We recently published an article which detailed 15 things that would greatly improve iPhone 3.0. After reading the article, our readers had lots of genius ideas that they left in the comments. This article features lots of our reader’s ideas, as well as some of our own. While iPhone 3.0 is great, it’s definitely missing a lot of cool and useful features. Here’s 16 more of them.
1. Customized text message alerts
The iPhone (like many phones) allows users to set individualized ringtones for contacts. You can set the “Funeral March” for when your mom calls, and “In Da Club” for when your friends call (if you want to be hated by society…but you get my point). So why can’t we do the same for text messages? I would like to be able to tell whether a text message is coming from a “work” contact or a “home” contact. Vibrations should even be customizable (a long single vibration for home, three short repeated vibrations for work)…which brings me to number 2.
2. Customize Ring Tone Vibrations
It’s pretty clear that more people use vibrate mode than ringtone mode, and there’s a lot more that can be done with the iPhone’s vibrate mode. When a contact from work calls you, the vibrations can be long with 1 second pauses in between. When a contact from home calls you, or some other specified group (or perhaps a very special individual), the vibrations can be very short and quickly repeated, with no breaks in between. It’s not a crucial addition, but it seems extremely simple and tons of iPhone users (myself included) could use this feature to distinguish who exactly is calling before looking at the screen.
3. Power options
The iPhone should have the ability to remember “power modes”. Your laptop, for example, may automatically activate certain functions when plugged into a power supply, and activate different features when running on battery. Why can’t the iPhone do the same thing? For those of you who are cautious with the phone’s battery life, or just love smart-devices doing the right thing, then you’d love for the iPhone to have memorized power options. When you plug the device into a power supply, it’ll automatically activate predefined features that are more battery demanding (WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc…). When you unplug the device, it can turn said features off to save juice.
4. Adjust cache settings for Mobile Safari
Have you ever noticed how reloading a page on Mobile Safari is no faster than loading the page from scratch? Or how about when you open another window then go back to the first one, and it just starts to reload? It’s terribly irritating and is a major flaw of the iPhone’s extremely well-executed mobile safari. Apple should adjust the cache settings so that pages will be quick to reload, and so that going back to the page (when switching between multiple pages) will not take so long to reload. It seems that iPhone 3.0 helped with this problem, but the problem has not at all been eliminated.
5. Homescreen in landscape
[image via iPhoneMatters]
Why? Why not? It’s an iPhone, it has an accelerometer, the springboard looks awesome, and it would be great to have the icons in landscape mode. Some people love using the iPhone horizontally, and simply can’t bear holding the phone vertically. It seems quite easy to implement…the icons just need to rotate 90 degrees and the dock bar at the bottom needs to jump over. No big deal.
6. Native app to store files on iPhone
Your iPhone has either 8, 16, or 32 GB of space. Most of us don’t fill it up to the max. Why doesn’t Apple allow users to simply drag and drop whatever files they want to store and later transfer to a different computer? The iPhone could be the ultimate flash drive (and definitely one that you won’t lose). I understand Apple is very strict with making their products only accessible via iTunes, but c’mon Apple, your customers would love this.
Go here to see how to transfer files to and from your iPhone now.
7. Alphabetical scroll bar in iPod’s “Playlist” Page
When you go into contacts, there’s a vertical scroll bar on the right hand side with letter A to Z. You can tap on a letter and it takes you to that letter in your contacts list (because some people have too many contacts to scroll through). If you open up iPod and go to “Songs” or “Artists” it’s there too. But if you open up the “Playlists” page, no scroll bar! Either Apple assumed people don’t have a lot of playlists, or it was just an accidental miss. Either way, let’s get the scroll bar in playlists.
8. Enable/Disable Features Via Voice Control
iPhone 3GS users, who have the new voice control feature, should have the ability to turn crucial features on and off by simply speaking the command. For example, “Turn on WiFi”, “Turn Off Bluetooth”, “Turn on 3G”…you get the idea. This is much more useful than “Play Jack Johnson”. This feature would kill jailbroken apps like SBSettings, whose main function is to allow quick and easy access to turn features on/off.
9. Ability to access a specific mailbox from homepage
If you have more than one email set up through your iPhone’s native Mail application, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s a pain to go back and forth in between the inboxes of various email accounts. Apple should allow users to have multiple “Mailbox” icons on the sprinboard so that they can access each account individually.
10. Ability to delete media right from the phone
The iPhone is the ultimate portable media tool, and the iPod did indeed revolutionize the MP3 player. However, the greatest missing feature is the ability to delete a song or video without having to connect to iTunes. If this is too hard to implement, then Apple should atleast allow users to be able to remotely wipe select media from their devices without having to connect and sync with iTunes. Although the process works fine now, sometimes people just don’t feel like dealing with iTunes.
11. DIVX/XVID support
Most downloadable videos (the high quality ones atleast) come in divx format. The iPhone, however, only plays MP4. Instead of having to sit and convert formats, wouldn’t it be great to just have DIVX support on the iPhone? It would sure save some time. In reality, unfortunately, the chances of Apple adding DIVX support are slim to none.
12. iPod access for alarm clock
The iPhone wakes me up every morning at 7 AM with the violently loud “alarm” sound. Whenever I hear it during the day I jump in fear like Lafayette when someone mentions vampires. It would be great if Apple would allow users to choose a song from the iPod to play as the alarm sound. Quite frankly, it’s a surprise that this wasn’t available since day one. Apple offers some pretty good rings, but none as good as an actual song.
13. Sync over WiFi
Syncing with iTunes is sometimes a great process, but other times it’s tedious. You’ve gotta plug the phone in, leave it by the computer, and sometimes wait quite a long time. With WiFi syncing, just leave the iPhone in your pocket, press sync, and that’s it. Just make sure you don’t go past the router’s range.
14. Scroll spring board icons vertically and horizontally
Currently you can only scroll pages left and right. For a device like the iPhone, which tries to be innovative in every way, users should constantly be provided with as many features as possible. iPhone users should be able to scroll springboard pages both horizontally and vertically. Apple can even get fancy and add some useful features, such as scrolling vertically takes you to apps separated by category, while scrolling horizontally takes you through your own usual setup.
15. Filter Phone Calls
Let’s say you’re on vacation and you really want to get away from your job. However, you know that if you look at your phone and see your boss calling, you won’t be able to ignore the call. That’s why the iPhone needs to implement a feature that blocks all calls except for the ones the user wants to accept. In other words, you can make a list with your family and other close ones, and they will be the only ones that can get through to your iPhone.
16. Reminders to call someone
More importantly than everything else, the iPhone is a phone. If you don’t know what a phone is, it’s a device that lets you call people. In order to call someone, you’ve gotta remember that you needed to call them, and these days, “remembering” is a lost art. That’s why the iPhone should have a simple native app that alerts you when you need to call someone, and gives you the option to “Call now” on the alert box when the time comes.
Between the two articles, we’ve already mentioned 31 little features that would greatly improve the iPhone 3.0 firmware. While that may seem like a lot, there are lots of other things that could be added, and I’m sure you guys have thought of them.
Let us know what else you’d like to see in the iPhone of the future.