Confessions of a smartphone virgin: five big suprises about the iPhone 4S


I was a smartphone virgin until last week. Well, almost. I had borrowed an Android Samsung Galaxy from time to time to muck around. Other than that, I used to be a proud owner of a Nokia 6100 for the best part of 7 years. It was, and still is, the sturdiest, smallest and lightest candy bar mobile phone ever built.

This week I went from a 128-by-128 pixel 12-bit (4096 colors) LCD display direct to the -read without pausing to breath- a 3.5-inch-diagonal-Multi-Touch-display-with-a-960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi 800:1 contrast ratio 500 cd/m2 max brightness fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating screen. WHOA.

Default iphone 4S screen

Seven days later after having to borrow a microSIM for the only purpose of activating my iphone, I am finding a few bits particularly surprising things about it. That is all this post is about. A disclaimer: I am very happy with my shiny new toy. I looked forward to owning one and I am overall very satisfied with my purchase.

I was now unfamiliar with Apple and its peculiarities before owning an iphone. I use an iMac at the office. So I cannot claim that not being able to play music files with the open source .ogg format was exactly a surprise. But there are a few quirky things about the phone and/or its operating system that took me by surprise.

Bluetooth: You can only pair your phone to your computer by bluetooth to use the personal hotspot feature, nothing else. So, unless you’re setting up personal hotspot it won’t pair. File transfer by bluetooth is not supported.

Mail: It is not possible to attach files to an email. You may share and send files from other applications but not from Mail.

iTunes: Syncing my music and podcasts files was irritating and confusing. I wrangled against this software for too long before giving up.

Contacts: There is no way to import contacts from a csv file directly into the contacts app on the iphone. You can only import contacts from a csv file into the supported application on your computer like Google or Windows contacts.

Battery: I knew about the short duration of battery charges. This is common to all high-end smartphones. What I didn’t know is that you cannot take with you a spare and charged battery in case your iphone runs out of power and you do not have access to a power main or computer.

Some other quirks are minor, like the fact that it is not possible to delete ‘Stocks’ and ‘Game center’ apps. or add them to groups like any other icons.

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