Wednesday, July 4, 2007

iPhone leaving a lot to be desired

1) Battery - Moving off a RIM device (who make battery life a religion) I find that I can not make it through one day of normal phone use without a stop off at the local filling station (Car charger, wall socket or laptop.)  The Battery life may be better than Apple expected but remains significantly inadequate.

2) Keyboard - We all know that as humans tactile feedback is the only real workable solution.  I am getting better at the virtual keyboard but find it very displeasing.  I do not foresee ever achieving the same speeds I could reach on the Blackberry 8700c.

3) Alerts - Sound is repeatedly touted as great on the iPhone.  I would suggest these people are comparing it to an iPod nano which has NO SOUND other than headphones.  The speaker phone is completely useless other than for holding up beside ones face.  But the bigger concern and show stopping failure for most business users is the lack of ability to assign tones to message alerts.  The only setting currently available are a few select ring tones for incoming calls only.  There is NO way to set a SMS alert tone or new email or even change for different email accounts as new email arrives.  So your business email account and your personal will get the same weak beep and 0.25 second vibrate.  Which is either on or off all the time.  Which means every spam message now buzzes your phone on the night stand.

4) Bluetooth - Where do I start...  My 8 different cell phones over the past four years have had better bluetooth support than the iPhone.  I was very unhappy when RIM came out with very limited bluetooth support, reportedly due to congressional security needs on the hill.  But the fact that a cutting edge Apple device targeted at the 20-30 somethings hipsters doesn't contain stereo headphone support is simply beyond belief.  Did I mention there is no linking syncing, or any other bluetooth support either?  It's the most basic of of bluetooth features... talk for cell only.
5) Email - The application needing landscape support more than any other is email.  The others (Movies, Browser, iPod) are good, don't get me wrong.  But seriously reading email is one of the biggest tasks I have to do on an daily bases and have landscape should have been a requirement out of the gate.  For now we are stuck pinching the screen to set a font big enough to read then slipping the screen back and forth to read each line...  Just miserable.

6) iChat - Missing in action is a fundamental communications tool, iChat or something other than SMS, which sucks beyond belief.  SMS is limited to 160 characters and 200 messages for most plans PER MONTH.  Sorry folks Apple tried to sell us on the fact this was a good thing and it's NOT.  AT&T needs to give up the SMS revenue stream and let Apple put the damn application out there. 

7) 3rd Party Application Support - AJAX?  For the love of God.  Most of these short comings in other consumer products have been quickly addressed and resolved by geeks in closets hammering away in the night, and making the world a better experience.  But not the iPhone.  We get to sit in the dark while Apple and Mr Jobs decide our fate.  What will they address and what will that ignore.  What new applications will be made available and at what cost are all at Apples discretion.  

Warning to Steve Jobs; You rocked the world with the MAC, and OSX, and have a strong initial push into the rest of our consumer electronic greedy little pockets.  You are teetering though and I hope you realize it.  Play this one wrong and we all run screaming back to the Gates borg, and RIM world of real usable productivity devices and systems.


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