10 Things that "Absolutely suck" about the iPhone. (Yes I have one)
No, not me. This guy.
This is a hands-on report, and I really hope that they fix as many of these issues as they can!!
Today I went to the Apple store around 2PM EDT and waited for the iPhone with some friends that I'd had no idea would be there. I bought my phone, and was excited. Got home, couldn't get it to connect. After 15 minutes, realized that a new version of iTunes (7.3) had been released.
Neither 'Software Update' or iTunes itself had prompted me about it, so I ended up manually downloading from Apple.com -- problem solved. Got my content synced over (chose a few specific playlists, mail accounts, photo albums, and the "Unplayed" podcast criteria), and began exploring the iPhone's various features.
1. The overall lack of a [visible] filesystem, and web-browser limitations.
I want to be able to download things from the web on my phone (ringtones from indie bands, content-creations from Mobile17 or band-promotions at Mozes, images from websites that I want to save and open later on my desktop) -- Why did I pay for 8GB of space that I can't friggin use! Is this a joke?
Downloading music is not possible from the iTunes Store (not accessible on-the-go) or even just random websites. The same goes for ringtones, spreadsheets, and other files. One thing that it does do surprisingly well, though, is read PDFs!
There is also no flash support (yet) as many already are aware of, so no cartoons or games either.
2. Why can't I do [obvious task]?
Numerous times I've run into problems with not being able to do very simple tasks... the iPhone's simplicity actually makes it MORE complicated.
I got an e-mail from a company I'd ordered car parts from concerning an issue I'd had, they asked me to take a photo. I jumped at the opportunity to test out the phone's camera (yay!) and was pleased with the quality. I then went back to the Mail section (after taking the picture) and clicked 'Reply', wrote a short note, then went to attach the picture. Wait... you CAN'T ATTACH THE PICTURE! There's no option, since there's no visible file-system.
I then back-tracked to return to the 'Camera' section via the Main menu... clicked the icon I assumed was 'Send this photo' (there are no popup 'text-tool-tips' to help you [as far as I know], so you can only guess what certain buttons do if they're vaguely represented by their icons) and was presented with options to either 'Use as Wallpaper', 'Email Photo' (ding ding ding!), or 'Assign to Contact' -- which I'm sure will sync with your Address Book back to your Mac, very cool.
After choosing the E-mail option, I was presented with a blank message, not including his e-mail address or any of what I'd typed before. Of course he's not in my Address Book, so I had to go back to the Mail section, write his e-mail address on my hand (since you can't copy and paste??) with a PEN.... analog style (wtf!!), then type it in manually into that new message with a new subject. Is this a joke? How is that productive at all... shame on you Apple.
3. You can't type fast without a lot of practice, and entering passwords isn't so private.
Unlike typing (T9 or even just Multitap) on a regular handset with raised buttons, all of the keys feel the same on this one... and triggering the wrong one is ridiculously easy. It seems like they wrote in something to correct common mistakes, but overall your days of casual typing on a familiar 3x4 grid of keys are over. You really need to pay attention on this one or you're screwed.
The other thing I noticed was that when you're logging into various websites... even though Safari blocks out the text as you enter your password... the keyboard still magnifies whatever you're typing to a distance visible from at least 5 feet. Not very safe. This is unfortunately a design flaw with the text entry in general, don't plan on surfing the web in public yet.
So far, the best way I've found to type on the iPhone is by flipping it sideways like a T-Mobile Sidekick. With both thumbs doing the work, you can keep the device steady with your palms and your lettering consistent. However, you can't activate the tilt feature in any area but the web-browser (so you're screwed in the SMS/E-mail areas, where you really need to be able to type). Why would they do that?
4. Messaging? What messaging? Sorry, distracted by all of the Junk E-mail.
No AOL/MSN Instant Messengers, no picture messaging, no video-conferencing (although that's a bit of a long-shot).. and even just sending pictures via e-mail is a pain in the arse unless it's the start of a conversation. (see problem #2)
Also, clearly visible is the lack of any sort of Junk Mail filter. I get a lot of SPAM and this is absolutely critical. Having my e-mail on-the-go always seemed like a luxury to me.... Now that I have that opportunity, anyone looking over my shoulder will see me scrolling through ads for fake health products and notices from banks I've never even heard of saying my accounts have been compromised. How irritating, it could at least import the rules I've setup on my Mac's mail client.
5. Menu navigation blunders.
"Back" buttons change into "Edit" buttons in a few areas... so just when you expect to be taken back further to the Main menu, you get sent into a completely new area. You then have to toggle back out of it with the same button. Argh... extra tapping.
Also, I have to click several times needlessly past the Mail folders just to toggle between Mail accounts... similarly structured to that of an iPod, but with another useless level. Think about how annoying "Artist -> Albums -> Useless -> Songs" would be... having to tap that extra time for no reason -- it's like that. I don't need to go into the "Sent" folder of any given mail account unless I'm going out of the way to look for it. Even better would be a single screen that I can view the three newest [non-SPAM] messages I've received at each address, but now I'm just dreaming based on what I've seen so far... Sigh.
