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June 20, 2008

Why I Won't Get the iPhone 3G

Filed under Gadgets

imageI was really excited about the new iPhone 3G that will be out July 11th.

Two things that were requirements for me were missing in the original iPhone: 3G and Exchange support.

I care about Exchange support because I have my own Exchange server via 1&1. This lets me use Outlook on my desktop, and a web browser anywhere else to access my email/calendar/contact list. My AT&T Tilt supports Exchange, so I also have access on my phone. With Exchange, you don't have to sync anything...update data in one place and it is automatically updated everywhere.

The new iPhone adds 3G and Exchange support.

Now there was nothing stopping me from getting an iPhone...until I started digging a little deeper.

iPhone is missing several features that I currently have on my AT&T Tilt and I'm not prepared to give up. These missing features are enough for me to change my mind and pass on the new iPhone.

What's missing from the iPhone 3G (but my current phone has)?

The best thing about the iPhone is how much focus mobile phones are getting now...I expect to see some interesting developments over the next year from Google's new phone OS Android and the next versions of Window Mobile.

Comments (17)

JasonR:

I've had an iphone since near the beginning. Iphone does support youtube.com. It has from day 1. They have a special application for it. All other flash sites do not work, although adobe supposedly has a working prototype application to make flash work.
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/17/adobe-breakthrough-flash-working-on-the-iphone-in-the-labs-on-an-emulator-oh-well/

Also AFAIK Apple doesn't have to approve your app to distribute it. If they do, then there will still be a huge black market for cracking phones as there always has been. Cracking it is a little bit annoying because you have to wait for new updates to be cracked before installing them, and I'm not sure how long that takes. My phone has not been cracked before, and I have been waiting for the Apple application store to open before deciding whether or not I will have to.

JasonR:

BTW, I quit last Wednesday (2 weeks).

So what happens with your iPhone with all the embedded youtube videos I have on my blog? Can you view those?

For example, can you play the video in this post?

What about less popular videos...like this one. Does it work on the iPhone?

JasonR:

They don't work in webpages. You have to go to the youtube application and search....personally I think youtube is ghetto, so I don't really care. Hulu is much nicer.

The biggest annoyances to me with iphone are that there is no push anything other than text messages. I think I remember hearing that the 3g one will allow push emails (which I assume will be a software upgrade that iphone 1.0 gets also). I want all applications to be able to receive items in the background so you can get items like messages on myspace on your phone as they come and you see a number next to the icon on the main page letting you know how many outstanding items are waiting.

I also want instant messenger programs that stay open. I can use meebo to get all my IMs on the iphone but you have to keep the screen on or the programs close. So by default the screen turns off after no usage for 30 seconds. I set that to infinite so you have to manually turn off the screen, and then its usable; but not being able to switch applications does really suck. I think they will fix this in a software update in the future...

With all these feature problems though, I still have never seen a phone I'd rather have.

I figured the embedded ones wouldn't work because they require flash.

What about the second link?

It is a new video that only had 1 view when I linked to it. I would be surprised if you could find that on the iPhone version of youtube.

The way I understand it, the iPhone version of youtube only has a subset of the videos that youtube has. To test this, I picked a video that was very new and few people watched.

Bubba:

The second link does is viewable on the iphone.

Yes the youtube app on the iphone presents the top rated and most viewed subset but you also have a search option. As long as you know the tag, username, or title of a video you will be able to find and view that video. You can also click on a link in an email or webpage to view a youtube video.

The embedded youtube videos on your site are not viewable on the iphone.

Apple has prevented other apps from running in the background to prevent the battery from draining. I used a hacked iphone and the battery would drain in 4 hours. Also the phone would get very hot.

I'm not an iphone fanboy and have problems with the iphone like:

1. Keyboard does not rotate to landscape mode (able to only with browser)
2. Not able to copy and paste.
3. When replying to email, the from field will always be from the default email service. Example, if you have a gmail email account and a work email address the work email address is your default. If you are reading a gmail email and reply to the sender the from field will be your work email address and not your gmail address.
4. Can't install apps unless you hack the phone.
5. Flash issue
6. No IM apps
7. Currently must use itunes to sync calendar, contacts, and task. Itunes is very buggy.
8. No direct viewing of address book / contacts. To view contact you first must launch an app like mail or phone and then go to contact section.
9. No MMS support. If someone sends me a text message with an attachment I can't view it directly. Instead I'm presented with a website that has the picture along with a username and password to access it. But since the iphone doesn't copy and paste (see #2) you have to write down the cryptic username and cryptic password. Not worth the hassle.
10. Safari browser. The phone only has safari browser. You can't install IE, Firefox, or Opera (see #4). The majority of business sites are designed to work with IE which is the most popular browser. Some sites will not work because of Safari.

