iLines and my never-ending phone indecision

There are lots of people standing in iLines this morning so they can get their new, shiny, black-only iPhones 4. I did the iLine thing a couple years ago at the opening of the Charleston Apple Store. It was fun — there’s undoubtedly an energy around the Apple experience. It’s downright fascinating to watch just how easily Apple can whip the masses up into a frenzy for their products, and it seems from various things I’m reading around the Web that iPhone 4 is no exception.

iPhone release time always brings about questions on what my next device will be. I genuinely enjoy my iPod touch and would like to add a 3G dongle to it (which I guess would defeat the purpose), but then when I get frustrated by limitations in the mail client (which, admittedly, I have not tested yet in iOS4) such as not being able to send an attachment without leaving the Mail app, it’s a turnoff. Android has gained so much steam, and I like what I see from devices like the Nexus One and the Incredible, but there are also some stability issues that I’ve seen on some of the devices and it concerns me (stock devices, too — not rooted ones).

And what about the BlackBerry? It’s been a mostly reliable platform for me since early 2008 (save for a few outages on RIM’s part). Nobody still can touch it as a messaging device, and as crazy and antiquated as this may sound, I spend a majority of my day in e-mail, and at the risk of inadvertently earning a complimentary membership to Luddites Monthly, I still have a very hard time getting away from the mechanical keyboard. It’s not that the touch keyboards on the iPhone and Android phones are necessarily bad, but I can touch-type very quickly on the BlackBerry’s physical keyboard, and that means a lot to me when I’m trying to punch out messages in a hurry.

The app ecosystem, though, still leaves a lot to be desired. And it kills me that I can only get Skype — a mission-critical application at ReadWriteWeb — with a Verizon BlackBerry. The browser is going to get better, but that means it will be time for another device (which, frankly, probably needs to happen given the beating my Bold has taken).

Eventually, though, I’ll need to make a decision. What are you using? What do you like? What do you dislike? I’m not looking for the flavor of the month; I’m looking for the best phone for what has proven to be a very tough job.

6 thoughts on “iLines and my never-ending phone indecision

  1. Kenneth Andrews

    I have to continue giving my nod to the Moto Droid. The thing continues to be a trooper, and outside of a brief Droid wide bug with Exchange right after they launched, I have had no real problems with it, and the only lockup/errors have been because of a particular app.

    That said, as we talked about in the past, the mechanical keyboard makes Blackberry the still reigning king of quick messaging. I was attracted to the Droid due to the keyboard, but for the most part the keyboard is “meh” at best and I found the touchscreen keyboard to work very well, certainly better than the physical one. And at the end of the day, no matter how good I get with the touchscreen keyboard I can’t type as fast as I did on my old Curve.

    Here is the real kicker though, more and more with the voice recognition getting better I use voice to do my emails. And between that and Swype there are definitely some new methods of mobile input worth watching.

    1. Jared Smith

      I remember the first Android prototypes being BlackBerry-like devices with physical keyboards. My how the iPhone changed things :) If an Android phone comes out with a decent physical keyboard (slider keyboards never bode well for quality, I’ve found) then it will win. But it’s not there.

      Swype is interesting. I’ve had friends try it out and really like it. It might be something I’ll need to demo at some point.

  2. Kenneth Andrews

    I have to continue giving my nod to the Moto Droid. The thing continues to be a trooper, and outside of a brief Droid wide bug with Exchange right after they launched, I have had no real problems with it, and the only lockup/errors have been because of a particular app.

    That said, as we talked about in the past, the mechanical keyboard makes Blackberry the still reigning king of quick messaging. I was attracted to the Droid due to the keyboard, but for the most part the keyboard is “meh” at best and I found the touchscreen keyboard to work very well, certainly better than the physical one. And at the end of the day, no matter how good I get with the touchscreen keyboard I can’t type as fast as I did on my old Curve.

    Here is the real kicker though, more and more with the voice recognition getting better I use voice to do my emails. And between that and Swype there are definitely some new methods of mobile input worth watching.

    1. Jared Smith Post author

      I remember the first Android prototypes being BlackBerry-like devices with physical keyboards. My how the iPhone changed things :) If an Android phone comes out with a decent physical keyboard (slider keyboards never bode well for quality, I’ve found) then it will win. But it’s not there.

      Swype is interesting. I’ve had friends try it out and really like it. It might be something I’ll need to demo at some point.

  3. Kenneth Andrews

    I definitely recommend demoing Swype out of interest sake but I still say my voice typing is superior. The big issue with Swype is you have to learn a new way to “type” so there is a learning curve. I have already seen a ton of videos of people beating the typing speed of the Swype demo on iPhones

  4. Kenneth Andrews

    I definitely recommend demoing Swype out of interest sake but I still say my voice typing is superior. The big issue with Swype is you have to learn a new way to “type” so there is a learning curve. I have already seen a ton of videos of people beating the typing speed of the Swype demo on iPhones

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