Sunday, 6 April 2008

iPhone Problems #1 : Texts (minor concerns)

Following on from my major gripe about individual deletion, here's a few other aspects of texting that bug me every so often.

2. 'Conversation' is a misnomer.
The first message after an undesignated period of inactivity (it's less than 25 minutes but more than 6) gets time and date stamped. Which is fine, but clearly what Apple means by 'conversation' is 'a number of texts sent reasonably close together', regardless of whether they are replies to previous messages or entirely new trains of thought. This has the result of not only clumping together groups of texts in a slightly jolting way, but also leaving most messages without a time stamp. If you happen to text rapidly but over a reasonably long period - when arranging to meet someone, for example - you can easily end up with the final text in a string being hours newer than the first, with no way of differentiating it. I for one would like to know exactly what time a text saying 'just got on the bus' was sent, so I can judge how late I'm going to be in meeting said bus. It's the slightly random nature of this which bugs me - either time stamp each text, or don't bother at all.

3. Lack of delivery reports.
This is probably an O2 problem - to get a delivery report from a text, one is required to type *0# (note: that's a zero, not an O) before the message. Which is extraordinarily fiddly, and just too incredibly frustrating to do before every message. Why there's no option on the iPhone itself to turn delivery reports on or off, as there is on almost all other handsets sold in the UK, I've no idea.

4. Call/contact info scroll time
A very minor point, this one, but another example of Apple having wonderful intentions which fall a little short in practice. At the top of every text conversation are two highly useful buttons: 'Call' and 'Contact Info' (if it's an unknown number, the latter becomes 'Add to Contacts'). These have clearly been designed for no other purpose than to be helpful when one is in a rush and doesn't want to go back to the home screen, get into the contacts list, etc. This sort of unobtrusive handy-help is the reason I love my iBook, and Apple in general, so much. However, the text folders of those people I am most likely to want to call at the drop of a hat are, not surprisingly, rather full. So scrolling up from the latest text to the 'Call' button is painfully slow. The option to tap the screen once to have all of this displayed (as with Quicktime or Safari) would be much appreciated.

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