6. You need an adapter to use other headphones.
The iPhone's earphone connector IS standard 1/8" jack... but it's recessed. You need an extender to plug in any other type of headphones. Apple's earphones hurt my ears so I have no choice but to lug around an antenna-like product from Belkin that cost an extra $10 and is easily lost. Lame.
7. You cannot use the phone as a modem, or browse/transfer files via Bluetooth. Don't forget your iPod cable!
This is a HUGE dealbreaker for me. I loved being able to occasionally tether through my old phone via Bluetooth and surf the web on my laptop... especially on trips. The iPhone does not support this. I am outraged... every phone I've owned in the last 5 years has and this doesn't? And this costs how much?
The only option you have (so far) is to take the new AT&T SIM card included with the iPhone and insert it into any other phone to emulate this feature. It can be removed with a paperclip or sewing needle inserted into the small hole on the top of the phone (there's a panel that releases and slides out from the phone). Tricky, but functional.
It seems that there are no services offered via Bluetooth other than voice headsets (for calling)... not even syncing when you don't have an iPod cable handy! Lame!
8. Google Maps -- Before I find where I'm going, let me find where I am. Hold on.
All phones are required to report a latitude and longitude coordinate reading on Emergency calls in the USA. Why they couldn't use this information to point the map to where you're currently standing? There's clearly a reason for why they didn't do this, but having to zoom-in on or type-in where you're at already is just plain annoying.
9. I'm locked in with AT&T for 2 years on this phone!
Argh! I hope this all goes well since they sure have most of us in a bind.
10. I had to make this list...
...which is the first time I've ever been really disappointed with such a major product.
- Google Docs came up fine, but when I went to load a document, Safari crashed. Safari crashed one other time when trying to load one of the iPhone videos (linked from the "Thank you for registering your iPhone email" Apple sent me). Interestingly, when I synced after that, iTunes recognized the that Safari had crashed previously and asked me if I wanted to send diagnostic info to Apple. I looked at the crash log and it's clear that the iPhone is running a version of OS X (with various familiar Cocoa frameworks, including Core Video).
The only other problem I've run into is that iPod reliably crashes while using Safari. Not consistently timewise, but reliably. Sometimes it takes a few songs, sometimes it's after a few seconds. Anyway, probably a minor bug that will be fixed in a software update. Anyone else seeing this?
All in all, I'm more impressed than I ever have been with a new gadget, and I've had a lot of them.
Some people are easily impressed.
- 06-30-2007, 05:09 AM #3
The big hesitation for me is still 9, the contract more than anything.
So Safari crashes? Interesting. 4, 6 and 7 are also concerns I already mentioned in other threads.
I looked at a tester. The phone feels solid and does respond to the touchscreen. Seems to work on wifi pretty well. The high resolution colorful screen is as advertised. It's just the restrictions leaving me saying "should I or shouldn't I move one of my numbers to an iPhone?".
- Wife called while I was using the music iPod feature, and it lowered the music down just like in the video, but when the called ended I cannot do anything. I have tried to hold down the button, and plug it into the doc. The screen never fades, and I cannot get it off of the current song, no hang up call option, and home doesn't do anything... What to do?
So the iPhone also crashes during phone calls?
- 06-30-2007, 05:11 AM #5
At least 1/2 of those things aren't on any phone. Junk email filters doesn't come on WM or POS (not out of the box at least,) Videoconferencing, GPS (most AT&T phones don't,) adapter for headphones (hello TREO! and AT&T 8525 both require adapters for headphones,) and security with passwords??? Whatever.
But I agree with all of the email and attachment BS. Cut/paste is a glaring oversight (deal breaker for me,) and I really do agree with the navigation blunders. I had a hard time navigating, many things are non-intuitive and unless you know the magic swipe, tap, etc, you have no idea how to do certain functions.
But some of the things on that list slamming the iphone can be applied to almost all phones.
- Eek my beautiful phone is frozen. No response from the screen! It was frozen at 10:54 as evident by the time on the clock not moving.
Plugging it to itunes does not work, itunes is not recognizing it.Sleep/wake button doesnt work either.
- 06-30-2007, 05:15 AM #7
- 06-30-2007, 05:17 AM #8
- Unable to Upload Photos from a Web Page
It seems that the control on web pages which allow you to select a file for upload to a web server is disabled on the iPhone. Anybody know why Apple elected to disable it? The PC based Safari browser works fine.
I think this is going to be a major shortcoming unless Apple provides a fix.
Let's say you are on vacation and you take a few photos and wish to share them with your family via site like PhotoBucket or you would like to get them printed at Costco. Guess what, you can't upload them from the iPhone.
Real internet FTW.
- iphone wont wake up???
