Monday, October 17, 2011

How the iPhone has made me go wow before IOS5

I have to start by talking about my previous experience - It was a Treo 650.  In fact that phone started me blogging!  With that phone I could:

  • Listen to MP3s (but it was hard to set up, nearly impossible to manage play lists)
  • Watch movies (hard doesn't begin to describe it, plus it crashed all the time and the screen was tiny)
  • Download apps from the internet and use them (again, very very very hard to do)
  • Read RSS feeds, have access to podcasts (hard but doable)
  • Tether to the cellular-based internet (slow, buggy, but doable)
  • Play games (rudimentary, like chess - not action games)
  • VPN to the corporate network, use other admin tools like ssh
  • read emails, have access to my address book synced with my computer - PDA stuff
  • task lists
  • I even read project Gutenberg books on my Treo!
  • maps - Google maps actually worked on this thing, without GPS of course...
  • camera in a cell phone - it was more like a toy and not SO useful, but a start
I could not really do two things at once.  No multi-tasking on the Treo 650.  Well, you could listen to music and maybe do something else.  Mostly that was buggy.

Much of what I use my iPhone for today is that list but refined.  What do I not do from that list?
  • tether - I just haven't been willing to pay more for that ability.  The iPhone is good enough to make me have to have it and there is enough WiFi availability now otherwise to make tethering not mission critical thus far.
Why did the Treo/palm guys not take things to the next level?  They did use a phone OS image warped a bit and hindered by the cellular carriers for one thing...  The rest - I don't know.  There was a lot that was bad about that experience - battery life was very bad while I watched movies and used my Treo for so many things, the screen was tiny, and everything was hard.

Apple took what I used my tree 650 for and made it all oh so much better.
  • iTunes let me manage my music and playlists, but later I could just buy music on my phone or on my computer and it is easy, oh so easy!  (And with DRM-free tunes I can make CDs for when I want my iPhone for other things.)  Oh, even before Apple supported multi-tasking, Apple made listening to music while doing other things work and made it easy.
  • iTunes makes buying movies easy.  I have a Mac and that has made getting my DVDs onto my iPhone pretty easy, but that's a story for another day.
  • Netflix watch it now on my iPhone has been a game changer!  Wow!
  • iTunes has made things like podcasts really easy!
  • The iPhone App store has made getting new apps really easy, as the world knows.
  • Email - vastly better and with Exchange-style sync and more I can read personal and corporate email and - it is all easy.  VPN to work - easy.  
  • A camera eventually taking video and even enabling on-camera video editing!  That blows me away and they keep making it better even on slightly older phones!
  • Google maps with GPS integration and now even a rudimentary compass and turn-by-turn directions!
  • News, RSS feeds (I use reeder), weather info built-in app, 
  • I now have so many options for music - Pandora for example, Bing music search.  The ability to use my headphone controls to turn music on and off from different apps has been amazing.
  • Voice command - the most impressive part to me is asking to call people and mostly have my iPhone understand who I mean without training the iPhone.
Once I play with IOS5 I'll share those experiences.

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