Today was day 2 of major announcements in technology, Apple’s iPhone 3.0 Software Preview (video of full announcement should be up on that link soon). For me, the past two days have been quite busy on multiple fronts with all the announcements being just one of them. When days like this occur I end up finding interesting sites and leaving browser tabs open until my computer starts to scream “no more!”. So I’m hitting things in reverse and posting some thoughts on the Apple announcements before I post my thoughts on yesterday’s Cisco announcement (then I can close some of my browser tabs).
First, if you don’t want to sit through the video of the Apple Preview, check out the archive of live comments from engadget (scroll to the bottom on work up) or Don MacAksill’s live twittering.
Second, I have to classify myself as a business-geek users of my iPhone and my comments will flow from this classification. I use it primarily for business items like monitoring exchange email, moving between meetings in my exchange calendar, and doing more calls that I care to admit in a day. But I love it for the fact that I can all my geek stuff on it as well because it is an application platform (much like my old Palm Treo was). Using applications like a Twitter client, WordPress client, Webex client, Netflix client, and others social networking clients allow me to interact will all the web services I want or need. And then all the photo applications to allow me to extend my photography addiction to the phone. All that being said, it’s the business side of stuff that really drives my use (not to mention pays the bills for the iPhone).
So, here is a list of the major pains that I was hoping would be fixed in 3.0:
- The ability to click on a phone number in emails and outlook calendar invites to dial a number! Since copy/paste has never been available, I always expected at least this feature, especially considering my blackberry could do this…
- Landscape mode in email and all apps I need to type in. I have fat fingers, the portrait mode keys on the iPhone are small. And the spell correction can be annoying with the combination of both. (Fixed)
- Fix the lag with larger Contact databases. There are times when opening or working with my contacts just hangs. When 2.0 was released I heard that it was because the system wasn’t designed for large contacts lists. I work in sales, I have thousands of contacts in my phone and I never know which ones I may need.
- Fix the contact search feature. This scrolling to find someone is such a waste of time. The search feature works much better because after typing 3 characters I usually see the person I’m looking for (see previous bullet item). But the search area scrolls off the screen. Allow me to lock it to the screen so it is my default view. My Treo excelled at this.
- Tethering: there are still times when I need to have my laptop connected to the internet to accomplish something while I’m out and mobile (though less frequently now that the WebEx client is available), give me this safety net.
So, from what I can tell…25% of what I want is in 3.0.
Here are the other items I think are important from this release:
- Copy/Paste. I don’t buy the excuse of “security was an issue” as to why it took so long to have this. This has always been a black eye on the iPhone. BTW: I still want clickable phone numbers in calendar invites…and I want it to auto dial the passcode for conference lines (since I’m asking).
- Landscape mode (as mentioned above)
- universal search. But what would be nice is if you could build search filters that could be linked to a button on the spotlight home screen. Maybe I want to search just contacts and calendars when I type something in to cut the huge list of results. Would be nice if I could just have a customized filter button below my search window..type the text and then my custom filter button to see my results.
- Voice Memos: this is nice, but will need to see how this is different from other voice recording apps currently available (Jott, Evernote). Now this is where Apple needs to be careful not ot add built in apps that will alienate their app developers.
I should be interesting to see how app developers use the new APIs and features..I can already see some interesting things coming with the peer to peer capability. Can’t wait for the free upgrade.