10 Things We're Still Missing from the iPhone

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-24 Print this article Print

News Analysis: The iPhone might be a great device that appeals to many, but the smartphone still lacks several key features that could make it perfect for any user. There is still much that Apple could do to improve its appeal to business users and to greatly expand the application developer community.

Apple is at it again. After spending so much of its time railing against Windows, the company is protecting AT&T in its battle with Verizon Wireless. In a new set of ads, Apple has highlighted all the features that its iPhone has that the Motorola Droid doesn't. It's a war of words that so far, doesn't have a victor.

But as much as Apple wants the world to believe that the iPhone has all the features they want, it doesn't. The device, while great in its own right, is lacking on many fronts. Simply put, it doesn't have the full feature set that makes it the ideal platform for any user. And the chances of that changing anytime soon aren't all that great. The iPhone is a fine device, but it's lacking in some areas. Even Apple can admit that. So let's take a look at some of the features that the iPhone needs.

1. No Go, Enterprise

The iPhone is a great consumer device. But when it comes to the corporate world's unique needs, the iPhone, so far, doesn't stack up to the devices from RIM. In recent releases, the iPhone has done a better job of appealing to business users and, admittedly, more firms are considering the iPhone. But until tethering is made simple and the device is available on multiple carriers, the iPhone won't be ready for the enterprise.

2. Multitasking?

One of the biggest complaints users have about the iPhone is its inability to allow users to multitask. For now, users can only open one application at a time; they can't simply sift through several applications as they can on the Palm Pre or Motorola's Droid. It's a problem that limits productivity. Hopefully Apple will address it in the next iteration of the iPhone.

3. Where's the
Physical Keyboard?

A virtual keyboard might be the go-to "futuristic" device, but a physical keyboard is far more practical and reliable. As someone who has owned both the first-gen iPhone and the iPhone 3G, I can say without any reservation that the device's keyboard can't quite stack up to a physical keyboard on other smartphones. It's certainly different and at times, it's nice. But it's not ideal.

4. We
Need Open Source

Android has done a fine job of making waves in the mobile industry, thanks to open source. The platform allows vendors to decide how they will use and adapt the software for their own phones. More importantly, it helps Google address potential issues much sooner than it could on a closed platform. With millions of developers watching for trouble rather than a handful of developers, problems can be solved much sooner. Apple should consider it.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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