I was reading Game Informer magazine the other day, and the Letter from the Editor was basically a shout-out to everyone who's ever accused him of favoring one platform over another over the years. He did this by running through a list of what he likes and dislikes about every major gaming platform currently on the market.
Dealing with accusations of bias is a sad, annoying truth when you make a living reviewing *anything* for a living. While I'd be the first to tell you that I have my personal preferences when it comes to mobile devices and applications, I also do my very best to remain as objective as possible - and to view products from multiple perspectives - when reviewing a phone, accessory, or service.
That said, I'm stealing that gaming editor's idea here by offering a run-down of what I love and hate about the major smartphone platforms we've been spending so much time covering this Summer at PhoneDog. Take it for what you will, but I'm tellin' ya, there are things I love and hate about every device out there, and I really mean it when I say that just because I like a particular phone doesn't mean you will, or should, as well.
Now if only I could get YouTube commenters to stop yelling at each other (and me) for a minute and come read my blog ...
Love it, Hate it: Apple iPhone (iPhone OS, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3S)
- I love iPhone's form factor, multi-touch display, and easy to use user interface.
- I hate iPhone's one form factor/no keyboard fits all design and Apple's general arrogance when it comes to rolling out certain features that smartphone users are used to.
- I love how Apple provides a best-in-the-business customer experience, from marketing to retail to packaging to hardware/software integration to the iTunes & App Store ecosystem.
- I hate how buying an iPhone means that you're locked in to Apple's ecosystem - and general way of life - unless you're willing to jailbreak/hack your device.
- I love Apple's fool-proof approach to "multitasking": You can listen to your iPod while doing other stuff, but that's it - why would you need more? Safari remembers what Web page you were last browsing, and users don't have to fuss with memory management and performance hits caused by multiple open and forgotten apps running in the background.
- I hate Apple's "we're smarter than you are" approach to multitasking. iPhone 3G S is a beast - it's a mobile computer! - so open it up. At least offer a "Pro" mode that allows me to run as many apps as I want in exchange for remembering to quit when I'm done using them. I've been using OS X and Windows XP for years now; I'll be okay with a Big Boy mobile OS, too.
- I love Apple's iTunes ecosystem. It's super easy to use, very well marketed, and makes it easy for consumers to purchase music and video content, access free podcasts, and extend the functionality of their devices via downloadable apps. The success of the App Store has also spawned new opportunities for developers large and small, which is terrific.
- I hate the image surrounding App Store and iTunes Store. Apple would have you believe that nobody had ever thought of buying music or installing software on a cell phone before they "invented" it and starting spamming my life with their stupid ads and oh-so-hip indie music. "There's an app for that?" No kidding - Symbian and WinMo users have known that for years! And all of those "Made for iPhone" accessories? Apple must be making a killing on all that work third party companies are doing.
- I love iPhone OS 3.0. Landscape keyboard for all apps makes me not miss a physical keyboard as much, and push notifications combined with all of those apps is awesome. Plus, I can't wait to see what crazy "smart accessories" come out later this year now that peripheral makers have access to the core OS.
- I hate iPhone OS 3.0. Finally MMS and video record, but no MMS on AT&T until "later" and no video recording unless I buy the new model? Are you kidding? And push notifications iPhone-style just means more excuses for that ancient-looking dialogue box to interrupt me in the middle of writing an Email or watching some YouTube. Hey, Apple - go buy a Palm Pre or Google G1 and get yourself a quick lesson on how to do notifications the right way. Unobtrusive, not-interrupting, and they allow me to deal with the new information, ignore it, or save it for later - that's the way to do push notifications, Apple.
Wow, felt good to get that off my chest. And I'm sure I missed some stuff. How about you? What do you love and hate about iPhone OS?
You fill up the comments and in the meantime, I think I'll pick another platform and do this all over again ...