Some of you may have used the PC suite for the iPhone 3GS before: it's also known as iTunes to some people.
The fact is that Apple has managed to bring a super-efficient piece of software to the iPhone as well as making it a portal to music and additional paid for content. Nokia with its nascent Ovi portal must be pretty much salivating at the fantasy of having such an intuitive interface on its books, as it not only looks great, it convinces users to part with more cash for content.
Setting the iPhone up wasn't too bad as it was much the same as any other Apple peripheral, with the necessary naming and backing up process taking some time as well as having to download all 90MB of the new iTunes software to make the host PC compatible. Most people will want to get cracking on making their iPhone more media friendly, so having to wait the best part of half an hour to get cracking wasn't the best idea.
But being able to view and control so much of the iPhone 3GS without having to worry about fiddling with menus and such in the phone itself is always going to be a real boon, although the latest version of iTunes for the iPhone isn't really anything to get that excited about.
What we do like is the option to tether the phone to the PC / Mac and have it act as a modem. There are a number of options to already do this from other phones on other networks, but this has really brought O2's pricing plans to the fore.
TechRadar has spoken to O2 at length on the subject of tethering and the cost (not least the fact that some people have managed to bypass paying nearly £15 for 3GB pf data per month, or nearly £30 for 10GB) but while many feel the price is too high and they should be allowed to use the free data they already pay for, O2 maintains that its price plan is competitive and that it needs to monitor data to ensure all users can use the mobile internet without being affected.
It's likely the network will need to shrink the cost of tethering if possible in the near future, as the amount of blogs and forum posts about the anger over the tethering is starting to grow rapidly.
That said, browsing over the 3G networks is pretty quick, and there was no massively perceptible loss in speed compared to Wi-Fi (providing you have good signal, which as we've covered earlier, is pretty hard to come by at times).
Other special mentions should go to the quick and reliable Wi-Fi connection, especially in your own home, as well as the addition of constant connection to The Cloud network, as you'll no longer have to log in every time you re-enter a compatible zone. We would love to find a way to keep the Wi-Fi scanning but not popping up with a list of networks every time we even think about using data.
The GPS chip on board, as we said earlier, is fast and reliable, although the radius of your current position is sometimes a little wide. Similarly Bluetooth was nice and efficient, although it was oddly slow to find over the ear headsets, which we can only put down to an early software glitch.
However, it did seem to have a lot more joy with A2DP-enabled headphones, so given that's going to be our main peripheral of choice, we can't help but feel happy on that front.