Advanced apology for the long nature of this opinion Apple is still holding the iPhone back. Since several days following the official beginning of sales of the Apple iPhone, the first week of July in 2007, I have been what you could call an iPhone geek. When first announced by Steve Jobs earlier that year, I never dreamed I would own that fantastic touch-screen device myself. When my boss at the time asked my advice prior to him going to purchase the replacements for our aging Verizon Wireless flip phones, I told him the little I knew about Apple’s offering in the cell phone market (honestly, very little except it was freaking expensive at $600 a pop!). That afternoon he returned to the office with new iPhones and we have never looked back on that choice. Having had to move from Verizon to AT&T (the exclusive contract Apple originally signed was with Cingular Wireless, who that year was assimilated by the Borg-company that is AT&T) was really not much of an issue considering at the time we were lucky to get any reasonable customer service from any cellular provider. Since the moment I opened the box and began setting things up I knew this one was different from what we were used to. The software seemed to anticipate my next move, the keyboard was freakishly accurate compared to the sometimes annoying T-9 of the day. The camera made the entire purchase worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly plenty of things needing improvement on this phone. And improve Apple has. Skipping a large portion of a decade’s worth of improvements to hardware and software, I want to call out the fact that there are portions of the base system software Apple has not touched (no pun intended) since the debut of the iPhone. While I completely understand there are major user interface differences between the software on a Macintosh and the software on a touch screen iOS device, there also have been choices made to limit the functionality of these puppies. Some make sense, others are just downright awful. When the first iPhone shipped, it had no multimedia messaging capability, that was added (thank goodness). Also omitted until a later software update was the very idea of installing apps from the “App Store,” a welcomed addition. When the iPhone 4 shipped it lacked LTE support, the next model changed this. These decisions prove Apple has committed themselves to adding value to their flagship device. That statement is true in certain areas. And completely false in one area in particular. The “Phone” app. For some reason Apple has treated the phone app functions as if they were perfect from day one. Minor tweaks to appearance and fixes to bugs have led me to believe someone is looking over the code and graphical interface and saying “works for me,” without noticing the little things. For example, a user cannot create a group of contacts from their iPhone without installing third party app. This portion of the software remains the same as it looked and acted prior to the iPhone even existing, when the touch-wheel iPod (you know, that music device Apple used to sell) gained the ability to load your computer’s contacts from “Address Book” on your Mac or PC. This is just one of several areas of the entire user experience that lack the polish Apple fans used to count on and brag about to their friends. I used to say “they won’t make the iPhone too capable because that feature is better utilized through the computer and synced with iTunes.” But that reasoning isn’t valid anymore, the iPhone is supposed to stand on it’s own without a computer holding its hand. No, I’m not that person who thinks a single feature is a deal-breaker. I will still buy the next great iPhone and think it is pretty awesome and the camera still justifies the purchase for me. But I am so disappointed that these areas of the user experience get no love from Apple. I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least there is still a phone app, they could remove it like the headphone jack and then I would really be lost.