Boy am I struggling over here in Dubai with the technology that I brought with me. Now I can tell you in advance that a lot of this post is simply driven by the fact that the Mac Book isn’t up to the job in hand, but the other driver behind the post is just how poor the iPhone is turning out to be, but just how good it could be!!!
First up the MacBook. I do love it a lot, but for what I need to do it really isn’t up to the task. That is not the fault of the MacBook of course but as I really need:
– 2 or 3 browsers open at a time
– Excel spreadsheets that are like 5,000+ rows long (think 4 or 5 spreadsheets open at a time)
– Email, MSN, iChat (typicaly 4 -6 conversation windows open at a time)
then it just isn’t up to the job. The real killer is the small screen though – I just have to be able to have open multiple windows.
I have found that Spaces helps to some extent. At least it got me using them, but so far I find it only really helps keep the desktop clearer rather than produce any productivity gain. I need to see multiple windows at the same time to be productive with what I do.
The MacBook is great for short trips home for Sands (or myself if I ever made them) as a good all round, light, small device, and it is fine for the occassional meeting that either of us have in the Marina but for me to work on and grind away on day in and day out it has not been up to the job.
Not really a problem as there is a easy enough solution – Sands can have the MacBook and I will get a MacBook Pro if I continue to make work trips abroad, which does look very possible.
The iPhone on the other hand is not so easy to figure. When I am in Dubai in particularl it is so nearly great, but the things that let it down have rendered it almost useless.
The lack of 3G is a killer without doubt. I would say that 75% of the times I want to use it on line I am away from a WiFi spot so GPRS just kills you.
Then there is the lack of a decent IM client as I tend to have multiple chats on multiple clients on the go pretty much all the time. We tend to communicate via IM more than email as it is all about instant results in this business.
Although I use a Dubai SIM card here the lack of VoIP again really lets the iPhone down as a really useful device.
I use Notes on the iPhone a lot, so the lack of an option to sync with Mail is a real problem, ditto To Do. Being able to do this would be far more useful than being able to find out how to get somewhere (that is what Taxi’s are for) or buy a album direct off iTunes!!
It is hard to figure out what to do. I love the form factor overall, and the iPod, Movies, Videos and Photos are a great source of ‘fun’ when away from home, but as a business tool it is proving next to useless. I am reluctant to give up on it but I don’t want to carry two devices around with me on trips.
In Spain it is OK. I am not away from my desk enough for any of the above issues to really be a problem.
I guess I need to figure a way to upgrade my ‘hacked’ 1.02 to a hacked 1.1.3. I could give this iPhone to Sands as it would be better than her Nokia/Palm combination in Spain and the UK, and I could get a new iPhone and hack that and see what the SDK brings.
Alternatively I could dump the iPhone and go with a HTC type device that although Windows based is 3G, but also wouldn’t meet my To Do and Notes requrement.
This is driving me nuts as all I want is a stable technology platform that I don’t have to bother about that fulfills my needs!!!