Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)
iPhone Review Series: iPhone vs. BlackBerry 8700
After two weeks of continuously using the iPhone, I've come to believe that there are certain features that are crucial for Apple to develop in order to progress iPhone into a viable platform going forward. In no particular order they are:
1. Copy and Paste - This is no doubt the biggest feature missing from the iPhone. I dont think this needs explaining. Apple needs to get it done here.
2. Landscape keyboard - Apple should include the ability for the screen to rotate to accommodate a bigger keyboard. The iPhone has a landscape keyboard in Safari but that is the only place you can utilize the feature. Text messaging would be taken to the next level with a landscape keyboard as I find it more comfortable to type with the phone horizontal than vertical.
3. A file system that works like a portable storage device - The ability to download files and then store them for reference, emailing, or work off the iPhone like a thumb drive is essential. The iPods can act like a portable drive already and make this a no brainer for the iPhone.
4. Mass email deletion - This has to be addressed. Any BlackBerry user will notice this feature before the missing copy and paste. The ability to delete 2, 30, or 100 emails at a time is a must have feature.
5. Searchable contacts by typing when in the phone application - The iPhone does not allow for a type-search when making calls from the phone application. The type-search feature should search all present fields listed for the contacts.
6. Internet tethering - Having the ability to give your notebook computer Internet access via a USB cable or wireless connection cannot be underestimated. I find the Internet tethering ability on the BlackBerry addictive and convenient when traveling.
7. MMS - This is a feature the general populous is going to demand. The lack of pictures in their text messages is going to frustrate and give the phone a bad name among the less savvy phone crowd. I am used to it because no BlackBerry I have owned has supported this. This could be a big let down to potential phone buyers when the price comes down.
8. .Wav and .mp3 support in email - You cannot play .wav and .mp3 files in email attachments. This is a huge pain for those who have Vonage or a similar phone system that emails your voicemails to you from work or home.
9. Only one photograph per email allowed - There should be a way to select several photographs to email so you dont have to create separate emails for each photograph.
10. Weather widget ordering - You can order your world clocks but cannot order your weather widgets.
11. Message creation - When creating a text message or email, the same icon is used but they are placed in different corners of the screen. Consistency would be nice throughout the phone on similar tasks.
After two weeks with the iPhone I have never been more pleased with a phone. Apple has managed to produce a smartphone, PDA, and sleek video iPod all thrown in together. A mainstream phone with seamless integration on the Mac platform will be a relief to most Mac faithful users. The iPhone will offer perfect closure for the mobile phone community that will fulfill the needs of most users.
The iPhone and BlackBerry 8703e are both great phones that target different audiences. The iPhone will accommodate the majority of phone users alike who want a phone with PDA functionality, email, iPod features, and Wi-Fi capabilities. The BlackBerry will continue to dominate the corporate enterprise world where email functionality is king. Apple will be required to make great strides in its email services to penetrate the corporate audience with any real presence, in my opinion.
I am now an official iPhone convert, but I will miss features such as copy and paste, internet tethering, and mass email deletion that my BlackBerry offered. I feel that the iPhone is a great consumer product that will likely replace the term Crackberry as the cool reference used to describe what type of phone you have.
As a former BlackBerry user, I give the iPhone a four out of five rating.
Rating: 4 of 5
In the coming weeks, AppleInsider will expand its iPhone Review Series with reviews that compare iPhone to the Treo and Blackjack. If you've moved to iPhone from another smartphone and would like to contribute to the ongoing review series, please drop our publisher an email.
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