Tuesday, September 2, 2008

10 Things I Don't Like About My iPhone

I finally went and bought an iPhone. I had a 4GB iPod nano for a while, but was running out of space (German audio lessons take up a lot of room). I decided to wait until a 16GB iPod/iPhone was available before spending another chunk of money. The new 3G iPhone fit the bill. I also wanted to get an all-in-one device because I was tired of having a separate phone, PDA, iPod and GPS. The iPhone encompasses all those functions, as well as mobile Internet access which wasn't a priority for me but it's definitely growing on me.

Even with all this wonderfulness packed into one nice package, there are still some things that I don't like about the iPhone. Some of these are pretty big issues too. While Apple may be rolling in the money from the 3G sales, I still think they've dropped the ball.

1. No Java

This is a huge problem, and the blame lies squarely on Apple. Sun is diligently trying to resolve this with Apple, but Apple seems to have this mentality that they know best... They don't. The whole point to Java is that people don't have to remake applications every time a new platform comes out. Don't give me this crap about protecting me from bad applications. That's the point of backups.

2. No Flash Player

Come on Apple, get your head out of your orifices. With all the Flash content that's out there, not having a Flash player essentially blocks a good chunk of the Internet. True, sites that are all Flash are a pain for slower connections...and that's probably why Apple did it. I'm guessing the cellular providers don't really want that much going over their networks. But considering 90% of my iPhone network usage is over WiFi, would it really hurt that much to include a Flash player?

3. No cut and paste

Someone sends me their contact information in an email, and I want to add it to my contact list. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to do this. And there are a lot of other times when copy and paste would be useful. You can't even select a bunch of text to delete it, which would be helpful when dealing with email.

4. Contacts application is very slow

It's not like I have hundreds of thousands of people in my contact list. Why does it take 10 seconds after it first loads before I can do anything with this application?

5. No email filtering for alerts

If you're like me, you subscribe to some mailing lists. Some of the emails from these lists come very frequently, or at the wee hours of the morning. I don't want to get an audible email alert on these. I have turned off the email alerts, but I have people that email me that I would like to know about and receive an alert... Blackberry allows prioritizing of emails, why doesn't Apple?

6. Lack of customizations

Okay, this may be a little thing, but it still irks me: No custom text message sounds. If I want my iPhone to make a Star Trek: TNG communicator sound when I get a text message, then I'd like to be able to do it. It's bad enough that I have to go through great lengths to get custom ringtones onto the phone without having to pay $2. Get a life Apple and stop trying to make a buck of every single thing we want to click. Another customization that is lacking are with the calendar alerts. You're limited to a small, fixed set of times (5, 15 or 30 min, 1 or 2 hours, 1 or 2 days, or the date of the event.) So if you'd like to set a birthday reminder for someone, setting it for the date of the event, you get an alarm sounding at midnight. Very useful...not. At least have a field so we can fill in any time interval we want for an alert.

7. No Skype text chatting (I know this isn't Apple's fault, but it still makes the list)

I don't care about VoIP, I simply want to be able to have a text conversation with people. Sometimes, I'm not on a computer that has Skype, so having it on my iPhone would be a great thing.

8. No infrared

Now you're thinking, "Why would you need infrared for data transfer...how 90's...you've got BlueTooth". Yes, but that's not the point. If I want to turn my iPhone into a universal remote control for the TV, stereo, and cable, I can't do it...and how am I supposed to turn off the annoying television at the local bar without anyone knowing?

9. Backups, backups, backups

What exactly was Apple thinking? Have they never heard of an archive bit, incremental backups, or just simply daily backups....Every time I plug the damn thing in, it takes a full backup. If you sync with a Mac, fluffypig.com has a good way to disable the backup feature, but so far I haven't found anything for the PC.

10. No development platform for PC

My last little annoyance: No development platform for the PC. What, Apple thinks the only people that ever made good programs are on Mac's? I view this as either laziness or a marketing ploy. I'm not buying a Mac, Apple! I won't pay your overpriced hardware prices. I like my PC. But that doesn't mean I don't want to make apps for the iPhone.

11. No GPS maps (I know I said 10 things, but I just remembered this)

As much as I like Google maps, there are times when I find it's more information than I need. This is especially true out on the road riding my motorcycle, out of reception area. At this point, Google maps is useless and I can't get anything except a longitude and latitute. My old Garmin GPS had 8MB for storing maps, and that was enough at the time. With 16GBs, I should be able to store basic road information for the entire frick'n world!

Okay, I can now let out a sigh...I've had my vent. Other than these shortcomings (some of which aren't so small), the iPhone is still a great platform and I'm happy I got it. I'll be eagerly awaiting these issues to be resolved, so my enjoyment of the iPhone is furthered even more.

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