Thursday, December 11, 2008

iPhone Still Missing Critical Features

Twelve (or is it fifteen by now) million iPhones in the wild and counting.  Not bad for a newcomer who only had their first mobile device on the market 18 months ago. 

Still the iPhone is missing some critical features.  Okay, missing but it has not dampened demand for it.  But I still wonder why it has taken Apple so long to bring something as simple as cut-and-paste.  So, what are these other features?

Well, MacDailyNews has a list of critical features that folks want (it's a poll) and I want to go through and maybe we can all figure out why its missing.
  • Spotlight system-wide search.  This is an easy one.  Security.  And there is no need at this time for such a feature.  You've got e-mails, appointments, contacts, and dates.  Well, maybe we do need it.  But given security reasons, Apple will not offer this feature. 
  • Native local storage.  Again, I think it's security related.  Plus there are 3rd party apps that open up online storage.  A bit of cloud computing if you will.  Eventually, it makes sense to get an mobile version of iLife and maybe access to MobileMe. 
  • Native voice-dialing.  It's coming.  Google has enabled voice-search so we know the capability is there.  It's more likely that Apple is saving this feature for a future upgrade so they can make a big deal out of it.
  • Turn-by-turn voice navigation.  It's coming.  Otherwise, the GPS would be pretty useless.  Honestly, I don't know why this is being held up.  Many GPS companies have expressed interest in providing apps for the iPhone.  I want to say it has to do with the battery power but I think it's more than that.  One, revenue.  Apple wants a piece of the piece beyond just the 30% of every GPS app sold.  Two, they could be working with car companies for additional integration with vehicle systems. 
  • Potentially power hungry features.  I'm lumping them together for this reason.  Bluetooth stereo headset and video recording.  Now, I'll come out and say I have no experience with wireless headsets but I imagine it'll take a bit of power that the iPhone really can't spare.  Video recording is in the same depart but I also tried Cycorder and it's just downright aweful.  We're better off carrying around a true HD camcorder.  It's what Steve would want.  I see bluetooth stereo headset but I don't see video recording from Apple.  Maybe third-party apps. 
  • Bandwidth-hog features.  MMS.  Apple fans are very creative (that isn't to say RIM or Windows Mobile fans aren't) and such a feature would very popular.  I want to say it's due to bandwidth alone but the feature is just too bland for Apple.  I have a feeling a similar feature will be jazzed up and closely integrated with MobileMe. 
Oh, and cut-and-paste.  Your guess is as good as mine.  You'd think it's one of the features the iPhone would have from day one.  But having seem some aweful implementations, I can see why Apple has not included this feature.  I like Windows Mobile's cut-and-paste implementation but not so much with the G1 and Android.  I've read theories and rumors of variant implementations but we'll just have to wait until it can be implemented easily and meets Steve Jobs' approval. 

What do I consider are critical features?
  • iWeb access to MobileMe webhosting for blogging.
  • Mobile office suite.  But it'll be useless until cut-and-paste is available.
  • Voice-command with shortcuts. 
  • 3-D interface that Apple looks to be developing.
  • Battery life.  We need the ability to change batteries.  Since this is not a wish Apple will grant us, we can only hope components will improve power usage.
  • iChat video. 
There are more but I don't want to be greedy.  So, to recap on why we have not see some critical mobile features on the iPhone.  Battery power, bandwidth restrictions, and Jobsian perfection.  I think those are the three main factors holding up services and features for the iPhone.  Eventually, it'll all work itself out.  I hope.

Via  MacDailyNews

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