A Year Later: 25 Things STILL Wrong With the iPhone

Jun 12, 200827486Views91Comments

iPhone problems

Nearly a year after I published my list of 25 things wrong with the iPhone, the post has grown considerably with nearly 100 readers adding comments to it.

By now Apple has addressed some of the problems with the iPhone, and I want to thank them for listening to our feedback, but also encourage them to continue to improve the iPhone, even past version 2.0. First:

10 iPhone problems Apple has corrected

  1. 3G has been added to the next-generation iPhone
  2. The 3G iPhone will have real GPS
  3. iPhone 2.0 will let you mass-edit your email by making it easier to move & delete individual emails or groups of emails
  4. Apple now lets you add custom ringtones to your iPhone via the iTunes store, albeit for $1
  5. Apple made it quicker to dial your favorite contacts by letting you double-click the home button
  6. The next-generation iPhone’s headphone input will not be recessed, so you will be able to use any and all headphones with it. Why did Apple recess the headphone jack in the first place?
  7. iPhone’s calculator is vastly improved on iPhone 2.0
  8. Games and third-party applications will be supported through the App Store
  9. You can now send mass text messages
  10. iPhone 2.0 will have a search feature for finding contacts quicker.

I’m thankful to Apple for making these changes, but some of iPhone’s problems remain unaddressed. In a year, Apple has responded to only ten of the 25+ complaints discussed in my post — not just by me but by other iPhone owners who left comments.

A lot of iPhone’s problems are due to small, easy-to-add features that are missing even though they mean a lot. Apple can very easily correct these issues, so what are they waiting for?

Here are 25 things still wrong with the iPhone that Apple should consider if it wants to stay competitive in the now-revolutionized mobile phone market:

25 things STILL wrong with the iPhone

Beginning the list are iPhone problems posted in my original list last year.

Note: The iPhone 2.0 software update will not be released until July 11, so some of these things could change. Add your comment to the list at the bottom to increase the likelihood of Apple taking our requests seriously.

1. iPhone still cannot copy & paste text. iPhone lets you email web pages via the Mail application, but what about when you want to copy & paste a paragraph into a form? Or a web address into a text field? (Update: This has been corrected in iPhone OS 3.0.)

2. iPhone still does not display a time stamp for each individual text message. This is not a big deal for me right now, but some readers commented that they preferred each text individually stamped.

3. Still no Flash or Java on Safari Mobile.

4. Landscape orientation for the keyboard is still limited to Safari. I would love to use the Mail app in landscape, and even the SMS and Notes apps. (Update: This has been corrected in iPhone OS 3.0.)

5. Still no privacy settings have been mentioned for the iPhone’s privacy-violating SMS Preview feature. (Update: This has been corrected in iPhone OS 3.0.)

6. No Undo function for when you make a typing error. (Update: This has been corrected in iPhone OS 3.0.)

7. The YouTube app is still non-interactive — that is, you can’t post or view comments — and iPhone lacks support for social networking in general. (Update: This has been corrected in iPhone OS 3.0.)

8. You still cannot save documents to a My Documents type of folder. The only improvement is that iPhone 2.0 will let you save photos from emails in your Photos library.

9. Still no mention of whether we can send more than one image per email. (Update: This has been improved in iPhone OS 3.0. To email multiple images per message, touch down on an image in your camera roll until the word “Copy” appears. Tap Copy. Then paste each image into your email, one at a time.)

10. No cropping option for photos.

11. Although the Contacts app will now have a search function, there’s still no Find function for finding a word in a web page. This is a feature I use a lot in Firefox (CTRL+F). The thing is, Safari Mobile is not that stable yet, so adding a feature like this might bog it down even more.

12. Still no mention of a To-Do list, a useful feature many readers have told me they’d appreciate. (Update: There are to-do list apps in the App Store.)

13. Still no AIM, iChat or instant messenger on the iPhone. Blackberry users have Blackberry Messenger to chat with other Blackberry users, but there’s no such feature on the iPhone. (Update: There are apps that do this in the App Store.)

14. No mention yet of whether the iPhone’s poor camera has improved. How about at least digital zoom, image stabilization and a simple LED flash like that of the Sidekick and the Blackberry Curve?

