Two weeks with iPhone, and the good constraints of Web apps
I've had my "Jesus phone" as some have called it for about two weeks, and so far I'm pretty impressed. I just put it in the charger after more than two days, with about two days stand by, eight hours of "use" (not sure, but I think that's iPod use, Internet, everything but phone calls), an hour and a half of talk time, and about 12 MB down. That got me to the 20% left warning. Frankly, that's better than I expected.
The only thing so far that I really miss among the many lists of things it "should" do is picture messaging. I really have to think it's something that just didn't make the release, but I guess we'll see.
Relative to our world of ASP.NET and Web applications, I've toyed around with some ideas, none all that impressive. I haven't used any of the new UI libraries popping up, but I'm impressed at how quickly they're maturing. The iPhone Digg beta is really neat. The iPhone Ta-Da List is cool too. None of these are complex, but that's kind of the point.
I read a recent interview with Jack White from The White Stripes talking about how the constraints of the band, just him and his ex-wife, force a certain creativity and at the same time consistency. This reminds me a lot of what's going on right now with the iPhone and people developing Web apps for it. While it can do full screen browsing of a real page, people are adopting the UI look, making things smaller because of the sometimes slow EDGE network and generally rethinking the way they do stuff. Reminds me of the dial-up days when we used to optimize our HTML and graphics sizes!
So how does ASP.NET work? It works really, really well in iPhone Safari. In fact, a problem we're having at work with the production version of the AJAX framework and desktop Safari 2.0.4 goes away on the phone. Go figure. Also surprising is that it works pretty quickly. One of my old ASP.NET apps loads quickly despite having a lot of early baggage like untamed view state.
Sometimes constraints aren't such a bad thing, because they force you to think about what's really important and vital to what you're doing, and what doesn't really add significant value. Who knew an expensive phone could do that?