Why I Don’t Use My iPhone (as a Phone)

Geof Morris asks a good question on my previous post discussing mobile browsers:

That iPhone keyboard really is the only holding you back [from switching to the iPhone from the BlackBerry], isn’t it?

The keyboard is definitely an issue, but as much as I love the MobiSafari browser there are a few things holding me back from switching.

Battery Life
I get 3-4 days of battery life quite easily on my BlackBerry. My iPhone toting friends tell me that 2 days without charging an iPhone is a bit of a stretch.
I’m sure this will get solved once the iPhone is opened up to 3rd party developers, but having SSH on a mobile device is a real lifesaver if something goes wonky with a server.
Some of my internal tools rely on my copying and pasting information from e-mail alerts into web pages for parsing. Yes I could rewrite these so I could forward the e-mails to scripts, etc., but I have a lot of things things higher on my list than that. I actually use copy/paste quite often, for phone numbers in calendar events, etc. – data detectors don’t always work (especially with conference call #s that require entering an access key).

The other place where this is a problem for me is web apps – of which there are many since it’s the only supported way to develop for the iPhone. I use PwdHashed passwords for all my web accounts, and since I can’t copy-paste from my PwdHash web interface the simple act of logging into these services is much more difficult.

Also, copy/pasting addresses from a web page into Google Maps is something I do on a regular basis. I ran into this on my BlackBerry today. I don’t know if the data detectors in the iPhone are supposed to find addresses, but in my testing they don’t.

Flash & Media Support
It’s really handy to be able to listen to my GrandCentral voicemail via their Flash audio interface in the BlackBerry’s web browser. Playing audio files that arrive as e-mail attachments is another nice feature.
IM Clients
There have been a couple of times when having an IM client on my BlackBerry has been a real win for me. I know I can use a variety of web apps for this on the iPhone, but it’s not the same.

If all of these issues were resolved (and I expect everything except battery life to be available in the next 6 months via software updates), then the only thing left would be the keyboard (though I’d also miss the excellent keyboard navigation throughout the BlackBerry apps). I might be willing to suck it up on the keyboard at that point, but I gave it a pretty good trial again last night and really felt hampered by it.