15. No speed dial feature.

16. No MMS support, although there are workarounds. (Update: AT&T finally added MMS to iPhone in September 2009.)

17. The iPhone cannot be used as a hard drive storage device. (Update: Apps in the App Store do this.)

18. Still no video camera, even though lower-end phones like the MOTORAZR have video cameras. (Update: iPhone 3GS now has a video camera.)

19. You still can’t disable auto-correct on the keyboard. It’s fine with me, but some people have told me it drives them crazy and they’d rather just turn it off. (Update: This feature has been added to iPhone.)

20. You can’t delete individual calls from your Recent Calls list.

21. You can’t delete individual text messages. (Update: iPhone 3.0 now lets you do this.)

22. I would like to see a more advanced Notes application, with spell check, styling options and copy/paste (a feature I mentioned above). Notes should also sync to my computer. And why not also integrate the Notes app with online services, like blogging software? That way you could type a post up in Notes, disconnected from the web, and then publish it on WordPress, for example.

Perhaps this is something a WordPress app in the App Store could accomplish.

23. Safari crashes way too much. This has been a problem with every iPhone I’ve owned, and it’s also been a problem for my readers, who shared their comments on my article about Safari crashing. (Update: This doesn’t happen too me very much anymore.)

24. Let us sync to iTunes via Bluetooth. Currently, iPhone Bluetooth support extends to hands-free devices only.

25. Add voice dialing to iPhone. Without tactile feedback on the keyboard, voice dialing is a must-have for drivers. (Update: This has been added in iPhone 3.0.)

With the App Store coming in July, it’s possible that third-party developers can build software that solves these problems, but to me, most of the features listed are basic functions an advanced mobile phone like iPhone should have.

What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts about what’s missing on the iPhone in the comments. If you want to be updated about my future articles, subscribe to this blog.

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  1. You can find specific words or phrases by tapping on the Google search bar on the top right and entering the text. It’ll first show you google search results, but if you scroll to the bottom there’s a bar that says “Matches on this page:”

  2. btw i have iphone 2g ios 3.1.3 and a winmo 6.5 htc hd2 that i tried wp7 and android on it…

  3. iphone best value to me is just for gaming device (3gs and 4), if you want better office and sync just buy winmo or wp7 devices, if you want both 2nd better gaming device and office features just buy an android phone.
    i said iphone gaming is the best not because its hardware coz lots of the phone out there even double the specs. but the apple massive capitalism that win over the heart of the game developers…

  4. No flash for camera, no option to add calls made or received to contacts, auto fill has always been useless, .com on keyboard is rarely there when needed and really only othr convenience I’d like is to have the # sign on the same page with all numbers. I have 3GS

  5. I do not like that you can not save songs that you receive in a txt to your rongtones. Heck let alone save the songs in general.

  6. Why why why ? In the call register it shows missed calls in red ! Ok but both incoming calls and out going call are represented by a out going arrow !!! 🙁 this is stupid and when needing to pull a number up that rung me a day ago or even 2 days ago , you can’t tell 🙁 . Please have 3 different symbols !! It’s not hard ! It’s been on phones since day one !

  7. Why on earth in the recent call list does it not tell you if it was a in coming or outgoing call !!! Just with a little opposite direction arrow .this drive me mad when tying to trace calls I’ve made or received ?????? iPhone 4 thanks

  8. In addition to what Molly says about deleting individual calls….I don’t think there has to be a sneaky aspect to it either. It would be great to be able to delete telemarketer numbers off recent call lists.

  9. It would be nice if the “Photos” app that comes with the phone allowed you to organize your pictures (copy and paste) into different folders.

  10. It’s funny how 14 out of the 25 things you listed needed to updated by you. Hmmm. Guess the iPhone doesn’t really have 25 things “wrong” with it. Maybe about 11.

  11. my only issue with this phone is that when sending/receiving text messages, more than half the messages have the WRONG TIME on them?? Sometimes they are hrs ahead, or hrs behind… This is frustrating…. How are you supposed to know when that person actually sent you a message? Also, when updating a facebook status, litterally SECONDS after posting it, it read ” post created about an HOUR
    ago” !?!? What is going on here….
    Other than this issue, I love it dearly!

