Iphone3g_issuesI guess using the iPhone 3G as a tombstone on launch day set a self-fulfilling prophecy into action because I'm pretty much on the verge of killing and burying mine. Even though I turned my first-gen iPhone into an iPod touch after 5 months of use (I gave its SIM to my AT&T Tilt) and only planned to use the iPhone 3G for a few months before replacing it with the XPERIA X1, I didn't expect to be counting down the days before it wasn't my daily-use handset anymore.

The iPhone's screen size and internet experience are definitely superior to the Tilt, but my god, the instability. Even the newest software update (2.0.2) is still the most unstable and unreliable OS I've ever used, not just on a phone but on any device. It crashes and freezes even more than Windows Me! Look at my home screen, for example: stuck between two pages in an unresponsive no man's land.

Excluding phone usage, I use my iPhone 3G throughout the day for maybe about 1 to 1.5 hours total. I don't use any of the multimedia capabilities (I like dedicated DAPs with better sound quality for that), so if I'm not using the iPhone as a phone, I'm either browsing the web, using the App Store, or playing a third-party game. At least one of these applications crashes every single day.

I haven't experienced any of the 3G problems plaguing other users' iPhones, but I think I'd rather have poor reception or network issues than a crash-happy device that sometimes can't even be reset. Once the phone even got locked in an unprovoked vibrating frenzy that lasted nearly 10 minutes before it would let me turn it off.

Here are some screenshots (I do love the built-in screenshot function) of the kinds of things I see on my iPhone 3G every day.

Iphone3g_apps

Iphone3g_appstore

Iphone3g_app_updates

The App Store, lovely as it can be, often either loads incompletely (no images), doesn't load at all, or shows conflicting information in the Updates section. Speaking of updates, why can't the icons stay where they're supposed to on the home screen after an update? Oh, and there should also be a sort option in the store to view apps by date added, price, and ratings.

Iphone3g_cal

This is the Calendar. I don't really use it for anything so I don't access it often, but this is the screen that often greets me when I do.

Iphone3g_home

Ah, another example of the "stuck between two pages" phenomenon mentioned at the top of this post. You can see from the timestamp on both screenshots that they weren't taken in succession. The white dot above the dock shows that I'm on page 3 of my home screen, but that's actually page 2 you're looking at. The three half icons you see on the right side are on page 3.

Iphone3g_crash

What I see most often is this black screen. Instead of restarting the iPhone or kicking back to the home screen, crashed applications usually send me to this Black Abyss. Sometimes it stays like this for a few minutes before relaunching the crashed app (and if it was Safari, then the website is always wrong), but usually the loading icon at the top just spins and spins and spins until I force the device to shut down.

When the iPhone 3G actually works like it's supposed to, I genuinely like using it for killing time and getting online while on the go. Other handheld devices offer more capable browsers (e.g., UMPCs, Intel MIDs, Nokia ITTs, etc.), but Safari on the iPhone is great when I want to the leave the house with nothing but my phone. The severely limited Bluetooth capabilities annoy me, but I can work around them with my tetherable Tilt and HTC Advantage until the XPERIA X1 comes out (whenever that is!). The iPhone's @#$!% instability, on the other hand, is something I won't be able to stand for much longer.