Print 84 comment(s) - last by ymak.. on Nov 18 at 12:04 PM

  (Source: Reuters)
Ask and ye shall not receive, in the iPhone world

It’s hard to argue the brilliant potential of Apple's iPhone.  The device stands head and shoulders over most smartphones in terms of looks, form factor, graphics, internet capabilities, and touch interface.  So when the new 3G iPhone debuted, customers flocked to it, hoping that the oversights of the first generation model might have been addressed by Apple.

The wish list wasn't very long, and some items on it seem like they would be almost trivial to implement.  Among the desired features as chronicled by Wired -- photo texting, copy and paste, working Flash, browser crash fixes, Wi-Fi iTunes syncs, landscape view for emails, clicking anywhere to take a photo, and the ability to hide unwanted icons.

While one would thing one or two of these fixes -- requested by users and trumpeted all about by the media -- might be added, the iPhone 3G came with exactly none of them.  What it did come with were a plethora of features that were met with varying reactions from modest enthusiasm to total indifference, including Google Street View, direct podcast downloads, application ratings on deletion, line in support (for mics), Emoji icons, location sharing, and Safari tweaks (not crash proofing).  These fixes can easily be gleaned by glancing through leaks from the iPhone Firmware 2.2 Beta 2.

However, it’s the features that everyone wants that aren't there that are grabbing the most attention.  Of the top 20 most requested features, you have to reach 18 before you reach one Apple has implemented -- turn by turn directions.

Many analysts are puzzled that a company could be so out of touch with its user base.  A publicist for FullSix, the " relationship marketing” company that created Please Fix the iPhone drive points out that most big companies have launched initiatives which they use to gather and implement user suggestions.  They point to My Starbucks and Dell's Idea Storm as examples.

Apple does quite the opposite.  It gives people random features they never requested (with the exception of 3G, which was more of an upgrade to modern standards than a feature).  Many blame Apple's polarizing CEO Steve Jobs.  Mr. Jobs has publicly stated before that he doesn't think customers know what they want, but he does.

He likes to express this philosophy by using a Wayne Gretzky quote to refer to his thoughts on feature development; "I skate to where the puck is going to be.  Not to where it’s been."

However, most analysts believe that Mr. Jobs will eventually be forced to relent and offer a feature here and there that consumers have been demanding for months -- or at least one would hope. 

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Just four things...
By Brandon Hill on 11/2/2008 9:01:13 PM , Rating: 5
I ask for just four things for my iPod touch 2G:

1) Copy & Paste -- this is a no-brainer and I have no idea what's taking them so long to implement this.
2) The OPTION to have flash -- I know a lot of people don't like flash, but at least give us a checkbox option for flash support.
3) The ability to search emails -- self explanatory.
4) MAKE SAFARI MORE STABLE -- the damn browser crashes too much.

RE: Just four things...
By gramboh on 11/2/2008 9:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 3G and would be happy if all of the above were implemented. Overall I still enjoy the phone, I don't use it for my business email currently so it's more of a toy/gadget.

RE: Just four things...
By InternetGeek on 11/2/2008 9:24:10 PM , Rating: 5
Petition denied. Father Job knows better.

RE: Just four things...
By MonkeyPaw on 11/3/2008 7:47:46 AM , Rating: 5
It's just the standard Apple product cycle. Apple gives the customers a product. Customers buy it and complain about what it should have. Apple takes those ideas and puts them into the next product, touting these additions as improvements. This ensures loyalty (the trick is to never provide everything people want) You need not to look any further than the iPod or each launch of OSX that comes with "200 new features" that you can't find.

As for flash? Good luck. Flash already runs rather poorly on powerful Intel Macs (100% CPU)--the iPhone would probably melt in your hand.

RE: Just four things...
By Quiescent on 11/3/2008 6:51:38 PM , Rating: 2

Yeah, with the whole flash thing, it's pretty crappy. Google is doing really bad in the flash department. Right before this new update in Google Chrome, I only had semi-issues with flash websites, and couldn't run Youtube, because it would lag out the whole browser and force me to kill off flash. Now Gmail is screwing up all the time, sometimes even giving me the sick tab image. The worse thing is that for youtube, it makes firefox crash completely as well.

Now imagine that on a phone... especially if safari isn't stable. You open up youtube and it's going to crash.

RE: Just four things...
By Gzus666 on 11/3/2008 7:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
I have a feeling that the common problem here is you and your computer. I run Chrome and Firefox in Windows and Firefox in Linux and run into no problems with any flash whatsoever. I have Firefox and Chrome open at the same time right now, just for grins, to see how well they do with youtube running in both at the same time in Windows. Guess what? No problems.

RE: Just four things...
By KinEnriquez on 11/7/2008 3:40:28 AM , Rating: 1
the flash we're talking about here is camera flash - that thing that lights up when you take a picture, not flash memory

RE: Just four things...
By foolsgambit11 on 11/11/2008 8:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was talking about Flash, as in the Adobe Flash Player, not flash memory.

RE: Just four things...
By michaelheath on 11/2/2008 10:28:20 PM , Rating: 3
The only thing I can add to this list is:

5.) A GPS app that works. Turn-by-turn, spoken-word directions that can recalculate your route on the fly.

