Why the iPhone rules – iPhone vs Windows Mobile Part 1

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Hi, I am a Mac….Reviewer. As the senior Apple reviewer on technogog I am here to tell you – the Internet viewer, why the iPhone 3G in the immortal words of Cassius Clay is “the greatest of all time”.

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This past month Apple released their 2nd Quarter Earnings which reported 3.79 million iPhone 3Gs sold; this is in addition to the 6.9 million 3G phones sold in the first quarter of its initial release. That my friends are a lot of iPhones, but there’s more! In the same earning report was the news that Apple is planning to sell the iPhone in China during the coming year.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers for any tech device let alone a cell phone. So I will start my iPhone fan boy rant with this – millions of people can’t be wrong!

Personally I have used both Windows Mobile Phone devices and both versions of the iPhone. Both technologies have similar functions and capabilities; its just that the iPhone does most of these overlapping tasks much better while using a simpler interface.

What makes the iPhone so great? Is it the touchscreen, the intuitive user interface, the audio and video capabilities, the thousands of apps. It is all of these and more!

So, where do I start to describe how awesome the iPhone truly is? Lets start from the outside. The iPhone is a gorgeous looking device. It combines a high tech look with a sleek and streamlined design. As Fat Bastard from Austin Powers would say – "It’s a sexy beast".

If you never saw an iPhone before you might guess it was a portable media player, a remote, or a gaming platform. Actually all those guesses would be correct, since the iPhone is capable of those functions and much more.

During the creation of the iPhone the designers at Apple went for the pleasing external aesthetic to be combined with a simple intuitive user interface. This led to the creation of the svelte and sexy minimalistic candy bar shaped device that world knows and loves.

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The first thing people should notice about the phone is the 3.5” widescreen display. This display comprises over 90% of the iPhone face and is one of the biggest on the cell phone market. It’s 480 x 320 pixel resolution makes videos, photos and games look incredibly sharp. Most Windows Mobile screens are in the 240 x 400 pr 320 x 320 pixel range. Too bad Windows fan! Want to look at something in landscape mode, just tilt the phone 90 degrees and the built in accelerometer will orient the screen into Landscape Mode.

Oh, did I mention it was a Multi-Touch Display too?

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Below the main screen we find the Home button which performs numerous functions on the device. It can turn on the screen, perform screen captures when pressed in combination with the power button, help reset the device, turn off a non responding application, go to main menu screen and more. Above the display is an opening for the earphone and hidden sensors for ambient light, proximity detection and the accelerometer.

Notice anything missing? That’s right, no clunky keyboard that folds, slides or flips out. Who needs those chicklet size keyboards anyway? Apple has a beautiful touch screen keyboard that pops up when needed and disappears when finished. Miss the tactile feel of the keys, don’t worry you get over it fast.

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Love Social Networking? Then Apple has a 2.0 megapixel camera on the back of the iPhone with the ability to GeoTag. Perfect for all you Facebook and Twitter fans! All this amazing stuff and we haven’t really talked about the actual phone and interface!

Need more reasons why the iPhone is the pre-eminent cell phone in the world? Don’t worry; I’ve got more for you.

No matter how pretty the iPhone is on the outside it would not be the most popular cell phone around if the user interface was bad. Apple designed this UI to be simple to navigate and operate. Even the most tech un-savvy user can control and navigate the iPhone in mere seconds.

Apple uses the Multi-Touch Display to control the user interface. Want to start an app? Just press your finger on it. Need to advance to the next screen or image, just swipe your finger across the screen. Wish to magnify a picture, simply put two fingers on the image and spread them apart across the image; pinch them to make it smaller. Gesture based navigation obviates the need for a stylus. Let’s see Windows make a user interface this easy to navigate, as of today they haven’t and most likely can’t.

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The iPhone comes preloaded with all the standards apps found on most smart phones – Calendar, Contacts, Weather, Email Client, Calculator, Web Browser, Photo Viewer, Camera and a few others such as Stocks, You Tube Browser, and Google Maps. In addition the iPhone 3G has a built in GPS. Match that Windows Mobile Fan Boy, I dare you!

