Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

iPhone 4, IOS built-in PDF reader versus my new favorite app…

January 25, 2011

I upgraded my iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 the week after Christmas. I wasn’t planning to do that. My hand was kind of forced. You see, I had upgraded my 3G to IOS4 about a month after IOS 4 shipped. OMG, was that a mistake! My phone when from useful (with 3.1.3) to damn near unusable, no exaggeration. The IOS 4.1.0 update which arrived two months later made the phone just barely useful again…as long as I restarted my phone every 24 hours. Any longer than that, and opening simple apps would take minutes. Again, no exaggeration.

Here’s a real life example. It’s the day after Christmas and I am taking my girlfriend to the nearby James Avery (special jewelry) store. However, I don’t really know where the closest one is. I unlock my 3G, click on the Map app (the killer app for the iPhone as far as I am concerned – it’s the app I use at least 50% of the time) and select the search bar to type in my search string of “James Avery”.

It takes +10 seconds to open the Map app. The screen appears and then it takes close to a minute before my touching the search bar selects it. Another 15 seconds of tapping on the small “x” to the right to clear the text box results in the text clearing, the cursor appearing at the beginning. And then it freezes. For over 45 seconds. My girlfriend is treated to my exhibiting class A violent ape behavior. My speech patterns are slurred from the vitriol busting out of my completely enraged head.

And then the cursor starts blinking. I started this activity as we got into the car. It is now close to 5 minutes later, and a good +5 miles down the road. For all I know, we have FREAKIN PASSED THE BLOODY STORE! At least the cursor is blinking indicating I can type. So, I quickly type “james”. However, I am treated to a single click sound and the letter “J” popping up and freezing in the popped up position. I wait. And wait. At this point, my girlfriend and I just choose to stop using the iPhone. We drive to the only James Avery store we know nearby (15 miles away). I happened to note the time on my car clock when the J froze on the screen.

SEVEN MINUTES LATER I heard a click on my iPhone. I looked down, but the frozen J remains hovering on the screen. I look away. I hear another click. Then a series of 3 more click sounds. I looked down. The J has disappeared and the A has lept up and is now frozen on the screen…for about 3 seconds before the other three letters finally animate the completion of the word.

Seven minutes the phone sat there completely and utterly useless. And with three months remaining on my AT&T contract, I was very annoyed as I felt stuck. I was now very committed to obtaining an Android device with 4G. I was now VERY motivated to get as far away from the iPhone and AT&T as possible. I was NOT going to reward Apple’sĀ atrociousĀ misuse of my perfectly fine phone (prior to their craptastic IOS 4.x upgrades).

A day later, my girlfriend and I were spending time with another couple who both happen to have iPhone 4s. They heard my story. When they heard I was going to be enduring another 3-6 months of 3G agony, they said “Do the math. Get an iPhone 4. And then break the contract and sell the iPhone 4. The most it would cost me was another $100 a month for a couple of months. That sounded like heaven compared to my day-to-day trauma of using the 3G.

I went home, verified the math and the next day, I was upgraded to the iPhone 4. And it was awesome. The apps all became useful once again. I then spent another 12 hours reversing the 3G to 3.1.3 so my girlfriend could “try it out”. It was completely useful once I had it back to 3.1.3. She was coming off of a Blackberry…and loved the 3G. She’s all aglow now that she has her mega-useful iPhone.

Now that I have been using my iPhone 4 for the last month, I had an e-book in .pdf format I had purchased. I loaded it onto my Dropbox, brought up the iPhone Dropbox app and was able to read it. Dropbox appears to use the built in PDF reader in IOS. Well, while that reader is great for short documents. It was not great for my +800 page technical book. In fact, I was +300 pages into the book when I made the mistake of wanting to review the table of contents. I tried to find a “goto page” function. No where to be found. At least no where intuitive. Turns out, there isn’t one. ARGH!

That lead me to start researching other options for viewing an ebook as a PDF. After reviewing several, I found the PERFECT (not just best) PDF viewer. It’s called “GoodReader“. I jemmed and hawed for a couple of minutes about it costing $3 before realizing that just the ability to jump to a page was worth WAY more than that (having had to,by this time, hand scroll hundreds of pages of my technical book). So, I purchased it. And it’s pure heaven. I can SO tell they use it themselves. It has so many nice features and touches. And reading my ebook is now a such a joy! Awesome!

BTW, I’m not in any way affiliated with this app other than I was lucky enough to discover it.