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There’s an App For That!

Published May 23, 2010 - 0 Comments

A few months ago I posted my thoughts on getting a new phone, and asked people their opinions on the Blackberry and iPhone.  At the time, I was using a Motorola Q, which is a fine-enough phone, except that it uses Windows Mobile and crashes frequently.  I had just about enough, and was eager to find a suitable replacement before I smashed the Q against a wall.

I was very happy with the reader interest in that post.  The poll and comments were pretty much evenly split, with half recommending a Blackberry, and most of the others recommending an iPhone.  While there was some initial interest in Google’s Android-powered phones, I wasn’t willing to explore that possibility quite yet.  Perhaps when the operating system becomes a little more entrenched.  As for Windows Mobile, I thought that the platform was dead, until I heard that there is a Windows Mobile 7 available.  After my experience with the Q, never again will I go anywhere near Windows Mobile.  I wouldn’t wish that pain upon my worst enemy.  (well, maybe one)

So after careful consideration of my handheld usage needs, I finally opted to go with the Apple iPhone 3GS.  And all I can really say is “What took me so long?”…

It’s not perfect by any means, but I think that it’s a near-perfect fit for me.  For the most part, I’ve been able to figure out how to type coherently on the flatscreen, although there are times when I repeatedly hit the wrong key and back up, only to hit the same wrong key, and back up, and again… you get the idea.  I get a little frustrated at times, but I’m getting better.  Not to mention, the phone seems to be learning what words I like to use most often, and correcting my spelling as I go along.  Generally, this is a good thing.. but there are times when I really DO mean to type an acronym, and don’t want the phone to automatically change it to something else.

But the positives far outweigh the negatives.  For music lovers like me, the integration with iTunes and the iTunes Store is remarkable.  This isn’t anything new.  It was one of the things that people told me that I would enjoy the most… and they were right.  Whether I’m connected to the Internet through my cell account, or a Wifi connection, I can easily download a new song and have it playing within minutes.  And my music videos look fantastic on it. I’m not at the point where I want to replace my iPod completely, but the iPhone is generally all I need most days.

But how is it as a phone?  I’ve seen some pretty bad things written about the overall phone quality of the iPhone 3GS, and I have to say that I don’t agree at all.  I’m not sure what all the fuss is about because I have never had any problems.  Maybe it’s the US carrier that is the problem, but here I talk regularly on my iPhone without any problems, and no one has ever mentioned not being able to understand me.  So I’d say that it works perfectly fine as a phone.

And of course, there’s the whole “App” discussion, but I think that I will leave that for another day.

So far, so good… very pleased!  Maybe my biggest concern is that Apple is expected to release the 4th generation of the iPhone this summer, so I may have purchased mine at the wrong time.

To iPhone or not to iPhone?

Published December 22, 2009 - 1 Comment

I found myself asking that very question again recently.  I was visiting a friend and several of his co-workers had stopped by.  I noticed that 2 of them were carrying iPhones, and I asked them what they thought of Apple’s wonder phone.  The answer was pretty much the same.  They loved them, although one guy wasn’t quite as thrilled with his $90/month cellphone plan.  When I mentioned that I had tried to use one in FutureShop and couldn’t quite seem to get the hang of typing on the flat screen, they both said the same thing, pretty much in unison.

“You get used to it.”

So I’ve been told.  I think that should actually be Apple’s slogan for the iPhone.  You’ll Get Used to It!

I just don’t know if I want to take the chance with something that I’ll get used to, especially if I don’t get used to it.  How long do I fumble with my txt messages, waiting for the light to suddenly turn on, and regain my über-txter status that I have with my Motorola Q?

And then there’s the whole contract thing.  As much as I complain about  my current phone (and will never EVER buy another Windows Mobile device as long as I live!), I do appreciate my $25/month pre-paid bill, as opposed to a $90/month kick in the gut.  Sure, you don’t have to have the top of the line iPhone package, but there really aren’t any cheap ones, especially if you want to actually use the phone in all of it’s online multimedia glory.  And it still bothers me that we don’t have unlimited data plans in Canada.  I think that if I’m paying nearly $100/month, that I don’t want to have to worry about how many YouTube videos I’m watching.  Damn you, Susan Boyle.

So for now, it’s still the frustrating Motorola Q.  Perhaps in the new year it will inexplicably stop working after being thrown under a moving train, or lost in the St John river.  And then I’ll have to make the decision..  Blackberry vs iPhone…

When’s that Droid phone coming to Canada?  I think I read that Telus was going to start offering it in the new year.

The Search is on For a New Phone

Published October 6, 2009 - 2 Comments
Blackberry 9630 Tour

Blackberry 9630 Tour

My poor Motorola Q Windows Mobile cellphone is getting a little long in the tooth.  Actually, that’s putting it mildly.  I’m about ready to throw it under dumptruck.  It’s my first smartphone, and I’m sold on the whole smartphone idea.  I was really happy when I first got it.  I can txt on the full QWERTY keyboard quite easily.  I’m pretty sure that my thumbs are going to fall off eventually, but until that happens, I’m quite proficient.

But the phone is not without its drawbacks.  I’ve told myself that I’ll put up with its quirks a little longer.  If I can just make it through til May, I’ll treat myself for my birthday and get something better.  But every day the frustration level rises, and I’m closer to throwing it against the wall. 

It’s a Windows Mobile phone,  so it has a very familiar feel to it. A little too familiar.  It tends to lock up frequently, just like a bad Windows installation.  There is nothing I hate more than receiving an important txt and then having my phone freeze so I can not read it, reply, or anything.  I have to pop the battery out for a few seconds, and then reboot the damn thing.. losing the txt in the process, and having to ask the sender if they can resend it to me. 



I’ve also had times when I’ve gone to call out on it, and it says that there’s an error as it tries to dial.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a pre-programmed number or something that I’m trying to dial manually.  It just won’t go.  Again, I have to pop the battery out and reset the phone.  Most people wouldn’t put up with this.  But I’m not most people.  I’m generally pretty patient, but my patience is running low.  Very low!

So I’ve started to ask around.  Of my friends who have smart phones, are they happy with their phone?  Would they recommend it?  Whichever phone I choose, I plan on having it for a couple of years, so I don’t want to get locked into a piece of crap.  I’ve had people tell me that they love their Blackberrys… I’ve have people say their iPhone took some getting used to, but they love it over their previous Blackberry… I’ve had people say that I should look at the new Palm Pre…  Not surprisingly, no one has said that I should consider another Windows Mobile phone.  Do they even still make Windows Mobile phones?  I really don’t know.  And then there’s Google’s Android phones.  I’ve never seen one, but I’ve read a fair bit about them.  Not sure if it’s something that interests me or not, but it’s still a player. 

Palm Pre

Palm Pre

I’m hoping to gain something from the collective wisdom of the crowd, because I am seriously on the verge of destroying this Q and scattering its remains to the 4 corners of the kingdom as a warning against others of its kind… opps.. had a Braveheart moment there…

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