Ok fist off im really happy with my 8 gig iphone BUT, i left it pluged in to the mac pro 4 about 1hour ok wiat i turned it off on top now it wont come back on by holding the butt on top or how many sec i tried 10 it was working fine be4 plz any help would be kind thank u
I reset it by the wake/sleep/hold button now i have the apple logo but its hung thier it wont tun off
Itunes dosent see it as being connected??OK i got IT off ill leave it off 4 awhile
Good thing OSX is so stable, isn't it.
- 06-30-2007, 05:34 AM #11
- 06-30-2007, 05:37 AM #12
- I don't think we're seeing too many success stories yet because those people with working iphones are too busy playing with their iphones.
Mine is wonderful. Only problem i had when safari crashed was when i accessed the apple store but i think that was when they were still updating. Other than that it's an amazing piece of technology.
- my first impressions: the screen is amazing, contact syncing works great, the ipod functionality is great
after 6 hours of using the iphone:
I'm already feeling like I have a hand cut off versus my BlackBerry Curve. Functionality wise its a step down right now. So many good 3rd party APPLICATIONS (not web crap) that I can use on my curve like multi-platform IM clients, Opera Mini, IRC clients, all sorts of other stuff.. and the curve is also small and light and takes great photos that are amazingly easy to email to people. Even the simplest stuff on the iPhone is TOO SIMPLE. It's so simple that I really can't tolerate not having customization on some of these applications, like - where's the camera configuration??
Right now i'm really frustrated, and I just broke a T-mobile contract for this phone. They said there's a 14 day return policy at the apple store but I have no idea whether I can get my t-mobile number back and my t-mobile account back... this sucks.
- Ringtones Suck on the iPhone!!!
So the worst thing about the iPhone (I just bought an 8GB version) is the ringtones! You can not use anything but the apple loaded ringtones, no music, no downloaded ones etc. and the 20 or so they put on there really suck! Whats the point of using a ringtone for a contact to know who is calling if there is such little variety? brrrrring oh thats my sister, no that was clearly a trring trring so it must be your roomate!
But my activation only took about 3 minutes :-)
- 06-30-2007, 06:07 AM #16
- At the Palo Alto California store the folks from systm.org purchased an iPhone and then tested it to destruction. The screen broke when it was dropped from a "reasonable" height. The attached picture shows what happens when you jam a screwdriver into a battery.
The complete video should be available tomorrow on systm.org.
- 06-30-2007, 06:18 AM #19
- I don't know if I am amongst the first to find an issue with
the email or not, but I do see a problem...
I get a lot of email. Perhaps 200+ plus per day. Mostly spam.
While going through a mass deletion of email (edit mode) the
phone locks up. In fact, it has done it on a regular basis whereas
I'm deleting one mail after another and then freezes. I usually
have to go back to the home screen then back to my email to
So far that's the only issue I see here.
- 06-30-2007, 06:22 AM #21
- 06-30-2007, 06:23 AM #22
I get a chuckle out of some of the usability things. Apple has this reputation for great usability, but I don't think it's well deserved. Jobs likes eye-candy. And he equates good usability with minimalist hardware design. He's still never caved into adding a second button to his mice.
I read something recently that indicated that several Apple folks tried to convince him to put more buttons on the iPhone but he held firm. I also read someone happily state that the iPhone didn't have any menus. Is that really a good thing? The funny thing is, even they know that some level of customization is needed for the built-in apps. So now instead of doing that via a menu option within the app, you've got to go to a central "control panel" from the home screen to access configuration settings for all of the apps. Sounds like a menu to me...it's just not located conveniently. And what about non-configuration less-commonly-used app features? Well, these are "handled" in one of two ways: 1) Some sort of finger stroke reveals them (e.g., to bring up the delete button on a contact), which is clever, or 2) They're simply left out (which is more often the case).
- music crashes frequently while browsing and some
I think the music crashing was only occurring on certain sites - digg and tuaw so far.
A repeatable bug i found while trying to ppst a comment ontuaw was that typing response was sluggish and pressing delete multiple times in sucession caused the delete button to get "stuck" and delete the entire field. Weird. This hasn't happened here.
And the music just crashed again. It happened when I rotated from horizontal to vertical i think.
And sometimes tje spell fixing doesnt work.
Have any of these things happened to anybody else?
Have any of these things happened to anybody else?
The phones are locking up in just about every mode. Often a full reset helps, but sometimes not. And Jobs is worried about third party software making it unstable? He should've given them away to his employees months ago so he could get things fixed.
The biggest deal appears to be with WiFi. Secure nets require some twiddling to get working.
Ah, the thrill of being first in line with new gear.
P.S. Why are we the only 2 in this thread, LOL???
- Volume REALLY quiet
Even when its on the loudest. Any ideas?
i have the same problem. the ringer volume is LOW, even at its loudest setting. i wonder if that can be changed with an update. hope so.