Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've done a 180 and I'm back to the iPhone

For those of you that are smacking your foreheads in disgust after reading why I switched to the Bold, please give me a second to explain:

I was recently on an unplanned-for trip that was booked at the last minute and various things throughout the course of the trip made me realize that the Bold is not a suitable substitute for the functionality of the iPhone; I do still have some of the same gripes with the iPhone (battery, keyboard, reception, etc.), but I was unaware of how much it affected my day until I didn't have it.

Here's what brought me back:
  • Applications. I use them. A lot more than I thought. BlackBerry doesn't have them and the mobile versions of the sites for which I have iPhone applications don't measure up. Even something as simple as the weather application on the iPhone blows away the same push-based functionality on the Bold. Hey, I'm also pretty excited about the Kindle application too as that makes my whole investment in that series of products and distribution model more useful.
  • Browser. I never had a good idea of how much I used the browser until I had one that didn't work as well or as easily. iPhone = real web browsing; Bold with Opera doesn't.
  • Gmail. The Gmail app for the BlackBerry sucks in comparison to the e-mail experience via Safari on the iPhone -- not RIM's fault, but I use it an awful lot and the experience is much better on the Bold. And, for those of you that may point out that I could have my Gmail come to my Inbox on the Bold, I separate my work and personal e-mail by using separate applications.
  • Google Tasks. Works on the iPhone and not on the Bold, and I'm addicted to using it, it's part of my daily work-flow, etc.
  • Camera and pictures. Never really noticed how much I use the camera on the iPhone and picture manipulation until I couldn't do it in the same way -- interacting with pictures on the iPhone leaves the Bold in the dust.
  • Cords. One cable to charge my music device and phone. I don't know about you, but reducing cables and chargers and other device-specific crap is important to me when traveling.
To address some of the outstanding problems, I've made the following moves:
  • Reception. Can't do much about it, so I'm going to live with it and hope that Apple releases software updates to address it and that AT&T continues to improve their backbone. Note that I saw very similar signal coverage in San Antonio (home of AT&T), but still experience issues in Denver.
  • Keyboard. I'm getting very fast at inputting via Shapewriter; my biggest problem is wrapping my brain around the process of invoking Shapewriter before I initiate or respond to an e-mail. I know people that hate Shapewriter, but it totally makes sense to my brain and has drastically increased my input speed for lengthier e-mails.
  • Battery. I've invested in the Richard Solo battery, which I can't imagine having attached to my phone when using it for a voice conversation, but everyone that I've talked to has said that it's been an amazing device for them while traveling.
I'm done switching for now unless one of the new Nokias really catches my eye and/or the new iPhone this summer is super-cool (I'm sure it will be). And, yes, I'm eagerly awaiting a lot of the functionality from the iPhone 3.0 software suite.

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