Reason #1 of 862.2 why I love my iPhone
6 months ago, I would never have thought that the iPhone could change the way I engage my daily routine. Sure, the iPhone is cool and all. But it’s just yet another smartphone, right? I was already using a Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone already, so I can do pretty much, if not more, than the iPhone, right? Boy was I so wrong about that.
Fast forward 6 months ahead, I found out how wrong my perception was on the iPhone! Sure it is has limited functionalities compared to other smartphones in the market. An iPhone 3G without video recording? Come on Apple, you can surely do better than that! Even my age old Sony Ericsson W910i with a 2MP camera provides me video recording capabilities.
So, what makes the iPhone so great? What was it that turned me into an iPhone believer? To be honest, that’s a hard question to answer. It’s like trying to describe to you the experience of watching James Cameron’s Avatar in it’s 3D glory with mere words. So to truly understand my experience with the iPhone, you’ve to also experience using it yourself. And even then, I can’t promise you that you’ll love the iPhone, just as I can’t promise you that you’d love immersing into the massive rain forest of Pandora.
But here’s my attempt to do so anyway. I’ll be sharing some of my main reasons and experiences why I love the iPhone over a series of blog posts and here’s the first of many to come!
The reason #1 why I love my iPhone: True mobility
I’m a techo-geeko-maniac. Or whatever else you’d call someone that always needs to read his emails and be connected online. So, what I mean here by true mobility is the ability to be constantly connected to the virtual world aka the Internet. On the average, I spent at least 12 hours online a day, partly on a professional capacity to do what I do at Oracle and also on a personal basis, such as doing what I’m doing now, blog @Peaz.
Before having an iPhone, I’m still able to check my emails using a Windows Mobile smartphone and occasionally surf the web using Opera Mini on my Sony Ericsson mobile phone. However, that’s pretty much as connected as I get when I’m mobile. These devices weren’t conducive enough to replace the notebook when I’m moving around. So I’d still end up lugging around my hefty notebook and hook up online to via my mobile broadband plan to get work done.
Today with my iPhone 3GS, I get to easily sync my emails, both work and personal accounts, so I stay constantly updated. I’ve even get push notifications as soon as new emails arrives into my mailbox! So I don’t even need to constantly check the email accounts to see if there are any new messages. Can I do that on the Windows Mobile device? Perhaps with my work’s exchange-integrated collaboration system, but what about my GMail-based personal email accounts? Tough luck there trying to get push notifications. 🙂
Yes, you may say that this too aren’t natively available on the iPhone. That’s true. In order for me to get all this notifications, I use a combination of applications, such as BoxCar and IM+. But here’s the thing. I didn’t need to hack any registries or install any ugly looking applications that requires me to set 1001 options. These are easily downloadable applications off the AppStore and configurations are a breeze!
So I’ve got receiving emails all covered. What about replying emails? Windows Mobile’s input options are all a pain to use. Transcriber is hardly usable and pin-pointing with you stylus onto the ultra-small virtual keyboard isn’t exactly conducive if you need to type paragraph-long emails. The iPhone however has a pretty intuitive touch-based virtual keyboard. The big screen size of the iPhone and the landscape mode of the keyboard helps tremendously. And once you’re used to the keyboard, you’ll be surprise how accurate you can type on it. It took me about a week to familiarize with the keyboard, but once you’re there, you can type pretty fast.
Apart from emails, being constantly connected on the various Internet messaging networks is also something I’d always hope for. It’s not to say that this isn’t possible with my old Windows Mobile smartphone, it’s just that the applications available for all-in-one IM for the platform SUCKS! having the capability is one thing, having a usable and user friendly applications is another thing all together! And the AppStore has a plethora of applications just for this functionality alone, from the popular BeeJive IM, IM+ to the freely available eBuddy, and Palringo. In my case, I got myself IM+ when it was on sale for US$2.99 during the holiday season! So now, I also get push notifications everytime I get ‘offline’ messages from my IM contacts too!
I also try to tweet regularly and follows tweets on a daily basis. With TwitBrid Pro, I get to anywhere I am, easily. And if I need to tweet my location or a certain scene, I can easily do that with my iPhone’s camera and GPS location! Now that’s tweeting. I don’t even need log on to twitter’s website to post a tweet! Same thing for Facebook as well! With the Facebook for iPhone application, I get to stay in touch with the latest news feeds on Facebook, and also post new photos, status updates and comments as well, all from my iPhone! Try and do this on the Windows Mobile device? No, let’s not kid ourselves there.
Last but not least, web surfing on the Safari browser on the iPhone is surprisingly good! Apart from not supporting Flash, Safari works very well with most websites. It’s usability as a web browser is so good, I hardly find myself needing to browse a website using a notebook these days. It’s come to a point where if there’s anything that I need to research online at any point in time, there’s no good reason not to do it there and then if I’ve my iPhone with me and there’s 3G connectivity. And so far, that’s has worked very well for me. Otherwise, how would I know if I should order a Kokutou Warabi Mochi, if I didn’t find out instantly that it means a brown sugar rice cake.
There are many more elements and means of staying connected and being truly mobile on the iPhone but I’d pretty much shared the main parts of it here in this blog. And please feel free to share your comments here as well. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with me. It’s after all a free world that we live in and one man’s meat is another’s warabi mochi!