By all accounts, save one, Apple’s iPhone has been an amazing success. When you factor
- the number of competitors in the marketplace,
- Apple as a relative newcomer to the cell phone market,
- the strict relationship with only one carrier
it is amazing that the iPhone has had such a strong impact on the revenue of Apple as well as the sales of other phones.
The one area that Apple really needs to develop is the developer network. While the App Store is the best method yet developed for delivering software to a cell phone, it does not appear that it is a great commercial success for many of its developers. The vast majority of the apps on the store are priced so cheaply (or free) that it is not likely that they will return a profit to their developers.
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Typing a password on a small keyboard is typically a chore. I have used a variety of mobile devices in my career and have always dreaded typing in passwords.
While the iPhone is not as easy as your full keyboard it is easier than any other mobile device you probably have ever used.
First, the iPhone pops up a large rendition of the key tapped. This makes it easy to change your mind if you have tapped the wrong key. This is easier than a chiclet keyboard like that of a Blackberry which makes you commit to the key that is depressed.
Second, the iPhone displays bullets in the password field like it should. But it displays the actual character of the last key tapped so that the user can hit the backspace key.
Congratulations to the great user interface developers at Apple.
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I tend to agree with The Fishbowl that it would be great to have a try-before-you-buy at the Apple iPhone store. It would help alleviate the fear factor of hitting BUY when looking for an application for the phone.
I think the only saving grace to not having this capability is the very easy comments feature in the store. A few weeks ago, when the iPhone was first coming out, it was all a crapshoot as to the quality of the software. Now that every application has a couple dozen comments, the cream easily floats to the top.
I also wish that Apple would require their vendors to have a better website to explain the apps. In some cases, the sites are incredibly bare and almost non-existent.
I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.
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Yes, I know that I just praised the iPhone from Apple as being a great phone. In fact, it is the best phone that I have ever owned and I have had quite a few.
However, the management of application icons leaves a lot to be desired.
First of all, it is not possible to name the different screens. So while it is possible to congregate all of your games onto a particular screen, there is no way to name this screen and jump instantly to it.
Second, whenever you update an application to its next revision (and at this early stage, this happens a lot) the icon will jump back to the earliest possible spot. This means that when you do an update, the icon forgets where you first put it (as in the games screen described above) and sticks it on the very first screen of the phone. If there are no more open spots on that first screen, it puts it on the second screen (and so on). This makes it tedious to reorganize your applications as developers work out bugs in their early versions.
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I despise software that thinks it knows best! I want it to be smart enough to know what to do no matter where I put it or where its data resides.
Why do software companies think they know where to put stuff? I hate it when the install of the software doesn’t allow me to put the application on the hard drive that I choose (it is rarely the C drive that it likes). Software programmers that don’t ask where to install should be FIRED and their software should be THROWN INTO THE BIT HEAP!
I also don’t like it when it tells me where to store my data. Sometimes, I want it in My Documents and sometimes I don’t. If I know I am going to back up that data then I want it in My Documents. If I am not going to back it up, I don’t want it in My Documents. Apple is really guilty of this with their iTunes software (don’t ever let them manage your music – it will be lost forever).
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So why don’t iPods support WMA and similarly, why don’t other devices support AAC (Apple’s format)?
The why is simple. WMA is the format that many companies (e.g. Yahoo) use in their stores to sell music. WMA is developed by Microsoft and it is a competitor. Is it a better sounding format? For the most part, no it is not – the formats are essentially tied in audio capability for the average listener and the average audio speakers.
So it is a competitive issue. Apple makes the best device on the market with something like 90% market share. They don’t like Microsoft, so they don’t play nice to Microsoft. It definitely is not a revenue issue for selling songs on iTunes since at 99 cents per song, Apple isn’t making a lot of money on the songs. They do make a bunch of money for every iPod that is sold though.
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