I can think of a good half-dozen phones that can do this, none of which are new. The iPhone is stuck with a static Google Map, one inflexible route (no 'fastest route' or 'avoid highways'; if you stray, you're on your own unless you stop to erase, re-enter, recalculate, and pray that the network can find you), and written instructions that no sane person would try reading while driving.

RE: Just four things...
By vailr on 11/3/2008 12:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Garmin could design a cell phone with a GPS navigation function included. Or, a "Garmin GPS" added feature version of Google's gPhone.

RE: Just four things...
By Samus on 11/2/2008 10:47:51 PM , Rating: 5
A blackberry does all that. It also has a real keyboard, costs significantly less, and isn't vendor specific.

To me, 'that' is a no brainer :P

RE: Just four things...
By ebakke on 11/3/2008 9:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
It also contains the most cumbersome, unintuitive user interface in recent years.

RE: Just four things...
By gcouriel on 11/3/2008 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 4
not that i agree with your post, but let's run with it. i can learn how to manage my OS. i can't learn how to copy paste on my iPhone. that Apple doesn't want to listen to the demands of its customers is ridiculous. i can't run my business telling my clients "hey, here's what i'm going to do, whether you like it or not, and you don't have a choice," because i'll lose my clients.

Apple is running on a high-streak right now. if they keep mistreating the customer, they're going to realize that their customers may have bought one Mac, but they'll reconsider it for the second one. why buy one if you can't get the applications you need on a daily basis.

poorly run steve...

RE: Just four things...
By Gzus666 on 11/3/2008 12:22:00 PM , Rating: 4
Because Jobba the Steve knows what's best for you, just keep buying their crap.

RE: Just four things...
By ebakke on 11/3/2008 1:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I'm not defending Apple in any way, shape, or form. I just hate Blackberry too.

RE: Just four things...
By robinthakur on 11/3/2008 5:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is a storm in a teacup truthfully. I have a 3G and what it does do, it does infinitely better than any other phone I've ever owned including the 2G. I've used Nokia's, Wimo's, sony ericssons and a blackberry and the iPhone is like night and day. The features I miss which don't exist are primarily being able to forward sms's and cut and paste would be useful, but I don't need it particularly often to be honest. I think you would have to search for a long time to find an iPhone user in the real world who isn't extremely pleased with it. The iPhone is in no way shape or form a failure because of these omissions, and may I say it is equally arrogant to look down on all the millions of people who have bought the iPhone and are happy, do you honestly think they're all thick slaves to marketing?
The bottom line is that the iphone is not perfect but is the best of an imperfect bunch. I would like to think that these core features will follow, slower than they should admittedly but still better than not.

Having said that I might get a Storm when it comes out to see what its like and I'm moderately interested in the G1 even though it looks like a child's toy. Seriously, why didn't they spend some money on design, and they would have the iPhone beaten. Maybe.

RE: Just four things...
By Darkskypoet on 11/4/2008 10:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm an iphone user... I am pretty sure I am in the real world, and my treo was far better then this thing for email. Hands down. I could also play divx, xvid, mpg, etc files without having to re-encode, and to top it all off, sms was faster even with huge conversations stored... And I'm talking about a Treo 650 here. Not even something modern. (I could also cut and paste with ease, something very very handy... The excel support was very nice as well)

The only thing I like better about the iphone is the screen, and zoom with real rendering of pages in the web browser... Otherwise, I just wish Palm would have done some real updating to their treo line and not just let it languish since the 650.

(I do mean real updates, considering what they had back 3 + years ago with the 650, they should be much farther ahead then they are now :( )

RE: Just four things...
By PrezWeezy on 11/3/2008 9:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Mobile 6.1 is also great. More formfactors to choose from and absolutely stable after 3 months. Personaly I don't like the onscreen keyboard, and I'm not a huge fan of blackberry's, so my Mogul works great. And it's extremely fast on the internet compaired to either blackberry or the AT&T iPhone.

RE: Just four things...
By phaxmohdem on 11/3/2008 9:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
*jealous* I'm stuck with a non-upgradable Sprint Moto Q running WinMo 5 (Codename: "Ball Suckage")

I only keep it around for its physical QWERTY keyboard, fairly slim form factor, and Data tethering ability with my laptop.

If someone could make me a phone that had a half or 2/3 height touch screen/Nice UI like the iPhone, QWERTY below the screen, same slim form factor as my Q or the iPhone, and the ability to tether.... I'd love you forever ;)

RE: Just four things...
By Lakku on 11/2/2008 11:22:43 PM , Rating: 3
My phone does all that.. it's called a G1. And, the GPS is pretty darn accurate to boot. It's not perfect, but it's more functional than the iPhone by far, having used both.

RE: Just four things...
By Lakku on 11/2/2008 11:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
And by not perfect and more functional, I mean the phone in general, not just the GPS.

RE: Just four things...
By Gzus666 on 11/3/2008 9:29:29 AM , Rating: 3
I got a G1 as well, really like it. Would like a few things added, like apps to the SD card and Flash, but they say it is coming. Have to say, at least the browser doesn't crash, ha.

