Making the iPhone Better

12 Simple Insights to Improving the iPhone:

  1. NotesBecause the keyboard works so well, Notes is a really great tool. However, aside from shopping lists and reminders, it’s kind of pointless to store written data on the iPhone when you can’t get it off of there. Some type of ability for iTunes to sync your notes with Stickies or TextEdit wouldn’t be that hard to implement (iTunes already backs up your notes, but not to anywhere usable by you.)
  2. PhoneDitch the silence all button. My biggest gripe about the phone aspect of the iPhone doesn’t have anything to do with the interface, which I think is boss. But rather, the little “silence ringer” switch just above the volume controls on the left side of the phone itself. All too often this accidentally gets switched on and I end up missing calls for a few hours until I realize what’s going on.
  3. MailPlease, give us Gmail. I’m not sure if everything about mail on the iPhone just sucks, or if it’s just that everything about email that isn’t set up like Gmail is the suck culprit, but now that I’m hooked on searching my mail and having conversation views, I can’t go back. Also, the fact that it doesn’t actually mark items as read in my real Gmail account makes this nearly useless.
  4. SafariAll the crashing aside, I think the biggest benefit to Safari would be if the iPhone in general had Copy & Paste capabilities. Not to mention its usefulness in Maps and Notes.
  5. iPodSound control. The only aspect of listening to my music on this phone that I dislike is the volume controls. I can’t easily reach into my pocket and discern which button is up and which is down, and I inevitably have to stop, get the phone out and look at the buttons. Given the amount of times you need to adjust volume – when cars are/aren’t going by, with each new song, when you’re trying to avoid hearing the bums ask for change – this is an essential industrial design correction.
  6. PicturesCamera is really my favorite feature on the iPhone – I love the idea that I can have all of the pictures from my computer in my pocket at any time. How to make it better? Image adjustments – let me adjust the brightness, contrast, hues, whatever they can jam in there (curves and levels?)
  7. CameraRemember that annoying “silence ringer” button? I say, replace that with a dedicated camera button. The current touch screen camera button makes it awkward to snap a photo and nearly impossible take one of yourself without a thumb being in the way or your face getting cut off just above the chin. A dedicated button is almost essential here.
  8. StocksLet us choose what features we want on the home screen. Sure, I’m guessing Stocks comes in useful for lots of people, especially those who can afford an iPhone, but I could care less about it and don’t understand why they need to force me into having an unused icon on the home screen.
  9. MapsA default starting location on Google Maps would make it a lot simpler for me to get directions to the places I need to go. Sure, they remember where you’ve typed in previously, but this is a feature I sorely miss from the standard version of Google Maps. Also, Google Transit would be really handy for a mobile device, you think?
  10. WeatherWould it be that hard to display the current temperature on the weather icon? Sure, I realize that it’d require connecting to the Internet to download a few numbers and what icon to use every half an hour or so, but wouldn’t it be worth it?
  11. CalendarSyncing with iCal without having to actually open up iCal, or replacing this app with Google Calendar all together and making live updates to both your Google Calendar account and the phone, depending on where you’re editing from.
  12. SMSI love the way SMS saves your conversations, and I love how they look like iChat. I don’t even mind that SMS is just a cop out version of iChat that makes you pay for texting instead of giving it away free, as God intended it to be. But c’mon, let me send my damn pictures to whoever I want to.

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