Why we’re kinda bored with the iPhone

The article we never thought we’d write.

Our main phone is an iPhone 4. Our back up phone is an old 3GS, and we’ve got a couple of iPods floating around, too. But we’re getting bored.

See, the iPhone 4 and 4S are beautiful pieces of tech. Works of art, even. But the way they’re iPhone 4 is designed, they need a case. You can carry an iPhone around without one, but you’re really going to have to baby it to keep the scratches and chips away from that beautiful glass sandwich. And that kind of annoys us. It’s not like an iPad-esque Smart Cover would be doable for the goes-into-your-pocket iPhone, so what other option is there? Well, unless you’re willing to buy a few different cases, usually around $40 apiece for anything with a halfway-decent build quality, you’re out of luck.

And then there’s the OS. Yes, iOS is a beautifully-designed system, but there’s a problem: it hasn’t changed in five years. Fine, the original iPhone didn’t have things like multiple app pages and backgrounds on the home screen, but are those big enough changes?

It seems as if iOS is also getting a bit too complicated. Notification centre certainly makes life a lot easier, but something about it seems too cluttered. With that many messages on what Apple touted as a beautifully clean home screen for so long, it can get quite obtrusive when you wake up in the morning and are bombarded with six emails, a missed call, two texts, and a calendar reminder. It’s a lot to handle, and it’s not done with the usual Apple panache.

Given all this, iOS 6.0 is without a doubt on the horizon. For one thing, Ars Technica allegedly spotted a couple of iPads running iOS 6.0 back in early March. Even without that evidence, we know that Apple does software refreshes like clockwork every year around April, which means we’re due for some changes. It is certainly time for some major overhauls to the operating system and the way it functions. Perhaps iOS 6 is the biggest redesign in iOS since the original OS?

Whatever it is, we’re starting to have wandering eyes, especially with some of the great devices that are out there. Okay, one great device. And it’s called the Nokia Lumia 900.

Just look at her. She’s beautiful. She runs Windows Phone Mango, which might not be the best opening line, but even that OS has a bit more spit-shine than iOS does (well, on the surface, at least).

It’s carved out of what looks like a single piece of aluminum (even though its actually plastic), available in either a rather pretty blue or a bolder black, and has a massive 4.7″ screen. Yeah, that’s another thing about the iPhone: 3.5″ is just not going to cut it anymore.

From the reviews we’ve read (like this one, and this one, and this one), almost all have said the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best smartphone ever created, and after having seen and played with one in person, we’d like to agree. Of course, there’s not nearly the same ecosystem or synchronicity as you’ll find in Apple’s wares, but it’s still worth noting the immediate experience on the phone is virtually the same.

A friend has also noted, in perfectly eloquent words: “iPhones age very quickly”. We’re more of the mindset that everything tech ages too damn quickly, but the problem is that Apple, in this arena, hasn’t managed to keep up. Not enough, anyways.

Until we hear about Apple’s iOS 6.0, we’re not going to rush out and buy a Lumia or anything, but it certainly has to be said that if we don’t see something by WWDC, we’ll be jumping ship. Our money says there will be an announcement before then, while WWDC is reserved for new MacBook Pros and Mountain Lion talk, but either way, it gives Apple just about two months to get their act together, or we’re heading to Espoo.