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Sunday, March 02, 2008

My iPhone Review - Is it the ultimate portable device?

Now that I've had my iPhone almost 5 months now, I feel qualified to give my opinion on it.

It was introduced as the ultimate portable music / movie / phone / web browser / email device. Well, after using it for several months, here's my take on it.

The OS is incredible. The way apps launch and are managed is much more advanced than any Windows Mobile machine. The Web browser, although prone to frequent crashes, is absolutely stunning.(Mine has not crashed with since the latest 1.1.4 update- so maybe this is fixed) The touch screen and related controls are the best I've ever seen. The on screen keyboard takes some getting used to - but it is top notch. The camera is excellent. The music player is an improvement on the iPod - need I say more? Movies look stunning. The WIFI connectivity is seamless and fast. Every app and function that Apple has rolled out for it is far superior than it's Windows Mobile competition. My main complaints are what is not included.

This list includes:

1) No MMS support. You might say "What do you need that for - you have real email?" But there are times when I want to send a picture to another, non-iPhone mobile user or web application (like Facebook or Twitter). Can't be done.
2) No cut and paste. I find this EXTREMELY annoying. It's unbelievable to me, with all the advanced features of this device, that it doesn't exist.
3) No Flash support. Rumors are that it's coming, but they are only rumors. This severely limits browsing, since every major website appears to use Flash these days.
4) The asinine headphone jack. Won't work with 90% of audiophile quality headphones without a non-included adapter, only the 5-10$ headphones that sound like 5-10$ headphones (Apple headphones included) work.
5) The EDGE network sucks. Period. Wait until the 3G version releases.
6) No SDK. Which means no 3rd Party apps. You only get what Jobs wants you to.
7) No built in GPS, although I have to say the built in cell tower triangulation on Google Maps is impressive.
8) Crippled Bluetooth - it only works for headsets. Internet rumors say that Jobs demanded this so that no one would be tempted to use a bluetooth keyboard after they spent so much developing the touchscreen. Truth is - it's crippled and really limits the potential of this device.

Now - the good news is that Apple appears to be continuously improving the software, and rumors abound of SDK's and support of the 3rd Party apps. When that happens, I think the iPhone will continue to out pace the Windows Mobile devices, but if not - I see Apple running the risk of being surpassed not in style and function, but in features.

All in all, it's an exceptional device that lacks just enough functionality to keep it from being, in my mind, the ultimate portable device.


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