If I had to gripe about the iPhone… here it is.

I’ve seen people griping about different shortcomings of the new iPhone. Mostly though, people seem to be loving them.

What’s my pet peeve? You cannot manually add songs as you choose, directly to the iPhone! You can add playlists, but not by drag & drop. Oh no, you have to select which playlists to add to the phone. So if you just want to add 1 song, it MUST BE IN A PLAYLIST! This is a really stupid programming oversight. You’d think with the success of the iPOD, Apple would know to make the interface consistent with the iPod. You also have to perform “Sync” in order to add the song. I didn’t really buy an iPhone to use as a music player. I bought it for other features, and so far I am pretty happy with the decision.

If during experimentation you choose NOT to auto “Sync” the iPhone (by changing one of the cryptic settings in the iPhone setup general screen – within iTunes), iTunes will remove all of the songs you had there.

I already have two iPods, one of which is permanently in my car with a direct connection to my car stereo. The other one I use while traveling, will be replaced (in use) by the iPhone. The minor inconvenience of pre-selected playlists won’t really matter that much, I like to watch TV shows or movies while flying. I believe there will be a Skype like application developed, where we will be able to circumvent any wireless phone carrier, if we can find a WiFi hotspot. (Miami Beach is rolling out free “Beach-wide” WiFi soon) Of course that probably won’t happen until AT&T does something to piss Steve Job’s off and he decides to “divorce” them from iPhone. It wouldn’t surprise me too much to see an alternatively named iPhone such as “iPhone Nano”, not subject to the ridiculous and unfair 2-year commitment AT&T has come up with for early iPhone adapters. It would be one thing if AT&T were actually subsidizing the real cost of iPhone to consumers, but we are paying “full price” for the iPhone, so how is that commitment benefitting the consumer?

I’m reasonably certain we’ll see this changed in an early software update. It’s so glaring an issue, I cannot see that they wouldn’t change it to work more like a regular iPod.

As far as other missing features people have been complaining about; remember the iMac when it was first introduced? It didn’t have a floppy drive or SCSI! How can we do without a floppy drive, everyone exclaimed or SCSI! How will we hook up our external hard drives?

We all thought (at least I don’t think that I was alone in thinking) Apple had lost it’s friggin’ mind. Actually, what Apple was saying was, “Here’s the newest technology, we’re done supporting all of that old stuff!” Firewire was invented by Apple as well as SCSI I think, so they were saying, “Get used to it, this is the direction we’re heading”. Seemed downright user un-friendly, huh?

Of course since then, we’ve grown to see the wisdom in this. I can’t say where I HAVE THE BOX OF SCSI CABLES I’ve collected over the years, but I assure you, it’s collecting dust somewhere in storage.

My point is this; Apple is one tough innovator. We have always paid a premium to have the latest and greatest technology from them. As early adopters (which I now seem to be part of that crowd), we always suffer the pains of what is new and what is left out of an Apple product, when the next generation of that product comes along.

While many an IT manager stubbornly will reject having Macintosh computers on their networks, CEO’s, CIO’s and CFO’s are now also rejecting IT managers claims and questioning the merits of their hardware and software selections. They have to comply now with younger more learned bosses, who just won’t accept “average” or “it will do”. As companies now realize the norm (MSloth) isn’t necessarily the best or cheapest in the long run. Apple hardware and software and hardware solutions are starting to gain credence and viability in the Enterprise market. Ironically, most heavy duty IT managers hated Windows (and still do) when it came along, but were forced to accept it, because the bosses wanted it that way. Off the shelf software seemingly made more financial sense, rather that custom built, proprietary software solutions they were accustomed to.

The fallacy therein was truly one of a false sense of economy. Corporations now had to hire many additional IT support staff, just to MAINTAIN Windows. We all know the battle that’s been raging between Apple and Microsoft fanatics for years; which is better, Mac or Windows?

As a Mac consultant/technologist, there were times when I found it hard to advocate the platform. Really, I had to analyze what a customer wanted to do with their machine, or rather what they really needed the machinery to do for them. Often, the cost of Mac deployment didn’t make sense in an office environment. Things have changed though, haven’t they? Microsoft still produces the 800lb. gorilla “Swiss Cheese” OS and a majority of NON-STANDARD (non-Open Source and proprietary) bloated office suites.

Apple on the other hand, has ALWAYS been the proprietary platform controlling the Hardware and the Software, but they are now complying more with “open standards software”, than ever before, and is producing competitively priced hardware. Software developers are now making software for the new Apple Macs, at the same time as they are releasing Windows versions, and not just as a ported afterthought. Apple seems to have a roadmap for the consumer base, they long ignored, and the quality of the products is affecting and impressing the way Big Business does business, once the opportunity is realized.

It started with jelly colored, floppy-less iMacs, then a “useless” music player called iPod, and now the iPhone. Will there only be one model of iPhone? I somehow doubt it. Will the iPhone always have to be carried by AT&T? I see that marriage in divorce sooner rather than later. Will Leopard really be the operating system that will dwarf all else in ease of operation and efficiency? That remains to be seen, but I am very hopeful.

If I can play Apple advocate here for a moment, I don’t see Apple taking any rest from innovating. I am really excited about the new direction. I always wonder, “Why is Apple doing this or that?” I can only trust that it’s a good direction, they seem to know trends far better than I do.

I can see when Leopard is released the true beginning “real” communications integration of “Open Source” standards and proprietary operating systems. I hope it all doesn’t “Just Work”, or I’ll be out of another job, but I know it will work better than ever before, and allow us to accomplish incredible things. Apple should take “incredible” as part of it’s corporate name, because that is what they are.

Just wait and see!


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