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Tangerine iPhone Dream
Last night I dreamt I was in the Apple Store in Regent Street checking out the iPhones.

And obviously it was a bit busy. But it turned out that Apple had decided to release the iPhone in two colourways; the familiar cool smooth black, and a lurid plasticky translucent tangerine. Very like the tangerine on a tangerine ibook.

For some reason, all the black ones had sold out very quickly, but there was a big stack of tangerine ones available, both to play with and to take away. And so I bought one, and was delighted to be one of the first owners of a shiny new orange iPhone. In that way of dreams, the phone also folded up so that it turned out to be no larger than my BlackBerry Pearl after all.

Careful analysis of this dream suggests I may be both overly materially focused and a slavering Apple fanboi. In reality, it may be as much as a week before I acquire a +2 charm of mugger attraction. And it will be black.

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So was "it's bigger than my blackberry" the thing you disliked most about the iPhone?

I have never seen an iPhone. But I have played with the iPod touch, which is a thinner iPhone with no phone (and hence no on-all-the-time web and no email), and it is gorgeous lovely amazing but suffers slightly from that smartphone 'feels stupid holding this up to my ear' thing. And the iPhone will be heavier.

The thing I love above all other with the BlackBerry Pearl is that it is the size of a phone, not the size of a smartphone.

But in practice, the much vaunted BlackBerry email integration is just not that good with GMail; the iPhone will do better. The web browser is streets ahead on the iPhone. And you cannot have both; the Pearl is small because it has a tiny screen; the iPhone is large because its screen is large. The current Pearl doesn't have WiFi; the new one will, and will also have a less-shit camera. So I need to decide whether I want an excellent email and web appliance that looks a bit stupid when you hold it up to your ear, or a not-so-good at internet toy that feels like a phone. And as I am online lots but make relatively few phone calls, I am fairly sure the iPhone is going to win. The contract is cheaper too, my O2 BB contract is £45/month though obv. that includes free phones and is only 12 months.

(My work BlackBerry, syncing with the secure office email system, is amazingly good at managing my office email -- I am Super Organised Girl ever since getting it and my productivity has approximately doubled -- but my employer has completely disabled the browser. Plus it is a brick. What I really need is for the office to let me have the secure BlackBerry service on a Pearl; then I could make work calls and take all calls on that).

Or do what I did and keep the Blackberry and get a Touch to go with it.

The iPhone is a great webpad, but a lousy phone and poor email device, while the Blackberry is a great phone and email device, while shite at web (though Opera Mini 4 changes that a lot).

I'm considering that too. But I spend such a lot of time in places where I have phone reception but no WiFi; I would like to be able to use the internet properly in those places. With the Pearl, the only web use I can really manage other than pages where I'm already familiar with the layout is queries of the type 'can you find the postcode of the place we're driving too, or the phone number of the restaurant'; that sort of thing.

Give Opera Mini a go - it's a very decent mobile browser. And it's free.

My main gripe with the iPhone's otherwise excellent browser is the key pad. There's no touch (hah!) typing, as there's no feedback. It's a device crying out for haptics.

Of course, as always, it's different strokes for different folks. I'm a multi-device person - I carry a phone, a camera, a PDA, an iPod, and a hefty USB stick (and that's before I've packed the Tablet PC...).

The big thing (and it is a big thing) is the iPhone is 2G - No 3G surfing. Its very slow. Its the fatal mistake that Apple have made and one of teh main thing that has crippled its sales US. If it was 3G then it would be a must have. But no 3g makes it useless as an iternet device - hence I'm sticking with my n95 and a bluetooth connection to my PDA.

if the Touch had Bluetooth, that would be viable, because it could go online via the Blackberry's GPRS or 3G Internet connection. It would also make it easier to sync it with a Mac.

That is the one flaw with my argument!

I suspect that it should be possible to (post SDK) hook one up to a 3G pebble.

But BlackBerry's bluetooth is deliberately crippled; and although it's not supposed to be *so* crippled on the Pearl, I have never managed to pair it with anything in order to use it as a GPRS modem. The web is full of stories about how people have failed to get it to work with, eg, the Nokia 770.

I used to have the same problem with GMail - the interface was decidedly less than useful for mobile browsers. Ok for occasional work, but not usable long term.

And then they added IMAP support. And now I use a proper email application on my phone to manage my gmail. Works fantastically.

(Not sure if this would work for you, but worth investigatin)

Yes, and I'll be using IMAP if I get the iPhone. What I don't know is how to do IMAP with the BlackBerry -- and in particular how to avoid downloading the entirety of my GMail archive to my phone, which would promptly go tilt.

I don't actually know anything about Blackberrys I'm afraid - if they don't do regular email then you'll need someone with domain specific knowledge.

And with IMAP you have folders - Archive is one of the folders but I only actually tend to synch on my Inbox, which has a lot less emails in it.

You can also get the iPhone but use either the wired headset or a Bluetooth headset to make calls, which means that you don't have the "I'm holding a big flat thing against my ear" syndrome.

I was surprised at how much I liked the iPod touch when someone at work let us play with his. Then I tried to type on it. Eurgh. I'm sticking with real buttons for my keyboards for as long as I can.

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