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Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
3 of 5 stars
The story of Bassett furniture and John Bassett III in particular is a great one that should be told. Beth Macy does a reasonable job telling it, but spends much too much time discussing her challenges and experiences writing the book as...
The Silent Man
5 of 5 stars
Another great John Wells book. I previously compared Alex Berenson and his hero, John Wells, with Vince Flynn and his troubled CIA agent/assassin, Mitch Rapp. Towards the end of Flynn's short life and in his final Rapp books, Flynn got a...
Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones
2 of 5 stars
When I was looking up reviews of drones on the web, I found several mentions of this "book" (a pamphlet,really). It's OK,but all the information can be easily found elsewhere online. The repeated warning about crashing your drone and sta...
The Martian
5 of 5 stars
Wow. Just . . . wow. This was one of the most entertaining books I have read in a long time. The story is fabulous and the execution wonderful. Basically a diary of an astronaut left behind in an escape from a failed Mars mission (though...
The Ghost War
5 of 5 stars
I've read a few other of Berenson's John Wells books before and found them entertaining,although not up to the standard set by Vince Flynn and his hero, Mitch Rapp. Sadly, Flynn passed away and having finished all the Mitch Rapp books, I...

Bought an iPhone. I hate Myself.

I hate myself for loving you,
Can’t break free from the things that you do.
I wanna walk but I run back to you
That’s why I hate myself for lovin’ you.”

- from the song, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett

After my good friend and fellow iPhone detractor/commiserator, Shawn, caved in a bought an iPhone a couple of weeks ago I felt alone in the world – the last iPhone holdout and bastion of defense for all those trying to avoid the Apple consumer electronics vortex.

But alas, late last week I succumbed to His Steveness of the mighty land of Cupertino and handed over my self respect and a wad of cash to acquire an iPhone 3G (black, 16GB).  I love it and I hate it all at the same time.

I hate it because . . .

  • First and foremost, it’s a totally closed environment – both hardware and software.  You can’t change the battery or add memory.  You can add any program you want to it, as long as Apple approves of it and the developer gives a piece of the action to Apple.  Oh yeah, it can’t compete with anything Apple provides and you have to download it through their exclusive portal (iTunes).  Hey Steve, you might think of seeking some help for this control obsession.
  • It only has partial Exchange support.  In a typical Apple too-weird-to-be-true fashion, the company decided, after paying Microsoft for an ActiveSync license, to only support some Exchange functionality.  Not only are Tasks and Notes completely ignored, but basic functionality like message status (sent/reply/forward) is never set on the server and categories are totally absent.  See The iPhone Exchange Issues List for more.
  • The iPhone assumes that’s it always connected to the internet and, as such, acts alone and abandoned when a signal can’t be found.  Some apps just wait around forever, calling home in their best E.T. fashion, some crash, and others just don’t work as expected.  Why, for example, can’t I read my email when I’m not tethered to the ether?  Because the mail app only downloads a few lines of a pushed message.  You don’t get the rest of the message until you select the header and you only get that if you have a current connection.  Doesn’t anyone at Apple fly on planes?  They’re really not a bad place to read email.
  • The phone’s OS can deal with precisely one task at a time.  At least from an application level.  Want to download email and check stock prices simultaneously?  Buy two iPhones.  3G is nice, but even when you can get a 3G signal, it’s not instantaneous.  Viewing a complex web page can take time.  Why can’t I go do something else while it loads?
  • It lacks some little stuff that other mobile phones have been doing for a while.  There’s no cut/copy and paste, no landscape email, and no Flash.
  • The virtual/on screen keyboard (or whatever Apple calls it) is only redeemed by the truly amazing dictionary function that corrects the word you are typing while you type it.  Otherwise, recipients of my email would think my messages are from “qo;k” instead of “Will.”  A physical keyboard is way better.
  • Did I mention it’s completely closed?

So, if you made it through all my whining, you’re asking yourself what could have possibly redeemed the iPhone enough to make me purchase it.  In the end, it’s mostly the lack of competition and my crack addiction-like need for new gadgets.  If there were a Windows Mobile phone (a Mobile OS that has been around for a while and has none of the flaws above) that had a big screen, a touch UI that worked with adult fingers and a great or rapidly growing infrastructure like Apple’s App Store, I would never have even considered the iPhone.  Similarly, if RIM (who knows business phones better?), which is aggressively pushing into this segment with the Blackberry Storm, the Blackberry Bold and their own app store were to finally deliver the devices and clean up more of their UI act, I would happily go that direction.

In the mean time, the popularity of the device and the cool apps being added on a minute-by-minute basis (many of them exclusive to the iPhone) make it marginally functional as a business phone and exceedingly interesting as a toy.  I’ll be thrilled when someone steps up and unseats the current king from its thrown.  Android/Google, Microsoft, RIM are you listening?

. . . I will not become an Apple or iPhone fanboy . . .

. . . I will not become an Apple or iPhone fanboy . . .

. . . I will not become an Apple or iPhone fanboy . . .

. . . I will not become an Apple or iPhone fanboy . . .

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  • http://www.stillsecureafteralltheseyears.com/ alan shimel

    Will – you hit the nail on the head with this one! I feel the same way. Next time you are out we have to gang up on the newest Apple iPhone fan boy, Brad Feld!

  • http://www.stillsecureafteralltheseyears.com alan shimel

    Will – you hit the nail on the head with this one! I feel the same way. Next time you are out we have to gang up on the newest Apple iPhone fan boy, Brad Feld!

