What’s Missing from the iPhone?

As I use my iPhone 3G more and more, I notice more and more things that frustrate me about it. Please don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining about the iPhone; I am simply positing ideas as to what I would like to see added. As a Web developer, there are quite a few things I would love to see added to the device. If you know of any iPhone apps available that perform any of these tasks or actions, please let me know.

Let me make this clear, however: I will not be jailbreaking my iPhone. Even if the phone was not owned by the government (which it is), I would still have no interest in jailbreaking it.

Saving E-mail Attachments

Aside from photos (which you can save to your Camera Roll by holding your finger on the picture while viewing the e-mail message), there is no way to save attachments. Ultimately, my ideal situation would be to be able to save a Word, Excel or PDF document attached to an e-mail message, then upload it to my Web server.

I have found an FTP app that looks promising (FTP on the Go). Unfortunately, however, after contacting the developer of the app, I have discovered that iPhone development kit does not allow apps to interact with each other. Therefore, there’s not really any realistic way for the FTP app to allow you to upload e-mail attachments.

Adding E-mail Attachments

On a similar note, there is no real way to attach items to e-mail messages. Again, you can attach a single photo to an e-mail message by going to your Camera Roll, holding your finger on the image and selecting to e-mail it to someone. Unfortunately, you don’t currently have that option with any other type of document or file.

Cut, Copy, Paste

I mentioned this in my review of the iPhone, but this is a major complaint. I am extremely frustrated by the fact that there is no way to copy text from one thing (for instance, a Word document or an e-mail message) and paste it into another app (for instance, Safari). I have a sinking feeling that, even when Apple does institute cut, copy and paste within its native apps, it will not work across apps. In other words, you will most likely be able to cut or copy text from an e-mail message and paste it somewhere else in the e-mail app, but you won’t be able to copy text from an e-mail message and paste it into Safari. I would definitely assume that, even if Apple does somehow institute cross-browser copy/paste, it will be extremely difficult for other app developers to figure out how to access the clipboard, so I won’t be able to copy from a Word document in an app like QuickOffice and paste it into an e-mail message or Safari.

Another issue I have with the fact that there is no copy/paste is the fact that there is no way to e-mail multiple URLs to someone. You can e-mail a single URL by clicking the plus (+) icon at the bottom of Safari and choosing “Mail Link to This Page,” but there is no way to back out and choose another URL to add to the message.

Easy Organization of Icons

While the concept behind moving the icons on the “home” screens is innovative and unique, it is also extremely frustrating when you want to move large batches of icons. First of all, there should be a way to insert a blank page in between two other pages. Secondly, there really needs to be a way to use iTunes somehow to drag and drop multiple icons into various locations, then sync those new locations onto your iPhone.

Ideally, there would also be a way to sort your apps according to specific categories.

Sorting E-mail Messages

One more annoyance about the iPhone is the fact that there is no way to sort your e-mail messages. They can only be sorted by date. There is no way to sort by sender, subject, etc.

I’m sure there are more things missing from the iPhone that have currently left my mind or that I have not yet noticed. If you own one, or have researched buying one, what are some of your pet peaves about the iPhone? I have seen a lot of people complaining about the fact that you can’t send and receive MMS (photo/video) messages. What else frustrates you about this device?

2 Responses

  • Al

    God forbid you would be saying anything disparaging about the iphone. Why do you have to qualify your statements? This dipshit device is missing some fundamental functions yet you still behave as if you don’t want to upset Apple. I don’t understand the coolaid mentality. It’s really creepy.

  • Thanks for the comment. I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t want to upset Apple. I’ve posted many times before how much I dislike the iPod and comparable products from Apple. I am not an Apple fanboy.

    The qualifying statements I made were sincere. I like my iPhone. I love a lot of the features built into it. This post was simply intended to point out some of the things I’d like to see added.

    You are absolutely right – there are fundamental elements missing from the iPhone that exist on most standard phones nowadays (MMS, video capture, etc.) and there are quite a few other things missing that exist on all Palm and Blackberry devices. It sucks, but the device is still cool, and I still enjoy it.