iPhone Smart Home

Well, it looks like Apple are set to make the UK iPhone announcement tomorrow in their Regent Street store in London.  I was lucky enough to play with the iPhone for a couple of hours on the day after its launch back in June in the US as I was there on holiday at the time.

While there are still well documented issues with the device, I have to admit to being completely blown away with it and so I’ll probably be buying one.  But what’s the iPhone got interest the Home Automator.

In my view, the greatest feature of the iPhone is its user interface.  I’ve used the HTC Hermes (T-Mobile Vario2) for just over a year now. It’s my third windows Mobile powered phone in a row.  It’s currently running the sixth version of Microsoft’s mobile OS, so how come Apple’s very first attempt manages to completely blow away Windows Mobile, Symbian and any other mobile OS you care to mention?

Taking sensible decisions like developing the UI for use with a finger, not a stylus was a good start.  Creating a multi-touch screen and adding software to translate  “gestures” is another key factor.  Simple elegant design decisions like making the touchscreen flush with the device rather than sunken a few millimeters another.

Most of our Smart Home systems these days have a web interface.  HomeSeer and HomeVision for example.  Even take the Sonos music system where an official web interface has never been released, community developers have created the excellent SonosWeb.  Hopefully someone will do a high quality iPhone style graphic front-end for SonosWeb so I’ll be able to control our whole house music solution from the iPhone too.  Of course I’m sure it’ll work already with the basic Mobile/PDA skin.

So, hopefully by tomorrow we’ll know more. It looks certain that O2 is the UK iPhone carrier with Carphone Warehouse as an independent retailer to bolster the number of retail outlets on the high street.  Lets hope they also announce the price of the phone and the monthly costs and data plans.  I hope they’ll be as generous as my current T-Mobile contract (2GB per month for £10) and I wont have to sell a kidney to buy one.

If you are considering an iPhone too, I recommend downloading and watching this 20 minute video to get a real feel for the UI and what the iPhone is capable of www.apple.com/iphone/gettingstarted/guidedtour.html

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