iPhone 3.0 OS: Five things we hate

Although the new software update greatly improves the iPhone experience, there are still plenty of sticking points!

Apple's iPhone 3.0 software update brings features like a landscape keyboard to the iPhone, but there are still plenty of things to complain about.

Apple's iPhone 3.0 software update brings features like a landscape keyboard to the iPhone, but there are still plenty of things to complain about.

Apple's iPhone 3.0 software update is finally here. Officially launched locally this week, the latest update brings features including copy and paste, Bluetooth tethering and A2DP, and MMS capabilities to the iPhone 3G and the latest iPhone, the iPhone 3G S.

Although the new update greatly improves the iPhone experience, there are still plenty of things to complain about. So after a discussion with the other Apple iPhone users at GoodGearGuide, here are five things we hate about the iPhone 3.0 OS.

MMS

It's wonderful that Apple has decided to catch up to the 21st century by offering MMS capabilities on the iPhone. But the way Apple has designed the sending of group messages is painful.

If you send a group SMS (that is, a regular text message to multiple recipients), the iPhone automatically turns it into a group MMS message. Some users have stated that a way around this is to you use the plus (+) button and select each person from the contact list — using this method doesn't change the title to a group MMS, indicating that it should send as a Group SMS. Unfortunately, it doesn't and it sends as an MMS. The only way to get around this is to disable MMS in the settings menu. Having to go and switch MMS off every time you want to send a group message is annoying, and poorly implemented.

Additionally, the iPhone only allows the sending of image files, and voice clips recorded in the Voice Memos app. It can't send or receive video files via MMS, nor can it receive sound files from a mobile phone other than the iPhone.

Multitasking and notifications

Apple has introduced push notifications for various applications in 3.0, but the iPhone still lacks true multitasking. Furthermore, the notification system isn't as advanced as the alternatives found on other devices including Palm's yet to be released Pre running the webOS platform, HTC's range of Android phones, including the Magic with Google and the Dream, as well as Nokia's new N97. We'd love to see a central notifications area and full background processing to bring the iPhone up to speed with its competition.

Mail

With all the improvements to the iPhone OS, it’s a shame the Mail app didn't receive as much attention as many other updated areas. While the iPhone is without doubt the best smartphone at displaying HTML e-mails, its handling of mail could be much improved. There is no way to mark all e-mails as read (you can only delete or move multiple e-mails), which is very frustrating. And the new search function only searches e-mail headers, and not the actual e-mail content.

Bluetooth

A2DP Bluetooth is a welcome inclusion to the 3.0 Software Update, allowing the iPhone to stream music to a compatible wireless Bluetooth device, such as speaker systems and headphones. But why doesn't the iPhone have Bluetooth file transfer capabilities, like almost every other mobile phone with Bluetooth? It really is embarrassing when an entry level pre-paid phone can send and receive images and sound files via Bluetooth, and the iPhone can't. Please Apple, give us full, unrestricted Bluetooth like almost every other mobile phone on the market.

Custom SMS and MMS sounds

Almost every iPhone user I've encountered has the same message tone — tri-tone. It's the least annoying tone out of the six pre-loaded tones, which include chime, glass, horn, bell and electronic. What a boring selection! Why can't we upload custom message tones? iPhone users can create custom ring tones using iTunes to prevent having to pay for them, but there isn't even an option to pay for message tones, nor can you upload custom ones. This is such a basic feature that’s been missing from the iPhone since day one, and the 3.0 Software Update sadly hasn't remedied it.

What frustrates you about the iPhone 3.0 OS? And what would you like to see in the next major software update? Tell us on the PC World Forums!

For more information about the iPhone, visit our dedicated iPhone Centre.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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