I wrote about renewing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m changing my mind. Why? A combination of curiosity and convenience.
I’m not going to discount the number of posts from influencers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasaki and Robert Scoble, but the tipping point was really friends who’ve adopted Android with their latest phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smartphone newbies, their move to Android was inspiring. It made it seem less intimidating to ditch the familiar for something a little more challenging. I mean, I haven’t thought seriously about a smartphone purchase since I first bought a smartphone nearly five years ago. I wasn’t going to make this decision without help.
Why now? It’s easier. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are available and those that aren’t can be replaced with comparable apps. More importantly, I’ve come to realize that my dependence on basics like Gmail and calendar are better solved with a native platform. I’m also unreasonably excited to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubuntu-style app launchers and the like. Being able to reinvent the experience is something that will keep me interested as well.
Facebook Places. Game, set, match. Why? Because even though every last destination I visit hasn’t been loaded into Facebook, it means activating one less wonky app that crashes unexpectedly and then scolds me if I try checking in again. Another plus? People I know actually use Facebook. Foursquare? Not so much.
Facebook Places does to Foursquare what Twitter’s acquisition of Tweetie did for everyone else in the mobile Twitter app market: killed ’em dead, at least on the iPhone. I know Foursquare’s trying to put on a brave face, but if Facebook wanted to introduce badges and other rewards, it wouldn’t be hard and it gives people the all-in-one convenience they want in a mobile experience.
I used Foursquare off and on for months, sometimes deleting it from the phone, then reinstalling it if a friend convinced me to do so. It was pointless. The locations are silly, as are the tips and rewards. I know how it feels to be a regular at my local bar. It’s great. I don’t need an app to drive that point home. As I tweeted after Facebook Places was launched, “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” At the same time, I like to let friends know that I’m out if they’d like to join me someplace. Revive the drop-in visit! How fun!
Do yourself a favor and delete Foursquare already. You’re worried about privacy concerns? Here’s a thought: don’t bother checking in! I’ll go a step further and say that you should really categorize all of your Facebook contacts in a way that protects you from weirdos. That should be a no-brainer at this point in the game. As in so many things, be careful and have fun!
What a mess!
I started following First & 20 during our trip to Outer Banks this year. Their iPhone home screen series has been very interesting. As I’ve mentioned before, my iPhone became something of a lifeline while I was in the hospital with Helen when Charlie was born. I scoured the app store in a sleep-deprived haze for anything to keep me alert and occupied during those 3 a.m. feedings. Let me put it to you straight: there are a ton of apps and most of them are garbage. First & 20’s series then seemed like the answer to my prayers. I will finally completely optimize my iPhone home screen! How positively geeky!Continue reading “My iPhone Home Screen”
Want to know a secret? The iPhone is the future of computing. I know there’s a lot of talk about tablets, but I think it’s silly. Why? Because the iPhone can meet most people’s computing needs already.
How did I reach this conclusion? I found myself in a hospital for four days after Charlie was born. My iPhone became indispensable immediately. I tweeted Charlie’s birth, took photos, texted friends and family the good news and kept folks in the loop on Facebook. I can almost guarantee that most people don’t do much more with their computer.Continue reading “Why I Love My iPhone”