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iPhone 3G frame by Grid review (giuliomagnifico.blog)
40 points by giuliomagnifico 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 27 comments





The iPhone 3G was introduced in July 2008 along with the App Store, and official support for 3rd party apps. I was lucky enough to get a job programming an app for it a couple months later. It was rough at first, with so much undocumented behavior, no playbook of best practices and very little help to find on the web. But it also taught me a lot of self-reliance. I didn't get to be part of the gold rushes in the 80's and 90's when personal computers and the web exploded onto the scene, so I feel grateful to have been part of another "new world" in tech, full of uncertainty, opportunity and excitement.

It still blows my mind that it's already been 14 years - smartphones still feel like "the new thing" to me - maybe just because no huge new platforms have emerged since then to take the "new thing" crown?


I feel the same way — fortunate.

I started out on my own (the first time) in ‘06, finally taking a step towards trying to write Mac software for a living, but mostly paying the bills using what I had done prior, “sysadmin” (today: devops) in LAMP stack systems.

The iPhone app ecosystem hit in ‘08 and right away, demand for devs far outstripped supply. Through my professional connections, I landed a contract job, and the first app I worked on was Starbucks 1.0.

Many other opportunities came afterwards, for which I am also grateful, including eventually founding the mobile systems at Mapbox, which allowed me to work alongside incredibly brilliant people, travel the world, make a much bigger name for myself in the community and in open source, and much more.

I’ve since grown pretty negative about the app store economics and incentive systems. I always thought a) it wouldn’t ever get this big and b) somehow, it would at least allow for a more open alternative alongside.

The icing on the cake is the app review system, and I just can’t be bothered. As cool as any of the hardware and software technologies are, I am not attracted to the ecosystem for fun, which is honestly, the main motivator my whole career — what did I enjoy doing? The arbitrariness of version reviews, established apps getting pulled, the code signing hoop-jumping, and the ridiculous 30% cut just rule it right out for me.


I think it was the iPhone 3GS that first introduced the compass sensor. I think that's the last time I had a true "wow" moment, since then the improvements (e.g. retina screen) have been great but not really very exciting.

Unfortunately for me I missed the boat on the App Store explosion and I agree that we've not really had anything comparable since. If anything it feels like we've stagnated... not in a bad way exactly, the tech we have at our fingertips is incredible, but nothing there's nothing truly game changing. Not that people haven't tried with wearables, VR and so on. But... meh.


I remember how much "snappier" the iPhone 3GS felt compared to the 3G, and then a few years later I went back and couldn't believe I waited 5 to 10 seconds for an app to load, it's incredible how fast the SSD has become on smartphones.

The “boom/growth” of smartphones was very fast but in the last 2/3 years there aren’t big “new things” (features I mean), there isn’t a new App Store, or a Retina display, or a lightning connector, or 3G (5G is not as breakthrough as it was from 2 to 3G) and so on… the “next big thing” I think will be on the battery that’s still the same technology as it was in the beginning.

For something to be a "big thing" it really has to enable new uses that actually matter - once we hit day+ battery life, longer no longer matters (especially with wireless charging); and 3G to 5G hasn't really been noticeable to anyone beyond 3G being slowed beyond belief.

A new connector, a new display, these just are minor changes and though they may cause some howling, they don't really change the use of the device.

What's the next big new thing? No idea, if I knew I'd make it. But I suspect that it's already been done somewhere, but it won't be big until Apple or someone picks it up.


> What's the next big new thing? No idea, if I knew I'd make it

If only it were that simple...


Lots of phones have really cool features but they're not widely adopted. Solid-state accelerometers were invented and then instantly adopted universally. Same for compasses and GPS receivers. Many features I imagined would become universal simply haven't. Periscope zoom cameras, for example, or HDMI-out desktop modes. Other great features were created and then fell out of favor, like rear-mounted fingerprint readers and notification LEDs.

> the “next big thing” I think will be on the battery

You'll get the same mediocre battery life but the phone would be so thin you could slice bread with it.


> smartphones still feel like "the new thing" to me

Also maybe because they (Apple and Google) keep on adding things and revising how to make apps.

Question is can you make an app today with the tech of 2008? Maybe yes, but will you?


I was gifted one of these, an iPhone 4 (the Porsche 911 of smartphones imho). It’s pretty nice! But the quality of the board leaves a little to be desired, they should have sprung for letterpress.

Friend of mine stood in line and got the iPhone 4 on day 1 of release. I remember being in awe of it. Imo, took years for Samsung and other Android smartphones to catch up visually.

> the Porsche 911 of smartphone

Not a car buff. Would you mind unpacking this analogy?


Older famous car often considered to the "best" even if it isn't the top performance, etc. Read as "pinnacle".

An iconic, distinctive and instantly recognisable design.

I love the look of these. I have my old 3Gs and iPod 3rd gen [0] sitting on the shelf above my desk waiting for some time to do a DIY version of this, was going to use iFixit as a reference for technical details.

Hmm, a DIY kit for this would be an awesome gift. I wander if anyone has put one together…

[0] I had a second gen iPod but it had a sticky end due to a hockey stick :-(


Still have my 3GS and iPad 2 sitting on my bookshelf. Both of them can’t handle the modern web. Too bad I lost or sold/traded my old iPods. My dad still has the first iPod that worked with windows.

Found my old 3G while cleaning out a junk drawer the other week and I totally forgot how heavy it was

on a tangent, our family got the original 2G in 2008. then another 3GS on 2010 i think. later, i got a 3GS of my own in 2014~.

i still cannot get over the fact that i "miss" the typing on that form factor. i simply cannot explain it. the keyboard on that thing right till 3GS was a beauty and i have written many thousands of words worth of tomes and blogs and reports over the years.

since then i moved over to android because idevices got expensive and i still dont feel comfortable typing on a phone even today. my laptop has helped but i could type "with confidence" on that phone but now, my moto G30 current phone just doesn't cut it


Also consider recycling your old electronics, apparently it has great benefits: https://www.treehugger.com/why-recycle-cell-phones-1204065

Heavy? It weights the same as iPhone 12 mini.

I should probably have used the word compact instead. When I hold it I can feel the inertial weight when moving my hand in a way I don't do with my current iphone 13

“dense” perhaps.

It’s not heavy, the iPhone 13 pro is heavy!

Not sure if I'm allowed to post it here, but that company sent me a Game Boy Color version. It's a lovely piece of art, but with Game Boys back in high demand, a lot of people complained that I would support that company. Partly fueled by those people (and also my own curiosity), I took it apart and put it all back together and turned it into a functioning Game Boy again (and made a YouTube video). It was clear that the console had already had attempted fixes and repairs, but they couldn't get it to work. Kinda interesting, I thought.

This reminded me I have an old Blackberry that was never used. It would have never occurred me to frame it. Should be easy since it has no glued parts.

> In the end I just think it’s a lovely piece of contemporary art, I like it and I love to give it a glance sometimes

I think it’s cool and I’m glad he likes it, but contemporary art it is not.


You can tell that the author really knows art, because his apartment looks just like an art gallery.



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