A bunch of friends have asked me how my experiment is going.
As my friends know, I’ve been a die hard blackberry user for awhile. We use Microsoft Exchange at the office and blackberry enterprise server. That trio is like gold. It just works.
But I wanted more. Don’t we all?
For the past week, I’ve been using my iPhone exclusively. The Blackberry Curve has been in my desk drawer at the office. And turned off. Cold turkey.
My experience so far:
1. Screen. Unfucking-believable. Gorgeous. I love having (& showing off) photos of my kids. I watch funny N3 and Wallstrip videos when I’m at the airport or when I’m bored. The screen makes all the difference.
2. WiFi. Apple did WiFi right. The range is better than my MacBook Pro. And set up couldn’t be easier. WiFi combined with the built in browser is a winner. Love Facebook, nytimes and reading blogs on iphone w/wifi. Browsing on iphone on the ATT Edge network is a loser though. I usually don’t do it
3. Keyboard. The keyboard isn’t a blackberry. Not even close. And if I’m ever asked to defend my crown, I will absolutely use a blackberry to avoid getting my ass kicked by fred, howard or any other contender. Yet after just one week my iphone typing skills are getting better. Really. Two tips to become an iphone typing jedi
-hit the keys at a 90 degree angle. this is a must.
-don’t edit any misspellings until you complete the word. The built in dictionary is quite good and will prompt you in a very intuitive way. Similar experience as Blackberry SureType. Finish the word first. always.
4. Telephone. I like the phone features much better on the iphone than my blackberry. It’s easier to hold, dial, mute, redial, hang up, navigate auto-attendent systems, turn ringer on/off etc. Visual voicemail works really well. Pet peeve: phone numbers listed in calendar or email aren’t clickable.
5. SMS. The SMS app on iphone is very cool. Some may disagree but I like that SMS are separate than email (unlike the blackberry). I really like how it keeps threaded messages together. It’s the ultimate Twitter device.
6. Camera. Very easy to use. Photos are a bit nicer than the Curve. Syncs with iPhoto. Easy to upload to flickr via email. Love that. I also like that photos of my contacts appear in full screen with callerID for incoming calls. So far my friend Stan has the best photo ID in my address book. I won’t include it here but it’s very funny.
7. Contacts. The contacts/address book app is really sweet and really bad at the same time. It’s very easy to call, email and sms your contacts. Contact integration with google maps is just magical. But the iPhone doesn’t have contact search (yet).
8. Super iPod. Listening to music on iPhone is awesome. Coverflow is dreamy.
Incoming phone calls fade out the music perfectly. iPhone headphones also has a mic so you can talk on them as well. Even though I’ve been an ipod owner since the beginning of time, I didn’t always carry my ipod with me. with iphone, i do. And that’s excellent.
9. Form factor/durability/stability. The iPhone is solid. Hasn’t crashed on me once. The keyboard does slow down every so often but not bad. Form factor is outrageous. Screen seems very durable. No scratches after a week or normal use. I do tend to baby this thing a bit though. I don’t just throw it on my desk like the blackberry.
10. Dealing with Microsoft Exchange. Email is easy for those of you that use gmail, aol, yahoo, pop3 or imap. Exchange is not easy on iPhone.
By enabling IMAP on the Exchange server, the iPhone works with your corporate email. It’s not push email like blackberry though. Instead iPhone can at best fetch every 15 minutes. You can also manually fetch your email. I thought this was going to a headache but I can live with this.
There are two huge problems with iPhone for Exchange users though:
-Calendar and contact sync can only happen locally. And requires a cable. No over the air sync and no bluetooth sync. Sad but true.
-Even worse, any Exchange-based meeting invites sent to you are not received on iPhone. I believe it’s because IMAP is for email and can’t deal with the calendar protocol in exchange. It’s not made for that. I cannot accept or reject an incoming meeting invite from the iPhone mail client. (This doesn’t effect meetings I schedule myself obviously). My workaround is to check Outlook Web Access periodically where I can accept/reject mtgs.
So after a week, I’ve decided to continue using the iPhone as my primary phone. It’s far from perfect but at this time I like it the best. And it’s fun. I’ve never felt that way about my Blackberry.
When I travel more than a day, I’m going to keep the Blackberry in my bag just in case meetings suddenly change and I need to stay on top of it in real-time.
But for days in/around the office, quick day trips to nyc and weekends, I’m going all iPhone, all the time.
Maybe this video says it all :)