Wednesday, October 15, 2008

iPhone or BlackBerry?

I've often asked the readers of this blog for advice on certain decisions I'm about to make. A couple of years ago, it was a decision between getting a laptop or contacts (I ended up getting the laptop as a birthday present, and chose to hold out for LASIK when I can afford it). And earlier this year, when said laptop was in the shop and I was mostly Net-less for a few weeks, I wondered if I should increase my surfability by getting either a desktop or a smart phone. For the moment, I've decided on the smart phone, because 1) it's cheaper, and 2) I'm eligible for an upgrade, as it's been over two years since I last did that.

But one question still remains: Which smart phone do I get? The iPhone has always been attractive to me, and the new one has probably been out long enough that a lot of the initial bugs have been fixed. But I'm also aware that my monthly rate would go up if I got one. In the meantime, there are some other smart phones out there, like this BlackBerry, that sound intriguing. (And, scrolling through everything, it appears that my bill would go up no matter which smart phone I got, so that comparison is a wash, I guess.)

So the call goes out to anyone who's had either a BlackBerry or an iPhone: If you had a choice, which one would you get, and why? Or is there something else out there that I haven't discovered yet that's even better? Let me know in the comments.


John Guari said...

From what I've heard, the iPhone is pretty cool, but the iPod touch does basically everything the iPhone does except make calls. You can surf the web, sync calendars, listen to music, etc on the iPod touch.

You might consider just getting an iPod touch (a one time purchase vs. a purchase plus monthy fee with the iPhone), and keeping a regular, rugged, lower priced phone just for calls and texts.

The one advantage the iPhone has over iPod touch, though, is that (for a price, I believe), the iPhone can surf anywhere, using cellular technology to connect to the web. iPod touch needs WiFi to work with the internet.

I'm just basing this off of what other people have told me. Maybe you should just shell out for the iPhone. I mean, they're crazy cool.

Kev said...

Yeah, the cool factor (and the fact that my iPod is almost full) would definitely send me in the iPhone's direction, especially if I could find a way to plug it into a stereo at school or a docking device in order to play Aebersolds and what-not during lessons. My old boom box finally gave out, and I don't necessarily want to carry my iPod with me every day.

I didn't do a really good job of stating this in the main post, but one of the reasons I'm looking for a smart phone is so I can check my email and things like that during my lunch break, as nearly everywhere I eat has free wi-fi now. I don't often have computer access during the day, and I tend to be greeted with a pretty fat inbox (and lots of work to do) when I get home at night.

John Guari said...

As far as running an iPod through a stereo, you have a few options:

1. Mini cable. This is a cable with two 1/8th inch ends. if your stereo has an auxiliary 1/8 inch input, you can use this. With an 1/8th to 1/4 inch adapter, this could also feasibly be played through an amp.

2. A Y-cable. This is a cable with an 1/8 inch plug that goes into your iPod (or CD player or anything that has an 1/8th in slot) and has two outputs (red and white). At UNT, the VCRs in Lab East and Kenton have these colored inputs, which we use and control the volume with the mixer channels for the VCR.

3. Get some decent sounding computer speakers. These will plug into your iPod, as they use 1/8 inch plugs.

4. iTrip. This is an iPod add on that puts out an FM signal that you can play through a radio. I have one for my car, as there is no tape deck for a tape converter and no aux input.

You could also check good old Consumer Reports. They know more about this stuff than I do.