Although I previously expanded on the successful features of the iPhone OS, there is (of course) no such thing as a perfect system and always room for improvement.
Here are some suggestions for the Apple iPhone development team,
- An improved learning type algorithm
- Frequently used words (in any language) should be suggested over others perceived as correct (many users find it frustrating to constantly correct the system when typing their name, for example).
- Similar support for phrases would also be beneficial. As an example, when typing “Let’s gok” (where the k is a clear typo) the first suggestion should be “Let’s go,” and not “Let’s gook,” “Let’s goi” or “Let’s gol.” This occurs as a result of disregarding common phrases, and happens similarly in other supported languages.
- Find on Safari
- Why not add a “Find” feature under the “+” sign on the browser screen, where you can search for content within a web page?
- Zoom in/out for video recording
- If this is supported for the camera, why not support it for video recording as well? It doesn’t need to work while recording (given that touching the screen while filming would probably result in a bumpy recording) but at least have the option before the recording begins. This would also provide consistency from the interface of the still camera to that of the video camera.
- Improved contact detection in SMS/e-mail
- While the iPhone will detect a phone number and allow you to add it to your Contacts, why not look before and after the number and parse for names? This information could then be used to populate the Name and Last Name fields in the contact form. Granted, some uncommon names could be overlooked, but in most cases it would be a convenient feature.
- More customizable event alerts
- This is allowed on the desktop iCal application on Mac OS. However, on the iPhone, alert setup for an event is restricted to 8 presets. An interface much like the one used to set the Start/End time of the event could be used for a customized alert setup.
- Function over form – better cables
- This is something many iPod and iPhone users will notice once they’ve had their devices for about 5 months. The joint between the physical connector and its cable is designed for beauty and not function; its simplicity does not afford robust flexibility, and after regular use will begin to strip and strain the copper within. This results in a faulty connection and an irritated user, needing to wriggle the cable to successfully connect the device to their computer or charging adapter.
- Headphone cable and jack re-design
- If you insert your headphones into the headphone jack, you will hear one click and feel the connector slide into place. Does this mean your headphones are properly connected? Unfortunately, no. If you want your headphones connected correctly, you need to push the cable in a little more and hear another click. What’s the problem with this design? Several times I have been in a public place, decide to turn on my iPhone’s iPod, plug in my headphones and press play. To my surprise, I can’t hear anything through the headphones, and after noticing everyone is suddenly staring at me I realize, the headphones are improperly connected and the sound is coming from my iPhone’s speakers. The solution is simple. One click (and not two) should be enough auditive and physical feedback to tell the user the headphones are properly connected. Two clicks is just unnecessary (and confusing) overhead.
- Let’s say you want to disconnect your headphones from your iPhone. If you’re using a case (and most iPhone 4 users will to prevent signal loss due to the reception/antenna issue) the case’s raised surface around the headphone jack removes gripping area for your fingers to properly pinch the connector, which is added to the fact that the cable connector itself is not designed very ergonomically (it is very small and made out of a hard, very smooth white plastic). It requires some strength, very dry fingers and a little patience to disconnect the cable. That’s three-too-many assumptions the designers should not rely on for usability. The cable should be re-designed for better gripping affordance.