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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Iphone, friend of foe

Yes I did it, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, I broke down and got myself an Iphone. I really don't want this to be a long in-depth review about this cool looking gizmo, there are plenty of those out there and I am sure there will be lots more to with the release of the 3G version. I do however (as usual) want to through my two cents in.

Visually, I think the world is in agreement, the device is beautiful, it's sleek, shiny black and silver exterior screams "touch me" and you simply cannot resist. But looks are not everything they can indeed be deceiving. On a whole the Iphone is wonderful it’s probably the first gadget that I have picked up that actually does everything it says it does. Let’s start with the phone part, well it’s a phone it makes calls and surprisingly enough it receives call also, call quality if perfectly fine and if you find you have to dial a number that’s not in your contact list the onscreen keypad is very useable. The contact list I have to say is not great, it works and it’s useable but it’s not great even with the new search feature that the 2.0 firmware added I still prefer the contact list on my windows mobile phone. The web browsing is awesome it works better than any mobile device I have used so far even without Java and Flash (I am sure it’s just a matter of time before we get both on the Iphone). I do really like the instant message style text messaging (This has been added to Windows Mobile 6.1) and the email functions work just fine also. Oh and I almost forgot it’s an iPod too, that’s right it plays music and video, is it better at it than my Windows Mobile device? Well to be honest I have to say no. All in all it’s a cool gadget but I do think there is a lot of room for improvement. I have to admit that the only reason I am continuing to use the Iphone is because of the web browser, and yes it looks cool. If my HTC S620 surfed as well as the Iphone I have to say I would go back to it (I have Windows Mobile 6.1 running on the S620).

I want to briefly talk about some of the problems I have with the Iphone (maybe apple will read this) first of ITunes, I know this is a personal gripe I have but a gripe it is, I hate ITunes, it monkeys with my music, my album art doesn’t work and it feels rather cumbersome. Second is the lack of productivity software no word processor no spreadsheet program this also leads nicely into the lack of a spell checker (I had planned on writing this whole blog entry on the Iphone but it was just too frustrating). Third is the lack of support for media formats, NO DIVX, you have to let ITunes monkey with your files again before you can watch them (Divx is available for windows mobile devices) Last (this could be the most important though) is the lack of software, there are thousands if not millions of developers out there itching to write software for this device and you can’t use any of it (unless you jailbreak your phone) come on Apple this device is a remarkable piece of engineering and I don’t think we have scratched the surface of what it is capable off yet but let people help.

Is the Iphone the gadget of all gadgets? I think not, I think it’s a nice insight of things to come and I think its pointed the industry in the right direction but unless Apple become a little more open minded about third party software Microsoft will end up winning this battle. The future is definitely in mobile devices but they have to be more than a novelty or a fashion accessory, the Iphone is almost there but not quite unfortunately I feel it’s just paved the way for a better device. (maybe one that I can actually type a letter on)

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