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With regards to Windows Mobile...

Sunday, December 27, 2009 in Technical Articles (Views: 4287)
In previous blogs, I had mentioned that my patience for Windows Mobile was growing thin. With the likelihood of relocating, and wanting to eventually change my number, I went to look for a new phone, and of course, a new number. :)

It was then my sweet girlfriend and I went all over, looking for the perfect phone. The decision after looking at some, would be either iPhone or Droid. I have had a sour taste of Blackberry for some time, and really never appreciated the whole idea of having my email stored on a server in Canada before reaching my own domain.

So, what happened next was the battle over which phone was better. Really, the Droid is maturing, and doing quite well for itself. I want to take a moment and speak on the Droid, since it seems to be making the same mistakes Microsoft did with its smartphones.

The good is that the Droid is available in many carriers (where until 2010 if you wanted an iPhone, you had to go to AT&T - Verizon and T-Mobile pick it up next year). The Droid is also taking some of the attention of companies who design Windows Mobile phones, such as HTC. Hopefully they won't saturate the market with so many devices that it becomes counter productive like Windows Mobile. Blackberry did this right in that you have several options for the phone, but RIM is in control of what devices are out there.

In a technical sense, the Droid can multitask, and in many cases, better than Windows Mobile, which has been notorious for phone reboots and the phone hanging for really no apparent reason. But, there have been some complaints about the Droid slowing down over time, which makes sense. Memory does get cluttered if not properly managed. I do want to mention one thing - which is the front end to the Droid had a strong resemblence to SPB Mobile Shell 3 - recently released for Windows Mobile. If SPB indeed is behind this app, and companies like HTC are making competing hardware, could we be seeing the beginning of the end for Windows Mobile?

So, why the iPhone? Well, in all honesty, I do like my devices to multitask, and thought very quickly that this would be a problem, but it isn't. Most apps for the iPhone are fairly simple, and are tasks that help you do something specific very quickly, such as pay bills online or search the web. Most apps really don't require moving between apps, except in one case, which was the Chase online app. Since they didn't recognize my new phone, they quickly asked to send me a new code. I then had to leave the app, go to my email, copy the new activation code (thankful that the iPhone put in the copy/paste in V2, wondered what took them so long), and paste it into the Chase app. It was lightly inconvenient, but a one time thing, and an understandable security measure.

As far as usability goes, it takes a little getting used to the onscreen keyboard, but it can be navigated with fat fingers, and doesn't require a stylus. Loading apps is pretty easy, just go to the iTunes store and search for what you want, or look at the top apps. Lots of good free stuff out there. Sync is not bad, and highly configurable - the only catch is the whole love relationship between Microsoft and Apple - whereas a Windows Media Audio file has to be converted before moving to the iPhone. You can sync things like GMail or Yahoo contacts, and aren't pigeonholed into a local Outlook client or Exchange Server. Speaking of which, their Exchange connector for the iPhone works pretty well, just Tasks aren't supported (yet).

This blog/review is getting a little long, but for the most part, here are my first thoughts... The iPhone is responsive, carries some decent battery life, and can get the tasks done and the information that you need quickly. No lockups, apps operate independently, and there's a wealth of things you can do with it (we're not going to talk about jailbreaking quite yet)... If you're looking for an alternative from the living hell called Windows Mobile as I did, the iPhone could be that refreshing change you've been looking for.

I can hear all the talkback saying things such as "Windows Mobile can do that", and "This is a blog attacking Windows Mobile". This is a blog about someone who gave Windows Mobile a chance time after time, since PocketPC Phone Edition. It was light years ahead of its time several years ago, when nothing competed against it, but now that companies have blown the doors of Windows Mobile off, the shortcomings of Windows Mobile are killing it, as all they really did was sit on it and release incremental upgrades. Ask all the Microsoft employees who use the iPhone why they would rather have it instead of a Windows Mobile device, consumers do have the choice, regardless of their employer.

This isn't the banking system here, people. This is technology - only the strong survive in this business. If you want to be a weak loser and be rewarded for failing (aka the bailout), be in the banking industry. In this industry, either you make dust or you eat it. Guess who ate it this time?


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