For whatever reason, the iPhone seems to be the gold standard these days, and I often see Engadget comparing other smartphones to the iPhone and noting that they come up short.
That said, it’s amazing how many annoying loose ends still exist in this gold-standard phone. (and I own the latest iPhone and am very happy with it)
Over a decade ago, Palm had an almost perfect synchronization tool in their HotSync product. You simply dropped your Palm into its cradle, pressed a button, and it synced in about ten seconds.
When the Treo came out, with Bluetooth, Palm provided the ability to HotSync over BT.
My Treo was configured so that several times a day it would simply wake up, check the air for its BT home computer, and magically sync from within my pocket.
Why can’t the iPhone do this? Sure, you don’t want to sync your tunes over BT, but why not the calendar, contacts, and other stuff?
The Treo supported BT keyboards. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could use my little aluminum Apple BT keyboard with the iPhone? Sadly, no.
The Palm line’s HotSync performed a full synchronization of the data of all applications. No matter what app you bought, its data was automatically handled via (possibly custom) data conduits.
On my iPhone, I have to manually sync my password safe and any document storage apps; they talk to their mama app on the Mac over the LAN—a true hack.
Even stuff that seems like a usability slam-dunk seems to get screwed up. Apple and Nike partnered in the Nike+ product: a device you slip in your Nike running shoes that talks to an app in your iPhone via BT. But you have to sync via iTunes in order to upload your run data! Why does a phone, with Internet connection, need to sync this data over iTunes? Other running products sync over the Internet.
And why is the $20 sensor needed at all? The phone has an accelerometer and can detect the same running strides as the sensor. This is simply a marketing decision to sell Nike shoes with the sole insert.
That said, there is a good reason why Apple is set to sell 10 million iPhones this quarter. (that’s over a hundred thousand phones per day!) Their product is the best there is, even with its flaws.
I recently had mine replaced by AppleCare because of a flaky bluetooth radio, and I was stunned at their personal service, considering I was one of a hundred thousand buyers in one day.
And when I dreamily revel in the memories of the lightning-fast Treo, I tell folks that the iPhone may be slow, but it looks so good as it launches its apps.