Most reporters are too busy hugging their MacBooks to write a critical
piece on the iPhone so let me fill the void and add some clarity to the
situation. Here's a list of 9 things I can do with my Nokia e61i
can't be done with Apple's iPhone.
Customizable dashboard screen keeps me informed.
With one glance at my phone's primary screen I can quickly see missed
calls, new voice mail messages,
upcoming meetings, available Wi-Fi hot spots, and even the last couple
e-mails I have received. Selecting any of those items takes me directly
to that task. I find the upcoming meetings the most important, but it
is user configurable so it can be tailored to whatever you find most
important. (One weakness is that it can't be configured to show
messages which would be ideal.) Nokia calls this the "standby" screen
and here's a picture of mine. The iPhone lets you set your wallpaper to
a picture of your dog or any photo which Nokia phone's do as well, but
I don't find
that nearly as informative.
Anyone under the age of 29 uses instant messaging as a crucial
communication method and the phone as their crucial device. On the
iPhone, instant messaging is blocked even to Apple's own iChat
network. Instead, they want you to use SMS text messaging and incur the
amounts that AT&T charges. Even then you can't reach
the major IM networks
other phone users. Nearly any
Nokia phone can run Gizmo
for Mobile (Beta)
which lets them send and receive instant messages on all major networks
including Gizmo, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, iChat, GoogleTalk and Jabber.
(Disclaimer: Gizmo is from SIPphone
a company for which I am CEO.)
is a screen shot of Gizmo for Mobile (Beta) running. The clever design
keep track of multiple conversations with people all in one window.
It should run on any modern phone with a data connection.
I enjoy using the video features of my phone to capture special moments
and to help teach my boys sports. Here's before
clips of my son
learning to dive. The iPhone has a still camera but no video
the air (OTA) updating of my contacts, calendar and music.
My e61i comes with syncing software which lets me sync my contacts and
calendar anytime I like. (It's the circular arrows in the first screen shot
above.) Often my assistant or co-workers book a meeting, add a
contact, setup a call or adjust traveling plans. When this happens I am
often traveling, or even if I'm in the office, I'm not going to
to cable my phone to my PC. Calendar and contact information should
update on my phone completely wirelessly and with my e61i it
SyncML - an open standard for wireless. Updating contacts, calendar and
music on iPhone requires remembering to cable your computer up to your
computer running iTunes.
button access to ANYTHING.
In an earlier
piece I mentioned that the e61i
has 58 buttons. What I
didn't mention is that many of those physical buttons and virtual
buttons on the
screen can be configured to perform the action I want. When driving I
don't want to have to click lots of buttons to dial a number. So I
configured the number keys so that they directly dial my commonly
called numbers with a single press. I also can determine what the
virtual buttons do. I like the Opera browser because it's the fastest
mobile browser by far. You can see from the O (in the first screen shot
I can get directly to that from the main screen. Since I often send
e-mail, I configured a button to launch e-mail and open a new message
making it quick and easy to access my most commonly used tasks.
files directly to/from my PC.
I used to carry a laptop most places I went, but I find myself
increasingly moving about with just my phone. Consequently, I often
to move files (multimedia, documents, etc) from my phone to my PC or
vice versa. Because I can add programs to my Nokia phone I was able to
add Gizmo for Mobile (Beta).
This program lets me swap
files from any PC to/from my phone. Even big files move quickly because
the transfers are going point to point. I often leave Gizmo Project
running on one of my computers with a unique name and "auto-accept
files" turned on so I can quickly move files from my phone to a
computer in my office.
Voice activated calling
I'm a big fan of bluetooth headsets and specifically the tiny Jabra
X10. By clicking a button on the headset and saying a name
the beep I can tell my phone to dial any name from my address book. It
repeats the name it identified back to me and then puts the call
through. This is a great way to place calls keeping my phone in my
pocket and my hands on the wheel.
has Wi-Fi that can be used to easily make
crystal clear calls that are often higher quality than traditional
mobile phones. To make a Wi-Fi call - simply select a telephone number
select 'Internet call'. (insert image here) There's even an option to
default to Wi-Fi calls automatically and only use the mobile service if
Wi-Fi is unavailable. This can avoid expensive calls and eliminate the
likelihood of exceeding allotted minutes on a plan and incurring
On a recent East Coast trip I took just my phone to all my meetings in
place of my laptop. I often take notes during meetings so I can share
information with co-workers. To make entering text easy I took a portable wireless
which I would remove from my pocket to the astonishment of the other
attendees. It not only let me take notes but I could use the keyboard
to switch between e-mail, web and Gizmo for Mobile using the key with the
ellipse on it.
As a former Treo user, and before that a Blackberry carrier, I have
experience with smart phones. My point is not that the Nokia e61i
is perfect - far from it. See a raw list of its specific
There's no denying the iPhone has a well thought
interface that is superior to the scrambled mess on Nokia phones.
However, locks on the iPhone prevent customers from adding or
customizing software to perform many of these smart phone tasks. Nokia
will improve their interface but Apple will most likely not change
their closed view of the world and that means Nokia devices are
ultimately the better choice.
Instead of earning your business Apple wants to lock you into their
system where you have no choice. Your devices and ultimately your data
are under their control. I believe the world is a better place where
consumers have open devices they can control. Steve Jobs glosses over
this in his well orchestrated unveiling by saying the device is "open"
because you can use the web browser to visit any web site, but he knows
that it is not really open. (Most of the applications that people say
are for the iPhone are simply web pages with very limited user
interface and won't run in the background for example.)
Some criticize successful people for
sport - largely out of jealously. Jobs is brilliant. He's in the most
elite class of entrepreneur - those that have had more than one monster
success. There aren't many who can make this claim and even fewer who
have done it in different industries (Mac computers, Pixar, and
iPod.) Unfortunately Jobs is also the leading promoter of music DRM and
single-handedly set back interoperability of music for years which is
criticize his actions. Sure he blames the record labels for making him
do it, but look closer at the iPhone and you realize that he is not
only a willing participant but an advocate.
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