It's that time of year. Time for a new phone. The current Godmachine is the iPhone 4S, so it is time to upgrade. This year's Apple offering is the iPhone 5S. It is a nice looking phone, but iOS 7 has a few bad features in with the new features.
But before that, let's take a look back at the first iPhone.
Love or hate them, Apple changed the cellphone market forever. While they didn't create the first smartphone (and never claimed to), the first iPhone was truly revolutionary. Look at how phones changed. I also find it useful to compare this video with Microsoft's response.
The first thing he has to say is that it isn't a good business phone. Because back in 2006 the only people who had smartphones like the Palm and the Blackberry were business people who often were assigned their phones by their jobs. So Ballmer is here thinking that because businesses won't buy them (because they won't be as efficient for typing emails) that they won't sell well. He doesn't seem to realize the consumer potential.
Okay now let me bitch about the new iPhone!
First they have disabled the music player from playing podcasts. I hate this "feature" because I listen to a lot of podcasts. Music podcasts, comedy podcasts, and educational podcasts. All the while I mix in some regular old music. Switching apps is a chore and the podcast app sucks.
I give this phone a lot of credit though. The iPhone is the most stolen cell phone. Theives target it because of the high resale value. They call it "Apple picking". Apple decided to add a fingerprint scanner to stop this. They didn't have to, and I give them a lot of credit for doing it and making it work fairly well. If your phone is stolen I imagine it is a race against time between you and the theives to see who can get to a computer first. You try and get to a computer to brick it. They try and get to a computer to hack it. If it takes a few extra hours for them to hack your phone that gives you precious time.
Still, having flaws gives me pause. Maybe it is time to look around and size up the competitors.
One thing I like about Android phones is that they are so customizable. You can change just about everything regarding the look and feel of the UI. In a way, that's part of the problem with these things. Many of the handset manufacturers have loaded their own UI over Android. I've played around with a few of these and so far I don't like what they've done. Maybe the "pure" Android with my own custom crap would be good, but some of these don't look that great - like Touchwiz - and some don't respond so well - like the Nook.
There are some other nice looking features, like freeing me from iTunes (which I still hate) and being able to add widgets. Because I hate that the lock screen on the iPhone doesn't display the date and there is no way to make it do that.
All in all I'm not really sure if the pros of Android outweigh the cons. Android updates are so disjointed that there is no way to know if your phone will even get the next update. But I'm sure that the iPhone 5S will get next year's iOS update. I'm also not sure that I want to spend a lot of time figuring out a new OS and how to customize and maximize the darn thing.
That's just the software. So the only ones that look like something to compare with the iPhone from a hardware point of view are the HTC One and the Moto X. Also I'm not into really big screens because I don't carry a purse around, so I'm not interested in things like the Galaxy. I can't really say if they are better hardware or not. Pretty good specs. I'd lean towards the HTC One because of the aluminum body and square edges. I like that the iPhone lies flat when I set it down and that I can rest it on its side to use the flash as a minilamp. You'll understand when you get married.
I really wanted to like these. They seem like they work well. Like most Microsoft things, they are very poorly marketed. Remember that commercial that had the thesis that it freed you from your old phone, which was too consuming.
When you watch this commercial, without seeing the Microsoft tag at the very end, it would be easy to imagine this commercial was made by someone who hated smartphones. Showing you people who loved their phones too much; it was like they were trying to get you to use a new product like google glass or trying to convince you to take a vacation and unplug from the Matrix. I mean really? What idiot dreamed this up? Oh right...
The best quote is from the youtube comments
Great commercial! Really highlights how if you get a Windows Phone you
won't even want to use it like those other suckers out there. My friend
actually leaves his Windows Phone in a drawer for weeks at a time.
So the actual Windows phone, which they don't even bother to show you in this commercial, isn't bad. But I don't know if I could ever really like the hub and tiles. I like that they tried something different. But if pastels were bad then big color blocks aren't much better. I'm old and boring and I don't need to have live tiles constantly update. There won't be updates and that will just depress me and remind me of how boring my life is.
My brother, the other Mister Booze, has one and likes it. But he likes the XBox live stuff. I hate games and would have no use for it. It doesn't look any more customizable than the iPhone.
So it looks like my choices are iPhone or Android - most likely the HTC One - and I'm leaning towards the iPhone. Maybe if we complain enough Apple will let us customize some more things (remember when they finally gave us custom text tones) and fix the music player. Remember when the first iPhone came out and you could only sync music, you couldn't even manually manage music? And it didn't have a landscape keyboard or cut and paste?
Speaking of which, I understand that the young kids stream all their music these days. And I get that. I do. But if you were me you wouldn't stream music either. I work downtown where the network is bogged down and speeds over the 3G/4G whatever are terrible. There isn't a free wifi network near my desk. And I stupidly tried to save a few bucks and dropped my unlimited plan back when I did have a free wifi network at my desk and only used a few hundred meg a month. And now I'm too cheap to bump up my monthly data plan. So yeah, stream that music kids. Grandpa booze over here will be doing it the old fashioned way and upload mp3s to his phone.