Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Is iPhone a Music Phone?

The iPhone is a fancy Cellphone with a fancy MP3 player (iPod). But is it truly a music phone? Let's find out by checking it against the features of music phones. Note that I have deliberately left out Cellphone features (Speed Dial, Ring tones, Profiles, etc.) and Music Player features (Playlists, Sync, Storage, etc.), concentrating solely on Music Phone features (as I see them).

1) Dedicated "Music" button. Hmm...a difficult call for iPhone. It has an iPod icon on the main screen, but it is not exactly a dedicated button. The icon is accessible whenever the phone is in ready mode, but inaccessible from inside other applications. Other touchscreen phones have a physical button, but iPhone skipped the feature for elegance. If I were to vote on it, I would say the iPhone barely misses out on this criteria.

2) Earphones/headphones have dedicated music controls. The iPhone uses the standard 3.5mm jacks and does not have a controller with music keys.

3) Remote Music Access. That is, while on call using earphone, if the phone user starts the music player, the person on the other end also hears the audio being played (in addition to the voice). The iPhone fails this one too.

Unfortunately failing all the three criteria, I come to this conclusion that iPhone is just a Cellphone with MP3 player, and not a true Music Phone. And I totally understand iPhone lovers commenting that nobody cares about technicalities when everyone knows that iPhone is the best Music Phone ever, and you can actually 'touch' the music, and whatever. Either way, I am amused that the most talked about 'Music Phone' is technically not a Music Phone.