10 Things to Make the iPhone Better

By Mike on 3:03 pm

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Ok, so the iPhone isn't the perfect cell phone, as you can tell by my review. It does need some improvements. So therefore, here are 10 things the iPhone/iPod touch need to make them a better mobile experience.

1. Adobe Flash Support:
So much of the web today, especially Web 2.0 content, is fueled by Adobe's venerable Flash player. Without it, many websites will not display properly, or even fail to load. The iPhone already features one of the best mobile browsing experience around but to leave Flash out of that is ludicrous. Adobe has said they're working on Flash for iPhone but Apple hasn't authorized it yet.

2. Cut & Paste
Want to do a Google search for something somebody emailed you, or something from your web browser. On your computer, you can just highlight it and hit copy-paste into your search bar. Not so on the iPhone. You have to type the entire thing in. This is a fairly basic function so my question to Steve is what is the freakin' hold up?

3. Document Support
The iPhone can already handle PDF files emailed to you but not MS Word or Open Document formats. The iPhone should have a documents browser and the ability to open and even possibly edit popular document files. Like iTunes for office geeks.

4. Windows Media Support
This falls under the "ain't gonna happen" realm of things. However, many internet radio stations use Microsoft's WMA format, including pay services like XM Radio Online. I'd sure like to listen to my favourite XM programs while alway from my satellite receiver. Safari can play back MP3 and AAC internet radio.

5. Media Streaming Over Wifi
The iPhone has limited storage compared to its bigger cousins: the 32gb iPod Touch and the 120gb iPod Classic. Most people will likely be buying the 8gb model since it is cheaper. Wouldn't it be great if you could store all your media on a home server and access it over LAN or the internet any time you're near a Wifi hotspot? The iPhone's robust 802.11g wireless interface is capable of streaming anything the iPhone can play back right up to DVD quality video. Live TV streaming would also be a big plus. The iPhone can already control iTunes, why can't it stream iTunes content as well?

6. User Replicable Battery:
One of the biggest complaints people have had about the iPod over the years is its lack of a user replicable battery. The iPhone 3G's battery performance is less than stellar. If Apple were truly committed to the environment, as they say they are, they would make it so users could easily swap batteries once they go toast. Most people wouldn't take it to an Apple tech, they'd just buy a new handset, thus creating more waste. User replicable batteries would also allow people to greatly extend talk time, when USB chargers aren't always handy.

7. Matte Aluminum Finish
The iPhone is a finger print magnet. With the new Macs switching to a matte aluminum finish for their chassis, it would only make sense to do the same with the iPhone.

8. Redesigned Wireless App Store
The App Store application on the iPhone itself is just awful. Apps are not listed in any logical manner. There should be an option to sort apps by price, software genre, by date, and alphabetical. App updates should be automatic and not require a password provided the update is free.
UPDATE: Seems Apple has been listening to their users. The Wifi App Store has been redesigned. Apps are categorized now by Top Paid, Top Free, and Date Added in all categories.

9. Fix the Windows iTunes Sync Bug
For some reason, my Windows XP system crashes every time I connect my iPhone to my computer. I get a BSoD. Apparently, this has something to do with the way photos are handled. iTunes 8.01 was supposed to fix this problem but it didn't. I haven't tried 8.02 yet but there was nothing in the release notes about the issue, so I'm assuming it's still there. This is an iTunes issue, not a Windows problem.

10. Turn by Turn GPS Directions
It would be nice if the iPhone could tell you where to go rather than simply showing you. It's dangerous to take your eyes off the road and now Ontario law requires GPS devices be hands free. Voice activated GPS with audible turn by turn directions would be a huge plus.

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