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September 2007

Gadget Lust Quenched

An iPhone this year was not going to happen. But in my head, I was thinking onve the first major revision came out, probably next year I imagine, I’d be all over it as long as they upgraded the email client a bit (the main thing that seemed to weak for my needs based on all the reviews I’ve read).

Now, if I’d gotten one already, there is no way I would have done the “unlocking” thing to move it off of AT&T. I wouldn’t have been interested in that option. But I have no doubts whatsoever that I would have done the jailbreak to get the third party apps. Because they were cool, and added quite a lot to the functionality of the phone.

And if I’d done that, and then done the update this week, they would all be gone, and the phone would be back to its original state. It wouldn’t be bricked as it would be if I’d done an unlock. But it would still be back to factory state, with no abilitty to run the thrid party apps.

Apple is making a huge mistake by not just officially opening the phone to third party apps. Let alone by stopping these “unofficial” efforts. They can do whatever they want of course. The hackers knew they were doing something Apple could shut down if they wanted to. But Apple is making a huge mistake by doing so. They are making their product far less attractive… especially to the type of users who would be major evangelists.

Gizmodo’s revised iPhone review sums it up nicely. It is worth reading the whole thing.

iPhone Revisted (Verdict: Don’t Buy)
(Brian Lam, Gizmodo)

Screw the unlock for a second. Let’s talk about the those third-party apps. While my 4GB iPhone is a brick, and the 8GB phone, which I kept on a totally legit AT&T contract, is now stripped down. Programs like the faux-GPS, IM clients, Flickr Upload, and NES emulator—what did they ever do but make the iPhone far better than the stock original? They made it far more competitive with open-platform superphones like the Nokia N95, to which I will now be switching. I flew back from NY to SF today. While there, I would have liked to have pushed my photos from the trip to flickr; I would have liked to have played NES games on the subway. I would have liked to have used the Navizon GPS thing to figure out where the hell I was at any given moment, and when I used one of those web 2.0 IM clients, my battery took a huge hit, and I missed a lot of messages because Safari couldn’t tell me I was getting IMs while out of the browser. Very annoying.

I look at my iPhone with version 1.1.1 software on it compared to the old hacked one. I’m happy for the iTunes Store, which we’ve been waiting for. But it’s not more important than fixing things, and adding capabilities such as copy/paste and email search. And it’s certainly not better than all those programs I can’t use anymore. Here’s the comparo chart, from Rob Beschizza at Wired based on a chart from 9to5:

That chart is just sad. Bad Apple. Bad.

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