OT: comparing Droid to iPhone

My Blackberry is dying. And Verizon seems to like to disable useful things, like GPS, Wifi, and all manner of other things. So these nice fancy phones … its hard to make full use of them.

I am looking at two options for replacement: iphone and droid. The latter is in a Motorola device, brand new, from Verizon. Verizon is at least getting the clue that disabling features is not a wise move in a competitive environment. Droid has Wifi.

It also has a terrible keyboard. Its display is … while bright and large … not smooth. There are noticable pauses. Its browser works, but is a little klunky, some things don’t render or render well.

I looked at iPhone. Its browser works. It has a virtual keyboard, one I find, when oriented sideways, that I can type on as fast as the blackberry, with nearly as few mistakes. Display is smooth (gorgeous even).

Everything works, save one, glaring omission. This one could be a show stopper for corporate adoption.

There is no “select all” button or capability in the email client, so you can delete all your current mail (or messages for that matter).

The magnitude of this omission cannot be understated. A business phone will have this. Its not merely a check box of a “would be nice to have” feature, it is an absolute unshakable requirement for a company-based user who gets 150-200 emails per day on average, and sometimes more than 300 (these are the non-spam emails, I get many more spam that I never see).

A work around for Apple’s missing functionality is to delete the emails on a different device for an IMAP account. For a POP account, you are SOL.

I can live with the lack of push (annoying but possible). Mobileme isn’t an option (another email account? hell no! I don’t need another email account! I can use google gmail for this if need be). FWIW, mail to my PDA purposely goes to a different account with a different password on our server, specifically to limit damage to me in the event of a lost/missing/compromised phone. Spawning new accounts costs me nothing (a few minutes of time). Same domain, and I can make it all appear seamless. But with apple’s omission, I would have to work much harder than I did with Blackberry to manage email.

Droid isn’t yet (from what I can see) a worthy competitor on the user interface side, on the “feel” side, on the functionality side. Apple has a few glaring omissions. Maybe someone will develop a better/faster/smoother Droid phone. I’ll wait for it. I’d be open to the Linux phones as well (Droid technically is Linux with an alternative user space stack).

This said, I think we can manage dealing with the iPhone’s omissions. The battery issue, and a bunch of other issues have been solved (from my conversations with the AT&T folks, who directed me to the apple store). Just need select-all, and we will be golden.

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