iPhone is the best phone in the western world because of one simple reason – it has achieved those childish dreams that all other smartphones previously have failed to, and still do fail at, achieving. Those being the mobile browser, mp3 player and gaming platform, all encopassed into a single peace of hardware that fits into your pocket.
Now before you jump to the irrational conclusion that I am just another Apple fanboy, let me make a few things clear:
- On the desktop I have am above all loyal to the Windows platform.
- On the web I am above all loyal to Google.
- On the browser side I am above all facefull to Chrome.
- I code in just about anything, for just about anything, or at least try to do so.
There has thus far not been a single peace of Apple technology in my posetion, except for the occasional iPod nanos and shuffles. I had admired the iPhone since it’s release, but kept myself to the usual Samsungs, Nokias and Windows Mobiles. It is only recently that I have aquired an iPhone, primarily because 3.0 makes it an actual functional phone(with all the good stuff still on the side).
I’m not an Apple, Google, Microsoft or Adobe fanboy, I’m a fanboy for the most effective solution to any given problem. On the smartphone market that IS the iPhone, and as I said the reasons are simple, so let’s knock them out one by one:
- The mp3 player. Do you remember the Walkmann phones? The promises of Samsung and Nokia to make the best mp3 player phones ever? Well guess what, they sucked. First off they would usually NOT use jack sticks, making the choice of headphones(a highly personal matter) VERY limited. The jacks that they used were often easy to break, and most certainly disconnect. Nothing is morre irritating than your headphones not only falling out of your ears while you run, but furthermore your headphones falling out of your PHONE. Furthermore their battery SUCKED. iPhone uses regular headphone jack, has 10 hours of music lifetime, quite a few gigs memory and a beautiful interface(I will come back to the last one later). Indeed the iPhone, is the mp3 phone every phone company promised to build, but never built. There is NO reason to have an iPod beside your phone no more, since your phone is now in many ways better than the old-school classic iPod(though has a little less space).
- The browser. Before I had the iPhone, the only thing I used the internet for was checking traffic in the last minute, if I had no computer near-by. However with the iPhone, Google search, wikipedia, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook are just a click away, and you actually feel COMPELLED to use it. All those other small screens, stupid interfaces and complicated ways of internet access on the other phone were kind of a turn off as a whole. iPhone on the other hand is a turn on 😉
- The interface. Simply ingenious. If there is anything Apple is good at, then that is hardware gadgets, human-gadget interaction, and interface design for consumer electronics as a whole. This is why iPod has no equal competition on the mp3 market. It is geniously done, both hardware-wise and software wise. This has of course a lot to do that the software and the hardware parts of Apple products are as well integrated as they are. In most cell-phone companies this is not the case, and often the hardware department is totally split up from the software department, sort of mimicing the pc and notebook industry.
One thing that should be made clear to other smartphone companies, is that smartphones are NOT computers, and they shouldn’t simply try to prop a computer inside them. It might be possible space and memory wise, but there isn’t space for it interface-wise! This is why many touchscreen smartphones, as well as their browsers are so off-putting. For ages mobile phone producers would prop more and more of the computer software into their phones, creating thus the term “smartphone”, which in fact weren’t smart at all, but outright stupid, though functional. This is somewhat equivalent to placing a doornob in the middle of the door, instead of nearby the edge of the door. Even though the prior design still does the function, it is a pain to the user to function with it. The latter on the other hand is intuitive, easy, just as functional, if not more functional, and most important of all brings pleasure to the user for it’s ease.
Exactly the same thing goes for background processes in mobile phones. That is a feature entirely copied from the computer software infrastructure. This works well for big machines, with big screens, and big tasks, where you actually have a need, and are able to handle several things at a time as a user. On a mobile phone you can only see one window at a time, have an outlook over only one program at a time. Thus to you as a user, it makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE if the phone can multi-task or not, since you cannot handle multiple tasks on such a limited interface.Thus the only reason for background processes is synchronisation and timing. I am not familiar enough with the iPhone infrastructure to say anything for the latter, but push notification is a FAR smarter way to synchronise than having background processes doing the tasks. The main reason(in my opinion) being that the developer has not to worry about creating a synchronisation process on the client, he only has to worry about it on his servers.
Another use of background processes in computing, is well, simple computation, such as e.g. crawlers. This is usefull on big machines, since there are diverse bigger needs for that, which go beyond your personal interests. For the mobile you could care less if you can make a web-crawler run on it or not. The perosnal phone is used for communication, it is not a platform to run personal code on and things like that.
So this far(prior to 3.0) the only thing you could argue against the iPhone is it’s lack of features such as simple copy-paste, and indeed a way for developers to use push notification(prior this has only been available for only Apple’s programs). However things are changing. Now, besides being the best combination of a browser and media player in a mobile phone, it is an actual mobile phone. It now truly deserves the right to be called a smartphone(Windows Mobiles deserve the name dumbphone), and it is AWESOME!
P.S: Though mac’s are still grandpa pc’s 😉 But no present phone is better than the iPhone 🙂