fronts are practically drenched in drool. Plenty is negative and bitter.

Another huge category is iPhone questions. Never mind that many of these questions either (a) have been answered by Apple, either on its elaborate, interactive Web site or the free video of Steve Jobs’s speech, or (b) come from people who fantasize about fitting the iPhone into their own particular wish lists.

(My favorite sarcastic comment, which was a response to these responses, which were in response to my last blog entry: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but can you use it underwater? And can you recharge it using
solar power? And does it have an optical scanner that detects your eyeball movements so that you merely have to look at a name in your
contacts list and blink in order to choose and call him? Apple, you have a long way to go…”)

Anyway, here it is: the ultimate iPhone Frequently Asked Questions list, complete with answers.


Can it be used with anything but Cingular? –No.

Is it an “unlocked” phone, so I can use it with a carrier other than Cingular? –No.

Will there be a non-Cingular version? –Not within the first two years.

Can I put my T-Mobile SIM card in it instead of Cingular? –No.

But what if I keep asking? Then will it be available beyond Cingular? –No.

Can it run Mac OS X programs? –No.

Can I add new programs to it? –No. Apple wants to control the look and feel and behavior of every aspect of the phone.

Does it run programs from Palm, Symbian, Windows? –No.

Does it connect to iChat? –No.

Does it have games? –No.

Is it ambidextrous? –No.

Does it have GPS? –No.

Voice recognition? Voice dialing? Voice memos? –No, although this could change by June when the phone ships.

Does it get onto the HSDPA (3G) high-speed Internet network that Cingular has rolled out in a few cities? –No. But Steve Jobs said a later version of the iPhone will — once there’s enough HSDPA coverage in this country to justify it.

Does the Web browser support Flash or Java? –No.

Will it play music over Bluetooth? –Unknown.

Can you change the battery yourself? –No. You’ll have to send the phone in to Apple for battery replacement, just as with the iPods.

Can it open Word and Excel documents? –No. (Steve Jobs says it can open PDF files, though.)

Can you use it one-handed? –Yes, for some functions. But overall, it’s less convenient than on a phone with physical keys.

Can I make a call while driving a car? –Not as easily as on a regular cellphone with programmed speed-dial keys. (Besides–MUST you?)

Does the camera record video? –Not yet. Apple may add this feature by June.

Does it connect to standard iPod accessories like car docks and speaker systems? –Yes!

Does it work overseas? –Yes. It’s a quad-band GSM phone, meaning you can use it in almost any country (for an added fee, of course).

Is there a Verizon version? –NO!!!!

Will they make a non-cellphone version–a widescreen touch iPod? –Nobody knows. Apple doesn’t leak product info until it’s good and ready.

That scrolling through lists thing is glitzy, but what if I have 3,000 names in my address book? –There’s also an alphabet “index tab”
down the right side of the screen, so you can jump to another spot in the list.

Is there a calendar? –Yes.

Will it sync with Outlook? –No.

What about airplane use? –It has a airplane mode (wireless off), just like any cellphone.

Won’t the screen get smudgy? –It does, but you don’t see it except when the screen is off. The one I played with was pretty streaky, but wiping it on my sleeve cleaned it completely.

Who on earth would buy this thing? –Obviously not people who ask this question. But that’s OK–there’s no requirement that everyone buy the iPhone. More for the rest of us!

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