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...


David Sugden said...

This is an interesting post Lils, and I hope you are not the ONLY person to think this way (what would the world become if we all thought the same).

However, as a non-iPhone-owning novice (I pick my trial version up on Thursday) I can state quite categorically that I would not have an HTC Touch given (well, not another). It has the worst interface I've ever come across, it's slow to respond and badly in need of a make -ver (which I suspect it's had - but don't care).

Mobile phones are what they are - my k850i by Sony E is the clunkiest, most obstinate phone I've ever owned (I loved my w800i) and it only does two thirds of what its supposed to do well. But - compared to the Touch - it's a dream. Compared to the iPhone? - well we'll see


lilian said...

Ron Mitchell, who loves his iTouch, has unfortunately provided me with another point to my list:
12. No video capture function!

ALFX said...

Really interesting posts, and inline with what I hear from "technology aware" people - like me, that take care of mobile phones launch in a mobile operator.
But I think I know why "ordinary" and even "techie" people get amazed with the iPhone: it allows you to make the basic stuff very easily and intuitivelly, without having to understand "files", "programs", "copy/paste", "menus", etc. Almost everything is "on your face", accessible with the touch of your finger. Very few options of what to do, makes it easier to try things and memorize how to do things (for example, the options that you have with a picture is to erase, or to use as wallpaper, send by e-mail or associate with a contact - nothing else).
For the majority of the people this is very sofisticate, and more than enough.
It´s very interesting to see people that never seen an iPhone or iPod touch using the iPhone for the first time, without any previous instructions. In just a few minutes they are able to make calls, and use it.
I think that this teaches a lot about m-learning.

Wheelz said...

I think since the iPhone 3.0 software update has come out you would find many of the points you have made have now become non issues, such as the copy/paste/delete functions. I do agree with you about multitasking. I would be happy if I could have multiple apps open at the same time. But many of the issues you have come across can be overcome by downloading apps. As they say "There's an app for that!"