iphone gripes

I got an iPhone mid-December, and posted several places about two weeks later a short list of gripes, both with the phone and with AT&T. This was written at update 1.1.2; we're now at 1.1.5, and somewhat improved. Here's the repost, with updates in italics.

iPhone issues, from more important to nearly meaningless:

  • Once every other day or so, it jams. Half the time it eventually comes back after about a minute, the other half of the time it requires a reboot. Edit: Fixed by an update. 1.1.14?
  • No reception at work. Edit: Still no luck. No reception on large chunks of highway 295, inside the Beltway in Washington, DC. I work on 295.
  • It doesn't sync via bluetooth. Not even contacts or calendars. Edit: No change. This makes me consider a jailbreak.
  • No chat client. Assuming I can use a web client, but this one just seems silly not to have on the main screen. Edit: No change. Assuming the upcoming SDK (released yesterday) will help out?
  • Safari doesn't save my logins/passwords, so I get to retype them every time. Think if you had to re-login to LJ every time you got a reply via email. Edit: Some folks commented this is specific to me. I don't know.
  • Added later:It doesn't support my Motorola S9 Headset when using it as an iPod. Would have liked to listen to my music while I was jogging with the headset I already own. Edit: Apple Support said "too bad", this one isn't even close to in the works. That confuses me.
  • No Flash player. YouTube works, but nothing else. Edit: No plans for a Flash player, ever. Apple considers Flash 'too slow'. That feels like an excuse.
  • I have an enormous amount of storage space... that it doesn't allow me to use as storage space. How hard would it be to enable this as a USB drive? Edit: Nope.
  • The EDGE network, what it uses when WiFi is unavailable, is really really slow. Edit: New models will have the next network up. Good to hear.
  • Photo-feature doesn't integrate well at all with Flickr. The camera is very sensitive to shaky hands. Since there's no tactile feedback and it's not a flipphone, it's hard to take a self-picture. Edit: iPhoto with the FlickrExport plugin is about as well as I'm going to do.
  • Until they open the SDK, no games, and very little offline content. Edit: June.
  • Half the apps support the phone being turned sideways. The other half, not so much. Edit: Nothing yet. Hoping this gets pushed into mail.app sooner instead of later, as sending email is painfully slow with the smaller keyboard.
  • In the weather application, it takes me a minute or two of trying to press the button to get to the setup screen. I don't know if my screen is dead there or I'm physically incompetent. Edit: That part of the screen is a wee bit off; a sharp poke with the pinkie finger does fine here.
And, for cheery counterpoint, the good stuff.
  • The camera does take a damn nice picture if I brace it on something first.
  • Google Maps. Weather. Stocks. YouTube. Sync with Google Calendar. IMAP/POP/Exchange mail.
  • I repeat: all of that earlier stuff, with a convenient and well-thought-out interface.
  • iPod. An 8 gig iPod, with solid-state memory and an easier-than-ever interface with coverflow.
  • WiFi. This is money. If they (A) open the SDK and (B) allow Skype, this could be ludicrously cool. Edit: SDK, yes. VOIP, probably no.
  • It holds 1000 text messages. My Verizon phone held 50.
  • Call forwarding. Verizon didn't have this, but I can punch a number for it to forward to. For example, my desk number when the reception doesn't allow the phone to work at work.
  • A usage counter that shows me how long I've used the phone during this billing cycle. Another thing Verizon left out.
  • The sound quality, from reports of folks I've talked to, is "far superior", "much clearer", and "wow" better than my last phone. This is heartwarming.
  • edit: Airplane Mode, which shuts off transmission, is kinda nice. It'd be nicer if I had more than a small number of offline applications to work with. :)
Edit: And now an add on about AT&T.

The service and reception I'm seeing are far, far worse than Verizon's coverage here. AT&T actually signed me up for two accounts, then billed both accounts to my old address that they received from Verizon. After shutting off my service, I called, fixed the address, paid, and was fine.

A month later, the second account they signed me up for defaulted, went to collections, and I found that out via an early-AM phone call from West Credit Management Services. This irked me, and I'm *still* trying to get the last trace of this off one of my credit reports. "Absolutely livid" may describe my thoughts towards AT&T. Recalling this makes me cranky, at the very least.

Meanwhile, I can't quite understand how AT&T, Verizon, and other large companies charge so much, when smaller carriers like Cricket charge so little. $50/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited wireless web, and then $0.10/minute for roaming outside of their core coverage area. DC isn't one of their areas, so I'm stuck there.

All in all, I'll probably downgrade to a much less expensive phone when my contract is up.

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