I've been using the Iphone for a while now. Not as long as a lot of my high tech friends. I had a hard time letting go of the Blackberry as it works so well for email. But, eventually I gave in. I still think it really needs the blackberry LED on top so I don't have to wake it up, swosh the little thingy, only to find out there is no email waiting. Anyway…
The thing I have been pondering the most is the notorious Call Failed screen. Like anyone who uses the Iphone you see this screen a lot. Really, you see it a lot.
I used to be a software engineer and I did a lot of UI stuff. Generally UI stuff is time consuming to get right. You're generally under the gun to make it easy to use, look good and handle all the strange ways people interact with software. You spend most of your time on the Happy Path in the software.
The Happy Path is the actions that people will do the most. The Happy Path is where nothing goes wrong. Other paths are referred to as the Sad paths. Sad paths are when the user doesn't enter a ZIP code on a form but you need it to continue. The engineer builds in the popup box that says the ZIP code is a required field, etc. Sad paths are notoriously poorly done because the engineer runs out of time, it's not fun to code that stuff, everyone generally agrees that smart people won't end up in that situation; the list goes on and on. Bottom line is most software teams don't spend much time making Sad Paths easy to navigate.
What's curious to me is that the Iphone has a very deliberate and well thought out Sad Path screen for Failed Calls. I can't think of any other phone that knows it failed to make a call and presents such a deliberate screen with a Call Back button. It's almost like the software guys literally saw this sooo many times and were told that its 'normal' for the device that they spent time actually making this Sad Path an attempted Happy path in the software.
I know the conventional thinking is that this is an AT&T fail. But, I don't know anyone on AT&T without an Iphone that has this problem. My sense is this is a combined platform/network issue. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Iphone is generally available on other networks. On the flip side the new Iphone OS is coming out shortly with additional multitasking. May be interesting to see what happens with OS4 and AT&T. If you see less of this screen after that OS upgrade I'm going to be very suspicious that the device had something to do with this.