  12. it’s suprising there are so few recent replies to this post.
    anyway, it’s been interesting to read these, not only to see how many of the issues have now been addressed, but to remind us what was missing in the first place. the phone has come of age but there are still those few niggling issues and missing functunalities. so many of the solved problems have been through third party apps. I guess the biggest things left now are coustomizability (if that’s a word), and multitasking. happy as I am. the simple and obvious ommissions remaining for me are: lack of sms/mms sound coustimization or contact assignment (as mentioned above); call log editing (beyond me as to why this doesn’t exist. it’s only advantage is in proving you tried to call someone!); outgoing sms/mms preview ( it’s easy to accidently press send); flash support still lacking, but then is flash on it’s way out anyway?
    not bad. how about doing an update to this, post 3.1? I look forward to the new os updates but let’s keep the campaign going to help get the few remaining ommissions fixed!

  13. My primary issue with iPhone–I bought the 3G S in October 2009, without realizing some of the specific issues–is that Apple seems to be intentionally blocking its own customers from using convenient features, so they can charge for them.


    External Drive use. Before buying the iPhone 3G S, I had an HTC 6800–a very good phone. I could use the phone as an external drive, so it was easy to create folders and simply drag and drop anything into them. This was especially convenient when using the phone connected via USB. I was lucky enough to buy the Goodreader app before Apple MADE THEM REMOVE THE FEATURE that allowed for USB connections. This is an obvious and blatant move on the part of Apple to block any company but them from offering this feature.

    Ringtones. With the HTC, I could use mp3, wav, etc, as a ringtone. I could even set a complete song as a ringtone, which I liked. No need to have a shorter version taking up space. Apple requires us to purchase each ringtone for $1. There are ways around this, such as Audacity by Sourceforge to clip, then to create an iPhone ringtone, but this is something that should be free with a phone that costs as much as iPhone does. The only reason I can see for doing it the way it is being done is so Apple can make money, at the expense of its customers–both financially and convenience.

    Apple requires only its own features to be able to run all the time. Apps must be shut down for another app to open. This severely limits the functionality of some apps. Some get around this by using the Internet and Push, but that isn’t ideal.

    Apps that help with issues mentioned above:

    IM Plus Lite. FREE. Allows you to sign in to many IMs at once. The pay version adds facebook IM and another IM or two.

    Goodreader. Allows you to use the iPhone as an external drive. But, because Apple required them to remove the USB connect feature, the version you will buy today in the App Store will require connection via wireless network. Goodreader also allows for web surfing, and downloading of linked files on web pages, reading of MS Office such as Excel, Word, etc.

    ooTunes. A radio program that allows you to listen to the “radio” via Internet.

    I bought an external battery that plugs into the power slot on bottom. But, it won’t plug in when my iPhone has its OtterBox on. I keep it in my computer bag for airplane trips, etc. I have the car power supply, as well as the USB/AC supply that came with the phone.

    mp3/video player. The iPod button on the home screen of the 3G S will play both. Goodreader will also play video, including 3gp.

    Calendar: Informant is a good program, and I have it synced with Google Calendar. It does use Push technology. But, it isn’t free.

    YouTube uploads. Sign up for YouTube, and they’ll give you an email address. You can then send videos to YouTube via that. You can even link Facebook with YouTube, and any sent video will show up in Facebook as well.

    Solar power. I saw somewhere online a solar power supply for iPhone. I haven’t used it or seen it in person.

    Divx support. I don’t know how to do that. But, you can use DVD Decrypter and the program at to convert your DVDs or video files to work on iPhone, for your own personal use.

    Stereo music on bluetooth headphones. I use my Motorola S9 with iPhone, and the songs in iPod are stereo.

    I do use MMS (even has a Subject line!), and I think some of the features in the list are in the 3G S. It’s possible to delete individual text/MMS messages, I know. And individual voice messages. Not sure about the Recent Calls list.

  14. The ability to delete individual calls from the call log would be very nice. A person does not have to be sneaky to need this (as other posters have implied elsewhere), its just a nice way to manage your call back to do list.

    I don’t wanna jailbreak my phone but I’m getting there fast! I stopped deleting my msgs as it was too cumbersome sitting there tap tap.. tap tap. Meanwhile life is passing by faster than I can delete these stupid texts. 2017 txts now. The stupidity of it all is maddening! I can’t believe in the 3.0 upgrade they only gave you the ability to delete “certain parts” of the text message with-in the message? SERIOUSLY?? Who frikn cares about THAT!! “Oh- I wanna delete just this paragraph inside this text & keep the rest! Yay! dum dee dum” If I stinkn wanted to do that, I’d use the COPY & PASTE & save it in my notes! SHEESH! How hard is it ad “delete all” to the texting! 3 frikn phone releases & this has been in the top 5 requests ever since. It’s a slap tease to the face with the useless option they DID include. Still love this stupid thing though.

