Monday, August 2, 2010

My iPhone4 Gripes

The iPhone4 has been out for several months now, and it has already had a good share of criticism. The most striking critique of the iPhone4 was the fact that it could drop a call if you held it the wrong way, like some sort of fickle telephone mistress. This fact alone led Consumer Reports to not recommend the iPhone4. This then led to the discovery that the iPhone OS (iOS) was calculating your signal strength incorrectly all along. A software update corrected this issue so you now know how utterly crappy AT&T's coverage truly is in your area. I recently received and activated my iPhone4, upgrading it from my iPhone3G, and I do like it very much, But I do have some gripes about it, and now it's my turn on the soapbox.

First off, I have noticed to change in signal strength for the 3G network and wifi when I hold the phone covering the gaps on the side. And it does affect my usage of the phone. And I do find it annoying. And I did order my free case courtesy of Apple. So I do not have a gripe about that. What I do have a gripe about is the reduced sensitivity of the the sensor near the ear speaker. Normally, when you turn on the phone and dial a number, you put the phone up to your ear (when you are not using speakerphone, of course). The phone senses that it is next to your ear and the screen blacks out to save energy. When the move the phone away from your ear, the screen lights up again. On my iPhone4, the screen blacks out only if the phone is actually touching your ear or temple. If you move it just a quarter of an inch from your head, the screen lights up again. Usually not a problem, right? But if you are cradling the phone with your shoulder to have both hands free, the phone does wobble next to your ear. If the screen lights up while the phone is wobbling next to your head, your ear could actually end your call, since the "End" button is the largest button on the screen during a call on the iPhone. I have actually lost calls because of this on many occasions. Of course, that is not the only thing that can happen. Your ear could easy "press" the Contact button and cause you to dial another person while you are on the phone. I have also had this happen. In fact, once I pressed the home button after making a call so at the very least I would not accidentally hang up on my friend. When the call was over I looked at the screen and my ear had opened my email and started composing an email. The text was jibberish, of course, but the point is made. If I could just have that sensor sensitivity turned up it would save me a lot of annoyance.

The second gripe I have is that while the iPhone4 boasts a better battery and longer (up to 40% more, they tout) life, It is easily squandered because the screen no longer dims and then turns off after a set amount of time. The only available option is screen lock after X amount of time, which only prompts you for a password and does nothing with screen dimming. This means that I could accidentally turn my phone on before putting it in my pocket or while it is in my pocket, and it would just sit there draining battery life. I am not asking for a full out screen saver. Just something to help me not waste the battery life accidentally.

My last gripe about my iPhone4 is the shake-to-undo. Seriously, what the hell is this? Shaking your phone to do anything that is not part of a game is just silly. Even the shake-to-shuffle for the iPod app is silly. But to undo something? When am I ever doing something on the iPhone that requires me to undo something? I suppose I must be composing a long email and accidentally delete an entire paragraph?Or writing some gigantic note where I would not could not redo any changes manually? I do not understand this function because I do not do that kind of computing on my iPhone. If I need to write a long message I use my computer. And seeing as how iTunes decided to "lose" all my notes from my iPhone3G when I upgraded, I also no longer write long notes on my phone. Now I can see a shake-to-refresh function. That might actually make more sense.

So that is all the griping I have about my iPhone4. I still love it, though, since it was a vast improvement over my iPhone3G, which is now relegated to entertaining my children on long car rides.