30 Basic Things iPhone can’t do but Windows Mobile can
Before you think anything about this title, let me tell you that I have personally used both an iPhone 3G and a Windows Mobile (HP iPAQ h6320). So I have a decent knowledge of how both the devices work.
That’s why after using iPhone for over 8 months and Windows Mobile (referred as iPAQ, here onwards) for a little over 3 years, today I am trying to write down what an iPhone can’t do (being a latest device) but my 3 year old iPAQ (which is now a history) used to do.
The purpose of this article is first to show how a decent light weight, all in one purpose sort of device is expected from Microsoft. And second to show how Apple iPhone being a latest gadget failed to do a fair market research before launching it.
I am not afraid to say that I bought an iPhone just because there was not a comparable Windows Mobile available at that time whose aesthetics, features, weight and screen size matched or even came closer to iPhone.
At the same time it will be fair to say that Apple iPhone has definitely beat Microsoft in the mobile market even by launching a device which can’t do half the things that a 3 year old iPAQ could.
Below are some of the lacking features in an iPhone but Windows Mobile had them way back:
- Bluetooth Services: You know what some of my friends think that their iPhone Bluetooth is not working. Because when they try to search for an adjacent Bluetooth enabled iPhone or any other device, it can’t search.
You know why? iPhone doesn’t support any other Bluetooth service except Headset tethering.
- You can only pair a Bluetooth headset to listen to your calls and not even songs.
- You can’t transfer files, photos or access internet using your computer internet using the built in iPhone Bluetooth. It simply can’t.
What the heck man…? In 2005, my Windows Mobile iPAQ used to do it like charm.
- iPhone doesn’t support IR means it can’t be used to transfer contacts between two devices as an iPAQ is capable of. (IR is something by which a TV remote talks to your TV.)
- iPhone doesn’t show you the most important activities of the day on the home page itself. You need to go to the calendar and then check what all meetings you have. iPhone doesn’t even show a badge on calendar.
Whereas any Windows Mobile wants to keep you up to date on your appointments. All necessary information is shown on the Today screen itself.
- iPhone doesn’t have a native To-do app. And let me put it this way, it is a must. I know you can install other apps to do that. But these apps don’t go along with your iPhone calendar and hence you don’t get any reminders when the task is due.
- iPhone doesn’t support hand writing recognition. Whereas on an iPAQ I can simply write anything in my handwriting and it converts it into correctly recognized words. I can write pretty fast in my handwriting then typing it with soft keys on iPhone.
- You can’t read, edit or view any Word, Excel or PowerPoint file on an iPhone. On iPAQ I used to do everything. And all these files were accessible from my computer too.
- Because of reason 8, you can’t read or send any email with a office document.
- All iPhone file system is locked. You can’t browse an iPhone file system to access files on it from your computer. Forget about transferring files to and from your computer to an iPhone.
- Only way to transfer files is through iTunes. That too is limited to iTunes supported file formats like Ringtones, Wallpapers, songs, TV shows, Podcasts, Videos etc.
Moreover, you can’t even sync it over Wi-Fi or bluetooth. You HAVE to connect it using cable to your computer.
- You can’t use the huge space on your iPhone to store files. That’s so thoughtful of Apple that you can’t use iPhone 8GB, 16GB and 32GB space but instead carry a separate USB drive.
- No Expansion Slot: You can’t insert a separate SD, MicroSD card etc. too into an iPhone to carry important files with you. iPAQ used to support upto 4GB SD card.
- You can’t change Home screen background unless you have a jailbroken device.
- Programs and icons can’t be arranged into categories like all games into a Game folder, all utilities into a Utility folder etc etc..
- You can’t install just any applications unless it is available in iTunes store. Or until you jailbreak and install Cydia. Whereas on iPAQ I can install any software from any vendor whenever I want. I can save my soul from getting sold to Apple if I use a Windows Mobile.
- You can’t run background applications on an iPhone. Whereas on a Windows Mobile I can run multiple apps in the background and switch between them whenever I want.
- Irreplaceable Battery: You can’t manually change the battery. The reasons why it should have been possible, say, if I am going on a long trip, I might want to keep a spare battery, just in case.
- Windows Mobiles are unlocked whereas Apple iPhone you can only get by selling your soul to AT&T. So with WM you can switch carriers and you don’t have to stick to AT&T even though the service is not good.
- iPhone can’t show Flash enabled websites because it doesn’t support Flash.
- You can’t customize anything on an iPhone whereas you can customize everything on a WM and make it look the way you want. Home page, Today screen, folders, icons, weather, calendar, hide/show program, you name it.
- Proprietary Hardware: You can’t use just about any USB cable to sync iPhone to your computer. You need the proprietary cable from Apple. And if you lose it or it stopped working, then buy a new one from Apple for $$$$…
While WM supports any USB cable, even a cheaper one from eBay.
- Low Battery Life: Apple says, the iPhone battery can manage 400-500 cycles of recharge. And after that…??? That’s even less than the 2-Year contract from AT&T. But with WM you can have a separate battery and the battery also doesn’t die after some cycles. I can still use my 3 year old iPAQ.
- No MMS: Can you send an MMS from an iPhone. Not in US I think. But with WM, no constrain, you can send message whatever way you want it.
- No Games: iPhone doesn’t have any native games. You can buy them from the app store but there are none from Apple. Whereas WM comes preloaded with couple of cool games like Jawbreaker, Solitaire and all.
- No Camera Flash: There is no flash light in iPhone. But the latest Windows Mobile phones come with Flash.
- No Turn by turn directions: iPhone has a GPS and maps, but it doesn’t announce the directions to you. But with WM, you can have MS Streets and enable GPS functionality.
- Songs can’t be used as Ringtones. You need to buy them using iTunes. (Though I have a work around to convert any song into a ringtone.)
- You can’t create groups/distribution lists for easy emailing your contacts.
- iPhone doesn’t support advanced video formats such as DivX/xvid etc. So I need to either convert them in the format iPhone supports. Or just forget about watching them on iPhone.
Whereas on WM, I could install DivX player to play any movie file.
- …..you add that.
My only argument for showing these many basic shortcomings in an iPhone is being a latest device how can Apple skip those things to include in it.
Some of the things I mentioned above are so basic and had been on other devices that they kind of become the minimum requirement for any new device in the market. That’s why not seeing those things on an iPhone makes me wonder…
Well, iPhone is a really cool device and I love it, just because of its coolness. It is popular in the market because of the thousands apps available in App Store.
I can assure you as soon as a good Windows Mobile comes in the market, I am going to jump onto it.
Question to you:
What do you feel is the most lacking feature in an iPhone? And if you are a Windows Mobile user, then tell us what you love the most in your phone? Let us know your views in the comments.
Also if you feel there is something not mentioned in this article which is lacking in iPhone, then tell us, I will add it to this list.
Edit: Initially I wrote only 27 things, but I found 3 more things iPhone can’t do. Hence I updated the article to include those.