I’ve had enough of the iPhone being considered a ‘category-leading‘ device. It’s even worse when I hear people refer to the iPhone as a ‘smartphone’. I don’t think there’s much smart about it.
I think it’s a beautiful experience. For about 20 minutes.
There’s absolutely no way I could use an iPhone, in it’s current state, as a primary device though.
You see, the iPhone has dated regrettably fast. It is now a lot more style than substance.
Here are some key points leading me to conclude the iPhone is — officially — a pedestrian handset for suitable only for the global normob.
The Lock Screen
What was once reaaaaally cool — the swipe-n-click to open the device — is now simply fcuking annoying. Every fscking time I want to do anything with my fscking iPhone, I have to flip.
This is wasting at least two seconds of my life. Every fscking time. I have to pick up the phone. The screen is, of course, DEAD, because the damn battery can’t handle even showing the time passively. So, feeling like an 84-year-old operating a remote control, I press the home button. I depress it. I can’t just touch it. I have to use effort to depress it.
And it’s not an immediate reaction. It’s .. what.. 0.25 seconds whilst I wait for the screen to activate.
Then I need to reach my thumb to the fscking screen and wipe it across. I can’t do a small wipe. No. If I do a small swipe, the flipping arrow goes back to the start tutting to itself. No, to get it to work, I need to do a FULL SCREEN wipe.
To make matters worse, the screen doesn’t appear yet.
I need to wait for it to do a flipping bollocks animation. Again, this was just orgasmic in 2007. But in 2011? No. I don’t want you to animate the home screen. I already KNOW what I want to do, you are *just* in my way. Another 0.25 seconds spunked up the wall while I wait for the device to politely animate the homescreen.
So if you assume it’s between 1-2 seconds — let’s be charitable and make it 1.5 seconds — to pick up and fsck about with your iPhone until you can actually use it, multiplied by 50 times a day, that adds up to 75 seconds of hanging about in a given day. That’s 2,250 seconds a month. That is, by the way, 37 and a half MINUTES a month. Or 27,000 seconds a year. Which is 7 and a half HOURS. A year.
The only thing the lock screen is good for? Getting the time.
It’s only when you sit down and use a Nokia, BlackBerry, Windows Phones or one of the swanky new Android devices, that you recognise how shit the day-to-day iPhone ‘experience’ is.
Getting text notifications or push notifications on to your iPhone is almost painful to behold. A blueish window that appears in the middle of the lock screen? That’s it? White text on a semi-transparent darky blueish background with rounded borders? That’s it? That’s all you can offer me?
Facebook update? Roll out the bollocks notification screen.
Update from an application? Yup, roll out the shit screen again.
Got a text message? Brilliant, let’s stick it in the same shit notification screen again. And shove as much text into the little beautifully designed box as we can.
Got a missed call? Yup, that’ll be there too. Got too many things going on? Got a bit of a busy life where you sometimes get more than one ‘notification’ at a time? Well then. You’re stupid aren’t you? Because the iPhone can’t come within a million miles of the phrase ‘elegant notification management’.
See how beautiful it’s done on Android? Or how graceful it’s implemented on BlackBerry?
Notification presentation is quite possibly one of the worst elements of the iPhone today. Dire.
It doesn’t do multi-tasking. It does SOME kind of semi-parallel task operations which, if you met them on a dark rainy night, down some side street, where there’s hardly any light — and the operations had a big dark bag over their head — you could possibly be persuaded to believe they were sort-of multi-tasking.
But true multi-tasking? No.
And even when there is ‘multi-tasking’, it’s so badly implemented that it’s ‘binary’. Your application thread is either ON and it’s KILLING your battery (witness: Google Latitude App, or the fscking TomTom app — there’s a special place in hell reserved for applications that require you to double-tap the flipping home screen then press for a second to delete them because of how much battery they’re blowing).
Or your application is not on. And chances are it will NOT remember precisely where you were.
What the hell is Apple playing at with it’s sub-optimal Alarm coding? Millions of people who were previously feeling rather smug about owning a ‘category leading’ smartphone suddenly woke up late one day. Everyone else sniggered. Apple vomited out a patch. This was months ago. Only for the SAME problem to occur because, well, it’s now 2011.
Oh do come on Apple. Think about the flipping fundamentals. Do you remember when Apple did it’s best ‘you’ll never believe it, dang it, heh! we…er… you know when we were writing the baseband code for the modem? Well.. blow me if we totally misrepresented the signal strength on the display.’
I would very much like to be assured that there are no other Cupertino gotchas hidden amongst the iPhone code. Does the clock actually work properly? You’re not going to tell us, are you Apple, that — woops — you’ve missed out February in 2012? Or that the ‘hang-up’ button is shortly — and rather hilariously — going to become the ‘conference’ button by mistake?
Whatever you say about the other mobile manufacturers, they can at least get their device clocks working properly. Shoddy.
You are hereby notified that as far as this publication is concerned, iPhones are no longer suitable for Class-A geek status.
If you can write SQL, if you understand — even loosely — the concept of DNS or if you work in any role connected with the provision of Information Technology services, you cannot, you should not, you must not use an iPhone as your primary handset. It’s just far too embarrassing for us to behold here at Mobile Industry Review.
Buy a BlackBerry. Or a Nokia. Or splash out on a Nexus S. But being seen in public with an iPhone as your primary handset? No. That puts you in the Vicky Pollard demographic.
When the iPhone 5 comes out, yup, that’s fine, I’m sure Apple will have at least got the clock code working properly and maybe even have sorted out the home screen. Then it’ll be fine to use as a primary device.
But from now on? iPhone?
Perfectly fine as a secondary handset. You need to have your head examined if you’re using it as your primary business device.
And before you contribute a post screaming in horror, go back to The Lock Screen section above and re-read it. I bet that the continual push-n-swipe is secretly winding you up massively.
A Final Note
One further message. For the Nike-wearing Black-Tshirt-n-horn-rimmed-glasses ‘cool people‘ who work in media — you know, just about anyone in Soho NY, Soho London or SOMA San Francisco — please do pass the message on when you meet them: The iPhone is a Fisher Price smartphone — use it, but know you are not cool any more.
As far as we are concerned here at Mobile Industry Review, the Great Unwashed [see Vicky Pollard] can continue to use iPhones as their primary devices ’til the cows come home. It’s a delightful experience for the global normob. My mother loves hers. My wife is happy with hers. That retina screen? Lovely. But not for the mobile geek.
It’s 2011 and we’re calling time on the current iPhone generations as pedestrian mobile devices.
iPhone is not cool.
iPhone is not advanced.
iPhone is dated.
iPhone is over.
Let’s see what Steve and the gang deliver with version 5.
Meanwhile, for the avoidance of doubt, I will still be taking my iPhone 4 with me wherever I go. Just never as a primary device.
And just before I go, kudos to Andy Borowitz for this topical tweet:
Steve Jobs was set to hold a press conference on iPhone alarm glitch, but he overslept.