For those of you who have known me over the past two years, you have likely seen me touting some form of a windows-based mobile smartphone with all its clever trickery, me at the helm snickering at blackberry and iPhone owners. No longer.
I qualify this entire post with having recently (two days ago) having picked up an iPhone 3G (no, I didn’t spend the extra cash to pick up a 3GS, and Best Buy was out anyways). The result thus far has been phenomenal, and I of course now begin to understand some of the cult phenomenon behind the phone and its functionality.
Having said that, I had a conversation with a colleague at Wired Ground who shared an observation about why we both had been slow to get on the iPhone bandwagon. Until recently (I’d say within the last 12 months), mobile application developers relevant to small business favored Windows Mobile and Blackberry for their choice of platform. With very little data to back up this conjecture, only recently has the iPhone emerged as the market leader in what I’m going to call “mobile business management.”
So why did I switch?
Recently Deep Ripples, my full time employ, has built out a range of project management and organizational guidelines that we manage through a suite of cloud-based software by 37 Signals (Basecamp, Backpack, Highrise,etc). The clear choice to be able to manage these software packages (and thus our business) from anywhere was to invest in the iPhone platform.
This choice led us to all of the other reasons why the decision was a good one, simply for the astounding usability differences between the Windows Mobile and iPhone platforms. For example, the literal time it takes me to dial a phone number or end a call is cut at least in half. The iPhone OS just moves that much faster.
And the feature to turn the phone’s screen back on when you pull it away from your head? Brilliant.
Users who have had the phone for some time are no doubt rolling their eyes at this, but in all fairness, the new iPhone software apparently just figured out the landscape mode, in addition to many other features which have been standard on other smartphones for some time.
But I can’t alienate myself too fully from the new club I’ve joined. Long story short, it seems the mobile application market has come to full swing with the iPhone, or an old Windows hold-out like me is just now “getting it.”