iPhones: they aren't as bad as you think

May 16, 2009
Updated • Jul 4, 2017
Mobile Computing

A couple of months ago, I did something I thought I never would do: I bought an iPhone. Technology enthusiasts generally seem pretty torn about these devices: some see them as fantastic whilst others see them as an expensive device which isn't very functional.

I, too, was torn. I vowed never to buy an iPhone, on account of their price and lack of certain features (saying that, I too vowed never to run Windows XP but I ended up using XP about 3 years after its release, in 2004). I was strongly considering a Symbian-based smartphone, generally seen as a phone of someone a little more tech-savvy than an iPhone user. When I got my iPhone, I was shocked. iPhones are actually very good.

Whilst they do have many little annoying flaws, such as the fact you can't use a landscape keyboard to compose an email or SMS (not until the next version of iPhone OS, anyway), they are remarkably user-friendly and after a little jailbreaking pretty flexible. I have yet to find something I would like to do, but I can't do.

I found the selection of applications, in the App Store and other unofficial places, absolutely amazing. I have many games - ranging from a mobile version of Sim City to an NES emulator - and I also have many tools and utilities, like a Google Docs editor, SSH terminal and SSH server. My only complaint with applications is how quickly you end up spending a small fortune in App Store: I still find it amazing I have to pay £5 for the official UK train network's program.

Another popular complaint people have with the iPhone is the lack of hardware keys. However, I soon became accustomed to the touch screen, because it has somewhat of a LCARS feeling - especially after you install a LCARS theme! There are some hardware keys though: volume control, a switch to turn it on or off silent mode, the 'home button' and a lock button.

Still, the most popular complaint is the price. I find myself paying 35GBP a month and about a 100GBP lump sum. For that, 600 minutes and 500 texts. Pretty expensive, but I am quite satisfied with the data plan that is also included in that price.

So, do you have an iPhone? If not, why not?

iPhones: they aren’t as bad as you think
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iPhones: they aren’t as bad as you think
Joe explains why he decided to buy an Apple iPhone after all, despite being torn about it for a long time, and why he does not regret the decision.
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  1. Rico said on May 18, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Yeah, i’ve been keeping tabs on 3.0’s progress. i’m excited about the copy and paste for my mom, who’s been missing that since she finally upgraded from her Palm.

  2. DanTe said on May 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I have personally come to conclusion that if I see someone with a Mac or iPhone, I don’t hire that person for IT. Just not worth the time it takes to school them on basic corporate security and fiduciary responsibilities. They make great prospect for the sales department though – they always talk good as long as you don’t ask them real technical stuff.

  3. qbix said on May 16, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Never. I don’t care for it, I have no need for one and I frankly don’t want to be seen with one. I am much more eager to see what Palm and Google+partners can come up to compete with it, and if they have Flash support maybe I’ll even develop for it :)

    The funny thing is that everyone seems to have or at least want an iPhone, an iPod or a Macbook… so much for “thinking different”.

    By the way, I’m not anti-mac because they are pushing everyone else to innovate or at least catch up. In fact, I’ve thought about building a hackintosh one day. The thing I don’t want to be associated with is the fanboys who think they are so cool for having a mac product and don’t hesitate to flash it in public and brag about all the cool things it can do.

  4. Joe Anderson said on May 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Rico: OS 3.0 will add ‘fake’ multitasking, copy and paste, A2DP, I have jailbroken video recorder (and there are rumours it may be added).

  5. Thinker said on May 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Is it really necessary? I got phone with gmail and some simple internet, but I never really needed it. I think modern phones turns people into a tech-prisoners. I like leaving my mobile at home when I go out. It really makes you feel free.

  6. Rico said on May 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    i forgot to add true multitasking as one of the things it lacks.

    What’s the timeout for comment editing on this blog? Seems like i stepped away for ten minutes and it said i was no longer able to edit my comment.

  7. Rico said on May 16, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    No iPhone here. i alternate between an HTC Touch Pro and a Nokia 6555 that’s been crippled with AT&T’s firmware. i’ll probably upgrade to the Touch Pro 2 or the Nokia N97, but only if it vastly improves on Series 60’s touch interface and provides good performance.

    My big gripe with the iPhone is the very sandboxed nature of the device. i don’t mind the idea of an app store, which has been around for about a decade now. i do mind having that as the only way to get apps on the device, aside jailbreaking it. Jailbreaking is a possibility, but i really don’t want to have to play that game of cat-and-mouse between me and Apple updates on something as important as my cell phone.

    i also don’t like the fact that feature which other phones have had for years like copy and paste, A2DP, video shooting, etc. A decent word processor would be nice. i’ve written documents up on phones, only to sync and format them on the computer, but i wouldn’t expect to have to do that on a device

    There’s also the fact that you have to use iTunes to manage the iPhone. iTunes on Windows is better than it used to be, but is still limited in the media formats it accepts, and a much greater resource hog than it needs to be. i’m guessing that’s largely attributable to maintaining the brushed metal look and font rendering which isn’t native to Windows.

    For what it’s worth, i’m glad that the iPhone exists. It’s raised awareness by manufacturers to make smartphones finger-friendly, have attractive GUIs, and to make devices simply easier to use for the tech impaired. It’s also given my mom a smartphone solution that doesn’t require her calling me every other day for tech support.

  8. Roman ShaRP said on May 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

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