About a month ago, I wrote "Why I’m Turning in my Blackberry for an iPhone 3G" and it made its way onto Techmeme. The feedback I've received via comments and emails is generally of individual contention. Like me, people are conflicted about the turning in their trusty blackberries for an iPhone. Just today, a reader turned in his new iPhone 3G for his old blackbbery:
max Says: i just returned my iphone. you cannot search, you cannot copy and paste and if you get 100+ emails a day it drives you mad.
also i travel a lot and the data usage of this phone is crazy. it downloads every attachment first, even when I forward it without reading it… the blackberry has by far the most sophisticated push system out there and it is also push for GMAIL and virtually any other pop application.
If you know me, you know that I am a blackberry addict. I have a Blackberry Curve (the fourth Blackberry version I've owned) and I can type on it nearly as fast as I can on my laptop. I know the interface inside and out. I recognized that the iPhone likely cannot replace (or come close) to my Blackberry in terms of reading and delivering emails... but my attraction it is the new App Platform - which is truly-game changing. And as someone who works in the widget space (Widgetbox), I feel awkward carrying a Blackberry and not being a part of it.
So I bought the iPhone 3G yesterday morning and, after hours of arguing with various AT&T customer support employees, I was able to keep my old phone number. Here is my quick review in rambling format:
- I was immediately struck by how fast the network is. It turns the iPhone into a truly mobile internet browser - and while the iPhone can't keep up with writing content, it makes digesting web content easy and enjoyable. Safari and multi-tabbed browsing are enough to convert me... it killed me that I couldn't open multiple browsers on the Blackberry.
- Apple's App Store is really well done... but they are going to struggle with the shopping / finding experience as inventory continues to grow. Browsing outside of the top 25 apps is just plain difficult.
- The quality of the Apps is *very* impressive. People's ability and willingness to develop innovative apps that are sometimes useful and often useless-but-fun is exactly why I moved to the iPhone. And the apps are only going to improve over time. It's obvious that some companies rushed out content (ie New York Times), but I am certain that the NYT and others will recognize the early success and improve.
- Google NEEDS to get in the game. Their hybrid web-apps for Gtalk and GMail leave me yearning for my Blackberry.
- The much-touted sensor that moves the screen from vertical to wide-screen is very funky and rarely works properly. I assume that will be fixed in a software upgrade.
- Apple's packing is elegant (expected)... but the unwillingness to include a real charger is ludicrous. The charger is cheap and really just a short USB data cable.
- I am struggling with typing, but slowly improving. My biggest complaint is that the UI makes typing symbols cumbersome and confusing. I miss the Blackberry's ability to shift and control each key.
- The contacts UI is poorly done. When you have hundreds of contacts, it's rather painful to scroll through the users / alphabet or bring up the typing box. I really miss the Blackberry's hot-keys - where you can program keys for auto-dialing. I'd love to add contacts as icons to the home screen.
- And Max is dead-on: it's unbelievable that there is no search functionality or copy / pasting. Makes zero sense.