Confessions of a "Microsoft-guy" Turned to iPhone

When my Windows Mobile phone (Samsung blackjack II) died a couple weeks ago…the 3rd broken one this year.. i called AT&T as is tradition.  realize that i am the one that breaks these phones.  i drop them….frequently into water and sometimes down 2 stories.  i am a phone breaker.  But, in this conversation with AT&T the nice gal said, “You realize you qualify for a new device.”.  after a short conversation and the realization that i am ultra AT&T guy with unlimited voice and data plans domestically and internationally, i said, “So, i can have an iPhone.”  and she said, “Of course.”.  well, before i could think it through an iphone was on it’s way to me and it was practically “free”.  After close to 2 weeks of use here are my thoughts on it:

  • all you apple bigots are right.  it’s UI is magnificent.  it’s usability is awesome.  even an old guy like me can use it to it’s fullest capabilities immediately.  it is so intuitive. 
  • the app store is brilliant from both the angles of technology and usability.  i just can’t understand why we don’t have this on the microsoft platform.  .net is dramatically better than objective C in terms of power and time to market.  everyone knows this.   it just doesn’t make sense that we don’t have this on the .net side of the world.  what apple has virally done on the app store is just brilliant.  flick fishing is the greatest application ever built.  it’s a shame we cannot legally run .NET on the iPhone.
  • the browser is fantastic…maybe because IE on windows mobile is so bad.  it’s not perfect, but having a “real” browser on a mobile device almost makes me feel spoiled i have been suffering for so long.
  • Typing on the device is just awful.  as good as it is for reading, it is bad for writing.  the virtual keyboard thing is just not functional for someone like me – who bangs out 200+ emails a day.  all the iPhone biggots at InterKnowlogy and my gazillions of other iPhone biggot friends keep telling me things like, “it’s a learning curve.  you’ll get used to it.”  i cannot see that happening. for someone who “grew up” on the blackberry and can type 40 words a minute on a mobile device keyboard with two thumbs, i can tell you that the iPhone virtual keyboard is just awful.  the only way to fix it is to have a blackberry like keyboard on it.
  • Setting up my exchange account to retrieve email was shocking: so easy i am pissed.  how in the world did apple figure out how to retrieve and install the local security certificate when it takes a painstaking 20 minutes of configuration on a windows mobile device?!  i just don’t get it. 
  • The email reading app is disappointing.  for someone who manages his calendar on exchange, not being able to accept a meeting or having any meeting functionality is a real drag.  now i understand why i get the blank stare when i ask “apple people” to send me an “s+”… 🙂
  • i have confirmed all the technical reports that ipods just don’t measure up (from a pure sound quality perspective) as a music playing device with a simple test.  when the iPhone first came out it got hammered pretty hard by the device people on sound quality.  well, i am no audiophile, but i did do a simple test.  i ripped the same song from a CD to both the Zune and the iPhone.  i played the same short samplings in random spots in the song over and over on the same stereo from both devices and it was shockingly clear how much better the Zune sounded.  i read that the creative labs device sounds better than the Zune.
  • the battery life is disappointing.  just as disappointing, if not more, than on windows mobile devices.  with all the hardware advances we’ve had over the last 10 years, why can’t someone figure out the small profile battery thing?  when they do, they are going to be a gazillon-aire.
  • just like windows mobile is better at being a pocket pc than a telephone, the iPhone is better at being an iTouch than it is at being a phone.  you still get all the weaknesses of cellular communications and AT&T.
  • it is fragile.  some one like me should not own one.  the current odds on me to break the thing is 10-1 it doesn’t last a month with me.  i do have a “protective sheath” for it, but i am not at all confident in it.  Which leads me to my biggest complaint.  No one will insure the device.  AT&T won’t insure it.  InterKnowlogy’s insurance provider will not insure it.  my home insurance company, USAA will not insure it.  and my buddy hugh, who works for State Farm, will not insure it. and there is a reason why: they break.

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