RE: Just four things...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/3/2008 10:24:07 AM , Rating: 5
this is a no-brainer and I have no idea what's taking them so long to implement this.

And I have no idea why you Mac yuppies continue to invest in a product that has SO much less functionality than existing ones which are more solid.

I understand that you put style and social acceptance over function. But why complain about it ?

RE: Just four things...
By michael2k on 11/3/2008 3:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Um, because the functionality that does exist is easier to use?

At least, that's the word of mouth I get from the other people at work who have iPhones (over Treos, BlackBerries, etc.)

Me? I use Macs and iPhones because the features I do use are easily more usable on the Mac and iPhone. Otherwise, duh, I would use something else.

RE: Just four things...
By ymak on 11/18/2008 12:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the vast, vast majority of Apple users (Macs or iPhones, whichever) really have so little knowledge about the piece of crap they've got in their hand to care. The rest of us, who know better, can't be satisfied with something that looks pretty but doesn't do what we want. They can. They honestly don't need or want to know what a truly good phone should have, because in general they have no idea what they're doing.

Actually, I bet most of my friends with iPhones (plenty) don't realize what a poor product it is simply because they don't use copy and paste or GPS or MMS. They use it as a glorified iPod, and the iPhone can do that. When I buy a smartphone, I'd like it to be smart, please. If I wanted an iPod, I'd just use my iPod.

It's sad how the consumer base of one of the best-selling phones in the United States can possibly be so poorly informed.

If I've said anything stupid, please call me out. First, I'm exhausted and I'm not thinking straight. Also, if you're a Macfreak, please, I like arguing with you. Mostly because I can run circles around you even without any sleep.

RE: Just four things...
By sgtdisturbed47 on 11/3/2008 2:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
1.5 million G1 (Google) cell phones were pre-ordered in mid-October, and the numbers kept going up. The phone debuted and exploded. The G1 is here to take us away from the junk that iPhone is made of. G1 offers full open source, a big touch screen WITH a keyboard, and the potential to bring the iPhone to their already battered knees. The iPhone had its day, but I think more and more people are walking away from it, going for Blackberry Curves and Sidekicks, and now that the G1 has been out, people are also leaving the iPhone for the G1.

BB Curve offers more USEFUL features, real-time push email is included in the $20/month unlimited Blackberry data plan instead of having to pay $30 a month for iPhone data plus ano0ther 15 a month for MobileMe to get push email. The browser is a little better, but to tell you the truth, 3G isn't much faster in the real world than Edge. Coverage is spotty for 3G, and AT&T is a horrible cell phone company (ranked below T-Mobile). It was hot at first, but people have been realizing that it's just a friggin iPod. If you want a serious phone with strong features that matter, the iPhone isn't it. You can't even use a spare battery or remove the memory.

The iPhone is just junk. You want an iPod, get an iPod. If you want a real phone, go get a Blackberry or a G1.

RE: Just four things...
By mezman on 11/3/2008 3:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
I was all about the G1. I almost pulled the trigger on one but I can't stomach the T-Mobile network in Denver. Just too spotty and no 3G at all.

RE: Just four things...
By michael2k on 11/3/2008 4:21:06 PM , Rating: 3
You can get free push email with a Yahoo account on an iPhone.

And the G1 wasn't available for the past year...

Apple can easily "fix" these problems, so we shall see who gets updated faster. At current count the G1 has many significant shortcomings, including lack of A2DP.

It's hard to call the iPhone junk when many competitors are gunning for it...

RE: Just four things...
By pugster on 11/3/2008 9:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, they charge everybody $5 for a stupid crash bandicott racing game.

RE: Just four things...
By lowededwookie on 11/3/2008 11:19:21 PM , Rating: 1
Doesn't copy and paste technically break the terms of the SDK?

Copy and pasting between apps effectively means data is shared between applications which is an SDK NO NO.

Also, why can I not think of a single cellphone that has copy and paste?

RE: Just four things...
By Gzus666 on 11/4/2008 9:35:28 AM , Rating: 2
Also, why can I not think of a single cellphone that has copy and paste?

Cause you are stupid? Blackberry, G1 to name a few.

RE: Just four things...
By eldakka on 11/4/2008 8:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
and the Sony-Ericsson P800, P900 (best phone I've ever had until some asshat stole it), P910i, P990i

RE: Just four things...
By lowededwookie on 11/5/2008 1:14:41 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I am stupid but the Blackberry just doesn't seem like a viable option for copy and paste. It's interface is crap and I can't see how copy and paste would be easy from a pokie keyboard as found on well most phones let alone a Blackberry.

I've used the Sonys and I admit I forgot about them mainly because I didn't think they made those anymore. These seem more ideal for copy and paste due to the stylus.

RE: Just four things...
By blaktron on 11/6/2008 11:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
The thing about copy paste is that it requires a constantly running program (clipboard etc..) to move data between one application to another, and with the iphone restricting background applications, it doesnt really fit in their ecosystem. Which is stupid, dont get me wrong, but with the protected memory that the iphone uses I can see why theres reluctance to add that feature.

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