Thanks for the update on the second link...I am surpised that worked.

You gotta love Apple's marketing department...turn a deficiency in the iPhone into a feature that nobody else has.

On my phone, I can run one app at a time or 10 apps at a time...my choice depending on what I'm doing.

Apple's "elegant" solution saves battery power by not letting you run multiple apps. Brilliant!

I wonder if the iPhone OS even supports true multitasking (the ability to switch at anytime) or if it just does cooperative multitasking (the ability to switch when an application takes a break) like Windows 3.0 did.

Same thing with the original iPhone...somehow, most people blame AT&T for the slow Internet performance of the iPhone. The truth is Apple built a phone that could not handle fast 3G Internet, again for power reasons. I would show people that I have 3G access over AT&T's network *now*...it isn't the network...it's the phone.

According to the linked article above, the iPhone SDK prevents you from creating an application that uses plugins. That pretty much destroys any chance of a fully functional web browser running on the iPhone.

Sounds like the iPhone needs Skyfire, a web browser with all the plugins running on a server, not the phone.

Russ Urquhart:

Good points Dave! Yeah, no one is going to buy one of these!! :)

Russ

Hey Russ....you know I just like getting the apple fanboys all wound up!

What are you going to do with your old PowerPC-based Macs (i.e. Macs from 2006 and earlier) when Snow Leopard comes out?

:)

@JasonR...I just noticed your comment about quitting. WTF? What's going on?

Russ Urquhart:

Hi Dave,

Here is a link to a guy who had some of your complaints, and a rebuttal to them:

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/18987/1103/

As for Snow Leopard, I think its still up in the air about support for PowerPC, but after Leopard came out, i was pretty much in the mindset of looking to replace my laptop at least. I got Sudi a mac book last june, so she is set. My 8-year old Pismo, that i got used about four years ago for $600 is still working fine, and WOULD work with Leopard, but i would lose Classic support. I'll probably just get a Mini and migrate my laptop stuff to it. I don't really carry my laptop around that much.
As for my cube, i may migrate its contents to a souped up G4 machine, but everything still works fine for me, and its running Tiger also.
(I found this out when I got OS 10.2, talking with mac users in line, most professionals keep their hardware and the OS running it because it is still working good! If they buy a new machine, its usually out of machine lust and not necessity, necessarily.)

How's Vista running? I hear MS is still going to offer XP, but only if customers buy Vista first, and then PAY to downgrade to XP from there: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/06/24/xp_vista_windows_roadmap/

That's one way to make money of Vista! :)

That guy is a complete apple-fanboy (ie idiot). He didn't make any valid points! (No flash support...who wants it!?!?! No Java support? Who uses that!)

I have Vista running on my desktop and my new laptop...I *love* it!

In a related note...I saw a post on slashdot today that was interesting...stay tuned, I'll write a my own post about it.

Actually, it sounded like someone blogging to get a free iPhone upgrade to me He doesn't seem to know anything about telecom fundamentals. And whenever you hear "Apple wanted us to..." a red flag should pop up. What Apple wants for us is completely irrelevant. Its what the consumer wants. Period. They've spent decades pushing their vision on the computer world, and while Macs are nice machines, they've never broken open the market in a big way. The closed architecture didn't work then, and it won't serve them well for the iPhone. Just wait and see.

Vista is nice. I've had a few problems, but nothing like is portrayed in the Mac ads. The only real complaint I had was 64bit driver support (I needed extended memory for rendering with lots of big texture maps). Because of the other system restrictions they put on Vista, Microsoft should have just made the switch to 64 bit then and there. Would have kept them from having NINE (count them!) different versions of the OS. But the product itself is very solid.

Bubba:

@Russ Urquhart

All Windows OS allow free downgrade rights to the previous version. Nothing new there.

As for your Mac fanboy remarks about Vista please see http://www.davidlenihan.com/2008/06/mac_can_learn_from_vista_secur.html

How do you know if a phone will let you tether to the internet? Are there any slider phones that fit the bill. Sorry if this is off the subject.

The best way to find out about if a phone supports tethering is with http://phonescoop.com.

They have a great search page that lets you specifiy exactly the features you are looking for in a phone.
http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/finder.php


For example, here are the results from a search for "form factor=slider data capable=yes".
http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/finder_results.php?m=s&w=s&ffr=r&ff_3=y&f25r=r

That query returns more than the 20 phone limit, so you should add more requirements to the search.

Bubba:

I just installed the latest firmware on my iphone 1.0 and now have active sync pushing emails to the phone. It is also wirelessly synching contacts and calendar.

The iphone has become more tolerable but for enterprise I belive Blackberries are better.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 20, 2008 12:50 AM.

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