Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Issues with iPhone

I bought an iPhone 3G yesterday.  Mostly because I may be doing consulting for a VC firm that likes mobile technologies and I wanted to know more about it. But despite having blogged before about how I don't need one, I do recognize the excellent technology in the phone.

There are a few things that totally bug me about it, though.

1. [This is a major flaw in Apple too] when setting up a new Mail account, it insists on everything being perfect before allowing you to save the Account. I didn't remember the exact user name for my POP mail account on one of my mail accounts, and my only choices were to get it right, or cancel the whole thing, and lose all of the data I had already entered.  I have now entered this email account a total of four times, using the cheesy iPhone keypad, because of this ill-considered feature.  It should save whatever data I've entered, and let me fix the mailbox retrieval parameters later.  Or never.  Why should I have to be able to retrieve mail to set up a Mail account?  What if I want to send mail from my iPhone, but read the responses on my other computer?  Apple always thinks they know better than you/me/us, but sometimes they're just wrong.

2. I am a .Mac (now MobileMe) subscriber, and have been for years.  It all works fine, although on my iPhone it doesn't give me enough choices.  For example, I subscribe to a lot of calendars in iCal.  My family publishes and uses a bunch of calendars, mostly because iCal does not support multi-user calendars (e.g. a Family calendar that multiple people can edit).  Anyway, only the calendars that I have created show up in my iPhone calendar, and I have no way to subscribe to others, or Sync the ones I'm already subscribed to.  Makes the entire iPhone calendar *useless*.  I have looked through all the preferences I can find, on MobileMe, on my Mac, in iCal, and on my iPhone.  I don't think this can be done.

3. Sync from Address Book to my iPhone seems not to work very well.  It synced my list of contacts initially, but a lot of fields were missing (such as phone numbers).  No amount of pushing, cajoling, or Preference-setting seems to fix this.  It kind of makes the Address Book *useless* too.

I did find the preference  in the iPhone to change my signature, and dutifully changed it to "sent from my schmyPhone" :)


john said...

ha! i just changed my sig 10 minutes before i read this.

let me both complain about and praise the keyboard. i loved typing on my sidekick. i think the keyboard suffers from the fact that the phone is awkward to hold while typing. the sidekick was awesome for that. the landscape mode works better, but it really only works in the browser (i use meebo for im on the iphone).

the predictive engine is impressive. oh, how i wish you could edit it. still, it has learned some unique words pretty quickly.

i share your syncing issues, but more with apps and bookmarks, which i am very geeky about.

i like how the bookmark manager works, but i have these two folders at the top of my home list that i can't delete for the life of me.

nonetheless, i am a media junkie, and the phone excels at helping me consume content.

finally, battery has not been an issue for me... i'm around outlets and conscientious enough that i keep it charged. but it is sort of like carrying a baby around with you.

john said...


TIP: if you already have an ipod car adapter, it should charge your iphone.

Saeedi said...

I have yet to get an iPhone. But any mail application will expect you to have all your information ahead of time when configuring the account. Not an answer to your rant (which is somewhat valid), but you can always put in a dummy account name or setting just to get past the next step.

Glenn Reid said...

My point is that the Apple Mail app (and the one on the iPhone) will not let you save any of your data until it connects successfully with the mail server. If you don't remember that one detail (does it want my email address as the "user name" or just my name?) then it can't connect, and won't let you continue and save all the data you've entered so far.

Another scenario that's impossible is if you want to just set up a "send" account. So if I want to send email from, say, "" but don't need to retrieve mail from that account on my iPhone, I can't do it. I can't set up the account without connecting to a mail server with a valid username/passwd.

All the have to do is say, "can't connect to email server; do you want to continue, and set that up later?" and it would all be fine.