  16. VIRTUAL KEYBOARD: I agree about the keyboard, but how about the phone allowing the screen sensitivity to use your nail! I find it so convenient to use my nail when texting on other touchscreen phones.

    CUSTOMIZATION: People like colors and themes and I want my apps to be in the shapes of hearts instead of squares. I want a flashing light that flashes blue when it is a missed call, red with text, etc. Have specific colors aggigned to text bubbles or incoming contacts. Example: I want Allison green and Erica pink and my boyfriend blue.

    RINGTONES: I want to assign a different Ringtone for each person I receive a text from. This way I know who is texting me or even e-mailing me. We can already do this with calling. For example, I want my friend Allison to have her caller ID ringtone be “Thriller,” but I want her text message ringtone to be “Beat it.” Today, text is the formal way to communicate!

    AVATARS or CARTOONS: Be able to edit pics and make them into cartoons like that app on facebook, this way you have more animation popping up rather than boring photos.

    WARM/COLD options: Not necessary but would be cool

    FONT: Different font and color of text options as well as emocions for text messages/ hearts/faces/clovers, etc.

    CAMERA: Double camera lenses, one facing you so you can take self portraits, and one as is

    SPEAK TO TEXT: I live in Washington so it is illegal to text and drive (as it should be lol) and there should be a speak to text option for you to spell out loud what you want to say in a text and send it. Also, have a read aloud option so you know what the other person is texting as well

    WRITE OUT TEXT: The Samsung Eternity lets you use your nail to write out the letter instead of using the keyboard. Like a chalkboard

    MULTITAKER: Be able to drag apps like the Palm Pre

  17. I just bought 3 Iphones for Me, my wife, and my daughter. I love it. Didn’t realize how much I couldn’t do. I just read about the updates with 3.0 coming out this summer. It will fix most of these problems right? I do have one pet peeve. I have a dead zone inside my house. I can go outside walk about ten feet and get a signal. But inside I get no bars!!! Well when I go upstair and turn the phone a certain angle while sitting on the bed I can get 1 and a half bars. I would like to get rid of my house phone but can’t. Is there a real solution to this problem, other than moving? My daughter’s boyfriend can stand right next to me with his verizon phone and make calls all day anywhere in the house.This really sucks….

  18. I have an iPod touch 2nd generation….I’m wondering if switching to an iPhone would be better…(my phone is broken) this article has helped a lot:)thnx

  19. RE: MFRTRUCKER – You will be able to send/receive pictures via MMS once the 3.0 update comes out this summer, and you can already send and receive pictures via email just fine now. Not too sure about videos, though.

  20. Oh cry a little more. The 3.0 update takes care of most of those issues. People will just find something to complain about regardless of how good a product is. People are just plain ignorant of what the phone can do. One person said “Ilove the iphone design, but when i read the review i was fedup with the features. There is no
    1. USB data cable
    2. FM Radio
    3. MP3/Video player
    4. Storage feature”

    Oh really, it is an mp3/video player. It comes with a USB data cable. You can install an app to listen to the radio. You can install an app to use the internal memory as storage. Do some reading people, most of the things in this list are far from being accurate and who really cares about not being able to crop a photo on the phone. Give me a break.

  21. What I am hearing (reading) is.the camera sucks. Can you send pictures or videos with texting.Just bought a 16g and not sure I want to keep it. I really enjoy getting pictures of our great grandaughter while trucking

  22. thanks a lot chris i was just going to buy the apple i phone but now after reading the above 25 pionts i,ll not buy this phone once again thank u so much

  23. My company just told me I had to pick between a Blackberry and an iphone. If it weren’t for screen size, I would have not picked blackberry. Not able to upgrade memory with transflash is a huge issue for me. No Video camera and very poor camera. no voice commands, the guy at At and t told me you couldn’t use a stylus…but thanks to other sources I found out differently. I wont have a week of patience to train the keyboard…etc. I haven’t gotten the phone yet, it will be a week, but I am sure I will find other things as listed above, as well. Thanks for all the info.

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