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Maggie Reviews the iPhone 4

Hi! I’m Maggie and I’m a Mac.

I’ve been an Apple Devotee since around 2004, and I totally believe that once you go Mac, you never go back. However, even I have a few gripes.

First, yay! My iPhone 4 finally arrived. I was a little bugged that I had to wait so long after the release date to get it, though. My old iPhone, first generation no less, has been showing signs of being ready to make its transition into the non-physical. =) I was eligible for an upgrade, so I got it for cheap. If you can call 200 bucks and change cheap. But really, making loyal customers wait in line is a bit much. (Sidenote: my guy’s getting me an iPad for our anniversary, and that too is taking so long to come in that it’s going to be late. Shipping from overseas, so that even with same day shipping, it’s a three week wait. And why are they being made overseas anyway? That’s a whole other blog.)

But back to the iPhone 4: Of course I had to add to my service contract to cover the new ways I want the option to use it, namely the 3G–or is it 4G? I forget, I don’t even fully understand what it is, anyway, but you’d better believe I upgraded so I could use it once I figure it out. I’ll probably never exercise the option, though. Internet is just too tiny for me to read on the bitty screen. Still, I knew I’d be getting the iPad sooner or later, and figured I’d be all set to use it on that. Or maybe not. Here’s my second big gripe. If I want the 3G (or is it 4G?) for my new iPad, I’ll have to pay an additional $30 per month. On top of the $30 per month I just added to get that service on the iPhone! Huh? Is that fair? One monthly charge ought to give you 3G or 4G on every iDevice you own! Even my Dish Network lets me have 4 TVs in the house wired up without charging extra for them!

Next up is compatibility. You know with my first Ipods and Nanos, my favorite feature was that I could plug them into my Belkin car stereo adapter, or my Bose Sound Dock, and play my tunes out loud. Then came my first iPhone, and I was thrilled that it, too, could play tunes through either of those devices. The beauty of this was that my phone was not only playing my music while I showered or drove, but that the music would go silent when I got a call. (I missed a lot of calls when my iPod was blasting and my iPhone would ring at the same time. I just like my music too loud.) So this was perfect for me. And more, the phone was charging at the same time it was playing tunes. My Nano was soon relegated to use for jogging only. Car and shower music were all iPhone’s domain.

I did notice (and we’re still talking iPhone 1 here) an irritating little box that kept popping up saying “This Device was not Designed for iPhone” whenever I plugged it into my Belkin or Bose. But I didn’t let that bother me. Until the box started popping up all the time, every ten minutes or so, whether the iPhone was attached to the device or not.

Well, now with the iPhone 4, Apple has rigged it so that these same devices that charged my old iPhone do not charge my new one. (Nor my new Nano, either.) So you can play your tunes, but you’re draining your battery, and you can’t charge and play music at the same time.

I like my Bose. It’s top of the line in sound. I want top of the line in sound for my music. So Apple, if your goal is to make us buy your sound docks rather than Bose’s, I suggest you spend the money on making one that’s as good or better, rather than spending it on making your products incompatible with the best sound systems on the market. I mean, to put it bluntly, duh. What kind of way is that to treat your loyal customers? Come on. Throw us a bone. You’re mega zillionaires, thanks to us. How about some payback?

And the final gripe, you’ve already heard all over the net. The antenna is in the band around the edge of the iPhone 4, and if you hold it like any normal human being would hold a phone, your hand blocks the reception and your calls get dropped. So you have to buy the “bumper” which is basically a Lance Armstrong Live Strong rubber bracelet, only a little stiffer. It’s thirty bucks.

Here’s what you haven’t heard everywhere else. When you put the bumper on iPhone, and your charger no longer fits in the hole. Neither does the Belkin or the Bose or anything designed to go into that little port in the bottom where you plug in your charger cord. So here’s some logic for Apple to mull over.

A. If you have to have the bumper in order for the phone to work, the bumper is part of the phone and should be included in the price. In other words, free. B. If you make a bumper that’s essential to the phone, make it so that it fits. I mean, really.

I was lucky. I bought my phone before word of this antenna issue came out, but ordered the bumper anyway, not even knowing I needed it, just because they had it in orange and it matched our truck. (It’s a Boss 5.4 and a real eye popper. I have sunglasses that match it too.) So I wound up with the essential part I didn’t know was essential. I promptly took a paring knife to this thirty-dollar rubber band to trim around the opening in the bottom so that my charger and other gadgets would fit.

All right, I love the iPhone. I know I’ll love the iPad, when it finally gets here from Tibet or Mars or wherever it’s shipping from. They are awesome machines with amazing technology that I haven’t even begun to explore. They’re great products with a few irritating flaws that will be worked out in future generations even while new, more irritating flaws will be added. But the thing is, I don’t like being taken advantage of, and I feel that Apple has crossed the line on that end of things. It makes me feel unappreciated and less proud of saying, “Hi! I’m a Mac!” They’re starting to make me feel the way Microsoft made me feel–and that’s why I left them. I’m already having serious second thoughts about upgrading again or buying any new gadgets they may release.

I hope this blog somehow reaches Steve Jobs and that he takes it to heart. Love you, man. But really, you can only stick it to those who are throwing money at you for so long, before we find some more appreciative recipient. I’m sure there’s some young, brilliant college student somewhere about to launch his new vision to compete with you both.

Apple used to be the down to earth, for the people, left wing, hippy, sort of company. Now it’s starting to feel like just another greedy right wing corporate giant.

They’ve gone to the dark side. I hope it’s not too late for them to change course. I mean, you saw what happened to Vader, right?


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