This is a guest post, submitted by Matt Gordon:
Ever since the release of the iPhone, I had been hesitant to make the switch as a loyal Windows Mobile(WinMo) user. I had heard all about what the iPhone could do, and quite frankly I wasn't impressed, as it wasn't necessairly anything my current HTC Touch and Touch Diamond couldn't already do. So, I held off and continued to run my custom ROMs for WinMo, quite happily I might add.
Until one fateful day I some how managed to crack the LCD on my device forcing me to buy a new one. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was the proud new owner of the iPhone 3GS 16gb.
I have to admit, I was indeed at least a bit curious to see what the iPhone had to offer since everyone wouldn't stop talking about it. Sparked by Gil's recent post about users ultimately winding up at with the iPhone, I decided to look at the features of the iPhone that seem to seal the deal.
While using WinMo, one of my main frustrations was learning all the commands/buttons/screens of any new application. There is little continuity between developers for WinMo, and as such, everything comes in a different flavor. The way Apple has set up it's interface and app development means that if a developer wishes to access another tool or function from the iPhone, it's handled in the same manner as any other app. So if you're in an app that links to YouTube, it's pulls the video the same way another app would handle it. Whereas with with WinMo, the application would access YouTube however the developer sees fit, be it through a dedicated app, which you would need to make sure was installed on your device, or via the phone's web browser, which may or may not be able to handle the task, depending on what browser you are running at the time. You can see my frustration.
While running WinMo, I really did have a lot of fun. I learned many things, got to experiment with all sorts of developers and their apps, and really got my fix of "tinkering". However, at the end of the day, I found myself really just wanting something that worked. I wanted to push a button, and have exactly what I intended to happen each time, with out the unexpected launches and crashes/freeze ups.
Of course there are the iPhone's abilities that make for a great experience. GPS, Camera, iPod, Safari Web Browser, YouTube Integration, and thousands upon thousands of Applications are just a few of the features that make the iPhone the greatest contender. Oh, and it can make and receive calls too! :) But the thing that really make's the experience click, ties it all together, is the User Interface. I cannot stress enough how well the UI makes everything work. This is what allows me to simply "push that button" and have the phone do exactly what I expected.
Of course, if you do a few searches on the internet, you'll find plenty of people complaining about Apple's "dictatorship" over the UI and the Apps that developers are allowed to release. There are even people who wish to jailbreak their iPhone in order to get access to 3rd party applications that Apple would not otherwise allow, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's that sort of hackery and spirit that makes WinMo phones so great. It allows developers to really zero in on what the end user wants and needs, and deliver to them, usually free of charge. That being said, it is the same control that Apple flex's over it's app development and UI that really does make it great and delivers the continuity that I seek.
So if you're looking for a phone that is going to deliver, look no further. No more time spent trying to figure out how to work an app, unfreeze your your phone, or finding the app or tool for the job. Apple and the iPhone have all this taken care of for you. Of course there are things that can be improved, as with anything, but right now the iPhone is as good as it gets!