iPhone's missing features - Part II

iPhone's missing features - Part II

Summary: In my first installment of iPhone missing feature I outlined my initial concerns about some features that I thought the iPhone was missing. Little did I realize that I missed a bunch!

TOPICS: iPhone

Jobs with iPhoneIn my first installment of iPhone's missing features I outlined 13 features that I thought the iPhone was missing. Little did I realize that I missed a bunch - to the tune of 25 more.

Please keep a few thing in mind when reading these: a) I don't expect Apple to add all of these features in iPhone version 1.0, that would be impossible and make it cost around US$4,000.00 b) I don't expect you to necessarily want all these features, and c) iPhone isn't due to be released until June and a lot can change by then.

Some have cried that it's not fair to criticize the iPhone before it's even out, I disagree. Apple opened themself up by announcing iPhone six months early and now is the perfect time to offer constructive criticism. What's the point in doing so after the product is released? By then it's too late.

With that, here are iPhone's missing features - Part II:


  1. Vibration mode, this hasn't really been answered officially, but smaller phones have the feature. I'm guessing that this one makes the cut.
  2. True HD resolution - As I pointed out yesterday iPhone doesn't have an HD display, which is lame. Wasn't 2005 the "year of HD?" I guess we'll have to wait until 2008.
  3. A better camera - 2MP? C'mon Apple! The Sony Ericsson K800 and K790a mobile phones both feature 3.2MP cameras which make them viable camera replacements. Anything less makes the camera a toy.
  4. A flash - for taking pictures in low light.
  5. Voice dialing.
  6. Speed dialing.
  7. Easy one-handed dialing/operation (i.e. without looking at the screen)
  8. Tactile feel - admittedly this is almost impossible with a flat screen (non-button) interface.
  9. Expansion slot - 4 & 8GB is not that much space, especially when the OS takes ~500MB and you begin to add musics and videos. This is not going to happen because Apple doesn't want you loading unauthorized software, music, ringtones, etc. Sigh.
  10. Lanyard clip - I know that it sounds silly but I'd like to have the option of carrying iPhone on a lanyard (and I don't mean in a silly case either). I want to be able to wear iPhone and would love to have a small D-ring like the one found on any digital camera or cell phone from Japan.
  11. Low cost option - US$500 and US$600 is too much for anyone under 21 which will hurt sales. Apple needs a US$300 and US$200 model to sell to the mass market. Coming in a later revision, just like the iPod succession.
  12. Accessories - While there's a vibrant third party market for iPod stuff, give us all the basic accessories, at launch.
  1. Skype/VOIP application/Widget - I don't care how they do it, but I need to have some form of VOIP on iPhone. The problem is that I'd bet Cingular/AT&T made Apple agree not to allow it. Why would Cingular allow you to make free calls when they charge by the minute?
  2. RSS client - chalk this up as software request #2 (after VOIP). Perhaps Safari mobile will do it, but I need a full-feature, dedicated RSS client.
  3. Multi-threaded applications. I'd like to be able to surf the Web on Safari and talk on the phone at the same time. All signs indicate that it's one or the other.
  4. Wifi sharing of music and photos - just to kick some Microsoft Zune butt.
  5. Bluetooth Dial Up Networking (DUN) - I need to use iPhone as a modem tethered to my MacBook Pro. iPhone already has the Bluetooth hardware, so there's no reason to "cripple" this feature. If they want to charge extra for it, that's fine, but don't intentionally leave it out.
  6. Audio recording - For recording meetings, lectures and memos. This could be a killer app for podcasting.
  7. Video recording - it has a camera after all.
  8. Handwriting recognition.
  9. iTunes ringtones (Apple says it hasn’t decided)
  10. Dot-Mac integration
  11. Google Docs integration - it's doesn't work on the Treo, Dr. Schmidt sits on the Apple board, c'mon guys!
  12. Games - Apple has been deafeningly quiet on this one, but nothing's better than playing a game when you need to kill some time in the line at the bank/dry cleaner/doctor's office. iPod has games, so I'm guessing that iPhone will too.
  13. Windows support - how will photo synchronization be handled on the Windows side? not that I care or anything...

I know that several of these (especially toward the end) are grasping at straws, but work with me here people. And before you fire off a nastygram, please take a deep breath and re-read my disclamiers at the top of the post. 

What's your take? Chime in in the TalkBack section below, and remember to click the little "thumbs" icon at the top of this article if you like debating iPhone features (or lack thereof).

Topic: iPhone

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  • Windows Mobile Phone

    If you want all that stuff on the list go out and purchase a windows mobile 5.0 phone. they come in a variety of colors and sizes.
    • Which one?

