Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Four things I wish the iPhone did better

So, after years of waiting for Verizon to get the iPhone, I finally ditched my trusty old Blackberry Curve a couple weeks ago and joined the legions of iPhone-worshipping Apple fanboys. My first impression: say what you will about the perhaps too-ardent devotion of some iPhone-iacs, but that kind of product loyalty doesn't just materialize out of nowhere. The iPhone is a terrific piece of machinery, fully deserving of all the praise heaped on it.

It's so intuitive I've been able to start using it without reading the user's manual. The retina display is killer. Everyone praises the apps, and I see why. They are so useful, effective and wide-ranging I think I could perform most major life functions from my phone. I've downloaded news apps (the Observer and the New York Times), my social networks, my bank, Verizon, ESPN (instant highlight videos!), along with a couple photo apps, the Weather Channel, Papa John's pizza (of course) and, during a lull in Easter service, the Bible. It's not that other phones can't do these same things. The HTC Thunderbolt, with its lightning-fast 4G service, does a lot of things much faster.

But somehow, with the iPhone, the experience just feels smoother. More complete. Is it "magical," to borrow Steve Jobs' term for the iPad? No, but it sure is satisfying.

Still, I'm not a total sycophant -- at least not yet, anyway. There are four things I wish my iPhone could do better:

--Zoom in and out while recording videos. (There's an app for it, apparently, Video Zoom 2. Why not just build it in?).
--Handle typing functions (that thumb-friendly physical keyboard is about the only thing keeping Blackberry afloat these days)
--Funnel notifications from all the ways people are trying to contact me (Twitter mentions, Facebook messages, texts, e-mails, voicemails and calls) into one universal inbox thread. (Correction: that's the second feature keeping Blackberry afloat).
--Upload photos from my camera roll directly to Facebook and Twitter without a third-party app.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are apps to handle every issue I've listed here. Since I'm new to iPhone-land, any of you long-timers who'd care to suggest a few, I'm all ears!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

All of those things are covered by apps. But to truely get the most out of the iphone you have to jailbreak it.

Jailbreaking it really opens what the phone can do.

Anonymous said...

I just got a Windows phone after multiple issues with my Iphone and I am super impressed. The UI is a lot more intuitive and futuristic. There are tons of apps although admitedly there are some jewels Iphone has that are not found, yet, on windows phones but that is changing rapidly. W7 phones are super under-rated.

Anonymous said...

the ATRIX is better than all of the Iphones put together :)

Anonymous said...

I think the Atrix is the best out there also

Rev. Mike said...

No doubt there are things it could do better and that other phones DO better than the iPhone, but I think the reason for the loyalty is that Apple seems to think through in their design process how a user would like to have the product work, in a way that so many others do not. PCs seem constantly to strive to shoehorn new functionality into their existing design rather than re-invent the device entirely.

I have been a PC aficionado for years, but I now have an iPhone and there's a new iPad 2 waiting to be opened on my birthday. I made the change because in spite of the price, there is just something about Apple products that redefines whatever box/niche a device filled previously. The PC will not bring about a mass conversion to cloud computing, but I think the iPhone and the iPad will.

Anonymous said...

What is the Atrix?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Rev. Mike. Apple does not ask users how they want something done, they simply dictate how Apple wants it done and the users bow their heads in supplication because having an iPhone is COOL and MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON. It's all about marketing, not how Apple does things better.

Examples of things where Apple does it wrong: synching requires iTunes (which is almost universally hated), notifications interrupting what you are doing, lack of true multitasking, lack of bluetooth tethering, clunky Exchange connectivity, etc.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the critique above - Apple asks nobody how things need to be done. They just had great marketing and a phone that essentially has not changed in 4 years is starting to become an issue for them, especially with Android and Windows phones riding their behinds. Buttom line, I-phones are teenage phones and i=pads are overblown SUPER expensive I-Phones. $500 for an I-Pad -are you kidding me??

Anonymous said...

I'll go ahead and debunk the two previous responses: I have an iphone for the sole reason that I love it - it's got nothing to do with image. Also, my entire company uses iphones effectively as business tools, so clearly they are not only for teens.

If you don't like it, dont use it. Why spend your time here hating on it? I certainly dont care to do that to HTC. In fact I like their phones, just not as much as my iphone.

Anonymous said...

I made the switch a few months ago from a longtime Blackberry user to an Android 2 Global. And I'm glad I went with the Global because it has a slideout physical keyboard. I'd be a mess if I HAD to rely on a touch screen for everything.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any "hating" of phones here - all are valid points from all side. But yes, bottom line is try something, and if you like it, stick with it. I do not know if Mr. Frazier tried other phones before writing this blog. I doubt it though. Had he done that, he would have known that both Windows and to an extent, Android phones, already have tackled the 3 bottom i-phone deficiencies listed on his blog. This to me is more proof that people mostly think "I am going to get an I-phone because it is the thing to have, and not because I have shopped around and done my research". In fact, the fact that he seemeingly did not know of these deficiencies (which argualbly may even be somewhat trivial to most)shows that he probably didn't even try an I-phone before signing up for his 2yer. contract with Verizon. So, get what you like but caveat emptor: try and compare before you do - 99% of I-Phone buyers have not.

Anonymous said...

"I want an iphone it has the wi-fis"

Anonymous said...

"The PC will not bring about a mass conversion to cloud computing, but I think the iPhone and the iPad will." On the consumer side, yes, they have the upper hand. On the enterprise side however Apple has Zero precense and there is nothing remotely in sight. I love my i-pad though but I admit is a lot of glitter to carry around given the weight and size.

Anonymous said...

just because 'your' company uses the i-fone for busienss doesn't mean it is effective - it may say something about your company though :) In the banking industry, at least were i work, you must have a device with a keyboard if you want to communicate a lot without unprofessional shorts or emoticons. Rim, Microsoft, and Android all have keyboard solutions that Apple has resisted. This because Apple has essentially no interest in the coroporate market - they are all over the home user and that is what they design for. Plus, apple has no native corporate email or document handling solutions that a fortune 500 company needs to rely on. Bottom line, you will not see any serious company giving their employees ifones unless all they do is short texting and playing with apps on their breaks :)

Anonymous said...

I have an iPhone and an Android(HTC Incredible) and they are both fantastic. The difference is simple. The hardware and software meld into one with the iPhone. There are also a million different brackets and accessories. With the Android you are always aware that it's a fantastic device running really cool software. I've tried multiple 2A chargers but I still can't run nav without a low battery warning. Motorola seems to do a better job with accessories. Android improves dramatically with each iteration, I certainly hope to see the gap narrowed even more. After all, Apple is rather smug. But they are still holding the top spot.

_UpToMyNeckInSilicon:3PCS,2Macs,2Androids,BlackberryTour,iPhone,iPad.

Anonymous said...

Reading comprehension is apparently not required at the bank. "Uses iPhones effectively," meaning they are in fact effective, regardless of your uninformed opinion. I agree, they won't ever be for a for a Fortune 500 size company, but I don't work for one and don't care. I send dozens of emails a day from an iPhone all without emoticons, so I guess I'm just a savant. Maybe it's a perk, I don't have to carry a workberry and can stream music into my car on the way home.

Anonymous said...

My biggest iPhone complaint:
I Can't set up a texting group. That's annoying.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly true that big firms won't use Iphone. Several big oufits, yes fortune 500 in Palo Alto is already switching over to I-phones and I-pads. Did anyone really believe that Jobs would stay out of Corporate mkt.

lora said...

thank you for sharing. very good topic !!
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