These features alone would make the iPhone worth the price of admission; thankfully there is much much more available when owning an iPhone. Remember how I mentioned it was a portable media player. Since it doubles as an iPod Touch, you can view Movies, Television Shows, Video Podcasts and any other compatible video format on the 3.5 inch display. Want to listen to music? No problem!

For many years the iPod has been far and away the most popular music/video player in the world thus most people are already familiar with the iPod interface. The controls are the same but instead of the click wheel the iPhone uses a touch interface

Apple implemented its Cover Flow technology in the iPhone and iPod Touch which allows the user to flip through their library with the touch gestures; if you wish to scan your music in a more traditional manner that can be done also. The iPhone comes in 8GB and 16GB flavors providing plenty of room for several hundred songs and multiple videos.

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Since it is an iPod, Apple has installed quality audio components with a frequency responses of 20Hz to 20,000Hz and support for AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV audio formats. Who would you prefer making your smart phones audio components? Apple with their years of experience or some cell phone company selling a Windows branded device?

On the road and what to get some new music, no problem as the iPhone has the mobile iTunes store which lets you download music wirelessly. The mobile iTunes store works like the regular version which allows the user to hear thirty second snippets to see if you like the song before you buy it. Windows Mobile devices have what? The various Microsoft Music sites that eventually fail! The Yahoo store that closed down?

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Need another reason to get an iPhone, how about One Billion! That is the number of iPhone apps downloaded from the App Store since its inception. During the 2.0 software upgrade Apple introduced the App store which offers both free and paid apps to install on either the iPhone or iPod Touch. Apps are available from big companies such as Google, Facebook, AOL to small single person operations and range from productivity to business to finance to travel and more.

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As of March 17, 2009, there are over 25,000 third-party applications officially available for the iPhone or iPod Touch in the App Store. At this point in time there is probably an app for almost everything. Games are also sold In the App Store and many have novel user interfaces which use the iPhone’s built in accelerometer to act as a 3D controller.

Having the iPod Touch with the same OS and features as the iPhone minus the actual cell phone providers an even wider audience for App developers. This mean there is plenty of motivation to create Apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. More apps is always good!

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To make the users experience shine, Apple added features such as auto-brightness, auto-correct typing which makes speedy typing incredibly easy and seamless transitions from music to phone calls and back again.

Apple lets the user sync wirelessly using its MobileMe Internet Service. MobileMe keeps your email, contacts, and calendar up to date across your iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. If you are involved with an Exchange server at work or a VPN, the iPhone can handle those too.

Oh yeah, I forgot the iPhone also works as a cell phone. Almost forgot that little detail. Oops. Currently the iPhone is exclusively on the AT&T, I mean Cingular, or was it AT&T network? The iPhone is a GSM cell phone meaning it uses a SIM card for network access.

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Besides using the 3G network for phone and data the iPhone has a built in 802.11G wireless card which allow the use of wireless networks to provide even faster networking speeds. The iPhone circuitry is intelligent enough to easily switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks when within a known Wi-Fi network.

Most SIM card enabled phones can be unlocked so they can be used across different GSM networks. The desire to unlock the original iPhone led to the formation of the iPhone hacking community.

That brings us to another cool not so secret capability with the iPhone; it can be hacked. As powerful as the iPhone 3G is, Apple kept some features locked up; so a community of hackers took it upon themselves to make the iPhone even more functional as well as unlocking it to use with other GSM carriers. The process of opening the iPhone’s operating system is known as “jailbreaking”; while the ability to use the iPhone with other GSM carriers is known as unlocking.

Using these techniques this underground community has released even more unique and different hacks and mods. In fact several apps that were created as hacked apps eventually went main stream and are now sold on the iTunes App Store.

There is a whole lot to the iPhone that I did not touch upon. The beauty of the iPhone is that there is something for everyone whether you want to use it to communicate via SMS, email or phone or as a video and music player or as a business management tool; it all there in the palm of your hand.

Hopefully this summary will prevent any misguided souls from purchasing a Windows Mobile Phone or any other “smart” phone besides the one from Apple. There is a reason why the iPhone is the most popular cell phone around; because it rocks!

