The Apple iPhone 3G has arrived in the UK - but not without a few hitches.
The previous version of the iPhone disappeared from the shops nearly two months ago, in a move that some thought was a deliberate ploy to stoke up demand.
Ploy or not, demand was definitely high and on July 11, the day of official release, there were queues outside all the Apple stores and many O2 stores too. O2 is the exclusive phone operator for iPhone in the UK, but the devices were also on sale in branches of Carphone Warehouse.
There’s no doubting the iPhone’s instant appeal - which is largely thanks to the unique touch-screen interface.
Critics have previously pointed out that iPhones don’t do as much as other, cheaper devices. But that overlooks the crucial point: people don’t care what it doesn’t do, if the things it does do are easier to use than on other phones.
Or as at least one commentator has put it: “It’s the interface, stupid.”
The iPhone is popular because it’s a beautiful device that does some things very well indeed. The interface is not only gorgeous, but very simple to understand. People can pick up an iPhone and just start using it, no user manual required.
What’s more, it’s an excellent portable internet device. The built-in browser is just the same as its desktop namesake.
The Google Maps application knows exactly where you are and can give you directions to where you want to go.
Apple boss Steve Jobs said he wanted to sell 10 million of these things before Christmas. One million sold in the first weekend alone.
Podcasting and online radio site Odeo (odeo.com) has a new look. This site is packed with video and audio podcasts from thousands of web sites and you can manage them all really easily if you sign up for a free account.
Think of it as an online playlist manager that helps you queue up the shows you want to listen to. There’s a social element too - if your friends are on Odeo you can share what you like plus exchange messages and tips. It’s definitely worth checking out if radio is your thing.
“It’s lovely! I’ll take it,” is the name of a hilarious blog that looks through the online homes for sale sites for the choicest and most cringeworthy photos - then re-posts them with added sarcasm.
Houses from hell. Pets from hell. Even people from hell who live inside the houses from hell. It’s all there: lovelylisting.blogspot.com
The all-new NHS is supposed to be about choice. Does that mean people can choose their doctors? A controversial new site lets you rate and make comments on doctors and their work.
If you’ve had good - or bad - treatment, you can tell the rest of the world without revealing your own identity. Is a site like this really a good idea? Decide for yourself: www.iwantgreatcare.org
* Giles Turnbull has a web site at gilest.org