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It's great that the new iPhone has faster data service and GPS. And you could get lost for days in the new iPhone App Store looking at all the cool new toys and productivity tools. But quite a few Achilles' heels--in the form of missing features--still remain in Apple's 3G iPhone. What's most surprising is that these features come standard in some of even the most basic models of rival phones. With these features added, the 3G iPhone could come pretty close to perfect. (This isn't the first time we've complained about what's missing from the iPhone, and many of the gripes on this list are repeat offenders.)
(You can read more of PC World's iPhone coverage here.)
Here's what we would still like to see in the iPhone:
1. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
Despite being fairly standard on most multimedia phones, MMS capabilities aren't part of the 3G iPhone's bag of tricks. That said, you can e-mail photos taken with the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera (or photos stored on the device). You can also share YouTube links directly from the iPhone's YouTube application. So why is MMS missing? It could be tied directly to the 3G iPhone's lack of a video camera; you can't share video files if you can't shoot or store it natively on the device. As for music, iTunes' strict limitations on sharing music are probably the reason behind that, but it would at least be nice to have audio-sharing capabilities for non-DRM-protected tracks.
2. Stereo Bluetooth / A2DP support
You've got to love the fact that the new iPhone no longer requires an adapter or headphones designed for its recessed headphone jack. But what about cutting the cable altogether? Unlike the latest BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile platforms, the latest iPhone still doesn't offer the convenience of using a stereo Bluetooth headset to listen to its on-board iPod, at least not without using a bulky adapter. For such a common feature, and for a company so aesthetically inclined, that's more than a little surprising.
3. Selecting, copying, and pasting text
Apple fixed a few of the first-gen iPhone's shortcomings with the early-2008 firmware update (sending text messages to more than one recipient, for example), but they didn't add an option to edit text by selecting passages and copying and pasting them elsewhere in an e-mail message or note. And with the new iPhone firmware, they still haven't. This missing feature is more than a little annoying for those who write more than talk, want to copy and paste long strings from URLs, or fix links that get truncated in e-mail messages.
4. Horizontal keyboard for e-mail and notes
Another annoyance for writers--and a confusing omission, given the capability of the iPhone's on-screen keyboard to flip horizontally for some applications but not for others--is the fact that the touch-screen keyboard doesn't rotate to a landscape orientation when using the Notes, e-mail, or Maps applications. Those also happen to be the three most writing-intensive apps on the iPhone, which makes the necessary one-finger hunting and pecking required by the portrait-mode keyboard all the more annoying if you use those features a lot. Over time, using your thumbs to type versus holding the phone in one hand and poking at the keys with one finger is a lot more significant than you might think.
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