Sunday, October 26, 2008

Electronic devices - the art of the compromise

There are things about my iPhone that I do not love. Horrors!

When the phone was first announced a key phrase that caught my ear was, "for a phone, the killer app is - phone!"

I heartily agree. Which is my issue with the iPhone. It is a great iPod, music and video-wise. The internet experience is astonishing. Better on its small screen than on my 4½" Nokia N800 screen. It is a terrific application platform, even if many of the applications are not of interest to me.

Yet, in making phone calls and sending messages on the phone I find it wanting. A complete lack of MMS messaging is something I cannot understand - given the connectivity and multimedia capabilities of the device. It lacks the ability to forward SMS messages. This, coupled with the lack of copy/paste functionality, means you have to retype messages you wish to pass on to someone else. An irritant rather than a bug yes - but when other, demonstrably lesser, phones can do this...?

One key redial - or simple tapping on a Bluetooth headset. Why not? In these days of handsfree operation one would think it would be there. Voice dialing. This has long been part of high-end Nokia phones - where the phone supplies a voice tag for every contact in your address book. Why not?

While on the subject of Bluetooth, why not the ability to send a contact card via Bluetooth to another phone? In fact, sending a contact card by any means is not possible. This from a phone with great email capability.

Ah yes. All of the above is true and causes me to cast about for a Nokia that might come closer to perfection (ever a receding goal). And then something like Google Earth shows up as an application on the device.

It has some issues, needs further work. And is astonishing! The Google Earth application, tied into the address book to make searching for locations easier. On an iPhone.

Whatever will they think of next.



  1. I'm glad to see your comments on the iPhone posted on your blog. I hope Apple comes across them and fixes some of these gaping lacunae. In the meantime I was wondering whether you'd checked out the new Google phone. I'm intrigued.

  2. It seems unlikely that "KjM - on the web" is on the radar of the Mighty in Cupertino, but I suppose you never know.
    Regarding the gPhone - I am not enamored of the design (and I am known as a sucker for good design). It seems the screen will not flip landscape unless you slide out the keyboard - petty of me, but there you have it. With my experience of the Nokia Internet Tablets I am not sanguine about "open-source applications" filling in any shortcomings either. Many such go only as far as the developer wants (some not even that far) - and this is often way short of consumer-ready. We will see.