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iFabulous, or: Why I bought an iPhone 4

Just over a week ago I purchased my first Apple product ever, the iPhone. I’ve gotten hand-me-down Apple products before, a few different iPods, but yeah, I’m not generally an Apple person. iPerson. Despite being a homosexual who learned all of his graphic design skills on Macs all through highschool.

I’d decided during the iPhone era that I was going to stick with my trusty Blackberry. The physical keyboard is phenomenal, and I think, a necessity. The form factor felt more solid, less easy to damage, than the large iPhone screen. That and I just didn’t ever want to type on the screen… I did not (and still do not) enjoy it. But. As I continued to use my Blackberry, I really started to notice the huge, huge problems (admittedly I was on a last-gen machine, a Curve I think). The browser doesn’t work. I mean, just, doesn’t work. Going to a website was brutally frustrating, just horrible really. It was an edge phone too, so downloads and uploads were painfully slow, which, if you’re trying to take pictures of things and send them to the internet? Pain in the ass.

But beyond that there was no application development, no extensions for the handheld to make it work better on the day to day. Text, Twitter, and BBM worked really well. E-mail was pretty good. And all of that was completely at the mercy of the extremely miniscule memory the handheld had. I think most Blackberry users know the terror of that spinning hourglass, and having to decide between using Google’s excellent app sweet or not resetting your phone twice a day to clear the memory is a bullshit decision, brought about by poor hardware design.

Then the “V” key and the “T” key stopped working on my phone, and I just gave up.

I’d gone back and forth between the iPhone and one of the gorgeous and functional new Android phones. I don’t really like supporting Apple as a company–their behaviour during the leak of the iPhone 4 was deplorable. I utterly disagree with their closed-door development policy, and their hangups about sex on the phone. Those are all things that Android as a platform doesn’t suffer from. And I could find a phone with a physical keyboard! :) But when it comes right down to it, the iPhone 4 is a second generation piece of hardware, with a huge user base, a huge development community, and from all of my fiddling-around with it it’s pretty clear that it just works.

I can’t understate the importance of using a piece of technology that just works. I was spending hours and hours every day on my Blackberry, and it was a trudge. You get used to it, and manage and workaround the quirks and the user unfriendliness and that damnable spinning hourglass, but the promise of functional technology? Not first gen? Not still raaaaaaaaaaaapidly developing and changing (with all of the turmoil that implies) like the Android platform is? It was an easy decision.

And, as I thought, it is lovely. It works. I love my new phone, and I am paranoid that I am going to destroy it (someone take me to Pacific Mall to get a protector!), but yes, my day to day has radically changed, because now I have the internet in my pocket in a functional, useful way.

Also I am addicted to Game Dev Story, Smurfs, and to a lesser degree Fruit Ninja.

- Chris

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