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Inital Thoughts about the iPhone

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 in Technical Articles (Views: 3039)
So, I've had this iPhone about 2 weeks now, and I have to say there's a lot of things on it that surprise me. I've been using Windows Mobile since its first versions (more like it's been using me and taking me for a sucker with each new version), and want to take some time to compare the differences that I've seen so far in the early going.

One of the biggest differences in the two is usability. I find myself more productive for a few reasons. First, Windows Mobile devices I have found to be slow, and drag, especially once a lot of things are installed on them. With the iPhone, it is single tasking, but doesn't need to be. I can get simple things that I need done very quickly, and not have to worry about my phone.

One big difference is how I can get information or do something online. There is no doubt that Safari just rocks Pocket Internet Explorer. Sure, there are other browsers for Windows Mobile, Skyfire is actually pretty good, not an Opera fan so much, although many people like it. Apart from the browser, the standing joke about "there's an app for that" is true. Of course, when you brag about having somewhere near a zillion applications (and so does Windows Mobile), you'll run into some pure crap. But, within seconds, I was able to download an app for RedBox, rent a movie, and find the nearest location (and I was in Puerto Rico at the time). Windows Mobile doesn't offer an app for this, and I would have to load a full web page to use their site (painful on Pocket IE). There are also apps for both my banks as well, making it easy for me to simply go in, do my banking, and leave quickly. I can simply look to the app store for anything else I need - either paid for or free, download it, and be on my way.

Battery life - need I say more? Most Windows Mobile devices that I have run into would give you about a day on the battery, tops. I kept mine plugged in for the most part, simply because it did drain batteries in a hurry (btw - HTC Touch Pro). The iPhone, on the other hand, I've used for a day and a half, including listening to music on a 4 hour plane ride, and was about 50% discharged. Not too shabby, I must say...

The theme here is that I don't have to spend a lot of time on my phone to get something accomplished. I don't have to worry about my screen becoming unresponsive because something like Windows Media is killing me in the background and eating memory.

Where does it fall short? Well, the big deal for many is that the iPhone doesn't provide turn by turn directions since it just uses cell towers to judge where you are. We have a TomTom, so it's not a huge deal for us. The downside is that we need a seperate device. I hear the Droid does a much better job of managing multiple apps (GPS being one), but I have no personal experience using it. I've heard some past grumbing about it slowing down however.

Windows Mobile in its infancy was light years ahead (even back to the HPC) with things like Pocket Word and Excel, which in some respects are cool, but do people really use them? In my past, I liked having it, but really never used it. It was good for simple things, but real productivity? Not really. I do miss Pocket Access from the HPC days - now that would have been a cool thing to have in Windows Mobile.

At the moment, I am using my iPhone and Windows Mobile side by side, and in all actuality, there's really no comparison to me. I get things done quickly and get off my phone and back to whatever else I was doing. Speaking of which, time to get back to what I was doing.


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