Sunday, February 8, 2009

my thoughts on the iPhone

At the risk of being the only person in the world not enamoured with the iPhone, I'd like to share my thoughts on my recent trial of it.
A bit of background first: I've been using a Windows-based touchscreen mobile phone since 2006 and have had mobile Internet access all this time. I am also very into Apple-based products so am not out to 'diss' it for the sake of it. I am merely making a comparison of my experience between the phones and their usability.
I can understand people's enthusiasm for browsing the web by touching the screen if they have never done this before. And of course the pinch technology to zoom in and out and navigate around the page is very nice. Plus the screen is very bright and clear (all Apple products are outstanding on this!)
What would I miss if I moved to the iPhone?
1. The use of a stylus to tap on the virtual keyboard, although you can buy them for the iPhone but there's nowhere to store it on the device. Even with my skinny fingers, I struggled to get the letters right.
2. Predictive text. This speeds up my typing immensely on my HTC phone.
3. Being able to copy and paste. This surprised and annoyed me on the iPhone, the lack of a 'clipboard' feature!
4. Not being able to select text to delete. On the iPhone, you have to move the cursor and then tap the backspace key like mad to delete text! Why?!!
5. Arrows on the keyboard to move across to edit text. Okay, the magnifying glass thingy to help you move the cursor looks nice, but it just doesn't get to the crux of what I want to do , quickly. Overdesigned, if you ask me.
6. Being able to use multiple applications at once and copy and paste between them.
7. I felt rsi coming on as I hovered my finger over the virtual keyboard. There's something less assuring about the keyboard compared to the HTC, and that's saying something since the Touch is very slow to respond, and still I prefer it! Kind of like typing on a pc keyboard; I like the keys to respond and therefore prefer typing on a full keyboard to a laptop keyboard. With the iPhone, i didn't get a sense of having pressed with the right amount of pressure...
8. Apparently the iPhone doesn't have a 'file manager' type application so you cannot choose a file to upload, for instance, if you were using Moodle or some other website and wanted to choose a picture to upload? No chance. Does anyone know any different?
9. No support for Flash on websites.
10. I turned on Bluetooth on the iPhone and on my HTC. My HTC found the iPhone. The iPhone was still searching...I had to use my HTC to prompt a pairing. Paired it, but couldn't send a photo across to the iPhone. In any case, I'm not sure what you can Bluetooth from the iPhone. I went to Pictures and looked at the options there: Use as wallpaper, email photo, assign to contact. Hmmmm. Anyone have any experience of Bluetoothing something from and to the iPhone?
11. I couldn't transfer anything to the iPhone on iTunes since it belonged to someone else and iPhones will only pair with one iTunes at a time. I didn't feel like wiping out Tim Brophy(O2)'s music library, so wasn't able to transfer files across to test things out. Windows-mobile phones allow you to guest access and to explore the files on the device. I couldn't use the iPhone as a 'usb stick'.

I guess it's all in the applications - maybe I should ask this little fella to write some for me:

Another time, I'll add a post about what I DO use the HTC phone for, maybe it will give people a few ideas for using it with other learners who are being equipped with the same...