Don't get me wrong: I want an iPhone, and will own one just as soon as is humanly possible. But the thing that most surprises me about the device as I've followed along with the coverage is the extent to which Apple appears to be leaving Live Web opportunities on the table with its "breakthrough Internet communications device." Where was the Live Web in yesterday's product introduction? Largely absent, except for the fact the device can sync other people's podcasts and videocasts. I kept wanting to see:
- A video camera to accompany the still camera, and
- Integration with .Mac, iWeb, GarageBand and potentially other companies' Web services — e.g., integrated tools for text blogging, photo blogging and/or sharing, video blogging and/or sharing, and podcasting.
Hopefully you can at least call up the iPhone's keypad for text entry while using Safari? Unlike say Helio, Apple seems to see the iPhone as a device primarily of consumption, not production. Which is a bit off, if this Internet communications device is to be truly "breakthrough." It's further inconsistent with Apple's iLife approach, which is all about easy alternatives for publishing one's words, photos, audio, and video.
It's interesting that while the iPhone will affirmatively incorporate Google Maps, it apparently will treat Gmail as just another POP3 service, and relegate Blogger and Google Docs and Spreadsheets to the status of just other Web pages (though depending on the Safari functionality, that may work just fine).
Also, if the iPhone isn't for the hard core webophile, and if it isn't for the hard core company (wo)man, then who is it for? "Everyone else" is a fully sufficient answer, and it'll probably lure plenty of the others to boot. I like this line from David Pogue:
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. ...