The iPhone is just the most curious mix technology, and anyone who tells you it’s perfect should be immediately suspect. Some of the iPhone is laugh out loud perfect. But much of it is just deeply flawed, with no fix in sight. I love the iPhone, I hate the iPhone. It’s the ultimate Apple product, in other words. Beautiful but frustrating.
This comes to light in a number of ways, and almost every single time I use it. Just the latest example: Yesterday, my wife was flying home from Phoenix and her multiple attempts to call me on the iPhone as I headed to the gym would be funny if it wasn’t so typical. The iPhone is a lousy, lousy phone and it disconnected us so often she eventually just called the gym so I could talk on a reliable phone. (My trainer, also an iPhone user, just laughed in understanding. This happens to him all the time too, he said.) On the other hand, after the gym, I was able to neatly manage email using its awesome Mail application while waiting for lunch, and the iPhone handles that task with both ease and elegance. When I got home and sat down in front of the computer, I had much less email to deal with, having already filed away the chaff. I love how well the iPhone works for that purpose.
(I was talking to my wife about this last night after she got home and noted that I rarely use the phone stuff anyway. And good thing, as the iPhone almost useless as a phone. I noted that if I could just get pervasive Internet access on the iPod touch, I’d get rid of the iPhone and get a “normal” less-complicated and less-expensive phone just for phone calls. Let’s just say that my wife’s freebie phone from Verizon always works and leave it at that.)
Anyway, I’m obviously not the only frustrated iPhone user. A new site called Please Fix The iPhone has been set up to catalog users’ frustrations, and some of the top requests are pretty darned obvious needs. Hopefully Apple will take the constructive nature of this site to heart and fix the top requests first. Note that unlike the national newspaper reviewers, I’ve mentioned virtually all of these issues and feature requests in my own reviews of the iPhone. It’s funny how some people are able to overlook obvious problems as they trip over each other trying to out-compliment Apple. But there are real problems. They include:
1. Lack of MMS support
2. Wireless sync (non-Bluetooth)
3. Copy and paste
4. Use SMS in landscape mode
5. View Flash content in Safari
6. Make Safari crash less frequently
7. Fix the Camera application so that you can click a picture more easily
8. Uninstall/hide built-in iPhone applications
9. Video recording
10. Stop reloading multiple Safari pages when navigating back to them
If you’re not familiar with the iPhone, the number 1 and 3 requests above work in tandem to perform what is, quite possibly, the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen on the device: When someone does try to send you an MMS message, it appears in the SMS application with a link to a Web page so you can go and view the content. (So much for the iPhone’s multimedia prowess, eh?) But the link includes a user name and password. Since you can’t copy and paste (a la complaint number 3), there’s no way to actually view that content without either memorizing the user name and password, and switching repeatedly between Safari and SMS, or by … get this … writing down the user name and password on a piece of paper and then manually typing that info in after you go to the linked Web page. The whole thing is utterly broken, but then that’s how the iPhone experience works. It’s either dazzling or retarded.
BTW. A site like this for Windows Mobile would be pointless since the entire OS needs to be dumped and rewritten from scratch. Sounds like a good use for that MinWin kernel Microsoft can’t stop talking about, no?
Thanks to Robert J. for the link.