iPhone–I Accept It For What It Is
When I think about my iPhone and compare it to what I gave up on my Nokia phones, I realize that, in many ways, I had tried to make my Nokia phones behave in ways that they were not really designed for.
You might find it ironic that Nokia Nseries phones don’t do multimedia well, even though it is something they are designed to do. It is adequate, but small things like the speed of syncing with your computer or keeping track of play counts or ratings make for a less than stellar experience.
Mac integration is another sticking point for me. While Nokia gets kudos for Nokia Multimedia Transfer, which helps a Nokia device tie into the Mac ecosystem of iTunes and iPhoto, not to mention iSync plugins to sync calendar and contacts, there’s no PC Suite type app and no way to update the firmware from a Mac. Not to mention that Macs are not always supported when various Ovi services are launched.
And yet, with my iPhone, there are things it can’t do–multitasking perhaps biggest on the list. I knew going into the iPhone that this was going to be a limitation. I came to terms with that long before I gave up my credit card number and ordered the device, though.
The inability to load apps that Apple hasn’t approved is another issue. People get around this by jailbreaking the device. I am not going to pass judgment on those who decide to go that route. I’ve done it myself, not to install apps, but to unlock the device so I can use it with other (non-AT&T) SIM cards. It can be restored to Steve Jobs approved state easily enough.
While I like the flexibility that a Nokia device offers, I have decided that, for me, a mobile device that is reliable is also important. I have had too many instances where my Nokia’s aren’t reliable–even when sticking to built-in apps! The iPhone gives the right balance of both functionality and stability.
I was listening to MacBreak Weekly some weeks ago. The panel was discussing, among other things, the merits of Android versus iPhone. Andy Ihnatko made an excellent point that stuck with me throughout the day, though it was best summarized by Merlin Mann (also on the show that day): Once you accept how a device is put together, your mind operates completely differently.
Trying to treat an iPhone like a Nokia–or vice versa–is a waste of energy. While even today I am occasionally stimied by the lack of multitasking of the iPhone, I can now generally work with the limitations. The same can be said for the limitations of a Nokia device: I am familiar enough with the platform that I can generally work within the limitations. The mindsets needed to operate both are different, but one is not inherently “better” than the other.
For the functions that I use regularly, the iPhone wins, hands down. For those situations where an iPhone doesn’t make sense, I can always take my SIM card out and put it in a Nokia device.
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