I’ve been a pretty big advocate of the iPhone for quite some time. I own a first generation iPhone (or second generation as AT&T says, probably as a back track of the 3G designation of the latest phones) and did lots of research on it before purchasing. The main selling point was the UI, and that is still true – it’s slick, looks nice, and for the most part works just like a computer.
In the negatives column has two items, and they are pretty big ones.. First, iTunes. I knew going in that I was going to be bound to this. I had hoped that a third party option would surface, but it hasn’t. I can deal with it, but it’s annoying. I want my PC to be less bulky, and iTunes flies in the face of that. Item two, and the deal breaker as far as future purchases: app development is crippled. I’m not even complaining about the non-disclosure stuff that everyone else is.. What I am upset about is limited access to the phones OS. Yes, I understand why apple did it. It’s like a super version of the HAL that came on NT back in the day. Protect the kernel, blah blah blah. Let me tell you why it is bad via a very specific example – NO VOICE DIAL! My previous phone was a freebie moto V551. The software wasn’t awesome, but it had two totally awesome features that my iPhone just can’t come close to. The first, and relatively unimportant in this context was voice record. I held a button and spoke and let go when I was done. Saved. Didn’t have to look at it at all. The important one is the voice dial. I would open the phone, hold the button, say the name, let go of the button and it dialed. Didn’t have to look at the phone AT ALL. You say, “hey, there are voicedialers in the app store!”. You are right, but because the apps can’t access the hardware at a reasonable level, the easy no look process of the moto is a complicated, vision and attention intensive “find the icon, wait for something, do something, wait some more and hope for the best” game on the iPhone. I cannot use this while driving, and frankly, I can dial more quickly by finding the person in my contact list than trying the wonky voice dial. This is not acceptable!!!!!! I drive on the highway regularly and see morons paying no regard to their lane or other cars because they are screwing around with their phones! This is dangerous and a phone with the clout of the iPhone should have features to help prevent that situation from happening. To make things worse, when asked if apple will add a native voice dialer, they disregard the question with the explanation that there “are some in the app store”. DERR, says I.
So, I’m not buying this thing again. I think the next phone I get will not be a smart phone of any kind if such beasts are still manufactured when I need a new phone.