Sunday, 6 April 2008

iPhone Problems #1 : Texts

Being a big fan of gmail, I like the 'conversation' style of the texts, and I like how my side of the speech-bubble debate is green. But an odd lack of research seems to have been carried out on how people actually use texts. Perhaps this is partly because of the gap between the UK and the US on texting - it took much longer for it to catch on in the US, and still isn't embraced with quite the same fervour. This might be because we've never managed to master the American-style quick-fire phone call, which is in essence a verbal text message. SMS allows the British to arrange appointments without the ten minutes of asking how the other person is at the beginning and a lengthy polite goodbye sequence at the end. So, maybe Apple should have a talk with us before the June update and sort out some of the following:

1. There's no way to delete individual texts.
This issue has been commented on by many, and there are a few hacks around already to help out, although they're all a little clunky - a common problem seems to be their tendency to only show numbers, not names. I like having a different section for each contact, even when such sections are empty of any actual messages; I like that my replies aren't hidden in some 'sent' folder; I like that a line of the most recent text is displayed on the first page. But a big problem stems from my having, essentially, two different sorts of text messages - those containing humorous observances or Happy Birthday greetings, which I save as long as I have the phones, and those saying thinks like 'yes, 5 mins', which are usually deleted instantly. The choice is therefore to keep everything, no matter how long it takes to scroll through them and how difficult it is to find the interesting/useful/funny ones; or, to mercilessly delete them all. Not only can I not delete the ones I don't want, I also can't save the ones I do. Given that in the last ten days I've had over 70 texts from Michele alone (and I live with him), the former isn't really an option - I dread to think what people with real jobs are going through trying to find the date of a crucial meeting hidden among hundreds of 3-word exchanges about coffee and photocopiers (or whatever it is the employed discuss with their collegues).

So, for the moment, I'm following a strict regime of entering important dates in my calendar as soon as they arrive, and typing up into a word document any sentiments from friends I know I'll want to look back on. This way, I've covered all bases when I accidentally delete everything in one go. But I feel it somewhat defeats the purpose of the wonderful-looking, easy to use text app I have at my disposal. What I should be doing is signing up to O2's Bluebook, where Sean Bean nicely saves a copy of everything as it comes in, but I've found O2 almost as disappointing as Virgin Media during my short ten day spell as their customer, so I've been putting it off as long as possible.

Further minor problems to follow.

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