My last post about "reverse switching" from an iPhone back to a BlackBerry generated a lot of great comments that I believe warrant a short follow-up (much shorter than the original post, I promise). I can't address all the comments, but here are a few thoughts.
For the record, in my post, I'm describing 3.1 software on an iPhone 3G.
Yes, the 3GS actually speed some things up, such as the camera; however, in my view, the iPhone's speed issue is not one of CPU horsepower, but because of its fundamental interface architecture. As I say in the article, the paned, step-by-step interface is "easy," but it puts a limit on how fast it can be used, simply because of the number of steps it requires to perform a task. Apple can speed the CPU all it wants, and it will only make a marginal difference to the key usability index of time on task (the amount of time it takes to start and complete an activity).
(As an aside, on the topic of doing great user interface with a low performance device, here's an old post I wrote about the UI design of the Palm. Palm beat the experience provided by Windows Mobile phones of the day, even though its CPU, memory, and screen were far inferior.)
As some point out, there are things that can be done with a jailbroken phone that address specific issues. However, I'm using a work-issued phone, so I'm not going to jailbreak a phone that doesn't belong to me. Besides, jailbreaking is something that only a tiny percentage of users will risk doing, or even know about. You may say I'm a BlackBerry power user (I don't really think I am; there are people who know way more about it than I do), but things like knowing one's way around the menu are way less geeky than jailbreaking.… Read more