Past few weeks I have become aware how I am using the mobile to do things I would normally use a laptop for.
Both cases involved booking a car and a flight respectively. I reserved a taxi at Heathrow with Greentomato using their iPhone app, which I chanced upon whilst clogging my way through their out-of-date and messy website. I did it in under a minute. It was way faster.
Ditto booking a few flights on easyjet.com the other day. Their site isn’t bad, but the booking process is too layered with countless extras, none of which I wanted. By contrast, their iPhone app flew through the process. This time I think I booked in just over a minute.
For both, I was struck my the ease. Apps are simpler, pared down, and they deliver. Let’s hope they don’t go the way of their cumbersome, clunky web-based equivalent.
>GOT OUT of the car this morning after arriving at work and thought the emerging light and low-level fog was interesting. Snapped these on the BlackBerry. They are testament to why later BlackBerries have dropped the camera…
>Image via WikipediaI HAVEN’T written this blog post.
It does not exist because my home web connection installed by Denmark’s TDC has been on the fritz for two weeks now.
So I haven’t been blogging.
This is/isn’t here.
It has not been knocked out in a few minutes during my work day because I am a conscientious employee. That said, some folk are allowed to smoke a fag for ten minutes a few times a day, so this is, er, my fag break.
It drives me nuts having no internet at home. I have been relying on my BlackBerry, which has gamely stepped up to plate, providing me with my weather, recipes, footie news, and Twitter posts. But it is not the real thing.
Plan is that normal service will resume next week, but we’ll see.
I don’t want to have to keep writing these blogs that don’t exist.
> BUT BLACKBERRIES are not that much better either.
That’s as clever as I get. The other night I was in the pub with a mate, counting and reminding him of each occasion he saw fit to produce his new iPhone to make a point. I understand this, I would be the same with a new gadget.
I liked the iPhone, I liked how you could be a Jedi to use it, barely scraping the screen with one’s fingers to execute a command, the way the view tilted depending on which way up the screen was, and even the Wii-like motion control of a game he had.
Tucked in my pocket, and feeling a little inadequate was my work-suppplied Blackberry Curve 8310. It was my Anna Karen to his Penelope Cruz, let’s not be mistaken. The iPhone’s big screen was lovely, and the smooth and fast delivery of Google Maps looked especially good. My Blackberry has a smallish screen and chunky GPS (though it did navigate me home the other day when I got lost on my bike in Frederiksberg). Pete, the iPhone’s owner charitably entertained my Blackberry when I finally produced it for the purposes of comparison.
For all its delights, I found myself wondering if I would buy an iPhone. I’ve read quite a bit about how it’s a great personal device but lacking as, er, a mobile phone. I would be the same about a Blackberry, however. It is great as a work tool, and is already saving me time. But its usability leaves a lot, and I have found how to do most things I want to do on it by searching the web rather than getting any joy from the manual.
I’m not sure I’d buy it either.
I have such an on-off relationship with Apple. I started on Macs and switched to PCs because they could do the things I wanted to do. Recently, I found myself in need of a reliable podcast manager. I tried Juice (kept crashing), Creative’s whadjamacallit (not compatible with my Creative Zen Stone Plus! What?!), and Winamp (banned by my corporate IT). In frustration, I turned to iTunes and have found it by the far the best tool for my job. So much so, I am thinking of – shock, horror – buying an iPod.
But let me drag you back from Apple again. See, I think I rather like the slightly botched, Heath-Robinson extremes being a PC user sometimes sends me too. I unpacked my PC from storage a while back, from a time when wireless networks at home were just being thought of. With no wireless card in the desktop, I bought a Belkin wireless adaptor. Didn’t work, they said because it was not very compatible with my work-supplied wireless modem (it’s all about channels and what wireless signals are sent on them). I was about to give up the ghost when I remembered I had a Belkin wireless router. Long story short, I whacked it into the wireless modem and bingo! The wireless adaptor in my desktop locked on to it straight away. What nonsense. Would a Mac user ever put up with such cobbled together contraptions. Doubt it.