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  • Confessions of a Recent Convert

    Posted on July 23rd, 2008 Pabel No comments

    iPhone or CurveOK, so I need to preface all this with a disclaimer:
    I’m upgrading from a Blackberry Curve and prior to that Blackberry Pearl (had both for a total of a year and a half). These were my first smartphones and as I was a total noob the addition of email on the go to my life was ground breaking. After that initial rush/shock, I came to realize my biggest complaints were lack of full browser and HTML email (foreshadowing….). Not a heavy music listener (on the go at least) so things like missing A2DP or wanting massive storage weren’t requirements forme. Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here we go….

    Top 5 Things I Love About My IPhone
    1. User Interface/Touchscreen Implmentation – I know it makes me seem really lame with little to no functional requirements, but honestly, this is my favorite thing about the Iphone. All the other things on the phone I love are easy to get to and their use is slick. There’s a sense of organization about features, apps, settings, etc. on the Iphone that blows away the two Blackberry’s I’ve used. Granted, I’ve not seen the HTC Diamond UI or the Bold, but I wasn’t terribly interested in waiting. The Diamond UI is fancy wallpaper on top of Windows Mobile which I hate, and the Bold looks good, but requires the use of the trackball, which is good, but doesn’t compare to the touch screen implemenation on the Iphone.

    2. Near-full Web Browsing – Getting to actually use the real internet has definitely changed the way I look at mobile computing and productivity. I can do almost anything I would on a desktop all on my phone and relatively quickly. Checking news, updating my netflix, shopping, and just waisting time is a lot more fun and easy on the Iphone browser.

    3. 3G Speed – Using the “3G” network makes a huge difference. YouTube clips come up really quickly, browsing is crisp so I don’t feel like I’m waiting forever, emails come down quick, and I rarely feel like I’m waiting on my phone to “do stuff”.

    4. The actual Phone – I’ve been really impressed with the actual phone functionality. The quality is better than any phone I’ve ever had, scrolling through contacts and making calls is a breeze, setting up 3-way calls is ridiculously easy, and the speakerphone is top notch. Easily the most enjoyable way to make/take calls on a cell phone, which I honestly don’t like doing.

    5. Get ready for it………………..yep, the Virtual Keyboard. Shocking I know; I actually anticipated hating this part of phone more than any other. Not being able to go horizontal and get a wide keyboard actually helped me enjoy it more. Because the keyboard is so narrow, I’m forced to trust the autocorrect feature to fix things. 5 days in and I can say it works suprisingly well, and I’m actually typing faster on the Iphone than I did on my Curve. Surprisingly enough, if I had to rank them it’d go: Iphone autocorrect, Pearl Suretype, then Curve full keyboard. The Curve’s keys are so small that its really easy to make mistakes. With no autocorrect, I found myself having to ‘fix’ more than I expected. Similar to the Pearl, once I got used to the Iphone, I haven’t looked back. It definitely takes a few days to get used to and trust it, but it’s definitely worth it.

    Top 5 Things I Hate About My IPhone
    1. Apple/Itunes – I can’t stand that I can’t seem to customize the crap out of my phone. I’ve only had it for five days so I could be missing something, but I can’t customize simple sounds like when I get a new email, text message, or voicemail. They all are the same sound and I only have like 6 canned sounds that Apple gives me to choose from. Plus, I can’t use my own mp3’s as ringtones. Since Apple is trying to pillage me by making me pay for ringtones (.99 per ringtone and you can only make ringtones from Itunes purchases), I’m forced to go through a convoluted procedure to upload a snippet of my mp3 to a website, download it back as a specific Itunes file, import it into Itunes and hope it works, then sync it to my Iphone. Ridiculous.

    2. Apple/App Store – I don’t hate the app store, I actually love the potential it brings, I just really don’t like where things stand right now. There’s not that much in the store that’s useful and rumor is there’s a queue of stuff for Apple to review for inclusion into the store. Most of the apps seem to still be web-apps requiring internet connection so while native, they’re essentially just native bookmarks. There are definitely some exceptions and maybe I just haven’t seen all there is (in fact I’m sure I haven’t), but I was hoping for things I’ve seen on jailbroken phones. Apps that show information on the ‘locked’ screen, apps that can access your music, turn by turn GPS, etc.

    3. GPS – Over the last five days, I’ve gotten the ‘blue dot’ exactly 3 times. Again something may be off, but I don’t understand why I can’t get GPS signal on this thing (I’m always getting the giant blue crosshairs of triangulation). I never had an issue w/ the GPS in my Curve, and I’ve been underwhelmed with it so far on the Iphone. It wasn’t a big factor in me getting the phone, but something I wanted to work nonetheless.

    4. Battery Life – I know this is a symptom of all 3G phones, but this one hurts especially given Apple’s recommendations. I’ll paraphrase then add my thoughts:
    “Turn off 3G when not needed” – sorry, but I bought an Iphone 3G, not an Iphone only use 3G when you need it but turn it back off right away lest your phone die.
    “Switch to Airplane mode in low to no signal areas as the phone will always try and connect which drains battery life” – again, not an option. Only reason I should ever switch it to that setting is if a stewardess catches me sending email after the turn everything off announcement has been made.
    As it stands, I need to charge my phone every night as well as have a charger at work, in my car, and at home in the event I want to talk on the phone, send email, browse the web, use an app, and watch a Youtube clip all in the same day.

    5. Missed Calls/Voicemails – There’s no LED or any kind of indication that I’ve missed a call or have a voicemail whenever the phone is locked and the screen is blank. So if I’ve missed anything, I won’t know about it until I go to use my phone. Picky I know, but I got used to it on the BB’s and I really liked that.

    One small personal grip: Music – Ok, so this one is specific to me and not the Iphone in general (hence the wording in the section titles), but I hate how much work I have to do to my stupid music files to make it work well on my Iphone (note: the Iphone is also my first Ipod). I have a decent amount of .mp3’s (and will hold out on making non-mp3 Itunes purchases as long as possible…go Amazon) and it takes forever to add missing Artist, track, album information to files that are missing it. I know it’s picky, but the Ipod just doesn’t work right unless you have all that in there. I hate when I don’t have album art in there, but it’s even more annoying when I see two ‘discs’ in the UI because the Album names are off due to capitalization. Ridiculous. If anyone has a solution for how to add album art to mp3 files, please let me know, and I’ll take this one off the list.


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