Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

10 iPhone Wishes

I know, I know. You’re sick of the iPhone stuff. But it’s not every day a whole new media platform comes along. So I can’t help but keep thinking about it. Humor me.

So I recently switched from carrying around an iPod and a Sidekick, to one lovely iPhone. Here are my top 10 wishes for the iPhone.

  1. Dedicated camera shutter button. One of the things I did most often on the Sidekick was wake it from sleep and click the camera button. One click switched to the camera mode, the second took a photo. I miss this interaction. And the virtual shutter button is hard to hit without looking, which takes your eye off what you’re shooting. At the very least, turn the whole screen into one huge shutter button: tap anywhere to shoot.
  2. Global iPod shuffle. One of the things I did most with my old iPod was just hit play from the main menu. This shuffled all the music and started playing randomly, akin to the “Party Shuffle” in iTunes. But for some reason you can only shuffle within playlists on the iPhone. I miss my global shuffle. (Update: You can shuffle from the songs menu.)
  3. Page down button. In Safari, while zoomed in, it’s just slightly annoying to scroll down. A flick of the finger can too easily send the page zooming too far down, or off to the side. There are probably other solutions to this problem, but I find myself wishing for the space bar to just scroll down, one page at a time.
  4. Grippy affordances. For the love of Pete, please just give me something to hold on to. A single strip of rubber around the outside of the device would do the trick. I’ve almost dropped this thing far too many times already.
  5. Video is where? I find it strangely counterintuitive to go to “iPod” to play video. Even though I know it’s there, when I’d like to watch some video, I keep looking for the “video” icon.
  6. Ringtone smartness. One of my favorite features on the Sidekick was that you could schedule times for the phone to automatically silence itself. I had mine set itself to silent at 10pm and back to normal at 8am. I really miss that feature. And if this thing can set my photos to be wallpapers, why can’t it let me set one of my songs to play for a ringer? My Sidekick also let me set custom rings for specific people (so does the iPhone). But I want to set some people to automatically go to voicemail, and others to ring no matter what time it is.
  7. Copy and paste. Maybe not copy and paste, but here’s the situation: Someone emails or texts me an address. For now, there’s no way to plunk that address into the (totally badass) Google Maps app. So I’m left to trying to retype it by hand. Very frustrating. This is a problem that needs a smart Apple solution.
  8. De-stupidify the Notes app. Notes is unusably ugly. Not only is the Marker Felt font disastrously ugly, it’s also illegible that small. This is the one completely obvious design mistake. Also, give me some way to get Notes on and off of the device.
  9. Customize the home screen.. I’m sure we’ll see this in a future release, but here it is anyway: Let me customize the home menu. Some things are useful to some people, but not everything is useful to everyone there. We can already customize part of the iPod screen, so you know it can be done. (Update: Wish granted! Thanks, Apple.)
  10. Updating home icons. How come the Calendar icon can show the day of the week on the home screen, but the Weather icon is always the same? The Stocks icon should go green or red, depending on the bookmarked stocks performance. Clock should always show the right time. Let the updates bloom, Apple.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.