This past weekend I purchased an iPhone. I had swore I wouldn’t till they fixed a few things but I needed a new iPod and when I considered the Touch vs iPhone it seemed silly not to get the phone. On some things it is a joy to use but there are some glaring shortcomings I hope will be fixed in version 2. Version 2 is rumored to be arriving this summer with 3G. But that may just be the wishful thinking of many a geek.
If you like to read pdfs and books on your phone you still can’t beat a Palm. It stores your documents and pdfs, the reader is easy to read and remembers where you are located. WM lets you store pdfs and docs but the reader leaves much to be desired. The iPhone will not let you store documents on it. You can store them online by mailing to yourself. But you can only read them when you have a network connection. The pdf reader leaves much to be desired. For any readable sized font you must scroll back and forth.
Palm and WM 3G networks are wonderful. The iPhone Edge network is unusable. When you can get a connection it is slower than your old 2400 baud modem and getting and keeping connections are rare. If you are constantly around WiFi then the iPhone is usable online. Browsing is a joy with the iPhone webpages are easy to read and adjust. But there is no Flash player. Which is a huge drawback considering the number of websites with Flash embedded in them.
Palm is the only one of the three I know that still comes with AIM clients. You can find some for WM but they suck the juice out of your battery and there are not IM clients available for the iPhone.
Mail is fine on all three phones, it is easy enough to set up a poll and use a webmail client. There are no major differences between the phones.
Google maps is a wonderful thing on the iPhone, provided you have WiFi or can connect to Edge. Even on Edge it locates you quickly and downloads maps quickly. Google maps also does location finding on some Palm and WM phones. It just depends on your phone. Windows Live is really ahead of Google maps on the phone and you’ll need a WM phone for that.
The multitasking on a WM phone is wonderful and greatly improves phone usage over Palm and iPhones. There are also thousands of applications available for your WM phone to fill any needs you might have.
The camera on the iPhone is the best cell phone camera I’ve used but no MMS. Which is one of those glaring omissions Apple left out. WM and Palm also are spotty at best on MMS. There are some 3rd party hacks and applications for WM and Palm none for the iPhone.
Using the iPhone is like using a Palm 5 with a Minstrel modem. But you could at least store stuff on your Palm. It is a shame Palm stopped keeping up with the times because until recently they were very much the better of the three phones.
Another glaring omission is the inability to stream radio to your iPhone, you can easily stream internet radio to your WM or Palm phone.
If you spend your time reading pdfs, documents and web browsing Palm is still an excellent choice. There are thousands of applications available to fill your needs. If you want a phone that will let you do several things at once, read some small pdfs or documents WM is a better choice. The multitasking makes working on the phone much nicer and Windows Live is a great tool. If you want to listen to music, audio books and don’t read papers on your phone or use the internet much from your phone chose the iPhone. The battery life on the iPhone puts everyone else to shame.
As I get more familiar with the iPhone I’ll post tips and tricks for those of you like me, not quite ready to jail break it.