Upgrades and Imperfections - wednesday 2009-10-21 1900 last modified 2009-10-21 1900
Categories: Nerdy
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No phone's perfect, here are a few things off with the iPhone 3GS. The sync cable and charger cable are the same thing, which means lots of pulling the charger cable out of the wall. Maybe that's Apple's way of avoiding vampiric power consumption, but I don't like it. Life will be easier with two cables, and that sounds a bit like scamming. Why does the iPhone so criminally underuse Bluetooth or the network for sync purposes?

Using IMAP to connect to my own server is nice, but there's no mechanism for unsubscribing from the folders I know I'll never want to touch from a weak mobile client. I only need a few folders for actively receiving pre-filtered mail, the rest are organizational and archival.

Finally, the alarm clock. Of all things. Every phone I've had either allowed for total silence except a vibrate alarm or awakened itself out of power-saving mode when the alarm was supposed to go off. That isn't possible with the iPhone. When it's off, it's actually off (perhaps that's too revolutionary). But when it's on, the only way to isolate the alarm mechanism would be to put no ringtone or a completely silent one on normal ring mode for all phone activity and place an actual tune or tone on the alarm. There is no way to isolate the vibrating alarm. In short, I may have found a use for some of those old phones sitting around: alarm clocks! My BlackBerry might also come hiking with me since it can serve as a GPS track generator.

The mechanism for acquiring ringtones for the iPhone is yet another ringtone profit making scheme. Every phone I've owned allowed me to upload a chunk of MP3 to use. This doesn't matter since my phone is always on vibrate, but the principle is indicative of the continued Apple lock-in mentality. Some day, maybe in another century, free and open software (or whatever it will be then) will be good enough to get away from these proprietary corporate programs. Some day.

One of the reasons Apple computing products are so compelling is that the covering is pretty while the mechanics are right near the surface. I'd like the iPhone more if that were also the case. Put an SSH server on it and let me muck with its guts from the laptop.

That's a bit much to ask for, perhaps. But the shoddy hardware and aesthetic design of RIM and BlackBerries are now behind me, and there they will stay. It's just so pretty looking at mail on an iPhone.

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