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iPhone gripes

Ok, first of all, the iPhone 3GS is a great phone. Having used it for a couple months, it's now even more abundantly clear what a categorical piece of shit the Palm Pre was. Why did I put up with that for so long? Stockholm Syndrome?

But of course I have complaints.

  1. It never seems to delete mail from the server. I'm using Pop3s, and I have the iPhone mail client set to "Deleted messages: remove after 1 day"; "Delete from server: when removed from Inbox" (and I've also tried "Seven days"). The mail client itself only shows me about a day's worth of messages, but they are never expired from the server, even when they've expired off the phone's list. I don't understand how I'm expected to keep my mail server from filling up. From earlier experiments, I do not believe that "deleting" messages on the phone does anything other than move them to a phone-side Trash folder. But if I'm expected to do that, that's just impractical. That would mean that the first thing I'd have to do every morning when I woke up was swipe away the 200+ messages that arrived during the night.
  2. Since there's no sane way to delete or mark messages read on the phone, because I'm not willing to click 200 times to do it, the way I use the mail reader is to just leave all of the messages unread and in Inbox, and when I'm out and about and want to check my mail, I just read until I've seen a message that I have read already. This is stupid, but it's the only way I've found that is even remotely practical.

  3. When the phone is sleeping and a notification appears (SMS, alarm, etc.) there is no way to dismiss / acknowledge that notification without typing my password to unlock the phone first. Why can't I just double-click it or something? And if I don't dismiss it, then it thinks I haven't seen it and keeps reminding me. That's really annoying. (The repeating reminders are good, the hoops you have to jump through to ack them is bad.)

  4. Entering new events in the calendar is insanely convoluted. On PalmOS (and WebOS) you went to the calendar, clicked on the hour where you wanted the event, typed the event name, and you were done. Zero superfluous clicks. On the iPhone, you have to click New Event, click Edit Date, select the time off of an annoying scrolly wheel, click Done, click Edit Name, type, click Done, and then click Done again. WTF!

  5. Why is there still no "iChat" on the iPhone? BeejiveIM seems to be the best option, but it kind of sucks. Constant "your screen name is signed in from 2 locations" messages. Frequent "connection reset by peer" messages. I often discover that it decided to hang up on all of my accounts, so I haven't been getting messages sent to my phone.

  6. There's no "attach" button when you're sending mail. The only easy way to send a photo is to initiate that action from the Photos or Camera app (in which case the photo is scaled down to 800x600, and you can only send exactly one photo). If you go into Photos and copy a photo, you can paste it into Mail and it will send it full sized; but you can only copy one at a time, by switching back and forth between the Photos and Mail apps for each one, which is really tedious.

  7. It takes too much clicking to tell it to forget a WiFi network, after you have connected to one that turned out to be useless. (Which happens quite a lot in this town.) Every "connection failed" dialog should have a "Forget this WiFi network" button on it.

  8. There's no way to use a custom ring tone for SMS messages, calendar alerts, or in fact anything except voice calls. WTF.

  9. Every time you sync, the music player turns off "Shuffle". WTF.

  10. The whole cut-and-paste mechanism really is insanely janky.

  11. The on-screen keyboard is bullshit.

Other than that, it's pretty good. It's fast, and it mostly just works.

Apps I like:

  • BeejiveIM (best IM client of a bad bunch)
  • Edge (like marble madness)
  • Eyegore's Eye Blast (like Bubbels with spinny inertia)
  • I Love Katamari
  • iBART (faster than the web site)
  • iSSH (the way it handles keys is very nice)
  • Now Playing (movie listings)
  • OpenTable
  • Photoshop Mobile
  • Remote (controls iTunes)
  • Shazam (music identifier)
  • Sol Free (solitaire)
  • Taxi Magic
  • Wikipanion (faster than the web site)
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Current Music: Vitalic -- Still ♬