In the long, speculative build-up to the announcement of the iPhone, my attitude varied between mild intrigue and real excitement. As the sort of mobile phone user for whom being able to talk to people is one of the least important functions, I knew that the right mix of features could easily put me in the market for yet another Apple toy.

In this particular case, though, they just haven’t hit the mark for me. First of all, the cut-down version of OSX used on the iPhone doesn’t allow for the use of third-party applications. That’s a bad limitation, and Steve Jobs’s explanation doesn’t really wash with me. I don’t recall hearing of Sony Ericsson’s being criticised because of their smartphones bringing down mobile networks.

There certainly quite a tasty selection of software already on the iPhone, but the internet features seem to be geared towards access to Wi-Fi or, at the very least, EDGE networks. Free public Wi-Fi is still a rarity here in the UK; the rip-off wireless services offered by cafés and certain rail companies are more common, but still not sufficient for widespread mobile phone use. As for EDGE, Orange’s UK network was only launched last year and still seems quite limited.

No, if I’m going to be making the best of the ridiculously expensive mobile internet facilities offered by UK service providers, I want to use WAP sites for the basic information services (train timetables, football scores) and a browser (such as Opera Mobile) for cut-down, bandwidth-saving versions of regular websites. See? That’s why I want to use third-party apps, iSteve.

Finally, although the interface looks absolutely beautiful (in true Apple style), I wonder how effective the touch-screen system will be when you want to start sending emails or writing documents. For that sort of task, I would have thought that handwriting recognition (with a stylus) or a physical QWERTY keyboard would be minimum requirements. With that in mind, I think I’ll be sticking with my P900 for a while yet…

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3 Responses to iFawn?

  1. Andrew Jones says:

    Well my first reaction was not that this was a revolutionary unique technological breakthrough, but “I want” and like you I use a Sony Ericsson P900. But I’m not too keen on paying a premium price for a mobile phone- which are now essentially disposable fashion items. But as a Mac user, I guess it’ll work well with my Mac and the learning curve should be short and sweet. Plenty of time to make my mind.

  2. premiump says:

    Within a few years, you won’t get a choice anyway, ALL mobiles will be touch-screen, probably with a stylus (which you already have).

    As long as its has a good camera and a big memory card, I’m happy. I’m easily pleased it seems.

  3. adrian says:

    Pete – yeah, that’ll always be fine by me, because I like the touch-screen concept. I just think it’s short-sighted of Apple to use it only as a “point and click” thing, rather than incorporating handwriting recognition like several smartphones and PDAs use.

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