Switching from Windows Mobile to the iPhone 3GS
Last week I upgraded my cell phone from an HTC Tilt running Windows mobile 6.1 (custom cooked Rom) to the 32GB iPhone 3GS. I wen to the at&t store on Dale Mabry and Henderson and was surprised at how nice of a store it was. I had no lines and no waiting and was able to get in and out with my upgrade in about 10 minutes.
So now that I’ve had my new iPhone for a week now, here are some thoughts and notes about my switch…
Things I miss from Windows Mobile:
1. The ability to control the volume for PDA sounds and the ringer separately. At night I used to mute the PDA sounds and leave the phone ringer on maybe 2 bars. This worked out great for me as I’m on call 24/7, so witching my phone to silent or even putting it on vibrate is not a great option for me. Maybe one day this will be available as a feature on the iPhone.
2. Easier file management. I miss being able to just connect my phone to my PC and copy files back and forth via windows explorer. Having to use iTunes to simply put files on my phone is a bit of a pain, epsecially when I’m not around my home computer and want to copy something to my iPhone. I know there are 3rd party apps out there to help with this, but the lack of built in file management is a bit of a pain. Not to mention that much more limited range of file types you can actually use on the iPhone.
What I love about the iPhone:
1. The interface! Its easy to use, visually appealing, clean and responsive. Windows Mobile can be a bit slow at times and more complicated to navigate through screens and various settings.
2. It just works, right out of the box I was able to connect it to my bluetooth radio in my car for hands free calling. I didn’t have to run through any setup wizard to align my screen or anything like that. It just worked.
3. Easier to get apps! There are many apps for windows mobile, but you have to go hunting for them, and most of the good ones cost money! The iTunes app store has many apps available and a good number of them are free, some good ones too! I love being able to tap “install” and it just goes to work and then you can open the app and begin using it.
Some problems with the iPhone:
1. The mail client lacks the enterprise grade functionality and reliability that I’ve come to get used to with Windows Mobile. I’ve tried different types of mail accounts (activesync and MAPI, etc), and I’ve seen inconsistent behavior with the push functionality. For example, I have an Exchange account setup and sometimes I’ll notice an hour delay in getting notified of new mail. I can be on either 3G or wifi and it still happens. Its just not as reliable for instant e-mail notifications.
2. I really really wish I could control PDA sound volume (email alerts, notifications, etc) separately from the phone ringer. This is huge for me!
Overall, I love my new iPhone. Its awesome to have my mobile phone and my iPod all in one device. It works great with other technologies I employ in my daily life. Some people get a little uptight about losing some enterprise business features or reliability on the iPhone, but thats not really the target audience anyway. And really, most post people are not going to care if they can’t edit Microsoft Office documents on their iPhone, they just want to be able to read and reply to e-mails on the go and are completely happy to do the PC work on the PC and just enjoy the iPhone for what it is.