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  • nikhil s

    hahahahah the reviewer has NO idea what winmo phones are capable of. try my vga screen (640×480), copy paste, media stores for music (whats that i can use any online media store i want? wow!). go read the winmo article cuz this guy has no idea of what he’s talking about :)

  • Jonathan

    i have used both phones as well as had computers running on both operating systems, and i’ve got to say, while yes, apple products are easier to use, windows products offer a lot more functionality albeit more glitchy.

    when it comes to their phones however, there is no comparison. while the ipod may be in some cases easier to use, windows mobile is more feature packed. anything, ANYTHING and iphone can do a windows mobile phone can do better and that’s no exaggeration.

    you can find most of the apps available for the iphone FOR FREE on winmo, as well as many many more.

    its just like the os’s, apple is very light and not very feature rich, instead relying on good looks and a fanatical fanbase to get support, while windows relies on making a powerful and useful os.

    apple’s OS and phone are nothing more than toys.

  • ADRz

    As with all things Apple, there is fanatical support for the iPhone irrespective of the merits of the device. It is a nice consumer smartphone and Apple has polished it a lot. It does not attempt to do all the things that a Windows Mobile phone can do, but it provides a better out-of-the-box experience to consumers who do not like customizing phones or do not have the expertise to do so. Windows Mobile Phones are far more powerful and the OS provides many possibilities, but most of the offerings by the typical vendors are not as polished as the iphone. One would need to download a number of utilities and programs to bring the WinMo phones to the same level of “consumer experience” as the iPhone. If one has the expertise of doing so, then a WinMo phone is preferable and a more powerful device.

  • Sammy

    There is a reason why the iPhone is the most popular cell phone around; because it has the iPod’s lineage! It is FAR from the best phone in the market and is a step back from modern OSs in so many ways it’s laughable.

    But Apple has the best marketing machine on the planet and they’ve created a developer network that has led to many unique apps. Why these apps were not developed 5 years ago for Palm OS / WM/ RIMM / Symbian puzzles me, but the fact of the matter is that Apple provided the framework to get several developers off their rears and start producing some great apps.

    Ultimately, I think WM still has a tremendous advantage in functionality, but I see that closing quickly as more developers get on board with the App Store. I think the iPhone’s ultimate success will have more to do with how well (or poorly) M$ positions their Marketplace than anything Apple will do in the next two years. If M$ can regain key developer support, I think WM will be fine. If not, I can see myself with an iPhone (with a keyboard, on a CDMA network, and with many fewer restrictions) 2-4 years from now to get access to a superior app base.

  • Kolev

    Have you ever had WM device for over an hour? A modern WM device? Like last year’s (the iPhone 3G is released in 2008)? What about the VGA screens on most 2008 WM devices? What about the WVGA screen on my Touch HD? You talk about resolutions of 320×240… well those were in 2006-2007. Look at the 3,8″ (and yes – that’s three-point-eight) WVGA screen of the Touch HD and believe me, you will never ever again want to use your iPhone as a video player, because you will not see the picture, but the pixels on the iPhone. The only thing the iPhone has and the WM phones don’t is the multitouch. I give you that. The super sensitive capacitive screen in DIS-advantage. The resistive screens are pretty close in terms of sensitivity and have more than one advantage. First you can still wear gloves and use your phone (iPhone is apparently designed for tropical climate), second you can handwrite on it, like when in conversations and the other party tells me something I need to write down, I just pull the stylus out, the notes application is started automatically and I write on the screen like it is paper. Have you ever wondered why the iPhone has only one button? I will tell you. That’s becase there is no need for more. And there is no need, because there is no multitasking. 2008 OS and no multitasking… WM had this years ago… And that’s the miracle of the ‘super stable’ iPhone OS. There is no resourse sharing, so the crashes are redused. The iPhone 3G has GPS. Wow! Really! I wonder why I can not run any decent navigation software (Garmin XT, TomTom, IGO, etc…) on it and let me tell you – I used these on my 2006 Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX T830. Match this Apple fanboys ;). And by ‘Video Player’ I feel that you don’t mean ‘DivX Player’ right? Because that’s one more thing the iPhone can NOT do, while WM does for years. Auto brightnes… guess what – it has been on WM phones long before Apple even considered the iPhone. Auto-corrective typing… ever heard ot xT9? Email sync… wow, wasn’t that what I have been doing for years with WM? Guess it wasn’t because it sound like Apple invented it… VPN? Been there done that.Online sync? Did you try Microsoft’s Myphone service? iPhone is a cell phone? Correct, but even more correct it would be to say ‘it is a 2G cell phone’ because even the basic 3G service (video call) is not available. How about internet sharing? You know – using your iPhone as a modem for your laptop when on a trip? Oh, that’s right – you don’t know… because you can’t. Apple does not permit that. Well guess what – I had it for years. And it is built in WM. No need to get anyone’s permission for it. Maybe you can share the 3G connection once you have hacked the phone, but don’t you think it is a little bit strange to have to have hack your phone just to be able to do what others do out-of-the-box? I do. Yes – there is still more you can do with the iPhone, but sorry to disappoint you – I did it years ago.
    And millions of people CAN be wrong. Look at Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union. Just some propaganda, and like someone said once – a lie that’s been repeated 1000 times becomes the truth. Apple sure knows from whom to borrow its advertising strategy.

