Thumbs Must Hurt
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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The 14 day return period is up on my iPhone on Wednesday. I am in the process of switching back to my Curve so that I can return the iPhone.
The iPhone is a truly amazing device, but I think they are still 6 - 12 months away from it being practical for me. The email is just not there yet. It takes me way to long to check and send emails, and there is no LED indicator to let me know I have a new email. I have really struggled with the typing. It reminds me of when I had the Pearl and I would have to go back and correct everything I wrote after the fact. It's OK for typing general sentences, but if you have to type in proper names, slang, or website or email addresses, it is very difficult and frustrating.
The app store is great, but if you look through it, almost all of the applications are games or information. There are very few business applications or productivity applications. I'm sure these will come soon, but they just aren't there yet. On the other hand, simple apps like Apple's native weather and stock apps, and app store apps like Shazaam, Pandora, AOL radio, Sports Tap and Yelp are so easy, beautifully rendered and intuitive, you wonder why RIM (or third-party developers) can't develop these things as well for the BB.
Two major and deal-breaking problems I'm having with the iPhone are battery life and the inability of the iPhone to hand off calls from 3G to EDGE when I'm driving.
Battery life: If I have 3G on, I can't make it past 5pm or 6pm in battery life. If I turn 3G off, I can make it through a day, no problem. The problem is that to turn 3G off (which you really don't need for email and phone calls), you have to go to Settings-General-Network-3G off. That's four taps to turn it off, and then four taps to turn it on again. They need a 3G management program so that you can set 3G to turn off and on depending which app you are using For example, standby, 3G would be off. A phone call, it would stay off. Launch the browser, it would turn on - but only if you are not on WiFi. Etc., etc. These controls should be user-defined. There should also be an easy 3G on/off icon on the home screen.
Dropped calls: I have had numerous dropped calls when 3G in enabled, and this is simply unacceptable. The iPhone may be amazing, but it is a PHONE first and foremost. If I can't rely on it to hold on to a signal from start to finish on a call, then it is useless to me. When I'm driving and I go through certain areas of Los Angeles where the 3G signal is weak or non-existent, it drops the call instead of handing it off smoothly to EDGE. I have been on very important calls and the iPhone has dropped the call. This never happened to me on my BB (granted it is not a 3G device, so I don't know how the Bold will perform in this regard). The problem is that I may have 3G enabled when a call comes through, so I am driving around praying that the call won't drop (or I have to pull off to the side of the road).
Another thing: I travel internationally, and the iPhone is not practical. The data roaming charges are insane with AT&T (even if you get their international data roaming package). Whereas the BB downloads a small message and provides the option of downloading the whole thing, the iPhone automatically downloads the whole thing and there is no way to download only headers or non HTML emails. If I am in Europe and a friend sends me an email with 15 pictures attached (like my friend did with his newborn son on Friday), it cost me about $10 for that email alone. Someone called the iPhone the HUMMER of data usage, whereas the BB is the PRIUS. If you look at the tips on data roaming with the iPhone on the AT&T website, their solution is to turn off email. That is just stupid.
Finally, this seems silly, but it isn't. As a business person, the phone you use makes a statement about your professionalism. Every serious business person in my business uses a BB. If you are walking through an airport and you see somebody on an iPhone, you assume they are playing a game, listening to music, or browsing the internet. If you see somebody on a BB, you assume they are conducting business or at least emailing somebody. The BB person could actually be playing solitaire and the iPhone person could be sending an email, but the perception is the opposite. Therefore, to be taken seriously, I actually HAVE to use a BB. I feel silly and unprofessional carrying around an iPhone.
IMHO, the iPhone OS and UI are superior to BB (with the exception of messaging apps), and the idea of a handheld computer that merges a phone, internet and entertainment is the wave of the future. Eventually Apple will get their device right, and competitors will come along to give Apple and RIM a run for their money.
In the meantime, I will be going back to my Curve, and trying out the Bold when it is released.