Friday, 5 August 2011
Day 2 without my iPhone
So today hasn't been too bad, but there are a couple of reasons for that.
Firstly, I found an update to the Opera Mini browser for the Tocco, which makes accessing websites a good bit easier than through the Samsung browser. Also, I found that Google have an app for that phone to make setting gmail accounts quite easy. So my main gripe yesterday was kind of balanced out by that (though the mail experience on the iPhone is way more slick).
Secondly, I've been at home all day, so I've had the Mac on most of the time, checking in and out of various sites.
When I got into Opera Mini on the Tocco I found that the shortcuts I added first were for social network sites. Opera Mini allows me to set up a home screen in the browser with icons for my bookmarks, a little like the way Safari does it on a Mac. Handy, but the shortcuts only bring you to mobile versions of sites by default (and the screen is too small to deal with the optional desktop view).
So the Apps I miss today are: Social Networking apps. As I mentioned, the Tocco does have the mobile versions of these apps, but they're fiddly and hard to get at: for example, it just took me 8 buttons presses and 1min 1 second to open Facebook on the Tocco. What would it be on the iPhone? I'd estimate 2 presses (if you include unlocking) and 5 or 6 seconds?
Facebook on the iPhone is just so simple to use. Nearly all of the desktop features can be found in this app. To be honest, I can't remember thinking "why can't I do this on the app, I can do it on the desktop version". So if you're like me, a casual user, the app has all the features you'd want. The fact that it's just there, as an icon you can click on and get straight into the app, is brilliant. If they ever update it to include the video calling function that's available in the full version, it will be excellent. This has such a head-start on google+ that I can't foresee a time soon when it will be unpopular.
Google+ is still a work in progress really. Android users tend to get updates before they hit the iPhone, but the fully finished product has yet to be launched to the general public. (Having said that, it's very easy to get an invitation to join the beta version). This app has a lot to do to catch up with the lead that facebook has at this stage. A couple of things mark it out as special though: the Circles function is really great for making sure your posts are seen only by those that you want to see them. Also the Huddle function sounds great, though I've yet to try it (it's like group chat, but with video). I don't have as many contacts on this as I have on facebook, but I miss being able to check in on it without my iPhone.
Twitter and Tweetdeck both do pretty much the same thing. If you have multiple Twitter accounts, either of these apps will allow you to view messages, tweets, profiles etc. And of course you can tweet from each of them too. What makes Tweetdeck different is that you can also add facebook accounts to it and view posts from facebook alongside Twitter feeds. It's a handy one-stop-shop for multiple feeds.
LinkedIn the least. It's reserved for a more professional means of networking, and doesn't have any huge personalisation options. You can add a profile picture, and that's about it as far as photos are concerned. However, it is handy for keeping in touch with colleagues (or ex-colleagues) with whom you are not interested in sharing anything too personal. The iPhone app for LinkedIn is far from perfect, in that compared to all of the above apps it mirrors it's desktop version the least. Even sometimes I find that not all status updates come through properly. Not perfect, but it's okay.
With all of the above, there are ways to view them on the Tocco. But for speed and convenience, it's hard to beat a native app compared to a mobile version.
So in Day 2 I've been okay without my iPhone simply because I've been within close reach of my Mac all day. Tomorrow and the next day will be different, and I may well feel far more cut-off from the world that I did today.
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