  • Tom

    http://www.applelinks.com/index.php/more/applelinks_iphone_news_reader_friday_may_15_2009/

  • abc

    Been pretty much covered by the other posters but this could’ve been a much better article if written by someone who actually knew anything about Windows based mobiles.

    Half the article seemed to be ‘it’s better because it’s Apple’ with no real mention of anything technical that shows to me that it’s any better than any of the WinMo phones currently available.

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  • Tom

    http://www.octools.com/index.cgi?caller=newsarchive.html

  • Tom

    http://www.spielesuechtig.de/index.php?sort=&pp=&categ=1&parent=0&p=links&area=1&page=2

  • Tom

    http://www.tech-report.net/news.x

  • jake

    HAHHAHAHAH!~ Kolev PWNED YOUR APPLE FANBOY ASS!! -Apple products are for the average person who cant understand how to make a computer work-

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  • Aaron

    After reading this article I highly doubt that you have used a WinMo phone. At least not a model since PocketPC 2002.

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  • Jerry Horst

    I have been a ‘died in the wool’ WinMo fan since the first ipaq, and was watching color movies on it before there was an ipod!
    I have upgraded to the best WinMo device at least yearly, my most recent being the amazing HTC HD with a whopping 800×480 resolution display. A very cool piece of hardware with an awesome 5mp camera for $800!
    After seeing friends with iphones that seemed to ‘just work’ I finally bought a 3Gs.
    Wow, this is unbelievable! I seriously had no idea that technology had actually reached a place where stuff actually works!
    With my amazing HD, I was soft restarting at least daily, normally when I really needed it to be doing something, like make a call, or check my email. What a hassle! Of course that did not seem at all unusual since every such device I have ever used behaved just like that.
    Even though I manage my life from Exchange Server, and they are both MS systems, they rarely got along, even with constant professional (paid) tweaking and coaxing.
    I picked up my iphone 3Gs after business hours, and without any instructions, help or advice, I set up exchange server in about 2 minutes. It was so easy, that I thought I must have done something wrong, it can’t be that easy!
    The phone didn’t seem to be doing anything, so I checked Contacts to see if any had synched. Not only had they, but my entire contact folder structure (6 Folders) and about 4,000 contacts were there, instantly! I don’t think that’s even possible in WinMo, and synching my HD took literally hours.
    So I checked my email and there they were! Unbelievable, never in 30 years of using only Windows products, had anything, did I say ANYTHING, worked that well.
    I have been using the 3Gs for about a week and this is heaven! Wow stuff just works! Even Safari is like using a desktop computer, while the HD has 800×480 resolution, which I thought would be great for web browsing, both the included WinMo Explorer, and the HTC Opera web browsers are completely useless. I quit mobile surfing 8 months ago.
    On the 3Gs, email web link pages open like fully active web pages, just like on a desktop! That never happened in any WinMo device I have owned.
    You can say what you want about the iPhone being behind WinMo in functionality, technology and anything else, all of which I myself have been saying for years.
    I was wrong!
    For me the biggest difference between the two, is that whenever I wanted to do something from WinMo, it really needed to do something else first, and then after that, it often needed to restart.
    I am like, totally freaking out, that on the iphone, when you want to do something, it actually does it, usually imediately, that’s functionality that no Windows product I have ever owned has done, none, ever, not even on its best day!
    I am no longer a beta tester for MS, there is technology that works!
    Not only does it look neat and have the potential to do just about anything you can imagine… my HD did both of those, but did I mention that the iPhone ACTUALLY WORKS? What a concept!

