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iPhone Apps and Features Request

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
It seems like the biggest complaint remaining about the iPhone is the lack of certain native software features (not hardware features). This thread is dedicated for the listing of the native features you'd like to see, as well as third-party and native apps you'd like to see.

I'll start the list off with a few things things I've heard people request:

Native feaures
  • Copy/paste functions
  • Search across the entire device
  • Hands-free functions & Voice activated commands/dialing
  • MMS/multimedia messaging
  • Video capture
  • Record and export tools (i.e. for recording phone calls or exporting SMS messaging)
  • Automatic location-based settings (i.e. volume of ringtone, etc.)
  • Horizontal keyboard layout option for most apps

Third-Party
  • Instant Messaging (although this is certain to be available as a free app, for instance, Adium plans to create an iPhone app, it would be nice to have a native client like iChat)
  • An fitness/athletics app that builds and tracks work-outs, gives tips, and uses GPS to track distance and pace for hiking, running, biking, etc.
post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

It seems like the biggest complaint remaining about the iPhone is the lack of certain native software features (not hardware features). This thread is dedicated for the listing of the native features you'd like to see, as well as third-party and native apps you'd like to see.

I'll start the list off with a few things things I've heard people request:

Native feaures
  • Copy/paste functions
  • Search across the entire device
  • Hands-free functions & Voice activated commands/dialing
  • MMS/multimedia messaging
  • Video capture
  • Record and export tools (i.e. for recording phone calls or exporting SMS messaging)
  • Automatic location-based settings (i.e. volume of ringtone, etc.)
  • Horizontal keyboard across the board (for every app)

Third-Party
  • Instant Messaging (although this is certain to be available as a free app, for instance, Adium plans to create an iPhone app, it would be nice to have a native client like iChat)
  • An fitness/athletics app that builds and tracks work-outs, gives tips, and uses GPS to track distance and pace for hiking, running, biking, etc.

Looks like there's plenty of room for app developers to find a niche and dominate in these areas (with both free and for-pay apps).

What makes me happiest however, is the knowledge that Android is making tremendous strides and there is the promise of tons of competitive pressure on Apple to improve the iPhone and apps. Competition rules.

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post #3 of 40
If Apple made these apps they'd have give them away for free to all iPhone users, and they'd have to spend a lot of time and effort creating them. If they leave it open for third parties they can sit back with their legs up and take 30 off the top. Bastards!

As for copy & paste, Steve needs a good smack in the head cause we need that. And it's not something that a third party can provide and be approved.

Although there are a few other items on that list that would be tricky if not impossible for third parties to provide also.

You guys did see my post where I solved copy & paste right?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

If Apple made these apps they'd have give them away for free to all iPhone users, and they'd have to spend a lot of time and effort creating them. If they leave it open for third parties they can sit back with their legs up and take 30 off the top. Bastards! [/B]

You have a colorful way with words, Ireland!

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post #5 of 40
i think it is great that the device is faster but as an original owner, I am not motivated to buy a new phone. I am hopeful that the app store will have some of the features that I find really helpful but I have to be honest and say i am overly impressed! The Exchange stuff will be good on the corporate side but Apple still has some big misses on that side. Hopefully the Apple store will fill the gap
post #6 of 40
voice dialing is a software not a hardware issue.....correct, if so then we will see them in spades come apps store.
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post #7 of 40
I am not impressed with the new iPhone. Lucky for them, its rather cheap; therefore I will buy one, as will many others. I use the Internet a lot, so 3G is very nice and hopefully the audio is tremendously improved because I constantly miss calls. What disappoints me is the lack of video capture and flash support.

The main reason I'm buying the new one is that my girlfriend loves my iPhone so I'm selling it to her for $100 so I can get more storage space(16GB). The 3G and "improved" audio are just plusses. So basically I'm killing 2 birds with one stone.
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post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

I am not impressed with the new iPhone. Lucky for them, its rather cheap; therefore I will buy one, as will many others. I use the Internet a lot, so 3G is very nice and hopefully the audio is tremendously improved because I constantly miss calls. What disappoints me is the lack of video capture and flash support.

The main reason I'm buying the new one is that my girlfriend loves my iPhone so I'm selling it to her for $100 so I can get more storage space(16GB). The 3G and "improved" audio are just plusses. So basically I'm killing 2 birds with one stone.

