The Dark Side!
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted. The reason was two-fold. I got board of my simplistic and business purpose Nokia E71 and decided I needed multimedia functionality. I’ve tried with with the Nokia N85 and music playback was great, along with movies – but I had to convert them; every 1 of them.
So I decided on changing the platform. I’ll admit I’ve been one of THE most critical of this platform I’ve swiched to but I’m having a BALL of a time using it. Yes there ARE shortcomings and oversights – and for good reason. I’ll state those in the coming posts, but for now without short adue I’ll mention what I’ve been using the past 40days.
You guessed it … I got pulled into the Job’s Kool-Aid, the iPhone 3G[S]! Man this thing ROCKS!
From music syncing within iTunes (I’m on WinXP SP3), to audio & video podcasts, to watching scaled down movies (no chop people; 30fps VGA bliss); this puppy performs. yes I need to scale all the movies I bittorent in order to view them, but using software like Super(TM) is sweet & VERY accurate: built-in conversion for m4p file extension for iPod/iPhone. I just drag them into iTunes, Play them, and I specify (my iTunes settings) which to sync when my iPhone is connected.
Some of you may say well yeah you can use Nokia Media Manager to convert … but I’m sorry that software BLOWS and its mad slow, almost twice as slow than Super and it does a horrible job because EVEN though Nokia Suite knows my phone, and Media Manager knows it doesn’t give you optimal conversion settings, nor does it work well for a underpowered (for multimedia) device s like the E-series (save for E90). Nokia’s media conversion for audio/video is best suited for N-Series devices.
Ok, so you’ve heard ALL of that before on other blogs. I’ll come across another angle.
Applications! We all know Apple’s recent yearly success of applications for the iPhone, and we’re aware – including the fan-boys/girls – that a LOT are filth-filled duplicates of poor existing software, many are just there for the sake of some poor soul to purchase for a company to make money. This is the same on Symbian as well but not to the magnitude that is occuring lately with iPhone apps.
There are some really quality apps on iPhone, and not just games (my next post is specific to 1 that I LOVE!). For instance, Bloomberg for iPhone is the MOST robust and most powerful version for ANY platform currently. S60 does NOT allow for Bloomberg Anywhere account users – nor does it feature videos. Reuters is also acceptional and I can save the press photo reels (offline mode is possible once loaded). I can also specify WLAN connecion only with both apps.
Now the BIGGEST gripe or complaint stated by ANY other smartphone user & used as a platform “bragging rights” is multi-tasking. Yes I know all about multi-tasking and I do miss it on the iPhone but not as much as I originally had thought; there are other issues that I focus on. Now first off in defense of the iPhone I’d like to mention it was marketed as a smarter-phone EVEN smarter than smartphones currently in existence. Lets get to what I’m trying to open your eyes to.
Of ALL the applications that users (even the high-end users) of other smartphone platforms use for multi-tasking I state the most IMPORTANT overall fact! You CAN ONLY INTERACT with 1 application at a time: widgets are barely an exception. Regardless if you use 1 or 2 hands, you as a user can ONLY interact with 1 GUI interface at a time! Sure we can listen to music playback, a recording playback, download applications in the background/update them in the background, maintain a persistent VPN or network connection using your 3G phone as a modem for your laptop, or receive IM messages; but you CANNOT interact with other apps at the same time.
Think about this. You’re typing an email and you get notification of receiving an IM; great its running BUT you CANNOT send a reply to the IM recipient WHILE you’re typing an EMAIL! You’re on the Phone, you CAN create a Calendar appointment OR jot down a Note/Memo, or send/receive emails (auto or manually dependent on the account setup), or even download/update an application. However you CANNOT play a video at the same time while on the PHONE and HEAR it! You CAN listen to music while on the phone conversation on S60 but WHY?! This is assinine and only clutters your phone conversation, just simply send the recording/music to the person you intended to hear it. On the iPhone when using an application and closing it – its state REMAINS the same when you re-open it … for MOST applications save for Games that I’ve found out thus far. VPN apps I haven’t tried yet.
So I ask you what is the REAL purpose of Applications running in the background OTHER than the example’s I’ve mentioned above?! Even VPN/SSL tunneling to a network share running in the background by default will terminate the connection for a set/predetermined amount of time, and if its changed not to, you’ll have issues or cause issues to others that also have/need access to the same share; file permissions/access concurrence not withstanding.
Don’t get me wrong there are powerful apps for other platforms that have YET to come to the iPhone, but the opposite can be said as well. What I’m saying is the rising success for the iPhone for consumers and now business is on the rise and for good reason that can no longer be ignored. Even analysts where worried Apple would not make revenue/profit estimate this past quarter reported last week as it heavily relied on iPhone sales. Well most ate their words and the stock value climbed for good reason. 1 more week and it’ll be available (legally) in China, and it’s still anybody’s game but you can bet it’ll be exciting.
The applications I’m going to be focusing on this month is not solely to business – since I’m not working currently – but will have most of the core PIM functionality being looked at. Multi-media is KILLER on this platform; MORE than ANY OTHER that has existed to DATE! I’m praying that Symbian will offer this kind of multi-media before too long as I STILL love Symbian but right now I’m cheating with iPhone; due to the let-down of the N97.
I’ve noticed the last of Nokia Beta Labs support for apps on S60 3.1 or barely 3.2 over the past 3mths as well. In my eyes those platforms have reached end of life without Nokia’s weight behind devices being heavily marketed and sold with carriers and them paying for apps to be shipped on it. Its all about Symbian^1 or 5th edition hear on out.
Maemo has some great promise but with 1 device and only 1 manufacturer behind it I’m not willing to switch & invest money behind it JUST in case they back out of it; or developers do the same.
And YES I can type, almost, as fast on the iPhone as I could on the E71. Text correction engines are almost on par – E71 rules here but not by much. Speed of navigation through the menu’s is about equal UNTIL you get into anything about each devices settings (including network/phone settings); iPhone wins HANDS DOWN! Launching of ANY application, regardless of its size – I’ve got about 7 larger than 4MB on the iPhone – is definately faster. From the locked screen, LCD off, to unlocking and dialing a saved contact … faster on the E71; but I suspect its because of the method choice I have on the iPhone or the last state that the Phone app is left in on the iPhone. I’ll be revisiting this in a few weeks just to be certain. I’m curious if minor adjustments will be done on E72!