Let's face it. Cell phones are like girlfriends; each one does something the other one doesn't do.
When it comes to the latest gift from the Apple Gods, it seems the iPhone5 is really no different.
Having owned Droids in one form or another for the past few years, last week, I played around with Samsung's Galaxy S3 for a bit. After a less-than-stellar experience in a galaxy far away, I decided to give something a little closer to home a shot -- the exalted iPhone5. With over five million units sold in just days, it is, by all accounts, the Holy Grail of mobile devices. That is, until next Tuesday, when rumors of the iPhone6 begin to swirl around.
Never having owned an iPhone before, and, thus, not having drunk the Kool-Aid, it's hard for me to comprehend how so many of us bow, without question, to the big Apple in the sky. Sure, a few might hem and haw at the "New Cruelty," but, ultimately, we all end up falling in line like good little subjects. After all, they know what's best for us.
I should mention, when it comes to Macs vs. PCs, I'm a devout Apple loyalist, and will probably always be, but phones are a different story. That's where all the money is nowadays. I've never seen a company able to get away with so brazenly telling its entire userbase to "Go Fu#k Themselves" if they don't like it.
Case in point, we've all heard the iPhone5 has a newly designed port, which means it's not compatible with any of your other chargers.
This wouldn't be so bad if, like Google, Apple allowed other companies to make and sell affordable adapters for your phone, but, alas, that's not the case. Because Apple likes to keep everything "in-house," the result is, aside from the charger that comes with your phone, if you want to charge the '5' in another room -- or your car -- it will cost you upwards of $30 bucks each. The tweets alone would cause most companies to rethink their position, but, just like the NFL, Apple will not budge.
It's also worth noting Apple has decided to hold back on the release of its car-charging cable, leaving the user high and dry and having to constantly tote around the cable the phone came with, along with the newly purchased adapter, until such time as they deem us worthy. When that time dost thou cometh, all those who purchased those overpriced adapters may as well throw them away in favor of a car adapter/cable combo unit. Oh, what a joyous day.
The guy in the Verizon store mentioned he had several corporate folks come in and buy half a dozen of these hard-to-come-by adapters for their employees. Which, basically, adds up to the price of another phone. All in a day's work at Cupertino.
The best part is, no one's forcing anyone to do this. We're simply addicted. Apple has become the "Nino Brown" of the tech world. It's New Jack City -- this time, nationwide -- and we're all lining up at 'The Carter' for a piece of the rock. Or, in this case, the Apple.
Factor in all the 'apples' you have to fork over for all the apps, apps that come standard on Droids, like Video Zoom and Speed Dial, and the dollar signs begin to add up.
Also, lest we forget, it wasn't so long ago the iPhone was only available through AT&T, and was giving millions of people coronaries due to dropped calls and poor signal quality, even in major metropolitan areas. "Thank you sir, may I have another?!"
As far as the iPhone5, itself, goes, in my previous article, I pretty much trashed the S3 for not doing the "simple" things I wanted it to do. So, here's a quick rundown of the top five things the iPhone5 can't -- or won't -- do:
1. No Camera/Video Camera 'Lock'
When I handed my Droid to my two-year-old nephews, a great feature was I was able to lock the screen in play-mode while they watched a video, making it impossible for them to stop it, or switch screens. As far as I know, out of the over 70,000 apps, there's no app available that does this.
2. No 'Zoom' Button on Video Camera
As previously mentioned, the zoom app has to be purchased. Granted, it's only 99 cents but it adds up, and if 10 million people buy it, that's yet another umbrella stand in Mr. Cook's office.
3. No Adapting to Adapters.
If you want to charge your iPhone in your car, or dock it, or use it in another room, that's another $30 bucks. Cha-ching!
4. No SD card
Since the iPhone doesn't allow you to use external SD cards, what you see is what you get in terms of memory. And, considering your iTunes music, alone, can take up 20GB, you might as well opt for the 32GB, which is $100 bucks extra, or the 64GB which will cost you your firstborn.
5. No Speed-Dial
I don't know about you, but I like being able to push a single button on the keypad and, voila! Sure, there are apps for two bucks, and "tricks" to create speed-dial icons on your home screen, but, c'mon guys: You created Facetime. Surely, you can give us that simple little function which makes life so much easier. (Incidentally, I'll never use Facetime. Why would I want everyone I talk to to be able to see up my nostrils?)
Bonus -- No Swype
If you've never "Swyped," you're missing out. Sure, Swype isn't flawless, but it sure beats having to type each and every letter/spacebar out. Yes, you can use voice-texting, like Siri, but there are definitely times when you want to be discrete, e.g., in a movie, or on a bad date, and times when your voice is drowned out, like a nightclub. The supposed Swype app for iPhone requires you to cut and paste the text into your message body. Purpose defeated.
Still, for all its shortcomings, the iPhone5 has a much better camera than anything out there, its operating system is much smoother and quicker, overall, than Android, and, Siri destroys Samsung's S-Voice. Thus, until a company comes up with a single phone that can do all the things you want it to, this probably means, if, down the line, you see me standing next to you at The Carter, be sure and say hello.
Follow David Fagin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nikchapman