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That iPhone guy must be a deceiving bastard.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

You know those ads on TV?  Mac guy vs PC guy, and PC guy is always moaning about the reliability of Vista.  Call me a moron, but I kind of figured that the Macintosh reputation for reliability would extend to the iPhone too.

Not so, as I’m discovering. If there’s an iPhone guy waiting in the wings he’s nothing like his Mac guy counterpart.

iPhone 1.x was rock solid.  I never had a problem with it.  iPhone 3G with the 2.0 software — well, let’s just say that, in my opinion, MobileMe wasn’t the only thing that Jobs and Co rushed out the door. And the update that they also rushed out the door, version 2.01 of the software, hasn’t fixed the problem either.

Applications crash. I’m not talking about 3rd party applications.  I’m talking about Safari, and the iPhone Exchange mail client — they are the worst culprits.  After a short period of time, on many web sites, Safari just closes, leaving you at the deck.  And just try to do email when the client keeps crashing.

VPN support is busted. On my iPhone 1.0 it worked great on WiFi.  When 2.0 came out, it worked on WiFi, but not on 3G.  After following directions on the Apple support site and Howard forums, I now have it working on 3G, but not on WiFi.  Hello?

And where is cut and paste? C’mon guys.  You can’t even send an email address, a phone number or a URL via email.

I’ve uninstalled the Exchange client, and I’m about to press the “Restore to Original Settings” button in iTunes.  I’m hoping that will restore the stability of this device.

It’s hard to believe that Apple had the nerve to slam Microsoft for so many months in advertising, and then put this out.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • David Megginson August 13, 2008, 5:26 am

    Alec, I think that Apple's reputation for reliability is a hold-over from the task-switching days mid 1990s, before they had to worry about adapting to modern technologies like TCP/IP and multitasking — they had trouble getting those right, even though they build on top of BSD Unix.

    I'm the unofficial tech support person for my extended family, and the MacOS X users have far more day-to-day tech problems than the ones who use XP or Vista (WiFi problems, frequent screen freezes and browser crashes, etc.). At a big conference I chaired last December in Boston, we had to have 5-10 tech support calls for help getting Mac notebooks working with LCD projectors, but none for Windows or Linux.

    I'm a Linux user myself, so I have no axe to grind on the Mac or Windows side.

  • Cliff McCollum August 13, 2008, 12:59 pm

    I'm confused. You uninstalled the Exchange Client? There is no Exchange Client, just the built-in Email application, which cannot be uninstalled.

    That said, I'll agree that the iPhone 3G isn't the most stable device I've ever used – but it is far better than the Treo and Win-Mobile devices I've had in the past.

    As for the comment about MacOS X above, I can't say that I share his experiences. My MacOS X experiences are certainly better than any Windows experiences, and at least on-par with any Linux machines I use.

    As for Linux users not having an axe to grind? It's possible, but I've yet to met an actual Linux user who wasn't at least as biased about his OS as the best Mac fan-boy.

  • Alec August 13, 2008, 1:08 pm

    Yes, Cliff, I could have been more precise. My apologies. What I meant was that I have chosen to go back to accessing my Exchange inbox via IMAP rather than the new Exchange bits that are included with iPhone OS 2.01. Touch wood – that appears to have solved my problems with email. But I still see Safari crashing on me a half dozen or more times a day, and that's something I've never seen from any mobile device.

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