I have had an iPhone since version 1.0, and although the iPhone is great, it has been a rough road. The first generation iPhone was absolutely amazing, considering what its competitors were at launch. I was in line for 6 hours on launch day to get mine, and it was completely worth it. After a few months, much of the wow began to wear off after I started noticing what it didn’t have. It didn’t have MMS, video recording, or the ability to install extra applications. Along came Jailbroken applications, which did alleviate much of this. The problem with that is that jailbreaking wasn’t really an option for the “everyman”.
Throughout the 1.x releases Apple added a FEW extra features and fixed bugs, but that was pretty much the extent. It wasn’t really until the 2.0 release that we began to really have the “New Platform” that we had been promised. Problem though, 2.0 had a TON of bugs and flakey apps. Apple hit us with a couple incremental updates: 2.0.1, then 2.0.2.
Some of the biggest issues with the initial 2.x releases were:- Horrible battery life.- Insanely long backup times. (hours)- Very crashy apps
Flash forward, and we have iPhone Firmware Version 2.1
Version 2.1 finally feels like a finished product. It fixed a lot of the battery life issues, reception issues, and overall crashiness.
Along with iPhone 2.1 came iTunes 8. With these 2 updates combined, we are definitely seeing a product that feels finished. I am in no way saying that as customers, we are getting everything we deserve, but it’s getting closer. We still are missing major features that are available in just about every other phone on the market.
I would love to end this article by saying that Apple is heading in the right direction and steering the ship toward the island of happy customers, but this is very much not the case! Apple has been making moves lately concerning the iPhone that frankly scare the hell out of me. This once dream phone is starting to turn into a locked down nightmare. With Apple seeming to block whatever they want for any reason and letting through apps that have little more value than a gimmick, it leads me to wonder, do they want this phone to be what it could be, what it should be, and what we deserve it to be? Or rather have they been in first place in this market just long enough to lose sight of the real goal?
Being a loyal user, I am hoping much of this is going to blow over fairly soon and they will realize the error of their ways. If they don’t, they are going to have a very serious problem of users switching to other options. More importantly perhaps, if they keep screwing their developers, they aren’t going to have enough content to keep the few users that do stick around.
If the problem does continue, or heaven forbid gets worse, it will make getting the word out that much more important. I hope I won’t have to, but just in case, I am starting a project called Apptimism. This project will be for developers to get the word out about their dealings with Apple. It will also be a place for developers to have a pool of beta testers to choose from. Additionally, it will lend itself to promotion of apps. The main reason for this project is to help the end user, the customer, get what they deserve. This in turn will give everyone a better overall iPhone experience.
Best of luck to everyone and here’s to Apple doing the right thing!
UPDATE 10/1/08: Apple has removed the NDA! Looks like things are starting to turn around.