Whether you're impressed or not, at least you're buying one. But... dude... "selling" your old phone to your girlfriend? \

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post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Whether you're impressed or not, at least you're buying one. But... dude... "selling" your old phone to your girlfriend? \

LOL, I know I guy like that. He wanted his girlfriend to pay him for his laptop which he bought second hand. It was a Dell, and was about 8 years old.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 40
Bet that relation doesn't last much longer.

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post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

What disappoints me is the lack of video capture and flash support.

Full flash on a mobile platform would be incredible slow.

Although the option to have video capture would be nice, your 16GB would much sooner be used and the video quality is going to such anyways.
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Bet that relation doesn't last much longer.

Nearly 3 years strong. The point is that neither of us have "the money" to buy new iPhones so we came up with this solution.



No need to be an ass clown about it. Besides, it was her idea to buy it. I could sell it for more on ebay, however that wouldn't benefit her now would it?
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post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

LOL, I know I guy like that. He wanted his girlfriend to pay him for his laptop which he bought second hand. It was a Dell, and was about 8 years old.

I am nothing like that guy you know. The iPhone is a few months old and is in pristine condition and I just got back from our $2200 Disney vacation that I paid for entirely.
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post #14 of 40
UMA service support.

The carriers may need convincing, but now that they don't have to share revenue and seem to have received other concessions, maybe Apple could push this on them.

And video capture would be nice.

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post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

Nearly 3 years strong. The point is that neither of us have "the money" to buy new iPhones so we came up with this solution.

Want some water to wash your foot down your mouth?

No need to be an ass clown about it. Besides, it was her idea to buy it. I could sell it for more on ebay, however that wouldn't benefit her now would it.

I wasn't talking about you! I was responding to Ireland:
Quote:
LOL, I know I guy like that. He wanted his girlfriend to pay him for his laptop which he bought second hand. It was a Dell, and was about 8 years old.

Anything people post on these boards is potential fodder for criticism as you can see... but if you're new to this board you may not have caught on yet.

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post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I wasn't talking about you! I was responding to Ireland:


Anything people post on these boards is potential fodder for criticism as you can see... but if you're new to this board you may not have caught on yet.

I'm not new to this board. I realize everyone is a critic. I've been a member to various boards for years. I just hate when people make assumptions on things they know NOTHING about and try to raise their ego. besides, its only the Internet board.
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post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

I'm not new to this board. I realize everyone is a critic. I've been a member to various boards for years. I just hate when people make assumptions on things they know NOTHING about and try to raise their ego. besides, its only the Internet board.

Likewise. Thanks for the "ass clown" comment, btw.

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post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Likewise. Thanks for the "ass clown" comment, btw.

my bad. I take that back, I've been around long enough to know you're a respected member of this board. Btw, I did see the shmuck comment as well before you edited it.
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post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

I could sell it for more on ebay

Doubtful.
post #20 of 40
Alright, boys, back on topic now.

Personally, I am thrilled with the new iPhone - primarily because I can finally get my hands on one here in Japan! My wife and I both are getting 16GBs; asked our local electronics shop (which has a cell phone shop inside) to order for us as soon as they come available.

That amazing music app that was previewed (luv the blues) shows some of the power of the iPhone in creating audio, so I am sure that it is a matter of time before more recording apps come available. Screen capture might come, too, with something like Snapz. A simple sketch program would be awesome.

Yeah, it needs video capture. My current phone, which is four (just checked) years old, has it, but with a 1 megapixel cam.

The cam could also be improved; I was seriously considering the new Sony model that has a 5.1 MP cam, but would buy an iPhone any day for other reasons.

 

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post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

I am nothing like that guy you know. The iPhone is a few months old and is in pristine condition and I just got back from our $2200 Disney vacation that I paid for entirely.

Yeah but when you were there she caught you looking that other girl up on down didn't she!?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Alright, boys, back on topic now.

Personally, I am thrilled with the new iPhone - primarily because I can finally get my hands on one here in Japan! My wife and I both are getting 16GBs; asked our local electronics shop (which has a cell phone shop inside) to order for us as soon as they come available.

That amazing music app that was previewed (luv the blues) shows some of the power of the iPhone in creating audio, so I am sure that it is a matter of time before more recording apps come available. Screen capture might come, too, with something like Snapz. A simple sketch program would be awesome.

Yeah, it needs video capture. My current phone, which is four (just checked) years old, has it, but with a 1 megapixel cam.

The cam could also be improved; I was seriously considering the new Sony model that has a 5.1 MP cam, but would buy an iPhone any day for other reasons.

