Sunday, April 27, 2008

10 Features Apple & the iPhone 3.0 Need

Not to add to the list of lists, but below are 10 items Apple needs to incorporate into its iPhone plan. We shall see come June if any of these items makes the cut.

10. Voice Dialing
A feature even the cheapest phones come with. Why the iPhone does not have this basic feature is beyond me. In my life I use this all the time for placing calls while driving. It keeps my eyes and focus on the road.

9. Voice Capture (or voice notes)
When ideas come, sometimes its best to speak the mad rambling into a recorder. This again, is a wonderful thing while driving. Thoughts can be stored when pen and paper are not ideal. I’ve used this feature several years back when struck while driving on the LA highways. Quickly I grabbed my PalmPilot and spoke the license plate number, a description of the truck, and the location of the colision.

8. Video Capture.
Why is this not on the iPhone? Every phone with a camera can handle video. Was Steve Jobs concerned about low quality, slower frame rates, or just the possibility of filling up the phone with lots of video. I’m not sure why it was left out, but video is a part of everyones lives. From birthday parties to car crashes, video can be worked into our daily lives.

7. Headphone replacement
Come on Steve. Inventing a new type of port for plugging in headphones is just plane LAME. I understand that the ‘new’ iPhone headphones can have audio input. Fine, but forcing everyone to invent and purchase a new headphone is a slap in a customer’s face. This is not a feature. It is a blatant design glitch.

6. Removable Battery.
My current LG clam phone has a removable battery. Unfortunately, the pins that connect to the battery have weakened over time and when I hold the phone just so, it looses the connection with the battery. I not only loose the call, but have to turn the phone back on.
Maybe sealing in the battery is a smart thing, however, I think the real reason for having permanent batteries, is plane old corporate greed. Yep, if I have to go back to Apple (and only Apple) to have the battery replaced, then Apple controls the supply of batteries, controls the price, and controls the profit. Nifty if you think of it as a capitalist, but down right smug if you’re the end user.

5. Cell Carrier other than AT&T
Well, many people have their opinions. I myself feel that AT&T lacks good customer service. Enough said.

4. GPS The rumors say that the next phone might have GPS. Again, this seems to be offered in most other phones, and seriously, the 911 service uses GPS & cell towers to locate an emergency number. I really want someone to find me in an emergency.

3. Accidental Care Insurance
A good warranty to cover accidental damage, or problems would be a nice extra service. Granted it would cost more than Apple Care, but insurance would help many of us sleep well at night. For example, I paid for Dell’s accidental care insurance for my laptop. I’ve had it for 18 months I've not needed to use the insurance. Yet if I do accidentally drop it and it stops working, Dell will help out. Very comforting.

2. Upgrade path. I’ve always thought Apple should make it easier for people to upgrade to the latest technology. A trade in offer for older iPhones / iPods when purchasing the new device would 1) smooth out the financial decision to upgrade, 2) insure your customers stay with the brand, and 3) allow for refurbishment & resell of the older tech, thus insuring more proliferation of Apple’s brand.

1. Contract Termination Reimbursement
Apple knows there are many people who can not consider their phone until a contract is complete. More people would switch over to AT&T if termination fees were paid by AT&T. For example, breaking with Verizon costs $175. If that is reimbursed over the full two year contract, a credit of $7.30 would be applied to every bill. In essence, I would get the money back, and AT&T would have a customer sooner than latter. Why would they do this? Simple, because customers go over their monthly plan, use additional services not covered under their plan, or buy a bigger plan than they need. Again, AT&T makes money sooner rather than later.

The iPhone will always have new features, and as a rule, we will want more. The truth is, the phone is very good, but lacks core features that the competition already has. It seems odd that Apple, who prides itself on easy user experience, would overlook some of the obvious.

1 comment:

  1. 10. Voice Dialing
    Already exists with Jailbreak. I'll release a legit SDK version if nobody else does. The one I created via Jailbreak uses Microsoft's TellMe service.

    9. Voice Capture (or voice notes)
    8. Video Capture.
    Others have created good voice apps for jailbroken iPhones and most likely will for the SDK. The current video apps need some help, and the new iPhone should allow for decent quality.

    7. Headphone replacement
    I hope not. Stop and think about whether the headphone port is better or worse. It's a lot better and how headphone ports should've been designed in the first place. Think of all the broken ports!

    6. Removable Battery.
    You list this and then go on to state one of the reasons why they shouldn't. A removable battery would add a lot of bulk to the iPhone and reduce reliability. Your theory about Apple being greedy is flawed. Apple could sell additional batteries if it was removeable. 3rd parties can *and* do offer replacements. Also there are 3rd party external batteries.

    5. Cell Carrier other than AT&T
    Ain't going to happen any time soon here in the U.S. The contract is for something like 5 years and Apple is making a ton of money from the exclusivity.

    4. GPS
    Most other phones don't have GPS. Few do. Don't confuse GPS with cell tower triangulation which the iPhone already does with Google Maps.

    3. Accidental Care Insurance
    Not going to happen. Cost prohibitive.

    2. Upgrade path.
    Apple isn't going to want to sell your used iPhone. That's what eBay and Craigslist are for.

    1. Contract Termination Reimbursement

    I don't think the math works out for you on this.

    This comment is sponsored by El Cheapo Organic Soy Sauce


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