A case for the next iPhone..?

The Android smart phones have become a consumer’s hit due to their pricing and the incredible number of options available. I have been using Android for the past 4 years ever since the Blackberry got relegated due to their insistence on a physical keyboard being a necessity. I remember when many laughed when Apple introduced the iPhone with no physical keyboard. One analyst on CNBC owed that she couldn’t live without the Blackberry as did thousands of others. Over the years, I have loved the Super AMOLED display on my Samsung Infuse 4G which had a 4.7 inch screen to start with. This was way too much bigger than what the iPhone 3 or later, the Phone 4 offered. I couldn’t look at the smaller iPhone screens either to browse or to view my photos.

But there ends my love for the Android phones. Barring the first year or so, calling other phones started to become an issue. Pressing a key for speed dial would take a long time. This might be an issue with the screen, but I have no insight why this was so. Whenever I had to attend a conference call for work, on many occasions I had the phone freeze and I ended up dialing in late. The phone would freeze other times as well – like when I was on the web and I received a call or if I made that fast swipe. Into my fourth year, this phone might be needing a replacement, but then why does one have to keep changing expensive (at $200!) phones every two years? The old analog AT&T phone I had bought when I first came to this country nearly twenty years back works just fine and it costed me only $9.99!

The other thing I liked about my smartphone was its ability to take my music with me. The sound was great and I got hooked to this app – Poweramp. Recently I started running out of space – 16GB of external storage wasn’t enough!! When I started using a new 64GB micro SDXC card, I was thrilled to carry all my music with room to spare. However there started new problems. The phone would take a very long time to finish scanning the SD card upon a reboot. Then it would freeze way too often whether I was starting the music player or if I wanted to make a call. On a recent call, I was on mute and when it came my turn to talk, I couldn’t unmute. Repeated touches on the button basically froze the phone and it rebooted on its own, much like it has done quite a few time already in the past month. Not to mention leaving those on the call the impression that I wasn’t listening. The Infuse 4G specs state that it can handle a 32GB external card but that was with the OS that it came with – Android Froyo. I had recently upgraded the OS to Gingerbread (which is way older to the current release, but that is another gripe – that many vendors such as Samsung don’t automatically upgrade the OS to the latest Android release) and found the phone to be able to read all my music. However, a couple of days back, my external card wouldn’t mount and I was stuck without music.

After a lot of research, I found out that moving your apps from external storage to internal might cause damage to the card or it would render the phone not to recognize the card. So I ended up re-formatting the card and copying back all of the 50 GB worth of music to the card only to end up with the same error. All this took several hours. More research indicated that I needed to format the card in NTFS format. My Windows 7 laptop would not go beyond 20% of the formatting and was stuck. After a couple of tries, I found out that the card reader that is used to read the micro SDXC card (or the adapter) might not be capable of doing so. To work around this, I downloaded a custom formatting utility that did the job. And finally after another 4 hours’ worth of waiting to copy the files, my phone is able to read the card again. But, it would not finish scanning the card in a decent amount of time again.

I finally realized that the main reason I wanted the Android smartphone is no longer valid. Apple devices wouldn’t play flash content (did not support Adobe Flash player) when I first was considering going iPhone or Android. One of my favorite web sites (mergana.com) was rendering content only using flash. This is no longer the case; meragana now can render their content using HTML5 that Apple devices support. Secondly Apple now has a larger screen. In addition to this, when it comes to stability such as reliable calling and device not freezing, there are no issues with the iPhone that my wife always carries. Lastly, with an Android phone, I had a tough time syncing up my music which is on iTunes on my home computer. Syncing the play counts and ratings from your mobile device back to iTunes is not only roundabout but not reliable as well. With an iPhone, I don’t have to worry about syncing music or my ratings – it is seamless.

All the above and I have a strong case for the next version of the iPhone!! It will be expensive if I have to buy a 64GB phone since iPhones don’t support external storage, but not a strong enough reason to stick to the Androids!

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