I’ve had my iPhone 2.0 for just shy of two months now and I feel comfortable in telling you that I think it’s the best phone/PDA/pocket computer that I have ever owned. However, there are some things about it that irritate me and I feel that Apple missed the mark on.
After I tell you what I don’t like, I’ll tell some things that I really do like about it! Feel free to tell me if you agree or disagree!
What I don’t like about the iPhone
Number 1 – No ability to cut and paste or copy and paste!
This is my number one complaint. There is no way to cut or copy or paste! Come on now Apple, what were you thinking? This is a feature that was very successfully implemented in Windows SmartPhones and is in every computer application in popular use. There is no way to copy items from a web page, email or any other application and then paste it elsewhere! This faux pas just boggles my mind.
Number 2 – There’s no proprietary BlueTooth stack that will talk to my Bluetooth Keyboard
I got very used to using my ThinkOutside Bluetooth Keyboard with my Windows SmartPhone. If I had to type more than a few words, I unlimbered the keyboard and in mere moments I was typing away. In fairness to Apple, I have gotten used to “typing” with my index finger on the virtual keyboard on the iPhone, but there is nothing like typing on real keys. How about it Apple, can you bring the Bluetooth Stack up to standards that everyone else uses? It would also be nice to be able to use my stereo Bluetooth headset with iTunes on the iPhone”¦
Number 3 – The battery is not replaceable!
OK, this phone is power hungry and I am not always able to run to a charger when it runs low on battery power, and I hate the idea of turning off services just to conserve battery power. My other phones all had replaceable batteries which allowed me to carry a spare, fully charged battery. That way all I had to do was power down, swap the discharged battery for the fully charged spare, power back up and I was good to go.
The other reason I”˜d like to see user replaceable batteries is that sooner or later the battery will fail. When the iPhone battery fails it is off to the Apple Store I go, and they will have to send the phone out to get the batteries replaced. How many days will that keep my phone away from me?
Number 4 – Sub standard camera
This is another annoyance that I don’t understand. Most high quality phones today come with 3 Megapixel or better cameras. They also come with image stabilization and auto focus features that the iPhone lacks. But perhaps the biggest disappointment here is the lack of ability to take videos. I realize that there is software available that can rectify that if you are willing to “jailbreak” your phone. But why would I want to disable a feature of a phone that cost so much and take the chance of turning it into a brick?
So Apple, this is where you have missed the boat – big time – in my estimation.
And now on to what I like!
However, there is so much that you have done right that I have been willing to overlook the shortcomings. Here are just a few of what I think makes the phone so great:
Number 1 – It’s a great phone!
The sound quality is so much better than my old Windows SmartPhone that it is a joy to use it. Making a call is a breeze, just tap the Phone icon and you are presented with a number of choices from Favorites to Recent Calls, to Contacts to Keypad. Select one and go. The voicemail Feature does something that I always wanted my phone to do and that is to listen to the voicemail message that I want to hear without going through them sequentially. Apple calls it Visual Voicemail and it’s a gem.
Although I can’t listen to iTunes with my Bluetooth headset, the phone did recognize my Plantronics 510 headset and paired with it effortlessly. The iPhone also paired effortlessly with my wife’s Mercedes in-car phone system. Extra points for ease of use, but isn’t that what Apple’s all about?
Number 2 – The app store
I have downloaded over 55 applications from the store. Most of them were free. Using the apps I can post to my Blog using a free WordPress app that allows me to write a post, assign it to categories, assign tags and even add pictures to the post! That is called “WordPress for iPhone”. I found a free app called Simplify Media that allows me to stream my entire iTunes collection from my home computer to the iPhone. Since I have about 20 gigs of songs and podcasts, this is a great feature for my 16 Gig iPhone! There are a lot more, but you get the picture. The apps really extend the usefulness of the phone.
Number 3 – Exchange Server Connectivity
My day job requires that I be connected to the corporate email server. In fact, during the day, I live and die in Outlook except when I am on the road which is frequently. It was this requirement that kept me in the Windows SmartPhone world for so long as the iPhone’s first version could not attach itself to Exchange. Oh, you could get email from the Exchange server if your company allowed IMAP or POP3 connections. My company does not allow those connections citing security concerns. So, when the new iPhone came with Exchange support I was ecstatic and the implementation has been flawless. The installation only required my Domain name, my user name and my password. Once I accepted the certificate needed by our server (automatically discovered by the phone) I was up and running immediately. In fact, I was synchronizing my phone with our server before I even left the store; it’s just that easy to do.
My contacts and calendar are synced with the server and are available on the phone. If I make a change in either, it shows up in my desktop Outlook and vice-versa. And the email is truly “push” in fact, the phone chimes to announce the arrival of a new email even before Outlook knows that a new email has arrived!
Number 4 – I like the interface
The visual interface is a joy to use. Although it took some getting used to as my old Windows Mobile SmartPhone did not have a Touch Screen (It is a T-Mobile Dash). By the second day of using it I had become proficient enough with it that I was tempted to stop carrying the Dash. By the end of the first week the Dash had been retired. (Considering that I still have two moths to go on my T-Mobile contract, that statement pretty much sums up my experience with the iPhone”¦I just don’t want to put it down!)
I like the gestures: pinching to shrink a screen, placing two fingers together and then spreading them to expand a selection and of course the flick to move up and down a page. I have become very proficient with one finger typing, especially since I only use two fingers on a desktop keyboard!
Number 5 – Safari
It is so refreshing to have a browser like Safari on the phone! Web pages render just like web pages on a computer screen. Links on the pages work, the navigation of a page works just like on the desktop. My day job requires that I use Internet Explorer on the desktop because of the proprietary applications that rely on ActiveX controls, so the phone can’t help me there, but I have found alternative ways to work around most of those requirements.
So, the overall experience for me has been positive and I wholeheartedly tell anyone who asks to take the plunge and go get one. This is the closet device that I have found to having a fully featured computer in my pocket”¦without actually having one.
Leave a comment and let me know what you like and dislike about the iPhone. Who knows, maybe Apple will read them and make some changes in the next software release! Do you agree or disagree with what I have found with the phone?