iPhone still leading the way?

12 02 2010

A lot of friends of mine quickly jumped on board the iPhone when it was first released, only for all of them to quickly jump ship complaining of the lack of features, slow internet connection etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, they all said they loved the look, the feel, and how the iPhone works, it was just that the phone did a lot less than other phones…It was truly, look and feel over substance (something I often get to witness in IT a lot)…

However, even with the early iPhone there were the usual die hard apple fans that claimed it revolutionised the mobile world, claimed this and that, but they did have a point. The iPhone set the new standard for how a phone should look and feel and how we should interact with it…Nothing else….

So is the iPhone still the market leader here?

Function, function, function…

We have got used to phones doing more and more, which can now be said of the iPhone too. Originally it gave us less, but now the iPhone has a proper internet connection, can allow you to actually forward a text message, and has a half decent camera…So function wise it’s now up there…Or is it…If you’re a business user you more than likely have been advised not to go near an iPhone..Why is that? Well like other Apple devices think connectivity and synchronisation. Other phones are a lot better at it, especially from a business point of view. For starters, I would suggest pretty much any Blackberry phone is going to suite your needs more. In addition, though not overly popular with bloggers and phone reviewers, Windows Mobile 6.5 operated phones are also more in line with business user needs and there is still a wealth of them out there…

Look, feel and touch?

Ok we all want to go to touch don’t we? Well maybe not all, for some of us it is quite impractical, I know many business users that will choose a qwerty keypad over a qwerty touch, and that’s because with touch it is easier to hit the wrong key (I’m sure backspace is a very popular key – well it is with me on my own touch phone).  But touch phones do have a lot going for them, the size of the screen, the ability to interact with various media in a friendly fashion, and also a nice big screen to allow us to use mobile applications (think Google Maps, Live etc).

So is the iPhone still ahead in this area…Well until recently I would have said Yes for sure. The iPhone touch screen is impressive, and the interface for writing messages also pretty good. My own Samsung Omnia (which I have had a long time now) is ok, but the touch on the iPhone just feels and works better it seems. However, HTC HD Touch 2 has that same feel about its touch screen. It also boasts a big 4.3”, all in all, I think I prefer it…..

Applications and extras…

Ok here the iPhone is still miles ahead, nothing can really touch it. The iPhone app store is a pretty impressive place, however, again if you are a business user there isn’t that much there for you. Friends of mine who own the new iPhone 3GS have lots of apps on it, however, I don’t think one is of any use other than amusement – don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that, I am just not a big games user on my phone…Also, I know there are some good iPhone based applications that are of use, look at the NatWest banking app for example…

So why is the iPhone ahead here, well it’s because of the open SDK that allows developers to make iPhone based applications. That is how iPhone got ahead here, until recently, it wasn’t that easy to dev mobile apps. However, other phones have caught up here, again let’s look at the HTC Touch 2. Windows Mobile 6.5 can support applications, however many of us just don’t go and get them. A popular app though is Facebook…One of the big things is using facebook on your phone, twitter and YouTube. On many phones this still isn’t a great experience, but with Windows 6.5, Android and the touch phones that use these systems (lets keep on track with the HTC HD Touch 2) the experience is just as good as the iPhone (if not a little better)…

So will things change…Well I can’t see Windows based phones, or Android based phones catching the iPhone any time soon with regards to applications. I believe in terms of functions and features, they are probably ahead now (well a few of the phones). But things may well change with Windows Mobile 7 – which could be out at the end of this year…Please note could be out…If Windows Mobile 7 supports Silverlight 4, then a very large community of developers instantly get access to delivering mobile phone applications. This means that potentially, Windows based mobile phones will almost overnight be able to provide an app store that can compete with the iPhone…Now that would be interesting…

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One response

12 02 2010
Max J. Pucher

Andrew, we develop mobile applications for all these phones. Let me tell you that the iPhone technology is way ahead of all the others. Development, deployment and the touch user interface, the ease of use for developers and so on. just having a lot of developers or apps does not yet mean anything. The most important thing for th iPhone is the AppStore as the sales channel that is a no-brainer.

I have a few games on mine, but I use it exclusively now for car and pedestrian navigation around the world with several products, with hiking navigation with MotionX, and for marine navigation with Navionics! I use it as my divelog, for reading Amazon Kindle books, photo sharing, music, currency conversion, Flighttracking, several language dictionaries, safekeeping of personal data, Tropadvisor Local picks, pUniverse for stargazing, pocket guitar for composing, a remote control for iTunes and Apple TV, Amazon shopping, and updating my WordPress blogs.

Hm, when do I sleep???

For the business users we have the Papyrus WebArchive frontend for our Platform and their we define the app functionality on the server side and not inside the iPhone application code. IT will expand to support our complete workflow and application functionality. The same will be available on the iPad.

I still have to see all that from all the other mobiles, but I admit that I don’t keep up daily wth what they do.

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