iPhone App Store and 2.0 OS Initial Miscellany

An un-ordered list of observations regarding iPhone OS 2.0 and the freshly-launched iTunes App Store.

MobileMe, Exchange and Push Data

  • When composing an email there is now a CC/BCC/From field in Mail. Tapping it, expands the fields, from which you can not only select recipients to be CC-ed or BCC-ed, but (assuming you have more than one email account set up) you can also select which account you’re sending the email from. Regardles of which account you were in when opening a new email message.

  • Pushing contacts, calendars and email currently only work when initiated on my phone. In Mobile Mail I can delete an email and within seconds it is deleted on my laptop. The reverse is not true.

    The speed only works for my Exchange email account. My MobileMe calendars, contacts and mail do get over-the-air syncing but not instantaneously yet. Emphasis on the “yet”, considering the .Mac to MobileMe switch has been over a 24-hour process. (Lord knows how much coffee has been consumed at the MobileMe HQ in the past day.)

    Update: MobileMe is up (for now), but my MobileMe related info is still not pushing. My guess is the servers are slammed.

  • Selecting to push calendars over MobileMe only sent me my MacBook Pro’s native iCal calendars. Unfortunately, those which I’m subscribed to (National Holidays and Basecamp Milestones) are no longer in my iPhone.

  • Setting up my work’s exchange account was incredibly simple. Much, much more simple that before. The exchange support seems to be flawless. I now have push email for work, which I honestly don’t know is a good thing or a bad thing.

The App Store

  • Initial impression of the the iPhone’s app store is that it is first-rate. It’s easy to navigate, and too easy to buy stuff in.
  • You can download apps from WiFi or EDGE. The apps I downloaded over EDGE downloaded pretty quickly.
  • There are 52 productivity apps (8 of which are for “getting things done” and use a check-mark icon. The Abacus app boggles my mind.
  • Clicking a link to the desktop version of the iTunes App Store from Mobile Safari doesn’t open the iPhone’s app store. Instead you get an internal server error from Apple.
  • Some apps, like AIM and PayPal, have additional settings which can be accessed in the System Settings menu, at the bottom.
  • Re-Downloading an App Store App. John Gruber notes:
    If you accidentally delete an app you’ve bought, you can re-download it for free. The App Store UI doesn’t make this clear, but Apple describes it in this KBase article. What you do is act like you’re buying it again — tap the app’s price, and the App Store will recognize that you’ve already purchased it and ask if you wish to download it again. You can also do this from iTunes, to re-download an app to your computer that you originally purchased on your iPhone.

Other Miscellany

  • My iPhone now has the iPod Touch’s Contacts App. It is the exact same as opening the Telephone App and clicking Contacts. If I am scrolled half-way down in my Phone’s contact list and then quit out and open up the Contacts App, it will refresh itself to match, and thus it too will be scrolled half-way down. Curiously though, the reverse does not work. Meaning if I scroll back up to the top in the iPod-version Contacts App, the change is not reflected when I go back to the Contacts list in the iPhone’s telephone app. Oddities aside, I’m assuming the app is there because I downloaded the unofficial 2.0 OS update yesterday. Why it would be part of the official iPhone 2.0 OS is beyond me. I have a feeling when the official 2.0 OS update is released later today (presumably) that my iPhone will want to update itself. UPDATE: I re-installed the “official” 2.0 upgrade, and the Contacts App is still there. So now it lives in the back corner of the 3rd screen, next to its new friend Stocks. UPDATE 2: Nate Bird points out that with the dedicated Contacts app you can now add or edit a contact while talking on the phone. It’s true.
  • iPhone can now take a screenshot by pressing (not holding) the home and lock buttons simultaneously. The screen fades to white, fades back in, and the screenshot is now in your camera roll.
  • Apple’s Remote App is brilliant, and I can only imagine how much more I would enjoy it if I had an Apple TV setup. I noticed is that when selecting an artist or album to play in iTunes via Remote, a new playlist appears in iTunes titled “Remote” and it has the album you’re listening to in it. When switching to listen to a Podcast or watching a movie the playlist is deleted.
  • Fortunately Mobile iCal (or whatever it’s called) now supports multiple calendars. Using the same colors as your Desktop iCal and MobileMe Calendar. Unfortuntely, no matter what the color is for an event, the text is white – making light-colored calendar events nearly impossible to read.
  • When typing in a password you now see the last character you entered. Just before saving it, an 8-character password which ended with the letter “w”, would look like this: •••••••w.
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