iPhone Thoughts

I’ve been running on my iPhone for roughly a month now so I figured I’d give a quick overview of my thoughts on the device.

Because I’m a cantankerous asshole I’ll start with the things I don’t like about it. Apple put some rather silly restrictions in place on the phone. There are obvious ones such as the fact you can only install applications that Apple has personally approved but there are also odd little ones that you look at and get a headache trying to wrap your brain around. One of these restrictions is the fact you can’t download anything through the iTunes or App Store applications over 3G if it’s larger than 10MB. I don’t get this at all. AT&T uses tiered data now meaning you get 2GB and then pay an additional $10 for ever gigabyte over that. How that data is used should be irrelevant. Hell since they’re charging for tiered data they should throw in tethering for free. It’s retarded. On the other hand third party applications aren’t restricted to this behavior which is a nice thing.

Another thing I don’t like about the iPhone 4 are the fact that signal does drop if you hold it in your left hand and the back is made out of glass. The antenna thing has been covered to death and frankly you all know what’s up with that. Likewise I’m sure you can determine why making the back out of glass is a bad idea on a device that is generally dropped at least once in it’s lifetime (I haven’t dropped a phone yet but my friends have dropped my phones, on the iPhone 4 that’s pretty much game over).

Of course there is AT&T. I’ve not had any major troubles with their network or customer service (which I haven’t had to contact) yet. Their coverage sucks and back in my hometown there is no signal to be had. Meanwhile my Sprint phone has no issue finding a signal almost anywhere except in some valleys back in my hometown area. AT&T’s data network also seems slower than Sprints (and I’m not even talking 4G here). And there is that whole tiered data thing that AT&T has going but it seems Verizon is looking to do exactly the same thing and T-Mobile already has something in place (when you go over 5GB of data on T-Mobile they throttle your speed down to below 3G). Sprint is the last network with unlimited data but I wonder how long that will last.

Do you like iTunes? If not you’re going to absolutely hate the fact that everything done on the iPhone has to go through iTunes. Loading music, pictures, apps, movies, anything is done via syncing with iTunes. Frankly this is complete shit compared to doing the same tasks on Android. On my Evo I just plug the phone into my computer via a standard USB cable, enable disk drive mode, and copy the files I want to put onto my phone over through the file browser on my computer. Simple, easy, and effective. I wish Apple would implement this but that would destroy their god-like powers over their device which I know won’t happen.

You know what sucks about my Evo? The battery life. You know what rules about my Evo? The fact that I can just carry a spare battery. The battery in the iPhone is fixed which is just fucking stupid. The device’s battery life is great but it would be even better if I could just drop in a different battery when the primary one dies. Just saying Apple it wouldn’t be hard to implemented an easily replaceable battery.

Now the things I like about the iPhone. The device itself just feels sturdy. There isn’t any plastic to be had on the outside casing meaning you don’t have any real “creak” factor when you try to flex the device. It’s not a big deal but it does make the phone feel well built.

I really like the fast app switching implemented on the iPhone. In order to switch between previously opened applications you double-click the home button and a bar appears with every applications currently residing in memory. It’s fast and extremely easy. The Android equivalent would be holding down the home button for a couple of seconds and having the list of the last eight applications you used appear. Although Android has a better multi-tasking system their interface for dealing with it needs a lot of work (they should really just up and copy WebOS here).

The entire phone interface feels polished and consistent. When you have complete control on what can and can’t be loaded onto your device you can enforce some measure of consistency. I would like to see such consistency come to Android in the future but I don’t think that it will happen anytime soon.

iOS actually syncs properly with my Exchange server at work. This is a huge plus in my book because my Evo has had endless troubles syncing with my calendar at work and when it can’t sync with the calendar it refuses to sync with e-mail as well. I can actually use my iPhone for work, it’s great.

Likewise unlike my Evo the iPhone doesn’t have any trouble using Pandora or Last.fm (Pandora problems have been mostly fixed on the Evo at this point but Last.fm is still unusable). Apple has a stable and well tested media layer that they seem to be content with leaving alone. I can’t say how much I appreciate this fact.

Apple also makes quite a few cool accessories for my iPhone. Although my Evo has an HDMI-out port on it it’s not really very useful. Apple has VGA, AV, and composite cable adapters for the iPhone (they also work on the iPad) that allow you to push any video you’re playing on the iPhone to a television or projector. The VGA adapter also allows you to use an iPad as a Keynote presentation tool.

Overall I’m rather happy with my iPhone so far. Although I like the freedom that Android gives my experience with my Evo has left me sour. I’m still pissed that Google lost all records of Market apps that I purchased for my phone. Between the iPhone and my Evo I’ll take the iPhone hands down even with all the stupid limitations Apple has put into place.