Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My iPhone, Three Months On

Well, the jury's finally in.

After three months with my iPhone, I'm ready to give my verdict on whether I like it or if it's an overrated device that has me yearning for my old, not-so-smart phone that I lost on a beach along the Ottawa River.

Before I was forced to replace my lost LG Neon, I was already contemplating upgrading to a smart phone. I had had my iPod for a year and loved many of the apps that I had downloaded. My iPod didn't have a camera—that feature came out a couple of months after I purchased my gizmo. But I loved the ability to check my e-mail quickly—from both of my personal accounts. Having embraced the social media of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, I enjoyed being connected—whenever I had WiFi access, that is.

I loved the games. I became addicted to Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. I loved the Need For Speed games, having always loved driving video games.

And I loved having these apps running on a device that held my contacts and calendar events. In a word, I loved my iPod.

So it was no surprise that when I moved to a smart phone, I went for the iPhone. I could move all of the apps from my iPod onto it, plus my contacts and calendar events. In essence, I didn't replace my phone so much as I upgraded my iPod for one that had a couple of cameras, double the storage space, and 3G capability.

Oh yeah, and it also had a phone built in.

I still missed my old phone. My LG Neon was a very basic smart phone: it had a couple of apps, it would give me Internet access, and it did have a couple of games, but it was not really a smart phone. And yet, I still lament the loss and have compared some of the features that I now have with my iPhone.

So, do I love my iPhone more than my LG Neon? There are some things that I miss about my old phone that the iPhone is lacking. And to me, they're big:
  • The LG Neon had a slide-out, QWERTY keyboard with actual buttons. Nothing drives me nuts more than the keyboard on my iPhone. Even turned on its side, which makes the keys bigger, my fingers are still too big to type with any kind of speed. The chances are that if you've read a tweet or an e-mail with lots of typos, the message was composed on my iPhone.
  • There is no FM tuner on the iPhone. WTF, Apple? How stupid is that? Almost all of my phones before had an FM radio. To me, it's an essential feature. Sure, I can stream my CBC from an app, but why force me to consume bandwidth? With my Neon, I used to listen to the radio when I cycled to work. With the iPhone, I'm fucked. Thanks very little, Apple. You suck on this front.
  • There is no ability to increase storage with a micro SD card. I lost my 8GB micro SD card when I lost my Neon, but I would have gladly purchased another one if the iPhone would accept it. Maybe I don't understand the Apple culture. The closed environment. But if you can stick an SD card in a Mac or an iPad, why not an iPhone? Sad.
So what do I like the most about my iPhone?
  • The cameras: I love photography, and I used the camera on my Neon when I had no other camera with me. But the camera on the Neon was only 1 megapixel, compared with the 5 megapixels on the iPhone. I use the camera on my iPhone almost every day; sometimes, even when I'm using my D-SLR. With the apps on my iPhone, I can take a shot, apply a wide variety of special effects and filters, and post the photo on Twitter or Facebook, or both. Love it!
  • The cameras: with Lori away in Taiwan, I keep in touch with her through Skype. With that app on my iPhone, I can chat with her from anywhere. On Sunday night, while out to dinner with the kids, we were able to chat with Lori as we finished up our meal and as she was starting breakfast. Fabulous!
  • The apps that I enjoyed with my iPod (which is now the proud property of Sarah).
So yeah, I love my iPhone for many of the reasons that I loved my iPod. I love that I can experiment more with photography. That I can be more involved in social media. That I can play some awesome, time-wasting games. That I have all of these apps with my list of contacts and my calendar events.

Oh yeah, and that I can place and receive phone calls.

I prefered the keyboard on my old phone, but if I take my time and wear my glasses, I can get used to the iPhone keypad. I wish I could increase memory with an SD card, but I can live without that ability in lieu of the excellent cameras.

If only this device had an FM tuner. It would be the ultimate device.

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