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Oct 29, 2008

Nine frustrating things about the iPhone

I've been an iPhone user for all of a month now. I love the iPhone. It's a great device that lets me do virtually anything I can do on my laptop, from virtually anywhere I happen to be. And yes, I know that everybody is raving about it. But that doesn't mean that it's perfect.

There are nine things that I find frustrating about my iPhone. In no particular order, here they are:

1.Only one application can run at a time. When the Google application bounces me over to Safari, it closes. When I return to it, I have to start all over again, rather than being able to just refine the previous search.

2.No copy and paste. If I have to go back and start from scratch, at least let me copy my previous search and paste it back in.

3.Battery life. I know that this is just a fact of life that I (and every other iPhone owner) will have to accept and deal with. Still, it's very frustrating -- when I text someone, I can almost see the battery gauge decrease.

4.The Apple applications that actually control core features -- the phone, Short Messaging Service (SMS) and camera -- apparently can't be replaced, even if some indie developer were to cook up something better using the iPhone software developer's kit. Though these apps are usable, they lack features that I previously had on my 3-year-old el cheapo Siemens handset.

5.No voice dialing. Many mobile users like to use voice dialing while driving. It's not just a convenience; it's practically a necessity. Dialing on the iPhone is not something you can easily accomplish while simultaneously watching the road.

6.No syncing via Wi-Fi. Seriously, why do I have to carry a USB cable to sync my iPhone when it's already connected via Wi-Fi? Or Bluetooth, for that matter. I'm flexible!

7.Poor control of alerts and sounds. When I get a text message, I don't necessarily want it to appear as a preview in an alert, but you can turn it off only by using a passcode. Also, you can't set a vibration alert for text messages -- only a tone -- and you get no warning at all if you are in silent mode.

8.The cartoonish SMS application leaves a lot to be desired. I would like the ability to forward messages and to save messages or conversations.

9.No ToDo synchronization. I finally broke down and created a list of things I needed to get done around the house (a "honey do" list for the husbands out there) using Apple Mail's ToDo feature, and there seems to be no way to sync this on the iPhone. This alone would sell wives on letting their husbands get iPhones.

These are my biggest issues, but I'm not the only one who has noticed some weaknesses. There are numerous other concerns collected at Pleasefixtheiphone.com.

Don't get me wrong. I love the iPhone, and a lot of this is nitpicking. None of these issues are bothersome enough to make me stop using the iPhone, but they are things that would improve the user experience. And that's something I'm sure Steve Jobs and team want to eventually get right.
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