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Suggestions for improving iPhone’s current features

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This thread is intended for members to provide suggestions for how Apple can improve iPhone’s current features. In other words, this is not the best place to express what new features you want added to the iPhone, such as video recording or sending picture messages. This thread was started in the hopes of providing ways to let iPhone users give suggestions to improving already existing features, such as streamlining the user interface, or otherwise making what the iPhone already does – better.

With that said, although I have yet to purchase an iPhone I was able to visit the local Apple retail store and trying out several of their 4GB models. Although email wasn’t set up this still allowed me to spend time testing some of its features. What follows is merely my impressions of the 4GB iPhone and two brief suggestions on improving it, software wise. I hope that other members will participate in this thread as well.

Note : The local stores have sold out their 8GB iPhones and that is the only reason I don’t have one. I’m already sold on the iPhone. My suggestions are merely that – suggestions.

#1 – Safari

Although even the Windows XP beta version of Safari has the option, “display images when the page opens”, the iPhone does not have that option. This means the user has to tolerate all web pages loading with images – always, which can make using the iPhone over a slow network even slower.

I suggest improving iPhone’s Safari by adding the option “display images when the page opens”. For your favorite websites, chances are you are so familiar with their layout that the absence of images would be worth the increase in raw surfing speed. Over time, it might make a noticeable difference in battery usage. Besides, when accessing a faster network a user can just turn the "display images" option back on.


#2 - Stocks

As the iPhone stands right now, when adding a stock the new listing automatically goes to the bottom of the stocks list and there isn’t any way to change that. They are not placed in alphabetical order. If you want three stocks to be at the top of the Stocks list you have to delete all the stocks and then add them in the order you want them to appear. This becomes increasingly time consuming when particular stocks become more interesting during the week and you would prefer seeing them at a glance rather than scrolling down a long list.

I suggest improving Stocks with the ability to drag any stock up or down the Stocks list, just like reordering your Contacts Favorites list. It would also be nice to have a button which resets the list in alphabetical order, if you want it to.

For those of you that have actually used or own the iPhone - what do you think of these suggestions? Do you have other suggestions?
post #2 of 3
The line between new features and improving ones is a thin one. My list does, however, work towards improving the experience rather then adding new applications or extra hardware (new UI features though, are up for grabs).

Some are mine, some are from various places around the web that I agree with.
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Double tap Home for the Phone Favorites list. The one real knock I have against the Phone app is that Favorites versus regular speed dial is a few too many taps.

Copy/Paste: Newton-ish. After you copy something the pasteboard overlay automatically pops up. This provides a dozen pasteboards for you to stick your copied item into. When you want to paste you simply use (say) glide your finger into the left corner to trigger the pasteboard overlay. You can either drag it straight out of a pasteboard or tap them to view their contents (tapping a new one automatically closes the old one) until you find the right one.

There are various ways to go about text selection: http://www.kottke.org/07/07/new-iphone-features

Gestures: Home screen icon. You tap it and are presented with a 4/5 blank screen to perform your custom gesture in. Two buttons at the top allow you to edit old gestures and create new ones.

SMS tone should be louder and more persistenttoo easy to miss texts. The alert options (ringtones, vibrate options, messaging alerts, etc.) are not fine-grained enough.

Two-finger single tap for zoom out (maps only) should be expanded. Would allow double tap to be set for zoom in only. Swipe to delete should be set for all deletion.

Multi-email deletionkilling emails one at a time is a hassle.

Consistent backgrounds: slate blue theme (mail, SMS, calendar, maps, Safari, settings), black theme (stocks, weather), combination blue/black theme (phone, iPod, YouTube, clock), straight gray theme (photos, camera), app-specific theme (calculator, notes). Missing-data-background is inconsistent: checkerboard in Safari, line grid in Google maps.
-Standardize or offer a small selection of options.

Allow pictures and photos to be downloaded to Photos.

Landscape keyboard in all text entry apps. When keyboard is open it should rotate if you rotate the phone (it doesn't in Safari).

Make autospelling for all text entry programs.

Either a back button or a hot corner activated breadcrumb navigation feature.

Editable added word dictionary app (even if only back on the home computer).

Optional unified inbox for SMS/voicemail/email.

Optional unified inbox for multiple email accounts.

The calculator should not destroy your entire current calculation when you press "C," instead it should do what calculators have done for the last 20 years or so which is to eliminate the current entry with one press, performing a Clear ALL only upon a second press.

Ability to add way points to routes in the Maps application, especially with the new move a route with your cursor feature just introduced in Google Maps.

Multiple calendars.

It'd be nice to be able to change the order of weather widgets.

What about a decent email program - one that doesn't pretty much force quoting the full email, and putting one's reply at the top? I'm of the old school that says "quote then reply", as well as "trim anything unnecessary"

Email:
-The POP mail you read on your iPhone does not show up as read in Mail.app after sync.
-Sent messages on your iPhone are not synced to Mail.app's sent folder.
-The iPhone keeps its own set of non-contact addresses you manually enter -- these are not copied over from Mail.app.
-Reorder Email Accounts in list
-Spam Filter and/or Email Rules, filters in Mail.app are not applied to incoming mail on the iPhone
-There is no BCC.
-Messages on IMAP cannot even be marked as read.
-No ability "mark all / selected" as read.
-No spellcheck. (auto-correction is not enough)
-Users can only download and view the latest 200 messages from their server -- there is no "retrieve all" messages option.
-Threaded email.

One enhancement to the iPhone might be to allow the volume switch to be used to expand and shrink displays much like the single finger jab and the two finger squeeze and spreading actions do. The advantage of this is it allows a one hand operation when holding the phone. In addition by tipping the iPhone left, right, up and down could instruct the iPhone's software to slide the display around, thus allowing this to be a one handed operation as well.

Concerning the "suggest option" feature, many times I miss or simply don't see the "suggest option" which is much higher up, especially when not in landscape view. Because of this it would be seem to me the best place (in addition to current practice) to make the word suggestion would be on the "space" bar itself. The space bar is wide enough for long words and the suggested word could magically appear with the "space" text fading out. The space bar is also more in focus with the eyes as one types on the keyboard. A simple touch on the space bar's suggested word fills in the incompleted typed text. This should also be intuitive as well as being highly visible to the focused eye. The suggested word if higlighted in, say red. will be even more visible.

Market Felt and Notes that don't sync? Stupid.

TV shows should sync better. This is silly and obvious and easy to fix (do not sync by date downloaded).

Ability to open links in new pages would be nice.

The Google Maps display shows subway stops but not the full system map.

Let Safari be set as a mobile browser (yes, yes WAP sucks but it's usually faster to read).
post #3 of 3
You should be able to sort texts by groups or folders.
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