10 Things that "Absolutely suck" about the iPhone. (Yes I have one)

benguild

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2003
821
36
This is a hands-on report, and I really hope that they fix as many of these issues as they can!!
Cross-posted from my blog: http://www.smashsworld.com/2007/06/10-things-that-absolutely-suck-about.php

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.



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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.

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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.

~~ Example:
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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!



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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.

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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. :(

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10. I had to make this list...
...which is the first time I've ever been really disappointed with such a major product. :(

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UPDATES --

11.
I just noticed that it doesn't send the right contact-type attribute to my car's navigation system... not a huge problem but every other phone I've had does.

It does recognize the SIM/Phone ones, but not Home/Work. (that's tagged at the end with H/W)

 

Jeremy Gray

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2007
105
0
Maine
1 thing that sucks about AT&T and the iPhone

I can't get a signal in my god damned house even though the coverage map says I can get one. What the hell. I can get one outside, but I don't feel like texting from my front deck.

I'm disappointed.
 

David R

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2003
408
25
Orlando, FL
Amen to #2.

I also often type in 2 languages. Guess what happens when you are trying to send an email in another language? Each time you press space, it changes your word to what it thinks you are trying to type (in English.) And I can't find a way to temporarily disable that behavior.

I also can't seem to find a way to have all BUSY/NO-ANSWER calls to another number (voicemail transcription service.)
 

mainomega

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
297
71
you have some good points. that said... why would you put such an ugly cover on the phone. scratches on anything but the glass don't affect its performance so I'm using mine without any cover... naked.
 

Christo1

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2006
19
0
Deadspots on my iPhone. I can't hit certain keys like the add contact/talk/backspace button in the keypad; the 7, 8, and 9 keys when trying to set my voicemail password; the 'O' key in safari to type in URLs, thus not being able to access macrumOrs.

Also no one can hear me when I talk. I have to shout and even then it's barely audible.
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,251
0
/dev/null
You have some very good points and many I agree with from my experience so far. But also remember that the majority of these are all upgradeable via an Apple Software Update, which I'm sure/hoping we'll see plenty of to add some much-needed basic features. It's ok to be frustrated with things like this, but don't go off the deep end like some other people here and claim that because of x small issue you're gonna cancel your contract and go back to landlines. :rolleyes:
 

cyberone

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2005
283
38
nr 7 about no use as a modem is serious!

i guess the first firmware is out within days, expect constant firmware upgrades in the beginning.
 

nickspohn

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2007
3,591
0
i love my iphone and everything about it.

i guess i'm not a true geek.

-nickspohn
 

DanB91

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2007
258
0
i really want an iphone. i cant wait to go to an apple store and try it out for myself. that said, any new product has some downfalls, especially a product that a company that just entered this market (apple making its first phone ever). Sure there are some features that are missing that most phones have. Im sure these minor (or major for some) annoyances will be fixed in the coming days, weeks, or months. they are mostly all software updateable. and also because of these missing features, lack of money, and under contract w/ verizon, i will wait at least a year (im kinda forced to).


off topic:
i personally like AT&T. verizon SUX, they drop alot of my calls. b4 i was forced to switch to verizon, i had cingular, and i got a dropped call maybe once a month. i cant wait to get out and go back to AT&T, and im sure at that point i will get an iphone (my contract w/ verizon ends in like 1.5 years.)
 

ivladster

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
473
7
Washington DC
worries

hey, at least you dont have to buy a new phone for the updated version of it, like RAZOR. How many times they released that phone. Everytime you have to buy a new one to get the latest version. What a BS.
On iPhone, you dont have to do that. Just wait few more weeks. Apple reads all these blogs too. They fix few things, you update your phone and you're done. Simple!!! How many phones can do that.

and its a phone....dont expect it to do everything you want. if there were no copyright laws for music, im sure apple could gave you access to iTunes via web on the phone.

dont panic, look at the other things it CAN do....
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
While I'm not sure I'd have titled it "Absolutely suck", you make good points. Hopefully Apple is listening, because most of those problems seem to be fixable via software updates.
 

dagrouch

macrumors member
Jun 4, 2007
34
0
dude, nothing about your post is new. If you had spent a little time researching the myriad articles on what it can or can't do you might have made a better decision. Seems you want to blame anyone but yourself for your buyers remorse.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
My only issue so far is I can't get the thing to work properly on my WIFI network at my house, but it is a pretty substantial one, so I will need to get it resolved.
 

one1

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2007
1,146
25
Chattanooga, TN
Well I don't know how many of you this will help, but it does sync and work with the newer Lexus vehicles bluetooth.

