It’s that time of year again: time for Apple to introduce its next generation of iPhone. Soon there will be a huge market for the older models, like the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. I bought my first smart phone, the iPhone 4S, about a year ago. For the most part, I like it, but like anything else, it has its share of quirks. After 11 months with my 4S, I’ve compiled a list of my biggest iPhone annoyances.
Why is the back glass?
I like the physical design for the most part. However, there is one big thing that annoys me. Why is the back glass? I understand that the screen is glass. A plastic screen would scratch more easily and be harder to read. Glass screens make sense, but why is the back glass? Sure it looks pretty, but just about everyone who has an iPhone has a case. Why? Because the back of the phone is friggin’ glass!
I’m amazed when I see Apple ads touting Siri. I’ll admit, I had a lot of fun with voice recognition system service when I first got my phone. Sure it was fun to ask her the meaning of life, or how much wood a woodchuck could chuck, but getting her to do anything useful was another story. For example, iOS 5.0 is integrated with Twitter, but Siri can’t Tweet. iOS 6.0 is supposed to fix this, but there are other problems. I’m still optimistic about Siri, but it may take years until she/it is more than a toy.
I can’t delete the default apps
The first iPhone didn’t have third party apps. Everything was built in. This meant that Apple had to include apps for email, web browsing, weather, stocks, etc. But nowadays, with millions of apps in the App Store, many of them free, there are better apps than Apple could make. But you can’t delete the default apps. I understand why Apple wouldn’t want me to delete the Phone app or the Settings app, since these are core functions of the phone. But seriously, why can’t I delete the damn Stock app? I don’t own any stock, and even if I did, there are other apps out there I would rather use.
You can’t remove the Apple apps from your home screen, but you can shove them all in a folder and call it “Crap”. Except for the Newsstand. Introduced in iOS 5.0, the Newsstand is a folder for publication apps like The New York Times. Because it is a folder, not an app, you can’t put it in another folder. It eats up space on your icon screen whether you use it or not.
Miscellaneous iPhone annoyances
Here are a few more minor annoyances that Apple needs to fix:
- The Weather app links to Yahoo! Weather, which always asks if I want to change my search engine to Yahoo! I don’t. Stop asking.
- The iPhone introduced gestures like swiping to delete or pulling down to refresh. But even Apple’s default apps are inconsistent. Many of them, like the email app and the Safari browser, use buttons when gestures should suffice
- I’m not going to complain about iOS being a walled garden. This is Apple, after all. It’s what they do. Still, I wouldn’t mind better integration with third party apps. Why can’t I make Google Chrome my default browser? Why can’t I save Facebook links to my Pocket app, so I can read them in a train tunnel? With the right API calls, Apple could implement third party app integration within its walled garden.
These are the things that annoy me most about the iPhone 4S and iOS 5.0. It’ll be interesting to see what changes Apple comes out with this fall. As always, a new generation of devices will fix many of these things, all while making new annoyances for me to complain about in the future. Such is the circle of tech.