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Top five iPhone gripes


Yes, the iPhone is today's "it girl." Everyone wants to see and be seen with her. But life with the iPhone isn't all champagne and bon-bons.

Here are our Top 5 iPhone Gripes. If yours isn't on the list, please let us know.

5. No multimedia text messages

My parents live in Florida, because they're in their 60s and that's the rule. Recently, they purchased fancy-dancy cell phones with cameras. Even more exciting is that they know out how to use them, and constantly send me pictures of manatees, their kitchen and so on.

At least, they try.

My iPhone beeps and displays a message which says, "I sent you a multimedia message. You can view my message w/in the next 7 days via the web at using MSG ID [Obscure ID] Password [Obscure Password]."

Clicking on the link launches Mobile Safari which produces a web page asking for Obscure ID and Obscure Password. Since each is a collection of upper- and lower-case letters plus numbers, it's difficult to remember. So, I must return to the text message, write Obscure ID and Obscure Password on a piece of paper, go back to the web page, type Obscure ID and Obscure Password on the tiny keyboard and wait for the teeny, tiny pictures to load.

So that's fun.

Read more gripes after the jump.

4. No video

The scene is my daughter's soccer practice. Proud parents are ignoring the coaching staff's requests to just sit down and let them do their job by lining the edge of the field, cell phones held aloft. I'm there, too, with my Flip video camera pointed towards the action.

My iPhone chirps. I pull it from my pocket and find that my parents have sent me another photo that I'll never see.

"Is that an iPhone?" says the guy next to me.

"Yeah," I say, turning off the Flip.

"Well, why don't you just shoot video with that? Does it do a bad job?"

"It doesn't shoot video."

"Wha - Your $500 phone doesn't shoot video?!"

"It was $300 and shut up."

But it was too late. The sounds of his laughter muffled my correction. Seriously, why doesn't this thing shoot video? iPhoto stores video clips, and transfering video from an iPhone to iMovie (and back again) should be a no-brainer.

3. AT& .... no signal ... T

Forget the pricing issues. Yes, AT&T has decided to charge 3G owners $30/mo for unlimited data (vs. $20/mo for 1st gen. iPhone owners), $5/mo for text messages that were previously free and raised the minimum monthly plan by $10 over the past 12 months.

What you're paying all that money for is service, and for me, the service isn't always there. I'll preface this gripe by admitting that I live in the boonies. Cape Cod, Massachusetts isn't exactly Gotham. My town is home to roughly 6,000 souls. So, we aren't high on any service provider's list of "hot spots."

Still, I rarely see five bars on my iPhone. It doesn't work at all inside my house (as soon as I step out the door, however, it's fine). There are certain spots of certain roads where my signal dives from four bars to zero for no reason that I can determine.

I have friends with other providers who claim a full five bars most of the time. So it can be done. It just hasn't been my experience.

2. The Trifecta

For point number two, I've rolled three minor annoyances into one, in order to clear the way for my top gripe.

The recessed headphone jack. Yes, I know that the 3G iPhone has a flush headphone jack. But I don't have a 3G iPhone, and I won't be upgrading anytime soon. Now, the switch on the earbuds that lets you take calls and skip music is pretty cool, but my ears have an aversion to earbuds. I couldn't use the headphones I like until I bought an adapter from Griffin for twenty bucks that crapped out after 11 months. Awesome.

No copy and paste. Viewing those multimedia messages from my parents would be so much easier if I didn't have to get a pen and paper involved. I don't know how copy and paste could be implemented on the iPhone, but it's not my job to figure that out.

The location of the ringer switch. I can't tell you how many calls I've missed becasue I accidentally toggled the ringer switch to silent mode. It must be the switch's location or the way I hold it as I move it in and out of my pocket, but I accidentally flip that thing all the time.

1. The Activation Nightmare

Last year, Apple sold a boatload of original iPhones in the US. That was the good news. The bad news was that many of those customers sat at home with useless iPhones on their desks.

Their activation servers got nailed and more than a few people were left hanging. Some for days. It got so bad, that companies other than Apple were posting activation work-arounds and tutorials.

What has Apple learned from that experience 12 months ago? Apparently, not a lot.

The 3G iPhone went on sale earlier today, and activation issues are rampant.

People are reporting muti-hour delays via Twitter, customers walking out of stores, etc. It seems the activation servers are taking a dirt nap.

I know that lots of people are hitting these things, but there are two multibillion-dollar companies overseeing the process (one of which knows a thing or two about computers), each of whom has experiene with this exact scenario.

Oh, Apple. You got so much right, I hate to post a list like this. But I did anyway. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a text coming in.

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