Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Apple experience

I use a few Apple products and RF is a total fanboy. Other than computers, I've generally found Apple products lacking, compared to their cheaper alternatives. If you have read any of my blog, you know that I am cheap, cheap, cheap and simply can't stomach spending extra money for most things. A common refrain is "and it just isn't worth the money" The Apple products I've found most useful are the ones I've been given or have found and didn't pay anything for. I bought myself an iPod mini a couple of years ago and while it is a nice music player, it doesn't do anything that my $15 dollar Sandisk didn't do (in fact, there are a few things that it doesn't do, that my Sandisk did).

We recently upgraded our cell phones to iPhones (4s, which are fun) and it was a case of being a comparable price to other smart phones so I couldn't see a reason not to. We've had them about a week and I've found a list of pros and cons associated with them. The biggest con (and it certainly isn't exclusive to Apple) is the lack of a physical keyboard. To get a keyboard, I had the choice of Blackberry (with virtually no apps) or 1 Droid. Every other smart phone in the store was an on screen keyboard. I'm finding the keyboard more responsive than I expected but it is still on screen and lacks proper punctuation.

It also doesn't really support many Google products, of which I use a lot! I use Gmail, which doesn't work well with exchange. If I go to the internet and go to Gmail from there, it works fine, but not on the mail client. I use a lot of features of Gmail, like the starred emails and the priority inbox. I also dislike the lack of previous email availability. For example, today I was looking for an email that I had saved a few months ago and finding it was like pulling teeth. Eventually, I was able to come up with some search terms that found me what I wanted, but it shouldn't have been that difficult. It also doesn't support Google maps/navigation and none of the other map programs I've found seem to have the same functionality. MapQuest is ok, but not the same.

Another big con is a lot of games and apps that were free on Android are paid on iPhone and that annoys me! And finally, my battery life sucks! RF says his is ok but mine is so bad I'm honestly concerned that if we go anywhere that I don't have a perfect signal the entire time, I won't make it through a whole day of actually using the phone. Hopefully, the new software update will fix some of it, but I'm not sure what is going to happen, if it doesn't.

The other con is bad photo sharing on Facebook. On my Droid, I snapped the picture and could select how I wanted to share it, be it FB, Twitter, messaging, drop box, etc. On the iPhone, I have to take the picture, open the FB app, select to upload a picture, find the picture I want and then finally upload it. I can see my FB shares going way down (which I'm sure some of you will appreciate) because it is such a process to get it done.

Some pros, it is MUCH faster than my Droid. I don't know if that is a function of newer technology or what but having apps actually do what I tell them, when I tell them, is pretty nice.

Another pro is that it doesn't force close everything all the time. Again, newer technology? I can't say for sure but it a real perk to have a phone that actually works.

The final, and biggest, pro is Siri. It is super cool and the voice recognition works really well. I never once had voice recognition work properly on the Droid. Mostly I use Siri to send texts while I'm driving but it is pretty useful for managing other things on the phone, like adding calendar events, and it is pretty funny at times. :)

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