The fusillade of iPhone coverage continues. Today, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and David Pogue of the New York Times weigh in on Apple’s shiny new handset. Here’s a look at some early reviews. You can read our own Paul Taylor’s analysis on how the iPhone stacks up against other smart phones here.
Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.
Pogue wavers a bit, but ultimately pronounces the iPhone fit for consumption:
As it turns out, much of the hype and some of the criticisms are justified. The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones.
With the iPhone launch just a few days away, the amount of ink spilled over the gadget is rapidly approaching the limits of endurance for all but the most ardent Mac fanboys. It’s getting so bad that the hype itself has become newsworthy. As Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies put it in a note last night, it’s "an event spiraling toward the edge of control." Of course, when it comes to spilled ink, we’re as guilty as anyone else.
Plaxo, the online contacts manager that had an irritating habit of getting in touch with users and non-users far too often, has come out with a new version that you shouldn’t mind hearing about from them.
Plaxo members’ practice of email blitzes requesting contacts to update their information became akin to spam for many people and garnered the Mountain View company bad publicity. Read more
As many as 500,000 people are expected to attend San Francisco’s Gay Pride Celebration and Parade this weekend, while the fanatical followers of Nascar have also arrived in the Bay Area, filling fields with RVs for the latest event on the racing calendar at Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway.
This mixture of gays and rednecks has probably only been matched by the movie Talladega Nights, where Sacha Baron Cohen stars as a gay French Formula 1 driver challenging Will Ferrell’s hard-driving good ol’ boy Ricky Bobby. Read more
Guessing the value of MySpace has become a faourite party game in the Web 2.0 world – and it is one that Rupert Murdoch has now played in public three times.
In 2005 he paid $580m to get his hands on the site. Read more
FT technology correspondent Maija Palmer, also in Paris for the Google event, adds:
Googling the iPhone Read more
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, the FT media editor, sends this bulletin from Google’s press day in Paris:
Google’s efforts to "go local" with YouTube ran into some little local difficulties in Paris today. The unassuming venue in the Rue de Richelieu looked all very Googly, with eager staff wandering round in white lab coats and Liberté Egalité Fraternité T-shirts, but the infrastructure was not quite what they are used to in Mountain View. Read more
Who should get to keep the lion’s share of any money earned from the widgets that are suddenly springing up all over the Web?
"That is the multi-billion dollar question," agrees Max Levchin, whose Slide.com has just been accorded the status of Number 1 widget site by comScore. Read more
Attending Lunch 2.0 in Palo Alto yesterday, I was surprised at how this four-guys-blag-a-free-lunch idea had grown into a sizeable social network and even more amazed at the amount of coverage the event was attracting.
In traditional media terms, this was not much of an entry on the coverage diary: Read more
Billions of dollars have been spent of late on acquiring online advertising companies, notably DoubleClick and Aquantive, but a small $5m investment may prove to be equally significant.
London-based Openads announced today it had received that amount in first-round funding for its free, open-source ad server software. Read more
Fans of the Yahoo-owned photo-sharing website Flickr.com have been struggling to access any of its images in recent days, and the company says it seems Beijing’s censors are to blame.
Nothing too surprising there: China’s Communist party blocks thousands of international sites, even though the secretive culture commissars generally go easier on ones that like Flickr are in foreign languages and run by big internet names. Read more