I’ve been thinking for some time that I’m going to get a new phone this winter holiday. My HTC Touch Diamond has served me well, but it’s left a bit to be desired. It has a beautiful screen, plenty of storage, and looks great. It’s running Windows Mobile 6.1, though, which is where the problem starts. WM6.1 is such a great and horrible thing at the same time. Because the built-in browser is horrible, great browsers have been built for it. Because the built-in interface is now dated, great UI’s have been placed on top of it. The battery life is not good and the camera, despite having a good resolution, only seems to perform well with natural daylight. The operating system seems to enjoy hanging once in a while, too. Anyway, it’s the apps that do really well for me. I’ll talk about them at the end of this post. Right now, I’m thinking about which platform might be my best option.
I knew that the first 3 iterations of the iPhone were not for me. The 3GS, I admitted, was the first one that I may have considered, but I still thought that the display, among a few other specs/features, wasn’t good enough. The iPhone 4, then, once it was announced, made me start seriously considering it as a possibility for this coming winter. Once the reports of dropped calls because of simply holding it in a particular way came up, it fell down to the same spot as the 3GS for me. If this was HTC, Samsung, or any other mobile phone maker, I believe there would be mass returns of this device and a tarnished reputation. It’s not HTC or anyone else, though; it’s Apple.
Android is looking great to me, with devices like the HTC Evo 4G shining brightly. It’s consistently adding features that put it past competitors, and is able to offer features on its own platform much before they’re ready for others (e.g. turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps). The deep integration with Google services is what makes this platform enticing, especially for Gmail users. Updates are coming with 3.0 that will support a display resolution even better than the iPhone. The biggest thing holding me back right now is the lack of Gurbani applications.
webOS, made by Palm and now owned by HP, isn’t up for serious consideration right now. However, I love how it handles multi-tasking and the fact that apps are written in HTML5. I could easily start writing my own apps for it, being a web-programmer. I’m interested in what HP will do with this, though I’m thinking that the tech experts guessing that it’ll be on tablets are correct.
Windows Phone 7 (WP7), which is what I am rooting for, is the one I’m most worried about. No Gurbani apps are a given, as it’s completely different from old-school Windows Mobile (WM6.x) and old apps won’t work on the new platform. The whole look of the operating system is sweet, though. I really like it, but I have a feeling that it will take another version or two before it’s ready for mass adoption. I thought the same thing about Zune, but that seems to be done for, as far as further hardware development goes. Compared to WM6.x, WP7 is very closed, but I can see that this is the way to go for most consumers. Just how malleable WM6.x is is what makes it great for power users. Something as simple as copy/paste will be missing, just like the first iPhones. Apps will have to be written in Silverlight and not in native code, so some big-time developers are out, including Mozilla (Firefox). So, why am I rooting for WP7? Microsoft integration. Some crazy-high number over 90% of computers are running a Microsoft operating system, including 5 in my own house. If there’s a really good phone that syncs really well with them… sold.
There’s some time to go between now and when I think I might be changing it up, and much could change. Microsoft may tighten up their offering (which is set to go on sale “holiday 2010”), HP may announce their plans for webOS and they could change everything, GurbaniAnywhere may release their Android app, Apple may fix their antenna issue and, finally, I may develop an interest in BlackBerry with their upcoming version 6. It’s a wait-and-see game right now, and I think the patience will promise a solid investment.
I’m thinking of having a section on this site that lists the hardware and software I use (possibly with reviews), because I have many great discussions with people on what gadgets work well. For now, I’ll just list my essential phone apps here:
Gurbani: Gurbani Anywhere
Browser: Opera Mobile
Security/Home screen: S2U2
File Browsing: Total Commander
Media Player: Kinoma FreePlay
Maps: Google Maps Mobile
Reason for not having to reboot every day: cleanRAM
I back up my texts with Microsoft My Phone and my contacts, calendar and email are with Google.