How To

Help Us to Help You – iPhone Users Wanted!

Some of you may or may not know that Husband is a tech journo, writing mostly about mobile technology and one of his current series of features is to write user guides for iOS5 or anything Apple related, like THIS one here about how to add a custom ringtone to your device.

This is your chance to get your questions answered – if there’s anything you want to know about using your Apple device or if there’s a burning question you want to ask, leave me a comment below and we’ll try to get your answer published, then tweet you the link to the article.

Thanks in advance for your input!

EDIT: I’ve just been informed that it’s NOT just Apple, but questions about any devices, so if you’re an Android user, WP7 user or anything else besides and have a question, let me know!

Life · Opinion · Personal

Turning to the Dark Side – Tales of an Apple Convert

Back in 2008, my Husband bought me a Google G1. I didn’t know it then, but this was to be the beginning of a love affair with Android, the Google-owned operating system that offered so much. I loved the way I could hand the phone to Husband and get it back with a new rom on it to play around with or go to the Market and choose from any number of free apps from independent developers.*

Sadly, as so often happens with mobile devices and thanks to several dozen drops, my G1 gave up the ghost and went to the place that mobiles go when they fail to even perform the most basic of tasks (FoneBank, if I remember rightly!). I still miss that phone, it was still one of the best devices (for me) in terms of hardware and software. These days, just 3 years on, it’d be obsolete.

After this, I drifted from device to device, an HTC Wildfire which I kept for less than a day due to its appalling screen quality, a Motorola Milestone which I liked but turned in for an HTC Desire Z after about a week. I stuck with the Desire z and liked it, despite the hardware and software problems. However, as time went on and HTC’s appalling customer service let me down time and time again, I decided enough was enough.

And that’s where Apple came in. I looked at every other device on the market and decided that, much as I hated to admit it, nothing came close to the new iPhone 4S. Up until now, I’d always managed to dismiss Apple devices due to others on the market having a better camera/processor/more RAM etc., but someone at Apple really must have listened when designing the 4S as it has everything.

I’ve had it for a month now and despite the very minor odd teething troubles (I’ve had to restart once or twice due to freezing) it’s so nice to have a phone that just works. There’s no frigging around, the apps are largely useful and bug free (so far) and it’s the most user-friendly device that I’ve ever had the pleasure to use.

One of the big appeals of the 4S was Siri, which I have to admit has been a bit touch and go. Like, it’s really funny and awesome to say to your phone “How many ways are there to skin a cat?” and get the answer “many” with a reference link, or say “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?” and have Siri tell you “42”, but is that really of that much use? Often, I ask Siri something and am told that the service isn’t available and I’ve not successfully managed to get the location-based reminders to work yet. I’ve forgotten to buy Blutac when I leave work 3 times now, thanks to Siri!

It’s not a total loss, the basic controls are great if you know what to say. I love the iPod functionality on my phone and as soon as my headphones go in, I tell Siri “shuffle all songs”, which he duly does. I suspect it’s one of those things where it’ll really come into its own after an update or two and it’s well worth persevering until then as the phone has so many other redeeming features.

I’m not saying I’m a permanent Apple fan-girl from hereon out, I still DESPISE iTunes for instance, but for now, I’m suitably impressed with the iPhone 4S for it to act as a salve to the sting of my betrayal to Android!

If you’re a new Apple user, an old Apple user, are waiting patiently for your upgrade to get your hands on one, or are still just an out-and-out Apple hater who’ll never be swayed by voice-controlled tricks, leave me a comment, I’d love to hear what you all think.

*For those who are unaware, a rom is a different version of an operating system. Part of the beauty of (most) Android devices is that they can be rooted (effectively unlocked) allowing you to put a new OS on there. There are numerous developers out there who create their own roms and release them onto the ‘net for others to use. A bit like Linux, if that makes it any clearer.