Thursday, September 27, 2012

Should I Leave the iPhone Platform?

The question this post is titled under is more rhetorical than anything. But it is on my mind.

My iPhone is dying. More likely, Apple executed the script "Planned_Obsolescence" and things started grinding to a halt. The battery life is getting to be crap, applications are lagging, and the experience is nowhere near as great as it was 2 years ago. My podcast app, Downcast, lags when I try to skip through commercials. I know the commercials help fund the podcast, but if you've ever listened to a podcast with commercials, they play the same ones every day or week or whatever periodicity. It's not worth my time to listen to the same 3-4 minutes of commercials 20 times a day.

This problem may be more related to the latest Downcast update than iOS6 though, but it's still annoying. Apple finally released its own podcast app, but there's no way to import my podcasts into it. I probably have to go through iTunes. Forget that.

I'm also getting feedback on phone calls. It sounds like the person I'm talking to (usually my wife) is driving with the windows open and the children screaming in the background.

When I started this blog 6 years ago, I was a Windows Mobile user. I eventually got so tired of the problems that platform perpetuated I left it for the iPhone. I bought an iPhone 3G out of upgrade, that is, full price. I got an iPhone 4 near the end of 2010.

I've been content with the iPhone. It's not perfect, and Apple has a technofascistic approach to things, but on the whole they provide a good integrated experience. At the very least, the people who make the iPhone personally use it.  That's more than I can say for most other phones. I doubt anybody at Samsung used the BlackJack II and Epix, my two last straws on Windows Mobile. I doubt anybody at HP personally used the iPaq 6945 that I had for a while.

Apple is really good at setting trends and doing things nobody else can. Yet they also run behind. The first iPhone was revolutionary in a lot of ways. It was sleek and beautiful. It didn't have any of that annoying AT&T branding. Did anybody EVER use AT&T Music? Seriously? Then it fell short in key areas that other phones of the era already did. It only had a 1.3 Megapixel camera, and no stereo Bluetooth. The headphone jack was recessed, making a lot of connectors impossible to work with, including good headphones. It also had no apps. You can see Apple's genius at planned obsolescence, when the key selling features of the iPhone 3G were a normal headphone jack and apps. Oh, yeah, 3G, which several iPhone competitors had when the original iPhone was released.

Apple also manages to take some steps backward. The new Maps application falls short in a lot of key areas that the trusty Google Maps ALWAYS did well enough.I've found shortfalls in it. I can't get traffic to display. Since I have to drive back to New Jersey after work every other Friday on the I-95 corridor, being able to see whether the traffic jam I'm stuck in is only a few miles or long distance is important to me.

I have several friends on Android. I'm wondering if this is the time to jump. I still have an iPad, and it's not like I can't use the iPhone 4 as an iPod if I really feel the need to use iOS.
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