updated 04:10 pm EDT, Wed June 17, 2009
Reviewers on iPhone 3GS
The tech columnists of some major media outlets have begun posting early reviews of the iPhone 3GS, and by extension the new iPhone 3.0 firmware. David Pogue of the New York Times claims that the phone is now "a year ahead" of its rivals, whereas the previous two generations were only superior in some areas but deficient in others. Some much-needed changes are said to include voice dialing, copy-and-paste, and a larger battery; among advantages are the 50,000-plus App Store titles, and reasonably high-quality video capture combined with editing and sharing functions.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal echoes Pogue's views, but describes changes as "more evolutionary than revolutionary," with less incentive to buy a new phone than simply install iPhone 3.0 on an old one. The 3GS continues to lack a physical keyboard, notes Mossberg, as well as Flash and multitasking support. American buyers also miss out on tethering and MMS, for the immediate future. A faster CPU, more storage and the larger battery are argued to be the most significant hardware changes.
USA Today's Edward Baig maintains a similar attitude to Mossberg, but points out unusual details like the new screen reader, which in combination with Voice Control makes the device practical for blind users. Baig is somewhat critical of the latter feature, noting that it will not only refuse to load video, but may make occasional mistakes when recognizing iPod artists. The upgrades "give iPhone loyalists plenty of new reasons to celebrate," Baig comments.