17 Reasons Why I Ditched the iPhone

I’ve been a Droid user for the last two years, but when my account was due for an upgrade I decided to make the switch and try the iPhone 4. “Worst case scenario” I thought, “I can return it and pay the restocking fee. At least I’ll know which platform I like better.”

It turns out that I’m not a big fan of the iPhone. After two weeks of using it as my only phone, I was eager to return it and get a Droid again. During those two weeks I used Evernote to keep a running list of Pros and Cons. Any time I found something I liked or disliked I made a note of it, and now I’m turning it into a blog post.

The Good:

  1. I love being able to move the cursor accurately between letters. The little magnifying glass thing is fantastic.
  2. I love how responsive the screen is. Never experienced any scenarios where I had to keep clicking or swiping repeatedly.
  3. Really like the sharpness of the display and the home screen picture. The screen is a beauty!
  4. The copy and paste function is very well designed.
  5. The App Store has the original Final Fantasy games. Mind = blown.
  6. I really like the form factor and product design of the iPhone. This is one thing Apple does better than anyone.
  7. The photo viewer enlarges images so that they fill the screen to match the aspect ratio. This looks very sharp and takes advantage of the impressive screen.
  8. After discovering the voicemail feature on the iPhone I may take back everything negative I’ve ever said about the phone. You don’t have to dial a number and listen to pointless menus and instructions as if you’ve never used it before. The message is saved directly to your phone for easy playback and deletion. This is the way voicemail should be!
  9. I love the physical switch for putting the phone in silent mode.
  10. Battery life is significantly better on the iPhone than any other smart phone I’ve seen.
  11. I really like the option to resize images when sending them.
  12. I really like the screen shot feature. Simple and effective.
  13. I like the headphones’ built-in mic and volume control. Extra points for including them for free!

The Bad:

  1. Auto-complete is lousy, but at least it’s good for a laugh.
  2. Calendar does not show week view.
  3. I can’t stand the way text messages and notifications pop up on top of everything else. This is not helpful for someone who tries to minimize interruptions.
  4. Gmail is horrible on the iPhone. It makes Hotmail look efficient. The display and organization is nothing like gmail in a browser. You have to click through each message individually rather than scrolling through the entire conversation.
  5. It’s annoying that you have to enter your password every time you download an app.
  6. Everything seems to require a lot more “clicks.” Email is especially excessive; just try “starring” an email for example.
  7. Contacts don’t sync when you setup a Gmail account –only when you set it up as an Exchange account.
  8. After syncing the iPhone with my Macbook Pro I had to sign in to all my apps again. I’m guessing/hoping that’s not normal…
  9. The iTunes interface is horrible. Its a clumsy music player that was never intended to handle all the data of the iPhone. I want to be able to plug in my phone and use it like a USB drive.
  10. The fact that you can’t customize the notification sounds unless you jailbreak the phone is just inexcusable. This makes it confusing when you’re in the same room with a handful of other iPhone users, unless you’re that guy who actually likes anything but Tri Tone.
  11. The mail “Search” is a joke. It doesn’t use any of Gmail’s search operators. For example “is:unread” or “has:attachment” did not return any results. Even simple searches didn’t find what I was looking for most of the time.
  12. Overall integration with Google is just plain lousy. (More on that below)
  13. For no apparent reason it keeps saying that that my username or password for gmail is incorrect. Yet it occasionally gets a moment of clarity and imports my new mail. Had to remove and add my account twice to solve this issue.
  14. I can’t tell if Safari supports flash, or if it’s just crappy at displaying it.
  15. I wish you could adjust the volume of the alarm independently from the ringer volume.
  16. Calendar only synchronizes with the main calendar for each Google account. There is no way to view the sub calendars or shared calendars.
  17. Save Draft only works locally. You can’t start a draft on your phone and then finish it on a browser.

The Indifferent:

  1. The page scroll (in email) doesn’t keep sliding; you have to keep scrolling up or down.
  2. The horizontal keyboard is not available in all apps.
  3. I noticed a big hit in battery performance when using wifi for the day instead of 3G (which is normal for any phone)
  4. The iPhone is the iPhone. There’s only one manufacturer, and it works just like every other iPhone. This ensures consistency and quality control, but it also defines limits and inabilities.
  5. There’s probably an app for everything I don’t like about the iPhone, but I’m only looking at the built-in functionality here.

In the two weeks that I had the iPhone my attitude went from, “I really like this thing” to “I can’t wait to have my Droid back.” In the end the big deal breaker for me was the lack of integration with Google –especially Gmail and Calendar. I suppose if I switched to iCal, and iPhoto, and iTunes, and iHateEverythingButApple then everything would work flawlessly…

To be fair, there are some things I don’t like about my new Bionic (namely the pre-installed apps, screen, and battery life) but at the end of the day it’s the unparalleled integration with Google that has made me a fan of the Android platform.

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8 thoughts on “17 Reasons Why I Ditched the iPhone

  1. Interesting observations. I’m surprised you had so many complaints about the gmail integration. I would expect the iPhone to operate like my iPad, and gmail on my iPad works pretty seamlessly. I don’t have half the problems you mentioned.

    Anyway, I see this mirroring our canon vs. nikon experiment. I think technically-minded people will indeed prefer the Droid, whereas iPhone users are just looking for something a little prettier. :)

    • Agreed! If you don’t care about actually customizing your phone and making it do what you want, then an iPhone will be great. I’m way too technically minded –and all about efficiency– to be satisfied with iOS.

  2. Oh, and one more thing. You make no mention of the actual camera performance on either phone. Did you use that feature at all? Just curious.

  3. Man i think apple in general has the whole “you must use apple with apple products only” itunes as a whole is a crappy, worthless app. The synch function is a joke. I dont synch my iphone because when i try, itunes prompts me to delete all apps from my phone. Thats not synch’ing. As far as the ringer, agreed. Very stupid. Although jailbreak does change that. Jailbreak is very easy and fast, and opens so many options. Pdanet alone was worth the jailbreak. And no safari doesnt support flash, and never will. Camera apps for iphone are tip top though. I will gladly share sometime. I dont use google so cant comment on that, but if its important to you and a new device does not support it well then you really have no choice but to revert back innmy opinion. Sorry man but i hd to laugh at the voicemail ordeal. But i wouldnt call everytime either. This isnt 1996. As for the volume of the iphone, i hate it. I came from the nextel beep-beep phones. I know everyone got tired of them. But i rarely missed an alert or phone call. You could hear those phones from a couple hundred feet away. Im lucky if i hear my iphone in the kitchen. Oh and i have used mine like a usb drive. Drag n drop. Only i rather use a usb drive. I will say though, apple need to up there options and functionality. Droid has the market over iphone. Iphone is good phone, but limited to apples claws. Also why i will keep my pc. I can put any app i want on there. Not the case on my shiny new mac. Just my two cent ol buddy

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