It successfully worked in a new LS460 earlier tonight.
 

PowerFullMac

macrumors 601
Oct 16, 2006
4,000
0
While I'm not sure I'd have titled it "Absolutely suck", you make good points. Hopefully Apple is listening, because most of those problems seem to be fixable via software updates.
I agree, its only just come out so wait a bit for them to fix up the bugs through the magical firmware. Also, on problem #2 (with the email) it didnt seem there was a option to send via bluetooth.... can you send anything through bluetooth on there? Is there even OBEX on there? If not then I aint gettin' it, for the money you expect to be able to do a few bluetooth file transfers.
 

icecone

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2007
174
0
for 2.
go to photo , find the one, and select "email this photo"
i dont have an iphone, but i watched it in the apple videos
 

jamesarm97

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2006
1,057
64
Need an easier way to edit notes then sync them to the iphone.

Need MMS

Need Chat

Need way to sync docs to keep on the phone instead of the only way that works, emailing them to yourself.

Need mail check times per email account instead of global.

Need to be able to change the ringtone used for eash feature as in: voicemail notification, sms notification, email notification, etc
 

one1

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2007
1,146
25
Chattanooga, TN
One of my worries was that with Apple putting this phone out it would be choked to death by ways to keep you from using it in any way without having to use Itunes for EVERYTHING.

Remember all the things we have to do just to get music OFF the Ipod? I imagine Apple has this phone so choked down that we'll have to depend on someone outsmarting Apple again with a hack to allow for custom ring tones, for instance, without the Itunes store feeding it to us.

That being only an example, but Apple has notoriously made sure they exclusively hold the spoon to whatever they feed you.
 

oddgit

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2003
21
0
These points you made are all very valid. The iPhone is supposed to replace my iPod yes? But as far as i can tell it cant due to one big thing... no disc use. I use my iPod to lug homework and files for my friends/clients to school, print shops friends and all.
The headphone thing is another big bummer, i have SuperFi 5s by Ultimate Ears, i love these things, i wouldn't dirty my ears with apples earbuds ever again.
The dependence on iTunes is also very inconvenient, but the cant sync over Bluetooth or even transfer a file via bluetooth stinks.
Some other things that bug me about the iPhone, why cant i use music from my library as a ringtone or a .wav for text alert noises. EVERY cellphone i have ever owned can do this simple task. (Aqua Teen Hunger Forcer is a great ring tone, so is the murloc noise from WoW for text alerts!)
I know it can be upgrade but the lack of MMS and basic chat function is pretty lame also. I cant think of a phone in recent time that did not have MMS or AIM.
These all seem like tinny nitpicky issues, but i use MMS all the time. My friends hit me up with AIM al the time. I know if the the Bedrock track, Heaven Scent plays, my friends are calling, if the Deep Dish track Sacramento plays, its my family, and if Come to Daddy by Aphex Twin plays, its one of my bosses!
For a phone that costs 500-600 dollars, i would think that it could do these basic functions, my 250 dollar Nokia can...
Granted i still want an iPhone, that or a Nokia n95 =D
One cool ui suggestion to Apple if they are reading, have an option so you can see upcoming calendar appointments without having to hit any buttons, that is probably my most favourite thing about my Nokias, wake it up, i can see what i have to do soon, very cool =D


cheers!


.___.
{O,o}
/)__)
-"-"-
 

cdewitt

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2007
72
1
wow you really are dumb sir.... bookmark your cities zip code / just type in the zip code your around.... google maps is awesome as hell. Give it a chance to learn how to use it well before you go blasting your "ipod phone"
 

weev

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2003
181
0
Sydney, Australia
My iPhone doesn't walk the dog or make cheese on toast before I even know I want it.

It sucks.

I am going to send my phone to one of the three billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day (1).

See if they can live with its crap, less than amazing, set of features.

I actually doubt it, the reception in Dakka is non-existent and the iPhone makes a terrible shelter.

(1)http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp