Mobile Data

October 14th, 2009

It’s been a few months since Catherine got the iPhone and I’ve still not changed my opinion that it’s a pretty poor phone. The ringer is too quiet and lack of ring profiles a real pain.

However the mobile web browsing is very good, and there are some good apps available. So, for my birthday Catherine got me an iPod Touch 64Gb. The iPod Touch is essentially an iPhone without cellular data, gps, or camera. I’m not fussed about the camera, but the GPS would have been nice. I understand the iPhone uses an integrated Cell/WiFi/GPS chipset so that probably explains the absense.

One immediate problem I didn’t expect is that disk mode is no longer available meaning I can’t use the device as a backup for my Aperture data – so a 32Gb device would have been more suitable. However it’s unlikely I’ll run out of storage space before the battery dies. I’ve got over 6000 photos and all my music and still have 50Gb free.

Happily I can share purchased apps with Catherine too so the apps I bought for her iPhone will work on my iPod.

So it turns out I’m happy with the iPod, and this post was written on the WordPress App!

The email issues with the iPhone are mostly resolved as gmail now supports push mail, it’s not reliable yet but it’s getting there. I do wish it showed the number of new messages somewhere on the lock screen though.

The last no-go problem with the iPhone is the fact that Manx Telecom don’t offer a UK data roaming bolt on like they do with the Blackberry. Not getting email is an inconvenience, but not getting up to date weather data for flying or skiing is a big deal. The data can be used in the UK but costs are excessive.

The UK cell network “Three” now offer a wireless 3G dongle called the MiFi that would allow all my wireless devices including the Blackberry, iPod, Netbook and iPhone to use a shared data connection, and it’s available on pay as you go. Hopefully once the cost drops a bit it will be an ideal solution for trips to the UK. A portable WiFi access point has really interesting potential.

Maybe there will be a new iPhone software version fixing the other issues before my Blackberry contract finishes in December 2010, but then maybe the Palm Pre will be a better phone….

(sore thumbs)