Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In praise of the iPhone

There is a big bandwagon out there and I just jumped on it.

About two weeks ago, I purchased the latest iPhone. I didn’t need a phone especially since I already had a Verizon contract with my Omnia phone. When I approached the Verizon people about my desire to switch teams, they told me it would be VERY expensive to break their contract. And hit men would come after me. And I would have seven years bad luck. And finally, after everything else had failed, they tried to tell me that the Omnia is a great phone.

But let me tell you, the Omnia sucks. Badly.

The biggest problem is with the screen. It is horribly inaccurate and very insensitive. After recalibrating the screen again and again, I tried finding an answer on google. There were a couple of suggestions but they all involved changing the registry and that was something I just didn’t want to mess with. As far as the sensitivity was concerned, there didn’t seem to be much I could do. In most cases, it literally took me a couple of taps before the screen acknowledged that I wanted something.

And to top it off, the Omnia comes with a dangling stylus. What year is this? 1999?

I presume the stylus is there to help with the accuracy of the typing but it didn’t help. In fact, all it did was remind me that I wanted to stab the phone with something sharp and make it bleed.

The deal breaker for me was the inaccuracy of the keyboard. Simple texting was a chore. I found that the most accurate way (which was pathetically inaccurate) was to handwrite my message with the stylus and have the phone transcribe it. Here is a good example of how this transcription worked.

Let’s say I wanted to text this:

Hey Patrick, I had a long day at work. How about we chill at a nice relaxing movie tonight?

This is how my writing would be transcribed by the Omnia.

Fuck you, homey! That whore you bought me last night gave me some bitchin’ crabs!

This was sometimes funny when I was texting my friends but it was often not appropriate when I was in communication with my parents.

You may wonder why I bought the Omnia in the first place. Well, I did compare the iPhone with the Omnia and the Omnia was definitely cheaper. $50 compared to the hefty $250 for the iPhone. And the Omnia had very good reviews (which were obviously written by Verizon employees.) The other selling point was the 5MP camera on the Omnia as opposed to the 3MP on the iPhone. I went back and forth but I was finally swayed by the fact that everyone was getting an iPhone these days and I wanted to be a little different.


If you are thinking about getting an Omnia, think about what I am saying very carefully.

The reason why everyone is getting an iPhone is because they are that good.

Of course, they are not for everyone. I probably wouldn’t get one if I were a jet-setting businessman or a granny who just wants an portable phone or a stuck-up Blackberry user but if you are looking for a slick piece of equipment that feels like the future in your hand, then what the hell are you waiting for?

The biggest selling point for the iPhone is the app store. There truly is an app for everything.

Want to know where to hike? Where to find a cool new restaurant? Figure out a tip? Find out the nutritional composition of your favorite Starbucks drink? Learn the lyrics to a song? Post to your blog? Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of an ocean? Add pictures to your Facebook? Track down medical marijuana outlets? Locate a bar where they serve Guinness? Send a postcard? Watch TMZ videos? Sex tips? Wikipedia? Where you parked your car?

There’s a freakin’ app for that!!!

I think the most amazing app is Shazam. If you click on this app, it can “listen” to a song and in less than 30 seconds, tell you everything you want to know about it. Name of song, band who did it, the biography of the band and their discography. You can watch the video on YouTube and it can even take you to the link on iTunes where you can purchase it.

I tried this app out in a noisy bar with low level music and it still worked. Sinatra! How did it do that??

The iPhone is absolutely beautiful and a true jewel to hold. The screen sensitivity is pure bliss and I am no longer in danger of plugging up my toilet because I tried to flush a cell phone out of my life.

The downside? It ain’t cheap.

The phone is expensive enough but of course, there is the monthly fee which is at least $80. Then you have to add on the apps that you need to purchase. I say “need” because everyone should have a phone which can tell you where to eat after giving it a good shake.

I never thought that I would put out this much money on a fancy phone but kudos to Apple for making me think that it is all so worth it.

There is room for improvement. I would love to see a 5MP camera with HD video. I would love multiple apps to run at the same time. The battery could definitely last longer. The phone should come with a case or a cover. And the reception could be a lot better in my apartment.

And make it cheaper.

A lot cheaper so I can buy more apps.

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