What hath the iPhone wrought? Some pretty hot competition, that’s what.
If there’s a worse operating system than Windows Mobile, I have yet to see it. It’s the most amazingly brain-dead, ill-conceived bit of code I’ve ever had the displeasure to work with.
I have to agree with Erik – and as someone who likes Windows pretty well, and is happy with Vista x64 on one of his home machines.
I’ve owned Windows Mobile and Windows CE and PocketPC (whatever the branding of the moment is) devices, and it’s just a terrible platform for consumer devices.
I also want to mock their interface on the screenshot; “Oh, Cover Flow is impressive looking and shiny! Let’s copy that, but let’s change it so it’s even less useful and not as pretty.”
I don’t even likei Cover Flow, but it shows that Apple has massive resources (do they still have the Human Interface Group?) devoted to actual interface design, rather than “make something that more or less works and is shiny” – and that other companies don’t.
Cover Flow is a perfect example of the fundamental change in Apple’s “Not Invented Here” philosophy that really hurt them in the 80s and 90s. They bought CF a couple (?) of years ago, and immediately incorporated it into iTunes. It has wormed its way into the Apple DNA since then. Some people don’t like it. I do, to a certain extent. In particular with iTunes. It’s a perfect match.
On a different note: I did some limited research into different mobile platforms while I was working on my Masters Thesis last year and the year before. I ultimately ended up using J2ME (Java Mobile for those unfamiliar with the terminology) to build my prototypes. Windows Mobile was a piece of shit. I couldn’t understand what the hell they were trying to do with it.
I only wish the iPhone SDK had been out then. I’d've halved my development time on my project. As it is, I’m pretty sure El Jobso wouldn’t license the entire mobile platform to me, seeing as I really want to build a tool to sell to the DoD. Sure would be sweet….
I like the idea of Cover Flow, but haven’t found it practical. The only time I’ve really used it is on my iPhone. And even then I’m just messing around, because I never use the phone as an iPod.
I knew I shoulda sprung for the 8GB model.
I’ve never used WinCE or whatever, but figured that slick-looking new interface would make it suck less. Am I wrong on that? Even so, I don’t think that new phone would exist without the iPhone. And that’s a good thing.
Dunno what to make of the practical usage of the new interface without actually using it. I know it will take a hell of a lot of work to make it as good as the iPhone, though. And Apple’s got patents up the ass on a lot of the UI stuff. Don’t know how enforceable they are, but Apple’s not shy about throwing its legal department at someone, just for shits and grins.
You are absolutely right, though, about what the mobile phone industry owes Apple. The thing is, a lot of times, even when what Apple has done is obvious, the copy-cats still can’t get it right. Don’t know why, but history has shown again and again that the way Apple designs stuff just doesn’t get copied right.
I’m telling you. It’s in the DNA. Something they drink at 1 Infinite Loop just totally messes with the innards of the people who work there!
And the same goes for all the artists at Pixar. Holy crap, are they good. It’ll be interesting to see if Disney metamorphosizes (?) over the next few years. If so, then they need to put Jobs’ head next to Walt’s in the freezer when Jobs dies.
…As a Windows Mobile 6.1 device…
Funny, I thought you said “competition”.
Kidding aside, I rather doubt anyone else will execute the full widget anywhere near well enough to directly compete with the iPhone for a very long time. The fact that this phone uses a doze OS is proof enough of that. The “new black is black” case and liquid-y screen form factor, as is generally the first Apple thing to get knocked off, is a relatively small part of the equation.
Until someone builds a phone OS that is anywhere near as useful as Apple’s, and rolls some kind of music store to go along with a usable music player on the same device, I don’t see many things displacing the iPhone in the consumer market for a good long while.
Business markets are another matter entirely, but Apple has been one to concentrate on the steak first, then the peas, of late.
In Apple’s last conference call, they said that over 1/3 of the Fortune 500 companies had signed up for the Enterprise Development plan for the iPhone. That’s unreal.
I don’t think anyone, even Jobs himself, has any idea what’s going to happen in the next couple of years with the corporate world. If the iPhone makes definitive inroads with corporate apps, then the Mac as an enterprise computer (which is already starting to happen in limited fashion) takes off. If that happens? Holy crap. I’m retiring in two years off of my options plays. Seriously.
As a business user my Windows Mobile device has been a godsend. We have the Windows/Outlook/Exchange environment that is common to most corporate environments and my phone works perfectly in that environment. Email, contacts, tasks, etc. all sync flawlessly with Exchange for a true mobile desktop experience.
To be fair, I’ve never really used an iPhone other than a few minutes of playing around in an Apple store, but the idea of switching to a device that might not work as well in the office as my Windows Mobile device is downright scary.
Part of the OS/software upgrade that Apple is releasing for the iPhone this June is a package that gives complete support for Exchange ActiveSync. Push email, push calendar, enforced security, etc. Here’s a link to the page: http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/
From what I’ve heard, this is supposed to be a point-for-point match with what Blackberry’s and Windows Mobile provide. Don’t know the reality behind it, as I’ve not tested first-hand. I believe my company may do some informal testing when the product is released. If it works, then several of us will be using it, including the VP of Operations. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
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