Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Missing ingredients

Nothing sucks more than when you're making something in the kitchen and you are missing a key ingredient required for your meal. Sure you can sometimes substitute, but I'm talking about those key things that either make or break the meal.

With the iPhone/Touch - there are a few key missing ingredients that I believe Apple needs to get in order to make those two (and other 'like' platforms) really take off beyond the early adopters.

1) Cut and Paste. The way around it - this is crucial for day to day use. There have been a fair number of suggestions/mock ups, etc. to illustrate ways to do this without a keyboard or stylus. But at the end of the day, this is the one single feature that I crave on the iPhone/Touch. UPDATE - Engadget just posted a review of Apple's recent patent which looks like it will address multi-touch cut and paste, etc.

2) iChat. The common assumption is that we'll see this shortly, but why wasn't it included so far? There's nothing technically keeping it off the platform so one might think that there's an issue with IM being native on the platform such that AT&T would have it in their agreement with Apple to keep it off in order to push SMS traffic (ie. $$$). This doesn't make sense as even though people have IM at their fingertips, SMS still thrives. But this is AT&T we're talking about here.

3) Flash integration. Sure there's a YouTube app (I'm still waiting for someone to hack it to work with any flash video website) but why not flash into the browser?

4) Microphone/Speaker (iPod Touch). hmmmm, iChat, Skype or simply watching videos without headphones on.

5) Better mail synchronization. I'm kinda a broken record on this. ;-)

6) File synchronization. While I want some photos/music/etc. on the platform, it would be nice to easily keep some files synched as well. There's a really cool hack out there to control your Mac from your iPhone/Touch and I think we'll see that app mature with the SDK.

7) interface lock (touch). Not being able to lock it is a pain in the ass. Period.

8) Front facing camera. It would be insanely cool to be able to video iChat on the touch.

9) Better browser support. Safari is pretty decent, but it needs to be better.

10) Quicktime video support for imbedded websites/streaming/downloads.

11) For pure iPod usefulness, not having external volume controls on the Touch hurts.

Of course the direction I'm going with all of this is obvious. There are things that can (and will) be done with the system software, apps and third party apps. But a new hardware platform is also required for some of these items.

And we all know where that's leading...

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