So, are you Japanese? If so, I never knew that. If not, what brings you to Japan. Just out of curiosity.

Side-question aside, now the post:

As a photographer (by hobby, not by profession), I own a dSLR (Nikon D80, I'm hoping to upgrade to the D300 if I can sell my D80 for a decent price and have enough money), and a few compacts for portability/casual shooting. That info isn't really related, but it just provides background for my perspective. It always bothers me when people have high expectations for cell phone cameras. For the same reason that I have shitty (compared to my dSLR) point and shoot cameras is because there is a benefit to having a portable camera where you don't care so much about picture quality but rather just getting SOMETHING that looks ok. In this sense, I feel that SLRs are to compacts as compacts are to cell phone cameras. The point of a cell phone camera is not to get great photos, but just to capture a moment of spontaneity, or for the phone features (i.e. pictures for contacts). It will be a long time before cell phones are even par with even point-and-shoot cameras, and I don't think they'll ever replace them entirely.

A few reasons why camera phones suck:
  • Cost. Good cameras are still expensive: the better the camera, the more expensive. Of course point-and-shoots are not all that expensive as stand-alone products, but as part of a cell phone, you're talking about a pretty good percentage of a camera's component cost. Cell phone makers don't want to integrate a great camera if it's half the component cost of the camera.
  • Size. It's true what they say. Size does matter. A cell phone, unlike an a camera, unlike a iPod (unless you have an iPhone!) you take everywhere and you need almost everywhere. It matters to people if they're carrying around a hefty and bulky brick in their purse or pocket! Good cameras are heavy, and good cameras take up space. Space that's really critical in a product like a cell phone.
  • Optics. What does sex have in common with lenses? The bigger the better. Jokes aside, larger lenses have far superior optics. That means better, sharper pictures. You simply can't have a big lens in a cell phone. That would be like a this (south park reference, viewer discretion advised).
  • Light. Cell phones do poorly in low-light settings causing dark, blurry, or shaky photos. Again, this has to do with size. Many cell phone sensors don't actually have a real aperture, but rather a digital aperture. As in, the cell phone records what the sensor sees for a given period of time, but no aperture is physically opening or closing. This is a good thing in one sense because it means the aperture is always at it's maximum so the most light is getting to the sensor and the light is adjusted digitally though the sensor. But what's bad about this is that the sensor is really small so not a whole lot of light is getting there. New sensor technologies are drastically improving low light performance in cell phone camera chips, but the techs not to market yet and is still more expensive). Also having to do with light, flashes are generally too weak to be effective, and even if they are strong enough, they're too close the the lens causing bad color and red eye.
  • Resolution. High resolution is good because it captures more detail, allows you to crop later (therefore not require zoom), and generally lends to better quality photos. But the best resolution with the worst optics and lighting still makes for a shitty picture. You're essentially wasting great resolution when there ain't the mojo to back it up. That's why I always laugh when I see these 10MP point-and-shoot cameras with tiny lenses because those cameras are so much worse than a 6MP dSLR. It's like having a super efficient air conditioning unit with the least efficient coil. The entire efficiency is limited by the (lack of) efficiency of the coil. Also, another important thing to note is that you have to QUADRUPLE the megapixel to DOUBLE the resolution. A 10 Megapixel camera is not twice as good as a 5 megapixel camera, it's 25% better (in terms of resolution).
  • Performance. This is becoming much less true every day, but it's still a mild concern. And that is to say that powering a good camera requires extra juice that's already being taken up by other functions of a cell phone: talk time and more and more, data, entertainment (music and videos), and the internet.

Sorry for the long and laborious-to-read post, but I thought I might explain my thoughts fully. And for the reasons above, that's why I'm happy Apple isn't wasting money putting a 5MP sensor in the iPhone. In the future better cell phone cameras will be a good upgrade path, but not now.

P.S. – I haven't proof read my post, so please excuse the embarassing typos that are sure to be there.
post #23 of 40
That is a thorough reply. I have several cameras myself (Canon XTi still, Canon HV30 video, Olympus Myu still) and see the good and bad in all. My cell phone's is horrid, simply put, but it's old; the new ones at the shop down town aren't bad - for being cell phone cams. The Olympus Myu was bought so I could have a decent and easily portable camera compared to the XTi, but will never replace it for many shots. I just want something much better (that won't be hard) than my current phone cam so that I can stop carrying the Myu even. I take hotos sometimes for integration into my teaching materials and sometimes just for inspiration. Mostly that latter is spur-of the moment, thus portability being a concern. If the shot looks right, I return with my XTi and HD video camera.

