iPhone - The Jack of all trades

Yay! Bangwagon. Let me jump on it.

So the long awaited iPhone is out. The last post will give you a clue as to how I found out about it. Let me start by saying, I was only reading the Engadget coverage, and boy was I excited!! Apple knows how to create that insane excitement among people.

After a detailed second look at the specs, and long chat with some geeky colleagues, here are my thoughts about the iPhone. I think the iPhone is a Jack. (Oh No! Its gonna be a flame bait.)

Jobs started by saying that its a iPod, a cellphone and a PDA in one. And it is exactly that. While he did say, that the iPhone would be able to seamlessly integrate all three into one device, I am not impressed. The reason being, it takes the basic versions of each of the 3 devices and merges into one. Thus, a Jack.

It has 4/8GB flash storage. That’s like an iPod Nano. OK. So, it can show photos and play videos on the obscenely large screen, but how much can you fit in 4GB? I mean the whole of my music collection is close to 6GB. I am not even going into videos.

The cellphone part is also really the basic stuff. Quad-band GSM and EDGE. No mention of the ‘advanced’ cellphone features like MMS or J2ME support. Hey, even the cheapest of all cellphones these days have MMS. And no mention of J2ME! Come on Apple!

The PDA part is also not complete. While Jobs compared the iPhone with a Crack-Berry, they don’t support what is the most popular form of email on such PDAs, Exchange! Yes, Yahoo is providing a push email service etc. but iPhone won’t be supporting the most popular corporate email service. And there is no way corporate users will switch if they don’t get their daily dose of emails. Edit: It does support Exchange. Ooops.

It doesn’t end here. First Apple surprised me by saying the iPhone will run OS X. For one, there is no way it can run the “Mac OS X as it is” on the iPhone (RTOS considerations.. yada yada yada). Furthermore, Jobs did not mention anything about any SDK or any way of making/using user created applications. Where is the fun in that? And without J2ME support, the SW in the iPhone is basically frozen to what Apple will release.

Having said all that, I admit I am impressed by the UI. In true Apple fashion, its vibrant, simple and “wickedly cool”. All the features do seem intersting, but I need to try it out. And, with a large touch screen, there are 2 enemies that needs to be addressed.Smudges and scratches. Wonder what Apple is doing about that.

And no mention about battery management! I don’t want to watch videos on that untill my battery is flat, and realise that both my iPod and my phone are flat.

There is still some time and Apple can, and probably will, change some specs. While it is truely a cool device, no one can tell, untill we have it in our own hands.