      Which Windows Mobile Phone has an HD screen, a built in video camera, a greater than 3 mp camera with a flash, an expansion slot, a cost below $300, a variety of accessories, VOIP/Skype functionality, wifi sharing of music and movies, handwriting recognition and dot-Mac integration, etc.

      Let me know, because I'll buy one tomorrow.
      tic swayback
      • Scarastic

        Well obviously I was being scarcastic. But I don't see why all the hype over the iPhone when you have so many other phones on the market that do more then the iPhone offers for less. Is it the slick looking touch screen maybe? Either way Apple learned a few things from MS.... how to market their products! I'd still get the windows mobile before the iPhone, but I'm a business user and maybe the average joe would get better use from the iPhone, idk.
        • Reasons for the hype

          Think of it this way--the iPod didn't really do anything that other players on the market didn't already do. What it did, was do it better and in an easier to use manner. That's what I see as the real supposed advantage of the Jesus Phone (have to deal with one in person to know if it is indeed true).
          tic swayback
          • Actuallly..

            The iPod did ONE thing that NONE of the other players on the market prior to it's arrival did - it connected to iTunes - which gave the world a DRM laden muaic store that was legit. No more downloading from P2P needed. Buy your music legitimately or rip CDs you already own. NO ambiguity in that department. Of course, once you bought into the iPod, you're somewhat stuck in the iPod culture, but hey... it's better than being sued by the RIAA...
          • Actually... you are wrong...

            Technically speaking, you are wrong just because the IPOD did not physically connect to ITunes. The ITunes software connected to the store, downloaded the music, stored it on the hard drive and then.... sync'd to the player.
            Which is the same thing that the (LEGIT) Napster software did (before the ITunes I should add...). Napster had several deals with player manufacturers (Digital IRiver etc...) that had the same functionality.
            This is just another example of how the Steve Jobs "RDF- Reality Distortion Factor" has clouded everyone's judgement. While I will admit the phone has some cool features, Apple is not doing anything groundbreaking. They are simply utilizing the technology we already have in a more usable fashion. As far as I am concerned, the 2 year Cingular contract alone is a deal breaker for me. And while I can afford the price, the feature to price ration is not high enough for me to squander that kind of money. Apple needs to re-think this and they have just under 6 months to do so. I wish them luck...
    • Windows Mobile Phone?? huh?

      Sorry but when the iphone comes out I will happily GIVE YOU MY SORRY Q phone! Microsoft has engineered enough catch 22 loopholes in my phone THAT IT CANNOT RATIONALLY BE CALLED A "SMARTPHONE".
      Sorry for the caps but hey I was dismally let down by this phone. You can have Mobile 5.0 I will take my chances with iphone. The mac x os is very usable on phones and really makes most microsoft apps redundant to the edge of retardation. Seriously I have read Jason's list of missing bells and whistles and believe apple will have most included prior to public release. After all who would even think of purchasing a phone with no camera these days? Let alone all things like voice dial (which is a must for bluetooth).
      I cannot wait for this phone to drop. It cannot dissapoint nearly as much as the Motorola Q phone has.
      • UUUHHHMMM.....Me

        I have a camera, its a good one, and I really hate the camera in most phones, and I wish I could save the eight or ten dollars they charge me to put that crappy camera they put in there. But I know I am alone in that, so your point is probably a good one...
        • me 2

          i dont like cameras on phones...
          if i want to take a picture, I'd use a real camera (10 MP)
      • Treo 700w works for me

        I don't think I'll be trading in my Treo 700w for the iPhone. 'The mac x os is very usable on phones and really makes most microsoft apps redundant to the edge of retardation' How the hell do you know this? What other phones are using the mac os? And you can't even install apps on the iPhone. Whatever it comes with is all you get. Does it even have push email or sync with outlook? Like I said it's a phone for the average Joe not for corp users. I agree with you the simple user interface is great....for the average Joe use, but as you want more feature, that simple user interface won't cut it.
  • My deal-breakers:

    Must be able to read Microsoft Office documents. Maybe Google Docs could
    solve this?

    From what I understand there will not be calendar input capability. So what
    happens when someone calls or sends me an email to tell me there has
    been a time change for an event? Of course you already know the answer: I
    have to make the change to the calendar on my computer and then connect
    my phone before the change is reflected on the phone. Which brings up
    another problem....

    And then the ultimate deal-breaker for me: no bluetooth syncing. I can live
    with not being able to sync music and video over bluetooth, but not being
    able to sync contacts and calendars on a $500.00 phone is unforgivable in
    my opinion.
  • You're out of your mind

    Okay, first of all, watch Steve's "all together" demo towards the end of the
    He's on the phone with Phil Schiller and simultaneously browsing Fandango to get
    movie tickets. So, clearly simultaneous phone and web is possible, as you asked
    in #3 in the software link above.

