It’s the end of the iPhone era for me.
I had been pretty impressed with the US iPhones that had leaked into NZ, and I bought an iPhone 3G on the first day they were available in NZ (using my own money even!) and upgraded it to a 3GS soon after that came out.
And it was great. Apple really were the first people to get the smartphone right. It was fast, had a useful screen and the touch interface had Apple’s usual attention to detail. My iPhone and I had a lot of good times together.
But by the time the iPhone 4 was released I just wasn’t as interested. It wasn’t just the hardware, or Apple’s control-freakery or any one thing in particular, but somehow I wanted to try something else.
What did happen was a Samsung Galaxy S II running Google’s Android operating system. I’ll be writing more about that later, but first I thought I’d finally get around to publishing my list of iPhone gripes.
These are my personal gripes. I know that some of them are probably features to other people, or can be fixed with more or less ease, or will be fixed in iOS5 but it’s really too late for that for me. So, in no particular order, a bunch of things that annoyed me about the iPhone:
- The failure to use the lock screen to display useful information.
- The way the weather app icon doesn’t change to match to match the weather.
- That the Maps icon is an American highway map.
- The difficulty of finding good apps – you can find a multitude of apps but it’s very hard to tell which are any good.
- The “icons, icons, nothing but icons” menu system.
- That the iPhone 3GS had very limited message notification and ringtones. You hear that “ding-ding” sound and every iPhone user in the room wonders if the message is for them.
- The way that iOS4.2 added new message tones for the iPhone 4 but not for the older 3GS.
- The lack of buttons, particular the way that the single button is used for search, task-switching, app-closing, and screen shots (about 10% of my photos are accidental screen shots),
- The lack of a physical camera button. Trying to do tricky shots wth the on-screen button is hard.
- The multi-second delay in starting the camera.
- The way that Apple offered free iPhone tracking… for the iPhone 4 but not the 3G or 3GS.
- The volume and mute controls on the 3GS have annoyingly sharp edges – and the mute button is too easy to activate when putting it into a pocket.
- There’s no icon on screen to show whether mute is on or not.
- That the iOS4 ‘upgrade’ killed the performance of the iPhone 3G and 3GS and Apple tried to stop you downgrading again. (This was improved in later versions but the performance is still noticeably crappier than it was.)
- The way that the 3G doesn’t get security fixes any more after just two years. (Launched July 2008, last fix Nov 2010).
- Apple choosing what political views are acceptable in apps sold in the app store – and there’s no other way to get apps.
- The inability to cache downloaded maps on your phone.
- The rotation-lock option cunningly hidden in a leftward swipe of the dock-thing when in task-switching mode.
- That you have to install iTunes to activate the phone or copy music to it.
- If you switch to a new PC, iTunes tries to get you to wipe everything from your phone (this can be prevented).
- That you can’t use the volume controls for page turning when reading electronic books.
- Lack of easy auto update for applications.
- If you’re in one application and click a link that takes you into another (e.g. a YouTube video link in the browser), there’s no obvious way to get back to where you were in the first application.
Coming soon: my list of Android gripes. :)