So I didn’t buy an iPhone last summer. Instead, I worked up a head of steam over “no 3rd party dev” and “walled garden” and “no 3G” and “no physical keyboard” and got something else that met my steam-headed criteria, and which I immediately found wanting. I’m sure the good folks at HTC aren’t completely to blame here, since the hardware is pretty much fine, but holy shit is Windows Mobile ever made of FAIL. As an example, here’s how you close a program in WinMo:

  1. Click the upper left start button
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Choose System
  4. Choose Memory
  5. Choose Running Programs
  6. Select the program you wish to quit
  7. Press “end program”.

No word of it a lie. Seriously. How in the big blue FUCK did Windows Mobile get to version 5 with this kind of shit in it? Is there NO QA or usability testing up there?

Also, the whole 3G thing? Wholly overblown, and — crucially — way ahead of the battery curve. Usable life on the WinMo phone was less than a full business day, and woe unto you if you hit a web page and then forget to kill the browser, as you may well look down at the phone at 2:30 in the afternoon and discover it begging for juice because the browser is too stupid to stop refreshing web pages when the display is off.

Sure, the phone did have some features an iPhone lacks, but ended up being so frustrating to use, and so unreliable, that I never did any of those things. In fact, some modern phone features — sending snapshots to Flickr, sending quickie SMS — were so much harder to do on it compared to my last two phones (a RAZR and a Treo 650) that I actually stopped doing them, more or less. Again: EPIC FAIL.

Today, about 8 months into my contract (with ATT, fortunately), I gave up and bought an iPhone. You know what? It just fucking works. It synced with my Mac out of the box (admittedly, only of interest to other Mac people, but being able to kick these losers to the curb is a fringe benefit), but I suspect the out of the box experience on Windows isn’t that much different. It synced down my mail config, so I didn’t have to key in IMAP servers and ports and whatnot, even.

Oh, apparently, it also plays music and videos, but frankly I couldn’t care less about that. I’ve got an 80 gig iPod; another 8 isn’t even interesting. And the iPhone is good enough at being a PDA that having the music and movie options is just gravy.

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