Monday, April 21, 2008

My Gripe With iPhone

First I want to point out that the iPhone is indeed an amazing phone. Don't get me wrong, I love it but there are some things about the iPhone that really make me want to toss it out the window screaming WTF!!! at the top of my lungs.

Okay, consider this... the iPhone is the most Media rich phone on the planet... right?

Well, yes and no.

iPhone suffers from some major "media" problems. Here are some key "media" related issues of the iPhone:

  • No support for MMS
  • No or very little Animated GIF support
  • Safari can not handle large numbers of photos
  • Safari can not handle Web 2.0 (i.e. JavaScript laden AJAX sites)
No support for MMS? Get the heck out of here!

Yes, it is true, Apple somehow did not feel that iPhone users would have a need to send or receive MMS. This means that when your best friend sends you a photo of some cute chick at a club you are denied. This means that when your sister sends you a photo of her newborn baby you are denied. WTF?!? Hold the phone here... come on, are you serious? I am very serious. Instead, AT&T sends you an SMS Text Message that includes a link (text only, no hyper-link) including a UserName and a Password for viewing the MMS Message through their ViewMyMessage web site.

To make matters worse, the link is not clickable and somehow you have to either remember or write down the randomly generated UserName and Password. Talk about lame. I can't tell you how many times I have missed out on a joke or important life experience because someone sent me an MMS message and I had to wait until I could get somewhere that I could write down everything so I could login to some web site to view the message. Hellla Lame!!!

Animated GIFs no workie?!?!? Nope, sorry. I have found very few Animated GIFs that actually work on the iPhone. I don't know for sure but I have a feeling it has to do with how they do their layout within Safari. I personally believe that Apple handles all the stretching and scrolling in Safari by turning web pages into Vector Graphics that can easily be controlled programatically, however, doing a conversion like this might make it easy to allow zooming, etc but would only include a snapshot of the first frame of an Animated GIF. Again, this is my hypothesis and I have no frame of reference for that but alas, this is still another big "OMG They Left That Out" moment.

What about AJAX, isn't this some incredibly popular User Experience based technology... Web 2.0.... isn't that what they call "Rich User Experience"? Why does the most technologically advanced phone on the planet not work with Rich Media? Doesn't make sense to me.

And what about Safar dieing all the time? This phenomena of Safari just magically going "poof" while you are browsing a site is caused by both rich use of scripts such as with AJAX and multiple, large images. I can't tell you how many times I have been browsing a site that has lots of images and then all of a sudden Safari just decides to blow up... no BSOD like on Windows but boom... I'm back to the desktop.... again, lame.

Lately all the updates from Apple have been in preparation of their new SDK and allowing a selected handful of companies and/or developers to build applications for the iPhone but maybe Apple should also focus on making existing features "work".

Thats my gripe for the day :-)


blaix said...

Agreed on all points. Also, give me Flash! Please!

Kevin said...

I'm on the fence with Flash on the iPhone (and iTouch). Yes, it would be nice for places where it makes sense (videos, etc) but I'm not looking forward to Popup Flash ads. Also, since Safari on the iPhone doesn't handle multiple scripts and multiple large images well at the moment, I'm not sure how it would handle Flash. Plus, lets remember why Flash wasn't added in the first place... it is an extreme Memory hog. iPhone has a limit of 8 tabs right now in Safari due to Memory constraints, wait until Flash is involved... yikes :-0