After much deliberation and debate I have decided to give the IPhone a one month trial. I really want a phone that does all of the following very well:
Email with Lotus Notes
Those are really my only major requirements. The Bold does Email very well with Lotus Notes because we have a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). The IPhone does music very well. Because I am paying for the phone I wanted one that will do both equally well. I’ve had a Pearl and have loved how it handled email; both Notes email via the BES and Gmail via the Blackberry Gmail App. However, I hated the music interface and ended up never using it for music so I had to carry both the phone and an IPod which is really more than I wanted in one pocket.
Thus I am giving the IPhone a trial. If my email experience is substantially degraded I will revert to a Blackberry and get the Bold. However, if the email experience is vastly better on the IPhone than the music experience is on the Pearl I will stick with the IPhone.
I picked up the IPhone last friday and so far I am fairly happy with it. I had my Notes account setup for IMAP access and am fetching both Notes and Gmail via the normal IPhone interface. So far it is OK but I haven’t really been getting much work email yet. Honestly it isn’t as seamless as the Blackberry was (for either email) but it hasn’t been bad at all either.
Obviously I like the music interface on the IPhone plus I can use MediaMonkey to sync my music so I am not forced to use ITunes (though I do have to have it installed).
So far I do have a couple of small quibbles with the IPhone and one surprising place where it dominates the Blackberry experience for me. First my quibbles. Once in a while the keyboard is sort of unresponsive and my keypresses don’t register on the screen right away; then, a second or two later, the keyboard catches up and everything I typed is rendered. It happens fairly rarely but it’s still annoying. Likewise I’m still not as accurate with the keyboard as I would like to be and I tend to accidentally hit the button to the right of my target. That’s probably my problem more so than the keyboards - but it is an adjustment I have to make in my perception due to the lack of key depth.
Another minor gripe I have is that I can’t just tell the phone to use one of my songs as a ringtone - I could on my pearl and I loved my ringtone on it. I also miss my Gmail interface - I love the threaded conversation view in Gmail but, in order to get that on the IPhone I need to keep safari open and that isn’t really cool. The BB Gmail app is fairly “push” like and runs all the time in the background (so long as you don’t leave an email open). I also miss the Google Talk application (again, something you have to do in Safari)
However, there are a couple things I really prefer in the IPhone. The first is the size of the screen. When I read an email now I can see a lot more of the body at one time. That is pretty handy. I also found a free service for syncing my google calendar and contacts with the IPhone’s calendar and contacts called NuevaSync. Google had created a calendar sync program for the BB but it had a really annoying problem of sending out “rejection” emails 2 weeks after any event passed and Google automatically removed them from the Calendar. Plus, the calendar on the IPhone is much easier to view and navigate (again thanks to the large screen). Next is Safari. I have bumped into a couple of websites that didn’t work in it but I am able to do much more in this browser than I could ever imagine being able to do in the Blackberry Browser (or even Opera for the Pearl). Finally are the free Apps in the Apple App Store. I have grabbed a few already; tumble, wordpress, twitterific, and mint. If the last.fm app scrobbled I would get it too but, alas, it doesn’t. While I don’t have Google Talk handy the way SMS texts are handled/displayed on the Iphone is pretty nifty - though you can tell it is done that way to increase your use of SMS and thus (if you don’t have unlimited texting) could cause problems (I have unlimited texting thanks to my brothers addiction to it).
As you can see it isn’t easy to find a device that is perfect for me but I am hoping to at least find which one of these two is the closest to what I want. Oddly enough the one thing I don’t really care about is call quality. I hardly use the phone for talking. At the end of the month I’ll let you know what I decide to do.
Here’s something I really like when using my iPhone. I’ve never used a BB, so perhaps it does it just as well:
I want to go to a restaurant for lunch, but aren’t sure exactly where it is or if it’s open. I click maps, search on the name and boom, there it is. Click on the pin and I see all of the details, including links to directions. Click that, and I can get walking/driving directions from where I’m currently standing. Not sure if it’s open? Click the phone number and my phone dials.
Again, maybe the BB does all of this just as seamlessly, but this is the kind of thing I really appreciate about the iPhone.