    But, when I say you're out of your mind, I'm referring to your whining about the
    lack of an HD display. Dude, seriously. It's a 3.5" screen. That would be over SIX
    HUNDRED PIXELS PER INCH on that size display. i.e., you're asking for laser
    printer resolution on the display.

    You lose all credibility with nonsense like that.
    • Exactly!!

      Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of the "trueHD" display request.

      I don't think Jason understands that HD is more than just the 16:9 aspect ratio. A true HD display has a minimum of 720 vertical pixels. The iPhone has 320 vertical pixels (in the landscape orientation) with a 160 ppi. That's damn good, but you can see there's a long way to go to get to true HD resolution on this size screen while keeping it affordable.
  • iPhone becoming dPhone (Dream phone)

    "c) iPhone isn't due to be released until June and a lot can change by then"
    lot can be changed only in firmware upgrade, I guess hardware changes are hard to do...you also listed few things that are not really hardware update (ex: speed dialing)

    almost you are trying to add everything into a single device. i think its an impossible in any version of iPhone.
    below are reasonable demanding...
    #5 Voice dialing.
    #6 Speed dialing.
    #12 Accessories

    #2 RSS client - iPhone is not really a mobile web 2.0 client, Apple has to consider this one.
    #4 Wifi sharing of music and photos, this is a killer feature, but I can remember Mr.Jobs commented on Zune - "the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable" Do you think Mr.Jobs will do it? If so I would expect a some different romance story ??

    Kind rgrds
  • How about no camera at all?

    Man, that's quite a wish list. You're really taking this "Jesus Phone" stuff seriously. You might want to add in "curing lepers" and "throws money changers out of temples" as well.

    Seriously though, I have no interest in having a camera built into my phone. First off, it's a security risk, and many industries/government agencies forbid camera phones from entry into their facilities. Second, no matter how many megapixels one makes the CCD, you're still going to end up with crappy pictures. Adding megapixels can not improve image quality if you're starting with a really poor image. The tiny plastic lenses used in cel phone cameras are to blame here. Given the form factor, it's pretty much impossible to fit high quality optics into a phone (it's also cost prohibitive). There's potential for liquid based lenses in the future, but for right now, what you're getting are cheap plastic lenses that take lousy pictures, no matter how good your sensor is.

    So adding a better sensor is a waste of money.

    Vibration mode is an absolute necessity.

    As for Wifi sharing of files, can't you do this via Bluetooth?

    I don't want iTunes ringtones, I want mp3 ringtones, the ability to use any file, not just songs purchased from iTunes.

    Video recording--see above camera rant, times 1000.

    Audio recording--there's a reason this was left out of the iPod, and it's still valid here. Simplicity rules.
    tic swayback
    • iPhone camera

      Why not, instead of putting the camera in the iPhone, you make it a $50 attachment that also works with the 4g/5g iPods and the Nanos. Now not only are you going to attract people that want iPhones that can record video, you are going to have people with iPods that want to do the same thing and the ability to use higher quality optics so it doesn't take pictures that look as if they were taken in a toilet. Call it iSight for iPod. And make it the official Apple voice recorder for every iPod and the iPhone.
      • Great idea

        Plus that would cut costs on the phone and allow a smaller form factor. To me the iPod is all about getting rid of the garbage that no one uses. It'd be nice to see the iPhone do the same.
        tic swayback
        • I agree with tic . . .

          Nix the camera/video built-in hardware for a myrid of reasons and make it available
          as an add-on. That just makes all the sense in the world. I personally am not fond of
          having to leave my cell phone at reception every time I go to visit 3 clients who have
          this security policy.
  • I agree! Ridiculous!

    This article is BS!
    How the heck could you possibly think anyone could or would squeeze an HD display into a device that small? Your eyes wouldn't even be able to see all of the pixels. Most people have a hard time seeing all the pixels on a VGA display of the same size. Jason, the 16:9 ratio has absolutely nothing to do with the term "high definition"! Good luck with asking for that 600DPI screen you want, Jason!

    Next, you say there is no support for multi-threaded applications. Steve Jobs specifically stated in his keynote that it WAS! Where have you been?

    Next, vibration mode, voice dialing, speed dialing, audio recording, video recording. Just because they didn't talk about these features doesn't mean they aren't included!

    Next, Windows support. Apple has already announced that there is Windows iTunes support!

    Use your brain, and then do some research to make up for what's lacking after that!
    • Yes, Jason, you have to admit it's getting too easy

      I know number of posts counts for as much as the substance. But don't you think upsetting Apple zealots is just a bit too easy for getting those high numbers? Sure it's a smart and safe choice, but it's like taking candy from a baby for crying out loud Jason. You could write a positive article about the phone, and just summarize with a few negatives and you'd get this. I say your writing is good enough that you don't need these slam dunk zealot bait posts.
      April May