BTW: Moved to Japan almost 20 years ago from the US. Love it here and have no plans to go back.

 

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post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Yeah, it needs video capture. My current phone, which is four (just checked) years old, has it, but with a 1 megapixel cam.

The cam could also be improved; I was seriously considering the new Sony model that has a 5.1 MP cam, but would buy an iPhone any day for other reasons.

So there was all that speculation about a front-facing cam for iChat / video messaging. I was kind of looking forward to using that functionality. Anyone have any thoughts about 3rd party accessories ... like a clip-on camera (and the requisite software to enable video calls) - maybe it could be part of an alternative dock.

What about other accessories? Sure the headphone-socket issue has now been resolved, but what other cool / weird / ugly accessories might we see emerge from the iPhone / iPod ecosystem?
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Doubtful.

Doubtful? Check it. As of this time they are going between $230-480.
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post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post

So there was all that speculation about a front-facing cam for iChat / video messaging. I was kind of looking forward to using that functionality. Anyone have any thoughts about 3rd party accessories ... like a clip-on camera (and the requisite software to enable video calls) - maybe it could be part of an alternative dock.

What about other accessories? Sure the headphone-socket issue has now been resolved, but what other cool / weird / ugly accessories might we see emerge from the iPhone / iPod ecosystem?

I was really surprised they left this out. In Canada Rogers and Fido (our only 3G providers) are pushing video calling/conferencing as one of the best advantages of 3G. I expect ATT in the US is doing the same. With iChat being a heavily used application on Macs for video conferencing and the chat client build into the iPhone, it seemed likely that they would add video conferencing/calling to the new iPhone.

I think one of the reasons they may have left it off is to have a gotta-have feature for the next iteration. iPhone2 was named iPhone 3G because that is the cornerstone feature for this release. By omitting video chat for now, they can add it to the next revision and call it the iPhone Video or some such thing. Video chat/recording will be it's must have feature, giving iPhone/iPhone3G buyers a compelling reason to upgrade to the next version. While it may not be on the radar for lots of users now, by adding it as the cornerstone feature of the next release, they make it a must-have feature and encourage upgrades. I can't think of many other features that people could be as easily convinced is a must-have feature, even if they don't think so now.

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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

my bad. I take that back, I've been around long enough to know you're a respected member of this board. Btw, I did see the shmuck comment as well before you edited it.

Sorry, guess we both lost our tempers. No harm, no foul.

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post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Footloose301 View Post

Doubtful? Check it. As of this time they are going between $230-480.

Clearly there will still be high demand for the first gen iPhone due to it's easy hackability. They won't soon disappear.

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post #29 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post

So there was all that speculation about a front-facing cam for iChat / video messaging. I was kind of looking forward to using that functionality. Anyone have any thoughts about 3rd party accessories ... like a clip-on camera (and the requisite software to enable video calls) - maybe it could be part of an alternative dock.

What about other accessories? Sure the headphone-socket issue has now been resolved, but what other cool / weird / ugly accessories might we see emerge from the iPhone / iPod ecosystem?

The problem with the front-facing came for video messaging is:
  1. People are self-concious and don't generally like video of themselves, especially when it's live video.
  2. People like to multi-task when talking on their phone.
  3. The bandwidth required to do video chat wouldn't be possible over the cell network meaning that it could only be done with Wi-Fi making it very limited.
  4. Most people don't have the software or hardware to do video chats from phone to phone or even phone to computer.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

The problem with the front-facing came for video messaging is:
  1. People are self-concious and don't generally like video of themselves, especially when it's live video.
  2. People like to multi-task when talking on their phone.
  3. The bandwidth required to do video chat wouldn't be possible over the cell network meaning that it could only be done with Wi-Fi making it very limited.
  4. Most people don't have the software or hardware to do video chats from phone to phone or even phone to computer.

so what i want it......you can throttle down the ichat rate to 200kbs (i did this at a hotel because it had slow broadband). i wouldn't have to take me laptop and deal with airport security mess
and i want my kids to see my face, we used it just for that and made my wife actually thank me for getting her a macbook.
video chat should be part of every grandparents home, parent etc, you can do many things this way without having to have a laptop. education, medicine, visiting your son/daughter in iraq etc. it would be huge and will be coming maybe after jan.

i think apple waited for ichat av because att asked them to, so they have more time to roll out 3g everywhere
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post #31 of 40
Apple could have implemented a swiveling camera lens instead of a fixed lens...

