A few weeks ago I asked the great blog reading public to vote on which mobile phone I should upgrade to, embedding a PollDaddy poll with a choice of five possible handsets and an 'Other' option (although this reportedly didn't work).
Well, the people have now spoken (results below) and 41.94% of them said those magic words 'Apple iPhone'. Not one to ignore the outcome of a democratic vote, I dutifully went out and purchased one :) After the obligatory tussle with Vodafone over getting them to give me my PAC in a timely fashion (isn't it time Ofcom knocked some heads together on this one?) I now have an operational iPhone and it's fair to say that a new love affair has begun.
As a contented owner of an iPod Touch I wasn't expecting to be blown away by the iPhone but I wasn't counting on Apple's attention to detail, for the iPhone is more than just an iPod Touch with voice calling bolted on. Below are five reasons why the iPhone edges it (no pun intended) over the iPod Touch.
1. Email - a wholly more satisfying email experience than my Blackberry, the iPhone offers seamless integration with the major third-party webmail clients (both Yahoo! Mail and Gmail worked right off the bat) and great handling of inline images and attachments (including PDFs and Word/Excel docs).
2. SMS - text messaging is an unexpected joy on the iPhone thanks to the excellent touch-screen QWERTY keyboard and the way in which it displays message threads as conversations (à la Facebook) - so simple yet so effective, it seems extraordinary that all mobile interfaces don't render SMS in this way.
3. Google Maps - it was during the demo of Google Maps that my jaw really hit the floor whilst watching the iPhone Guided Tour. The ability to key in two locations and get step-by-step illustrated directions between the two, including up-to-date traffic info, particularly rocked my world, as did typing in my postcode followed by the word 'pizza' and seeing 10 pins appear in the map :)
4. Speaker - ok, so it's not going to have Bang & Olufson worried, but it's the first iPod to have an integrated speaker and it performs pretty well for something so tiny. At a stroke it makes the iPod a much more social device (or anti-social depending on the context), enabling you to share a tune without also sharing earwax.
5. Headphones - the headphone's built-in microphone and remote control (one click to play/pause, two clicks to skip a track) is a mini design classic, laughing in the face of all those chunky remotes and cumbersome Bluetooth headsets.
My only gripe (along with every other iPhone owner) is the coverage and speed of the EDGE network. Any chance of a 3G upgrade in time for my 30th birthday Steve...?