Now, before the hate starts, let me say that the iPhone is beautiful. It’s UI is terrific, and it is by far the very best handheld web browsing device I’ve ever come across. It’s also the first phone I’ve had which has started conversations, and everyone who sees me using it wants to touch it. If I was so minded I’m pretty certain it could get me laid.
But there are many times I hate it. In no particular order, here’s why:
- It’s trying to kill me. The Bluetooth is flakier than a chocolate named 99*. I mean really. Sometimes it’ll talk to my car kit, sometimes it won’t. I wouldn’t mind if it was otherwise highly specced, but no A2DP means it won’t stream music to my car or a headset, so I’m forever fighting wires, getting tangled up, and generally shouting at the iPhone when I’m driving. And that’s why it’s trying to kill me – using it in the car, while driving, is a death sentence.
- It doesn’t want me to have memories. That excuse for a camera… coming to the iPhone after an N95 you suddenly find yourself transported back to 2003, when phone cameras were still new, still fuzzy, still didn’t work in low light and still didn’t do video. The upside is that it’s encouraged me to carry around a proper compact digital camera – something which does a far better job of images than any phone camera I’ve used.
- It wants me to lose friends. After all, why bother letting me know they’re calling when you could just amusingly redirect all calls to voicemail until the next reboot?
- It wants me to lose business. See points 1 and 3. I can’t answer the phone when driving any more, nor can I make calls by simply prodding the bluetooth button on my dashboard and calling out the name of whoever I’d like to talk to. Similarly, that call avoidance strategy may be great for battery life, but it’s rubbish for making money.
- It’s pretty, until you start to use it. Especially if you’ve just been eating donuts. Try it, you’ll understand.
- It’s trying to lose me. Many high-end phones come with GPS software. That stands for Global Positioning Satellite. The iPhone has something which you could also call GPS – Guesswork Positioning System. That’s right – you can go to Google Maps and ask it where you are. It’ll then tell you to an accuracy of… oooh, well in my house it says I could be anywhere in an area covering about 25 square miles. The worst thing is… my house isn’t in any of those square miles – it’s about two miles outside. This is not a phone that’s going to save you when you’re lost in the Atacama dessert. It’s probably simply a part of the functionality designed for reason 1.
- It doesn’t like being charged up. Most of the things that should charge it up, won’t. I suppose that’s my fault for equating “charges iPods” with “charges iPhones.” How silly of me.
- It’s noisy as hell. I don’t mean that when it rings it causes complaints from neighbours. Don’t be ridiculous – ringing is something to be done quietly – see point 9. It’s worse than that. What it does is to use hi-fis, car stereos, computer speakers… anything really, as a sort of noise proxy. Whenever it’s receiving a call, making one, thinking about it, checking your e-mail… off it goes. BIDDY-BIDDY-BIDDY-BIDDY! It’s like I’ve got Twiki hiding under my desk.
- It doesn’t want to disturb me. I buy phones to receive phone calls. It would be nice if, when someone calls, that phone could muster up enough noise so that you could hear it ringing. The iPhone’s ringer is easily drowned out in noisy places. For example, places such as museums, convents and libraries.
- It’s jealous. You get it on a contract from O2 and you mustn’t ever leave. Oh no. Put that SIM into another telephone and that’s it – breach of contract time! You’ll be cut off pretty soon after which you’ll have to go grovelling back to O2 with a sincere apology and a promise not to be naughty again. And you can’t transfer the contract to another phone, even if you pay the same amount. No, you’re trapped. Trapped like you might feel when you’re with a beautiful but violently jealous girlfriend who, it turns out, you just got pregnant. Think Betty Blue. That’s how you’ll feel from about month 3 to month 18. The freedom when that contract ends… oh you know – it’s going to be like ending a relationship with a beautiful nutter. You’ll feel free as a bird, yet somehow… empty. Sad. Forlorn.
I’ve just realised, I have another ten reasons…. I’ll post them next time I have an energy spurt.
Until then, if you’re thinking about an iPhone… well, it really is the dog’s wotsits when it comes to surfing and playing music. Nothing comes close. As a phone… well… you know how I feel.
* In Britain, if you say to an ice cream man “make mine a 99″ he’ll give you a normal ice cream with a Flake chocolate sticking out of it.
Addendum. I wrote about the charging problem because, at the time of writing, my iPhone wouldn’t charge from any of my portable chargers. Turns out it was just it hadn’t noticed – rebooted, I went from 10% charge to full. Damn phone’s a liar too!