  • Joe

    I just measured the area of the screen and the face of the iPhone. The face is 8.2 sq. in. and the screen is 5.3 sq. in. That means the screen is only 64.6% of the face area, not 90% as claimed in the article. I only measured the black area of the faceand fileted the corners, so those are accurate numbers (using AutoCAD).

    I wonder where this guy got his “facts” from? Probably some promo brochure from Steve Jobs.

  • Tom

    Hi guys, can anyone tell if I am completely wrong, or not? I see on appstore a lot of software for around € 1 and the same software for WM cost something like USD 9-25?
    Please confirm!
    I am seriously thinking of buying either a HTC HD2 or an iPhone (which I have tried today). I am using Windows and Mac both, neither is perfect. The WM 6 smartphone edition is far from being perfect (no e-book reader for .lit, no navigation, small screen for web-browsing, etc.). Maybe HTC HD2 has a much better screen, but the price of the software (5-10x more expensive, if I am not mistaken) and the necessity to restart (soft-reset) my present smartphone (and previous ppc’s) makes me think maye it’s time to change OS?

  • ninou

    ” So I will start my iPhone fan boy rant with this – millions of people can’t be wrong! ”
    What about nazis then?

    easy one i guess… then what about a billion people believing the earth is flat? Knowledge and truth have often been the matter of minorities my friend…

  • Carmen

    I got an I PHONE for mothers day, I had a Blackjack that was great, the IP hone is the PITTS, takes for ever to download my mail, can not access Bolivian music that is only in Windows, the ringers are bad!!!!
    I have to use the phone or my son will think I did not apreciate the gift, the Tunes store keeps charging FOR to any song I want to listen,, it is a MONOPOLY.
    One can not go back, or erase a page asap.

    The people that decided not to use Windows player for the I PHONE ARE IDIOTS!

  • Nathan

    Yeah, and there’s more the iPhone doesn’t have, or that winmo matches. For example, my Omnia II has a WVGA OLED screen along with an accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, very sensitive light sensor, 5MP camera with flash, and ooh, a 3.5mm headphone/headset/video out jack. And wanna see something cool? Look up SWYPE. It is currently Omnia II specific, which means WM only, and can never be an app, that makes typing a breeze. Also, my phone has stereo microphones and stereo speakers. Paired with SRS WOW, you’ve never heard a cell phone sound better. Plus mine comes with 802.11g also, and last time I checked, even the worst phones could automatically switch between Wifi networks and Cell towers, and it’s not in the circuitry, it’s in the firmware and software. Otherwise, if it could not automatically switch towers, you’d be locked to about a (3600^2*3.14)m^2 area of cell coverage.

    You knowwhat else you don’t have? PROFILES!!! For example, my Omnia II silences itself the minute I step into school, but onky on weekdays. And it sets the volume to halfwayonce I get out. Also, if my phone’s battery is dying, I can set the processor to poewer saving, anc completely turn OFF data, but still be able to make and recieve calls and texts. Or I can just have it respond to calls and texts while I’m away. All of this in the background!!! Try that with your iphones.

    Even jailbroken, they still have almost the same UI with no hope for change. So sad. And yeah, my push email takes less than 5% of my battery daily. And I can schedule it to not have push at night and during school. And it really is instant. I got an email, and replied using SWYPE, and got it all done before the change of the minute. Good luck with that.

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