Vlad's 22 reasons why Symbian works and the iPhone/iOS fails

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Regular poster here on AAS, 'Vlad', has recently had to live with an iPhone after ages of Symbian usage - in this article he lists no less than 22 ways in which Apple, iOS and its ecosystem failed him. Ways in which he was completely sorted with his 'old' Nokia C7 and 808. OK, so it's a Symbian-centric viewpoint, but I suspect that most people reading this share most of his views and frustrations? Some quotes below.

Here's a bit from Vlad's article:

The Nokia Store has ‘only’ 120 kiloapps and Apple’s AppStore has over 1 million. However, I still find the Nokia device more useful, and have had some frustration with the Apple already.

I try to explain this difference of features trough a list of ‘included’ Symbian stuff,  that the Apple phone either

  • needs an application for (which oversizes the store with 10x variants) or
  • cannot fix through an app

This list also has hardware features that I love to use, exactly to show that “there’s an app for this included on Symbian” is also about features un-fixable by an app. 

1. microUSB

microUSB port

I got an Apple, I also need to get an Apple cable.

As with most smartphones used by demanding users, the ones made by Apple last throughout a day – if you’re careful. The problem lies that you can’t borrow a charger from just anybody.

Every other device has a microUSB connector now, and I’m not talking only about phones.

Solution: no app for this. 

Carrying a cable is the usual work-around (having all your friends with Apple devices works too).

2. Mass storage support

Now this may be for computer-savvy only, but Media Transfer Protocol (MTP/AFC) cannot do anything. Apart from using any existing desktop tool to manage your files from the phone, mass storage support has some deeper implications than that: you can e.g. boot a computer from the phone, or scan the flash memory for bad areas and mark them like this.

Verdict: no app for this

3. Camera button

Although available from the lock screen, I find it very weird to start the camera by pressing the home button and sliding up.

On my phone, I can press the button to start the camera app with my hands tied behind, or under the table etc.

When I get the Apple out, there’s a 5 second awkward moment when everyone looks at me unlocking the phone, while they’re preparing their posing face for the shot – or simply having time to say ‘no pictures’.

Verdict: no app for this

4. EXIF info for images

I am used to check the exposure used, ISO setting etc. whenever I feel I have time to expand my knowledge on the possibilities of taking a picture. With the default image gallery launched from Apple’s camera, there is no such info I could find.

There are a few apps in the store when you search for EXIF, but at least two I’ve triedrequired enabling the GPS to run, so in my opinion they don’t count.

If you use ‘Awesome camera’ instead of the built-in one, you do have these information shown when browsing. The only problem is that this application only shows the pictures taken with it, and launching from lockscreen would get you the default camera app.

Verdict: no perfect app for this

5. Landscape use

Almost in-existent. You cannot use an Apple phone in your car holder in landscape mode in a comfortable way.

While most of the applications do work in both orientations, the homescreen itself does not, nor the dialer.

Verdict: no app for this

6. Screen saver (standby clock)

I don’t know about you, but I never had a phone that doesn’t display the current time. And this is true for the smartphones I bought.

The concept of ‘stand-by screen’ did not get carried over when Apple wrote the iOS from scratch, for the then new phone, nor did they add it later. They do have lockscreen clock, notifications etc, but nothing is displayed while the phone is on the table, charging, or when you pick it up from your pocket.

Verdict: no app for this

You can read the full list of 22 frustrations in the full article, along with some other observations from Vlad.

Obviously Apple iPhone fans are going to be outraged by some of this(!), but I fully believe Vlad makes some very good points. It's not as simple as saying 'iOS is better than Symbian in 2013' - it may well be better in some areas, but for those used to Symbian and who make full use of all its functions, Symbian is proving harder to replace than some might think...!