iPhone 3G first look, what do you want to know?

Well, we got one from the fine folks at Vodafone NZ. Yeah, we'll admit, between the early peek at the not too drastically changed firmware, guided tours, and announcement hands-on, there's not a lot of mystery to the iPhone 3G at this point. But if you've got any burning questions we can answer with our shiny new Vodafone NZ iPhone 3G, hit us up in comments and we'll update here with our findings. Stick around, more coming.

Reader questions
Leon: Does it feel any different in your hand than 1st gen iPhone?
We definitely do like the way it feels. It's a little more slick (or slippery, depending on how wet your palms are with anticipation and/or summer sweat) because of the plastic back, but it's well curved and comfortable. It doesn't feel flimsy or plasticy at all.

Santz24: How wildly does it dance on the table compared to the first iPhone?
If you're asking how the vibrate function compares to the original, we got the two buzzing side by side and they feel pretty much identical.

If you're asking whether it wobbles on the table as you use it, yes, it does -- but the amount of wobble depends on the type of surface. But even on a hard, flat surface it's not really that bad, and we're usually sticklers for that kind of thing.

Tom: Does it have Flash support?
Seems like a fruitless question that we all know the answer to -- but we tested it anyway, and the answer is no, Apple didn't sneak in Flash support so far as we can tell.

More after the break.


Ja: Louder speaker?! Louder volume when holding to your ear?!
Calm down, Ja. Yea, the speaker is noticeably louder, thank god. The earpiece doesn't sound all that much louder. Followup: how's the distortion at high volume? The sound has been great listening to music at the highest volume setting. Nothing much to complain about as far as cellphone speakers go.

Donut: is the back plastic panel a scratch magnet like the older iPods with plastic fronts?
The whole thing is a smudge magnet. The black back is pretty much just as bad as the front now. We already miss the aluminum rear. As for whether or not it's more scratch-prone than before, it seems to be able to stand up to some coins, but we think on the whole it's probably more easily scratched than the aluminum.

Is it compatible with docking stations that supported the earlier iPhone?
Yeah, it's still compatible with all docking stations -- Made for iPhone branded or otherwise -- but it will probably need a new docking adapter.

Yoyorks: Does the Apple Radio Remote work with it?
Yeah, really easy to set up and use, we're totally digging it. Sorry, we misread, thought this question was referring to Apple Remote (the new software). iPhone and iPod touch can't use any device over the dock port.

Andai Cee: Is the picture quality better? Apple said they tweaked the software to make photos look better.
In most shots it's hard to tell whether it's the slightly brighter, newer screen, or tweaked algos. But Apple definitely didn't re-format those images in higher resolution, because they still look just as pixellated when zoomed in. Still, the iPhone 3G does look a slight bit clearer, especially when pulled in closer.

youngrocky: Can you text message in other languages? not just roman alphabet... like in Chinese, Korean, Japanese?
Yes, you can easily switch between the international keyboards you specify in settings. We were even able to compose a single message with characters from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese alphabets. Followup: Will only the iPhones released in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, etc. have Chinese character handwriting recognition? No, any device anywhere will be able to select any international keyboard supported by the iPhone.

Justin: For the love of God please tell me if they included landscape SMS mode. I cannot find one single definitive source on this subject and it would mean a great deal to finally have this answered!
Nope, it's not in this version, either. Bummer. Followup: landscape mode in AIM? Nope.

Lots of people: Can you jailbreak it? Can you unlock it? Does DFU even work?
Respectively: not yet, not yet, and it would appear so -- we were able to get the black screen.

Rwvette: Will the new iPhone forward SMS?
Oh, we wish! That would be really useful for us and a lot of people. But no, it doesn't.

Lots of people: Is the face still glass, or is it now plastic? Is the screen any different?
Not sure why anyone assumed they changed the facade and display but as we've said before, it's still the same high quality, smudge-magnet glass as before. The screen is still great -- not the subpar quality displays the early iPod touch had.

Are YouTube streams higher quality on 3G than they were on EDGE?
Ooh, good one. So far we don't think so. We'll try this again where we've got better coverage, but at this point assume the answer is no.

Lots of people: Will it blend?
How about you buy one and let us know!

Tons of Exchange questions (in no particular order)
Does it support tasks or notes on MS exchange?
Not so far as we can tell.

Does it have the ability to select mailbox folders other than the normal inbox, sent, etc.?

Any idea of if it will allow one to install a certificate for Exchange accounts that require a user certificate for authentication?
It would appear so -- we were prompted to install some Exchange certs when configuring our setup. Your mileage may vary depending on setup, however.

So Exchange and personal contacts / calendar can't coexist?
Correct. When you select the options to sync contacts and calendars, you are prompted with a warning letting you know that it will clear out your existing contact and calendar data. If you turn those bits off again, you still have to resync with your host machine to get that data back (i.e. it's not just hidden away while using Exchange).

Can you set it up without having an enterprise plan?

How does the Exchange work? Configure it, and it runs. Is it like a BlackBerry? Um, kind of. If you don't know the difference and don't already use it, this whole thing won't really affect you. Does it use Outlook folders? Yes. Contact sync? Yes. Calendar sync? Yes, have you been paying any attention? Does it allow me to file an email? If you mean move it to another folder, then yes. Does it allow me to search email? No. Does it have an out of office feature? It shouldn't reset your out of office, but you can't configure it from the iPhone, either. Does it have a speed dial feature? Huh? Can I call someone directly from an email address? We don't know what you're talking about, but you can call people from your corporate contact cards.

Tons of GPS questions (also in no particular order)
Tons of people seem to want to know how it works for turn by turn directions (like in a dedicated GPS device).
Google Maps doesn't do turn by turn based on GPS. You can press a button to have it give you your next turn, but it won't combine GPS and directions to give you route guidance. This is no surprise since it was never an advertised feature, and Google's Maps API license explicitly states it should not be used for turn by turn route guidance. If the iPhone is going to do this, it'll be with another app, probably by a company like TomTom, for example.

Jon: Whats the GPS like?
Well, one neat new tidbit is the little hovering, animated location ring as it tries to lock on your location. If it can't get an exact lock on you with proper GPS, it does as before, it pulls in as close to the map as it thinks is accurate, centering approximately on where you're at.

If it CAN get proper GPS, it gives you a blue dot with a transparent blue halo, which pings outward every second or so. So far we had a hard time getting the proper GPS lock without going outside.

paulmjoyce: How does the AGPS keep up when in a car? Does it work well inside or an urban canyon (or is it like the N95)? How long does it take to accurately pinpoint your location indoors and out?
We'll test the GPS in a car as soon as we can. Most GPS devices have spotty service inside urban areas, so our hopes aren't high for the iPhone 3G, nor most devices. An accurate GPS lock with a clear view of the sky took between as little as two seconds or so. Really, realy fast.

Jason: Does GPS follow you/update when you move? Does it give voice directions?

Yes, but again, it doesn't do turn by turn. No.

Wentworth: Does the GPS still work if you are not on the cell network? Of course, I know the assisted part won't, but does regular GPS still work?
Assuming you've been in the area before and the Google Maps app has cached the map tiles, you can load your location and the cached maps without needing to be on cellular or WiFi.

And finally, for all the people that just won't give up hope: unless we're totally missing something, no, it still doesn't do A2DP, copy/paste, or tether. Maybe one day, fella.