Archive for April, 2009

13
Apr
09

20 Reasons Why I’m Leaving My iPhone for the Palm Pre

Having been an iPhone owner since it launched in June of 2007, many who know me assumed that I would be upgrading to future releases of the iPhone.  (After all, isn’t that what an Apple Fanboy would do?).

I skipped the iPhone 3G.  And although there are some pains associated with not having some of the features, I am sure that I made the right decision.  There are few differences between the iPhone 2G and 3G.  The cases are slightly different — the 2G shedding the silver backing for a shiny plastic one with the 3G.  The only other differences are a GPS radio, connectivity to the AT&T 3G network, a 16GB version and a non-recessed headphone jack.  Everything else is practically the same.  Same processor, same architecture — same everything.  None of these additions were tantalizing enough to make me consider extending my AT&T contract another two years.

In December when Palm sent around teasers to the technology press inviting them out to experience “Palm’s Newness”, I was intrigued.  But I never even considered the thought that anything they would have to say would make me consider leaving what has been a great experience with my current iPhone.

That was until I watched the keynote.

I watched the entire hour long keynote when I got home after the presentation – twice.  At first, I was simply impressed.  I didn’t expect much from Palm and any device that pushes the envelope and gives other competitors a reason to stay on their toes and not play it safe benefits us all.  And certainly with the announcement of the Pre, Palm was doing just that.

In the weeks that would follow after watching countless hands-on videos and imagining the possibilities, I began to consider the phone more and more.  (I’m at the point now where I can probably do the demo that they have scripted for the press myself.)

Make no mistake about it — barring any monumental announcement made by Apple between now and June 29, the Palm Pre will be my next phone.  And having made that decision, I realize that potentially there’s a lot that I’m losing.  But for me, there’s so much more that I believe I’ll be gaining.

Before I get into the reasons why I’m probably going to buy the Pre, I want to state that it has nothing to do with some flaw or huge dissatisfaction in my iPhone experience.  There are areas with my iPhone where I feel that I could have been better served.  But overall, I have never had as seamless an experience as I have had with this device.  All of my data (provided I have a connection to the web) is in one central location.  My music, pictures, emails, contacts and calendar are all replicated from my PC on my phone.  The battery life could be better, but considering how much I use it as my primary media player, I really can’t complain.

Also, before reading the list, please consider the fact that I would be coming from the 2G version of the iPhone to any 3G device (Palm Pre or iPhone 3G).  There are some benefits that I’d gain by simply buying a 3G device.  But casting aside the iPhone 3G, everyone knows that the smart money says between now and June, Apple will announce the next version of the iPhone.  So this is a decision I’m making having not seen the next iPhone.  If Apple addresses many of the benefits I outline here having observed the Pre, my decision could change.  However, looking at the iPhone 3.0 press conference, I don’t think it will.  Regardless of how improved the new iPhone’s hardware is and whether it has twice or three times the existing memory or a forward-facing camera or any of the other rumors I’ve heard, my concerns are largely with the software and the overall experience.  The 3.0 press conference didn’t impress me at all.  The benefits discussed were largely targeted towards developers, with a few bones tossed out to consumers like “Cut and Paste” and “Search”.

But I need to preface this discussion by saying that I am rather pleased with my current phone.  The iPhone is still a revolutionary device when compared to other phones, and this is without any of the benefits brought in by the App Store.  The addition of applications last year has really expanded the ability of the device and I would recommend the iPhone to almost anyone looking for a great multimedia phone.

So why the switch?  (So glad you asked.)

Continue reading ’20 Reasons Why I’m Leaving My iPhone for the Palm Pre’

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12
Apr
09

So, am I an “Apple fanboy”?

In many of my social circles, I’m considered the infamous “Apple fanboy”.  You know, a fanboy — one who pledges an undying devotion to a product or brand, regardless of what other alternatives exist.  And if you didn’t know me and only examined my home, you’d be hard pressed to conclude differently.  The “Think Different” poster is one giveaway.  The iMac and Macbook Pro are probably two others.  It’s true — I have a deep appreciation for products made by the folks in Cupertino.

I started using OS 10 in 2001 out of sheer interest.  My intention was to buy a Powerbook, check it out for a few weeks and then return it, paying the restocking fee as the price for renting the machine.  However, the more I delved into the OS and the more I found that I liked, and the harder it was to part with.

Turn the page eight years later and my house looks like an Apple Retail Store.  I owned the 2nd iPod (in 2001 I paid <gulp> $499 for a 10 gig behemoth — and I still have it.)  Since the Powerbook, I’ve owned four other Macs and only recently have I given one to a family member (and that was a tough decision).  I’ve owned three full-sized iPods, two iPod shuffles and I was about the fiftieth person on line in Bridgewater New Jersey on June 29, 2007 waiting five hours for the chance to spend $599 to buy the first iPhone.

I guess I can’t really run from the accusations of Apple fanboy-ism.

But examining my tech life a little further reveals more than just an appreciation for all things that have an Apple logo on them.  I was running Window 3.1 in 1991 and took the day off to get Windows 95 when it released.  I bought Windows 98 the day it came out and was the first in an office of so-called techies to run beta versions of Windows 2000 and subsequently XP.  People didn’t even ask if I was running the new OS — they just knew: “Hey Dev, how’s Windows XP?  Should I be considering it??”

And then there are all of the other tech purchases and gadgets.  I’ve owned a bunch of other mp3 players — and this was pre-iPod, when most folks were walking around with portable CD players.  I was a launch-day purchaser or the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, PlayStation (September 9, 1995), GameBoy Advance and probably a few other gaming consoles.  I was an early purchaser of the Amazon Kindle.  I’ve owned two netbooks — one Asus eee PC (which I sold) and a Dell Mini 9.  I own a Nokia 770 Internet tablet.

When I go into a Best Buy, without being obnoxious, I’ve often assisted confused customers about buying decisions and sadly the guys in the store know me well enough not to ask me if I need any help.  (Truthfully, I listen to so many tech podcasts and read so much about tech that often times I find myself helping them.)

I drop all of this information not to bask in my technology glory, but to clarify my stance.  I am not an Apple fanboy.  I am a tech aficionado. There’s a stark difference.  I haven’t purchased and don’t own everything Apple.  I have the experience and understanding of technology to give an objective opinion on most technology offerings – and that includes the ones made by Apple.  In fact, I have been known to criticize Apple when I felt that it’s offering was sub-standard.  I didn’t buy an Apple TV and wouldn’t buy one as it currently stands.  I’ve always despised their mice and keyboards.  And although I run OS 10 as my primary operating system, I also run three other operating systems right now (Windows Vista, Windows 7 – beta 7077, and Ubuntu 8.10).  To call me an Apple fanboy would be like calling Tiger Woods ‘a pretty good putter’ – it’s a true statement, but an incredibly reductive one as well.