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post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple could have implemented a swiveling camera lens instead of a fixed lens...

Eh, it's a solution, but not a very elegant one. I really hate moving parts like that.
post #33 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

so what i want it......you can throttle down the ichat rate to 200kbs (i did this at a hotel because it had slow broadband). i wouldn't have to take me laptop and deal with airport security mess
and i want my kids to see my face, we used it just for that and made my wife actually thank me for getting her a macbook.
video chat should be part of every grandparents home, parent etc, you can do many things this way without having to have a laptop. education, medicine, visiting your son/daughter in iraq etc. it would be huge and will be coming maybe after jan.

i think apple waited for ichat av because att asked them to, so they have more time to roll out 3g everywhere

Yes, there are a few uses for video chat, but for the majority of people it would be useless and the market isn't ready yet. Also, I strongly suspect that AT&T would throw a fit if Apple wanted to allow video chat over 3G. In the eyes of the carriers, current video content (like with V-Cast) streamed to phones works because users uses pay big bucks for it.
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Eh, it's a solution, but not a very elegant one. I really hate moving parts like that.

It's not my favorite either, but it's mind-boggling why Apple hasn't corrected this fundamental error.

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post #35 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's not my favorite either, but it's mind-boggling why Apple hasn't corrected this fundamental error.

I would use the word "simple" rather than "fundamental," and I also don't believe it to be an error. Most people would prefer a camera where the lens is on the back, not a front-facing camera. Two cameras would be overkill right now and a solution with moveable parts would be crude.
post #36 of 40
[QUOTE=icfireball;1263557]

As a photographer (by hobby, not by profession), I own a dSLR (Nikon D80, I'm hoping to upgrade to the D300 if I can sell my D80 for a decent price and have enough money), and a few compacts for portability/casual shooting. ..........



The camera in a phone is just a convenience toy. The lenses inevitably collect lint. But an image can be captured and people are tied to their phones. By the way - I too use a D80 - wrapped. cant decide between the DX 12-24 or 14-24 or fixed 14. Any experience with any of these. The 12-24 has the good balance but I am concerned about chromatic aberrations at 12mm.
post #37 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XzemplarY View Post

The camera in a phone is just a convenience toy. The lenses inevitably collect lint. But an image can be captured and people are tied to their phones. By the way - I too use a D80 - wrapped. cant decide between the DX 12-24 or 14-24 or fixed 14. Any experience with any of these. The 12-24 has the good balance but I am concerned about chromatic aberrations at 12mm.

Yep, that's pretty much the cliff notes version of my post.

I have the 18-200mm VR lens. It's a fantastic zoom lens with excellent image quality. Of course fixed lenses will always have superior image quality, but for my purposes, I don't usually need a fixed lens. It would be great to get a fixed telephoto for some sports stuff, but I don't make much money off my photos so I can't justify the expense.
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

voice dialing is a software not a hardware issue.....correct, if so then we will see them in spades come apps store.

Unless you plan on unlocking the phone, and opening an app every time you are ready to use voice dialing, it won't work because Apple won't allow background processes. The current voice dialing app out there replaces the double button press that normally goes to the favorites and must run in the background to do so.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitespecter View Post

Unless you plan on unlocking the phone, and opening an app every time you are ready to use voice dialing, it won't work because Apple won't allow background processes. The current voice dialing app out there replaces the double button press that normally goes to the favorites and must run in the background to do so.

this is such a huge issue i think there will be some workaround or compromise, i've got to have this before i jump to the iphone, so the app store will make or break my decision, see i've used my v551 for long time, i can wait. do i want gps? sure, 3g sure but i don't want to compromise my safety, and in CA it's the law (handsfree) as in many states. does my v551 with BT have an app running in the background, how does this do it, basically i push a button on my BT car kit, and it starts the process, i don't think it needs to run in the background as long as it loads and quits on cue.
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post #40 of 40
[QUOTE=icfireball;1264211]Yep, that's pretty much the cliff notes version of my post.



Thanks
I too have the 18-200. Such a useful lens. I also lashed out and got the 105macroVR, MAN! Wonderful portrait lens - thoroughly recommend it.

Pity iPhone doesn't have microSD to exchange pic, video and music. Big drawback! I will wait until it does - then it will be an inseparable personal accessory. Personally, a curious omission particularly with capacities exceeding 16gig now and 256gig recently rumoured for SD.

Happy snapping
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