Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dreaming of iPhone 3.0 - my wishes

We're all dreaming of iPhone 3.0. It's a good break from reading about the collapse of western civilizations.

After reading the PC(!) Magazine list I want to play the wishing game too. Here's an update to my prior iPhone "demands" (Most of them are not on the PC Mag list):
  1. External keyboard support like the folding keyboards that were once sold with Palm.
  2. A standard way for 3rd party applications to synchronize with the desktop (maybe through the heretofore off-limits USB cable).
  3. Something that lets me do instant messaging without paying SMS fees. (Background notification, multitasking, whatever)
  4. A Calendar API so 3rd party apps can get at Calendar data and manipulate it
  5. Filemaker for the iPhone (ok, so that's not an Apple thing, but I miss it)
  6. Fix the weird scrolling and text limit problems with long contact and calendar notes
  7. Make the Calendar app more real. Better control of alerts, ability to do invitations, etc.
  8. Tethering. This will probably happen.
  9. Support multi-account synchronization: Currently you can sync with MobileMe and Exchange Server. I want to be able to sync to Google with Exchange Server and to my corporate Exchange Server but keep the two separate.
  10. Steal some PIM/Calendaring/multiple sync features from the (still unreal) Palm Pre
Against this list there are former "Demands" that I've now given up on, because they were either misguided or because I don't think Apple can do 'em:
  1. Forget about Tasks and Notes. I wanted them when I thought Apple could do MobileMe but they can't. Now I'm prepared to wait for Google to do 'em and for Appigo to manage the client side. The key is access to the Calendar.
  2. Search: I'd like to be able to search for strings across apps, but I think this one's too hard. Most apps have finally added in-app Search and that's working for me.
I'm surprised by how many workarounds have developed around the iPhone's fairly severe PIM/PDA limitations. Google's Exchange service has been a miracle.

Update 9/13/09: I've been thinking about the possibility of iPhone instant messaging combined with Google Voice and a possible (if Apple allows it!) Google Voice app for the iPhone. Line those things up against AT&T's diabolical mobile phone contracting schemes and we might save some real money -- which might not make Apple happy.

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