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  • Dave

    Left out here is the fact that the only provider for the iPhone is AT&T, who after the way they treated their customers back in 2000 will never again be my cellular provider. When Apple adds providers I might consider it; for now I’m waiting for the Storm, which is on Verizon.

  • Dave

    Left out here is the fact that the only provider for the iPhone is AT&T, who after the way they treated their customers back in 2000 will never again be my cellular provider. When Apple adds providers I might consider it; for now I’m waiting for the Storm, which is on Verizon.

  • http://www.2-speed.com/ Will

    Dave,

    Agreed. Verizon is much better although I don’t like being locked in without the flexibility of GSM. The Storm looks good. Apparently, people either love the haptic feed of the screen/keyboard or hate it. The real downside of the Storm to me is that it doesn’t have WiFi.

  • http://www.2-speed.com Will

    Dave,

    Agreed. Verizon is much better although I don’t like being locked in without the flexibility of GSM. The Storm looks good. Apparently, people either love the haptic feed of the screen/keyboard or hate it. The real downside of the Storm to me is that it doesn’t have WiFi.

  • http://www.2-speed.com/ Will

    Alan,

    If we wait a couple of weeks, Feld will find something else to get behind ;-)

  • http://www.2-speed.com Will

    Alan,

    If we wait a couple of weeks, Feld will find something else to get behind ;-)

  • http://www.feld.com/ Brad Feld

    I’ve managed to last two months. Of course, my new Android phone is in my office – all I have to do is pry it out of Kelly’s hands.

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    I’ve managed to last two months. Of course, my new Android phone is in my office – all I have to do is pry it out of Kelly’s hands.

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  • http://www.roninmarketeer.com/ John Wall

    I thought I had seen a post you did on an iPhone so I search for it to send you this link – they say it works as well for biking as running:

    http://www.runkeeper.com

    Also, we’ve had 2 guys try the Storm and return it because they couldn’t stand it…

  • http://www.roninmarketeer.com John Wall

    I thought I had seen a post you did on an iPhone so I search for it to send you this link – they say it works as well for biking as running:

    http://www.runkeeper.com

    Also, we’ve had 2 guys try the Storm and return it because they couldn’t stand it…

  • http://www.2-speed.com/ Will

    John,

    Yeah, someone had pointed RunKeeper out to me and I checked it out. It looks very interesting, but I’m just not comfortable keeping my iPhone with me on a ride. In a pocket, it gets sweaty and fogged up (I’ve had problem with moisture getting in the display of some phones) and there’s no where to mount it on the bike where it has a view of satellites. I think it makes more sense for a runner that can strap it to his/her arm.

    I have heard negative things about the Storm as well. While I’d rather have a Verizon phone, the Storm’s lack of WiFi was a non-starter for me. I’m curious though about the “keyboard” which seems to be the biggest problem. It doesn’t seem to be a problem with the haptic feedback, but more with the fact that you have to press the screen to register a key click. Do you think that that the people dissing the phone are Blackberry users who want a real keyboard or are they non-Blackberry users who just don’t like the funky setup?

  • http://www.2-speed.com Will

    John,

    Yeah, someone had pointed RunKeeper out to me and I checked it out. It looks very interesting, but I’m just not comfortable keeping my iPhone with me on a ride. In a pocket, it gets sweaty and fogged up (I’ve had problem with moisture getting in the display of some phones) and there’s no where to mount it on the bike where it has a view of satellites. I think it makes more sense for a runner that can strap it to his/her arm.

    I have heard negative things about the Storm as well. While I’d rather have a Verizon phone, the Storm’s lack of WiFi was a non-starter for me. I’m curious though about the “keyboard” which seems to be the biggest problem. It doesn’t seem to be a problem with the haptic feedback, but more with the fact that you have to press the screen to register a key click. Do you think that that the people dissing the phone are Blackberry users who want a real keyboard or are they non-Blackberry users who just don’t like the funky setup?

  • http://www.roninmarketeer.com/ John Wall

    From the guys I talked to it’s the key click slowing them down. I think it’s the Blackberry users (or Crackberry addicts) shooting it down, they are the worst possible group to go after for a phone that tries to go toe to toe with the iPhone.

    All but the most hardcore fans will admit that the iPhone is a crappy phone, but it does so many other things that some people are willing to look past their business requirements. But for others there are checkboxes on the list that are not negotiable regardless of the GeeWhiz factor – WiFi for you, the ability to tether to my laptop without having to hack for me, or a keypad for crackberry addicts.

    I wonder if the storm would have done better if it was brought out by any other company besides RIM?

  • http://www.roninmarketeer.com John Wall

    From the guys I talked to it’s the key click slowing them down. I think it’s the Blackberry users (or Crackberry addicts) shooting it down, they are the worst possible group to go after for a phone that tries to go toe to toe with the iPhone.

    All but the most hardcore fans will admit that the iPhone is a crappy phone, but it does so many other things that some people are willing to look past their business requirements. But for others there are checkboxes on the list that are not negotiable regardless of the GeeWhiz factor – WiFi for you, the ability to tether to my laptop without having to hack for me, or a keypad for crackberry addicts.

    I wonder if the storm would have done better if it was brought out by any other company besides RIM?

  • http://www.solecontrolsolutions.com/blog/ Dade

    This advice is really going to help, thanks.

  • http://www.solecontrolsolutions.com/blog/ Dade

    This advice is really going to help, thanks.

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