Is the iPhone Now More Unstable than Windows Mobile?

Posted by Chris Leckness on Aug 11, 2008

closeThis post was published 6 years 2 months 21 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

iphone3g Let me preface this by saying that “I” don’t consider Windows Mobile unstable. For years, all I have used is Windows Mobile and I have not had the trouble that some do. Of course, I don’t throw applications not designed for my vintage Windows Mobile, I don’t push the device past it’s limits, and I take great care to manage the memory of my Windows Mobile Devices. That said, other than hard resets to clear info off phones or PDAs so others won’t have my contact list, I have had to do VERY FEW hard resets on Windows Mobile devices. Dare I say, Windows Mobile is not Unstable, it’s the applications we flood the devices with. Bashing Microsoft for other developer’s applications is something that has just become the “cool thing to do”, I guess. Windows Mobile is not perfect, but it’s not the beast many want us to believe.

Apple has 3rd party applications now. Nice right? Well, iPhone owners are complaining of lockups and having to reset. It could never be Apple’s fault though, it’s got to be the applications. Bad developers, bad apps, it could never be Apple’s fault. So here we are, Apple iPhone locks up… Bad App. Windows Mobile Phone locks up, Bad Microsoft. Hmmm… Ok. Let’s talk about the iPhone shall we?

I have been using the iPhone since 2.0 on and off now and I am impressed. I have had very few lock ups, but I can also say that the only apps I have running are reputable apps, most of which are not free. The only real hang up I’ve had is that Holdem Poker locked up one time. I am a lucky user though, I am reading all over the net about lock up and restart problems with the iPhone. Many of them all point to one problem, 3rd Party apps.

This issue and some others cause my friend, Matt Miller, to post an article today.

As a person who enjoys trying out and using lots of 3rd party applications on my mobile devices I expected issues with some applications because not all developers are created equal and Apple doesn’t seem to be performing much of any kind of actual review in letting applications appear on the iPhone App store. However, I have had way too many experiences where I go to start an application, it appears to load and then I am taken right back to the home screen again. The only way I have figured out how to get the application back up and running is to remove it and then reinstall it on the iPhone. I also discovered that for paid applications you have to “repurchase” the application on your device and then as you go through the process a pop-up will appear that states you already paid for the application and would you like to download it for free. Thus you don’t actually have to buy the application again, but that is the method you have to follow to redownload it. I would think that the iPhone would be smart enough to know which applications I purchased before you have to get to this point and think there is definitely some room for improvement in the App Store on the iPhone.

Head over and read “Congratulations Apple, you made the iPhone less stable than Windows Mobile“.

I agree with Matt’s article, but he has experienced some issues that I have not. Maybe I am just not pushing my devices the way others do. I do what I need the devices to do and don’t experiment much. With the iPhone, I play some games, I read and post to twitter, browse a website or two, talk on the phone a lot, and I have push email coming in all day. I only install the apps I need and don’t really “try out” new things just because I can. Are those that are having problems pushing their devices too far? How far is too far?

Matt also mentions in his article the issue I had where all my iPhone apps disappeared. I won’t repost that snafu today, but here is the link if you want to read more about it.

On another note, the new 2.01 firmware doesn’t help my crappy battery life. The only thing that has helped my battery life is lack of use. Even then, with Push Email, standby battery life is still not great. I can deal with it because I am hope to charge every night and I typically can make it through a day on a charge, in fact, I have only run the battery dead 3x since 2.0 was released.

Chris Leckness (4418 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


Chris Leckness is a Microsoft MVP, Mobile Devices and a member of the exclusive focus group, Mobius. Chris has been a big time supporter/user of Windows Mobile since the Dell Axim days when it was Pocket PC 2002. Chris loves Zune, but also owns 3 iPhones too. His personal blog is chris.leckness.com.

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  • doogald

    Well, WM has been around long enough that it had *better* be more stable than the newer iPhone. ;)

    That said, I though that this article was interesting. I have a WM phone and it is not exactly easy to use. Opera Mini is great, but it’s not like using Safari on an iPhone (and IE is an utter piece of junk in WM 6.)

    Article: http://snipurl.com/3evhl [www_businessweek_com]

  • Jeffrey Dee

    Your right on one point- some third party applications for WM mobile devices can wreck havoc on your PDA. Just an example- I have been testing various Today screen third party applications. And most of them may require you to keep resetting your device. The most stable and eats less of your PDA’s memory is RL Today.

  • http://www.jimtravis.com/gadget.html Jim Travis

    Nice article – it was a welcome change to read an article that did not totally bash Windows Mobile. I have been using WM since Pocket PC 2002, and have found WM to be reliable, stable, and very flexible. I also have no problems with the standard WM interface, and use finger navigation on my WM (and Palm OS) devices 95% of the time. Until recently, most WM devices came with a Home application that had large icons which made finger navigation even easier, although I usually used the Today screen.

    Until 2002, I was a Palm OS champion. Although I found WM devices technically interesting, I delayed purchasing one because of the high cost, and the horrible reputation WM and ActiveSync had. When I did take the plunge, I was pleasantly surprised by how stable both the device, and ActiveSync were. I have since owned about a dozen WM devices (PDA, Smartphones), and the only hard resets I can recall were for new firmware updates. Like all users, I have run across terrible third party apps, but I did not blame Microsoft for some 3rd party goof. I deleted the bad app, and tried an alternative app which worked fine. Although I always have a current backup on the memory card, I never had a bad 3rd party app require a hard reset. Unlike the author, I do try a lot of different types of 3rd party apps.

    One of the previous comments mentioned Safari, IE, and Opera Mini. Pocket IE is great for the vertically oriented generic mobile web, Safari is great for the full web, and Opera Mini (NetFront also) is great for both the full and mobile web. I have found Safari to be excellent for multicolumn web pages, but not very good for some single column pages (such as Craigslist), and some generic mobile web pages. On too many single column pages, double tap zoom in Safari does not increase the text size to a comfortable reading level, and the dreaded horizontal scrolling is necessary to read each line. Opera Mini does as good a job as Safari in displaying the full web, particularly on a VGA device, and is far superior to Safari for displaying single column pages like Craigslist, and the generic mobile web. Opera Mini has a mobile view option which reflows the text on single column pages to a comfortable reading size without the dreaded horizontal scrolling. Opera Mini may not be as slick as Safari, but is a better browser overall for viewing the entire web, both full, and mobile.

    For about $20, you can purchase a shell for WM to give it an iPhone like UI. These various shells may not be as slick as the iPhone UI, but are very close if that is the type of interface you prefer. There are thousands of 3rd party apps available for WM devices, many of them direct CAB downloads to the the device, and no company has to approve the app before it is available. Unless you jailbreak an iPhone, you are limited in the types of features you can add particularly since all official apps have to approved by Apple.

    Although the iPhone is a very slick, slim, and elegant device, it is too feature deficient for my smartphone needs. I did purchase an iPod touch so I could get extensive experience with the interface, and Mobile Safari.

  • MS Dude

    You have to admit that the best operating system MicroSoft has ever come up with is XP. That said, most MS related anything is crap – plain and simple.

  • http://www.jimtravis.com/gadget.html JimT

    Totally disagree – Windows Vista is more stable, and reliable than OS X based on extensive use of both OS’. Your experience may be different; however, there are many satisfied Vista users whose Vista machines are the “just works” machines. My problem machines, from both hardware and software perspectives, have been Apple.

    Horror of all horrors, I actually prefer the Vista interface over Leopard – Leopard is too gltizy for my taste, of course opinions vary.

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