A Few iPhone Flaws

Friday, March 14, 2008 by Mistlee

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A Few iPhone Flaws

By Thomas Hawk

Let's get one thing straight from the start of this blog post. I *love* my iPhone. It's the best cell phone I've ever had. I use it every day. It's one of the best pieces of personal technology that I've ever owned. I bought one on the first day that they were available (I was 8th in line at the Palo Alto store and spent the night there) and I bought another one for my wife for Christmas. She loves it too.

That said, great products can always be improved. And while I'm sure I'll get plenty of Apple fanboy hate mail over this post, I don't think that there is anything wrong with pointing out the flaws even of the great products.

With that, on with the list.

1. The single worst thing about the iPhone is AT&T's edge network. Edge sucks big time. Why is it that I can't get an internet connection while standing on the corner of Post and Mason Street in the middle of San Francisco, one of the largest cities in the United States? Why is it that it takes eons for pages to load from the West Oakland BART station to the entrance of the tunnel to San Francisco? Edge is slow and unreliable. My EVDO with Verizon for my laptop works far, far, better than AT&T's edge network.
Yes, the iPhone can use wifi, but there is not always an open wifi signal available when you are out and about. My iPhone works great over wifi at my house -- but guess what? Most of the time I want to use my iPhone as a computing device *I'm not at my house*! If I were at my house I'd be using my laptop on a DSL connection.

When I first got my iPhone I thought the YouTube videos were kind of cool. But you know what? I never watch YouTube videos on my iPhone because edge sucks too much to play them.

2. There is no spam filtering on the iPhone. Yes, I know, I could use gmail and have my mail filtered, but I don't want Google to own my mail and I don't want to be thomashawk13123239@gmail.com. thomashawk@gmail.com and thomas.hawk@gmail.com were taken a long, long, time ago. I want to use my main email address @thomashawk.com, but that email address is chock full o' spam at this point. With my MacBook I can at least filter 90% of it out (the 10% that my Mac Mail lets in still is extremely annoying). But with 90% of it filtered out I can at least hunt and peck through my

With the iPhone my email is unusable. It loads 25 messages at a time and frequently all 25 of those messages are spam. Apple should come up with some very basic spam filter similar to Mac Mail to deal with at least a chunk of this spam. Otherwise the email functionality on the iPhone is useless to me.

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3. There is no cut/paste functionality on the iPhone. Cutting and pasting is very, very, basic to email, web browsing, text messaging, etc. The fact that there is no cut/paste command that can be used on the iPhone makes it a much more difficult device to use. Maybe there is a cut/paste tool on the iPhone, but if there is it's not very intuitive and I've never figured out how to use it.

4. There is no video camera on the iPhone. How is it that my crappy old Audiovox SMT56000 had video and still photos and the iPhone can't do video? The lens is the lens right? Why can't that lens also do video? Not that I'd want to do a lot of video on the iPhone, but I do think it would be cool if my wife could send me a brief video snippet of my daughter after she lost her first tooth at preschool instead of simply the photo that she sent.

5. Certain websites work *horribly* on the iPhone. When I first got my iPhone I was super excited about being able to access my Google Maps on it. One thing I like to do is make custom maps on Google Maps of locations that I want to photograph. I'll make little pin points on the map of neon sites and locations, historic locations, etc. I was really excited about using Google Maps on my iPhone for traveling. By pinpointing certain locations that I wanted to shoot I could easily always whip out my iPhone and pull up Google Maps to see what is near me that I need to shoot.

The problem? Google Maps sucks the big one on the iPhone. I don't know if this is Google's problem or Apple's problem, but Google Maps is virtually unusable on the iPhone. Instead of being able to use my iPhone I have to print out my maps and carry around paper copies.

I've had problems with other websites as well from time to time as well.

Now I know that the iPhone will improve in time and I'm 98% certain that my next phone after my current iPhone will likely be another iPhone. But I do hope that Apple continues to make the product better and better and addresses some of these problems with future releases.

What about you? Are there things that you'd like to see your iPhone do that it doesn't do today?


About the Author:
Thomas Hawk is a San Francisco based photographer and technology writer. He publishes the web site Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection and is also the Evangelist and CEO of the photo sharing site Zooomr.

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