I feel so ripped off! When they first released the iPhone I purchased one at the AT&T store. The price was steep, the phone was cool, and the fact that I had to sign up for more than a basic data plan was less than appealing. I ended up taking my iPhone back on principle – they did not have an open API to develop applications on it.
To have the hands down best phone on the market and restrict improvements from the world at large was something I wasn’t ready to stomach. That is the same mentality that has stopped me from buying anything from Apple for years and years. Sure, it is possible to jailbreak the iPhone and void the support contract and risk not getting updates, or worse turning the phone into a brick. But did I really want to do that when the innovators of the industry should know better?
Worst Exchange Ever
I returned my iPhone and bought a Blackjack II instead. I am still required to have the data plan, but I downgraded it right after the purchase. The OS is Windows Mobile 6 (meaning the development API is well documented) and I could install my own apps on it. I’m not very happy with the interface or some of the features, but all in all it isn’t a bad phone. Still, I see my friend with their iPhones and all the functionality I want, plus a rich API and a single repository for purchasing applications, and I wonder why I made the wrong choice.
The Applications Nightmare
Then the nightmare began. I started looking for VPN, SSH, and remote desktop applications for my Blackjack II. I haven’t found squat! What’s worse, every time I search for applications I end up at this horrible Microsoft site that reminds me of a forgotten orphan child. They have an application download section – that requires registration forfull access – with about 4 applications.
All I really need is a VPN client that supports common VPN configurations and an SSH client. I remote manage some important servers for my job, and if I’m away from my desk I will have no way with this expensive “smart phone” to access these resources. I will continue my search and maybe if I get enough requests I’ll go ahead and code my own. If you think this is a good idea, let me know and I’ll start asking for feature requests and other developers.