I got an iPhone 5 on the day it came out.
Now, I don’t normally jump on bandwagons. I’m quite anti-bandwagon, actually. So why, then, did I get the iPhone?
Because I’d had it with my once-beloved Palm Pre. Shortly after I got my Pre, Hewlett Packard bought Palm – and then promptly shut down their mobile phone business. For a long time being on an orphaned platform didn’t matter much. My Pre was plenty fast, and I loved having the Internet in my pocket. But pretty quickly the OS updates stopped coming, and after many months my phone started behaving badly. I’d have to reboot it every two or three days when it would bog down or fail to connect to the data network and to wi-fi. I spent as much time cursing the phone as enjoying it. I knew the day was coming when I’d have to choose a new phone.
As I read the news online sone morning over breakfast, a headline read: New iPhone Available for Pre-Order Today. So I went to my carrier’s Web site to see when my contract ended.
It ended that day.
I took it as a sign and placed my order. My phone arrived before noon on the day of release.
I expected to fall madly in love with my iPhone – but I just haven’t. The iPhone is a very good device. It offers features my Pre could only dream of. Its app selection is truly astonishing. It is blisteringly fast. It is wafer thin and feather light.
But the Pre’s WebOS operating system beats iOS hands down in usability. Its “card” metaphor with its extensive use of finger swiping for navigation provided a much more natural usage experience for me that imprinted hard in my brain. Even now, weeks after receiving my iPhone, I still sometimes try to swipe my finger across the area below the screen, which acted like a “back” function on the Pre. My iPhone, of course, does nothing in response.
My Pre also had a slide-out physical keyboard that worked much better than the on-screen typofest the iPhone provides.
It’s too bad HP killed Palm. I would have loved to see the WebOS platform get the love and attention necessary to stay competitive with iOS and Android. I would almost certainly have upgraded my phone within the WebOS family.
I try to take consolation in the fact that I can play Bejeweled on my iPhone. I love Bejeweled. It was never available for my Palm.
I upgraded to the Pre from a flip phone. I wrote a sad goodbye to it – go read it!
Last updated on 15 March 2020 by Jim Grey