I’ve been a happy BlackBerry user for the past few months, but it’s hard not to be enticed by everything the iPhone is. For the past few weeks I’ve been talking about it–mulling over the good and bad of a switch.
“Just get the phone,” Stef said yesterday as we drove home from getting her non-working in-warranty BlackBerry swapped for one that worked. And so I did.
We already use AT&T (among the few carriers providing service at my house) so that part was easy. We’re two years after my last phone, so the iPhone 3Gs cost $199. Other than that there shouldn’t be much change to our bill. The data plan for the iPhone costs the same as the data plan for the BB.
Apple designed the iPhone to be more like a computer than phone. It has a larger screen than the BlackBerry with extremely high resolution. That makes small text cleaner and easier to read. Think paper, not monitor.
The screen itself is touch sensitive and allows you to use two fingers resize the underlying content. That’s really powerful since nearly every website is designed to be viewed on something much larger that a phone.
I got home, downloaded some software and began to peruse the “app store.” This too is a genius feature from Apple. There are tens of thousands of applications which run on the iPhone and take advantage of its screen, GPS, compass, accelerometers and other things I haven’t quite discovered yet.
Now my phone has applications to identify music and which stars are shining above. There are also apps for news sources and games installed. So far I’ve spent around $3. Many apps are free and most cost $.99.
The phone is elegantly efficient. There’s hardly anything that needs explaining.
OK–there are a few things. “What’s this little silver button?” I asked myself yesterday. It wasn’t until I got to work and spoke to another iPhone user that I found it isn’t a button, it’s a switch! It turns the sound off just in case you work in a TV studio or your wife wants to sleep.
The fact Apple placed a switch so elegantly that it looked like a button says a lot about the fit and finish of this phone.
That being said, I’m still not 100% convinced. BlackBerry has set the bar high.
The virtual keyboard is difficult for my stubby fingers. I’m constantly mistyping and hitting backspace. It is much easier to use in the wider landscape mode than the portrait mode. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the switch to landscape in some keyboard modes.
Why? Dunno. Seems out-of-character for the Apple designers.
I need to connect to two Enterprise mail servers. Sorry–iPhone only supports connecting to one.
I wish I could set up profiles for work or home or out-and-about. I don’t think they exist.
And then there’s the battery!
I’ve got 38% of my battery left after having the phone on for six hours. Granted I’m probably hitting the Internet harder today than I will be in a few weeks. Still that’s unnerving should I take the phone away from home where I’ll need a true full day’s service. Unlike other phones I’ve had you can’t pop out the battery and throw in a spare.
“Can I return it if I don’t like it?” I asked before leaving the AT&T store. I’ve got thirty days.
Most likely it stays, but I wouldn’t bet the house yet.