back to article Apple plays catch-up with new iPhone features

Apple has announced the new iPhone features due for summer, including several the competition has only had for a decade or so. The upgrade will be free for iPhone owners, although those with an iPod touch will have to stump up another $10 to get to version 3. Anyone desperate to get their hands on the new features earlier …

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  1. Tom Peach

    Good for Apple

    What every single reporter fails to highlight is that people knew that copy and paste etc. were not features when they bought the phone in the first place, there was no trick on Apple's part.

    Apple seem to have found a way of escaping the problem that plagues every handset manufacturer which is an incredibly short shelf life for any new handset.

    Apple customers are going to feel well supported by Apple here, they have something to look forward to that doesn't involve shelling out extra cash and that is probably enough to stop them looking to other handsets at least in the short term. So the iPhone owners get a phone which is above their original expectations for free and Apple get to cash in on the App store, everybody's a winner..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Ok, Bill, we get it

    You don't like Apple. But do you really have to use so many words in order to come across as a dunce? Clearly, the iPhone OS 3.0 is a response to the Palm Pré. Right. So it only took Apple two months to come up with a hundred new features, and a 100 APIs. Thank God Palm came round, otherwise Apple would have been left sitting on its hands, and none of these features would ever get introduced, or maybe they were saving them up for the big presenation by the reanimated corpse of SJ.

    Or maybe Apple is the only company in the mobile space that actually has a plan, and sticks to it. Yes, many features could have been there in the beginning, but they have a list of priorities, and they stick to it no matter what pundits like you think about them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Apple hater at all?

    Is this man an Apple hater?

    Just wondering.

  4. John Chadwick

    So does this mean..

    I can actually connect my in car sat nav to the phone so that I can call up the traffic alerts, or am I still going to have to fall back to my trusty Nokia 6310i each time I drive round the M25, which is virtually every day, twice.

  5. Jamie Kitson

    Landscape Keyboard?

    The iPhone has always had a landscape keyboard, you could always enter text in the browser landscape.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yeah, right... Flame-bait reporting!

    > Apple plays catch-up with new iPhone features

    Yeah, and how many usability, user-interface, look & feel, form-factor design and hardware features have Apple's competitors frantically been trying (and failing) to catch-up with since the iPhone was first announced.

    Maybe the iPhone doesn't (didn't) have some features other (smart)phones have had, but there's far more to than just a check-list of features.

    Note how all the Symbian/Windows Mobile devices have rushed to put an iPhone-style "skin" on their kludgey interfaces in the last 12 months. Just 'cos they now vaguely resemble the appearance of an iPhone, doesn't mean it works as well, or as easily as one.

    If you're happy squinting at tiny text and icons, using a stylus to navigate an interface designed for Desktop PCs on a Windows Mobile device that's base OS hasn't changed in a decade, be my guest.

    Even if you don't like/want the iPhone - you can't deny that every competitor was caught totally off-guard and only now - 2 years later - are we beginning to see any alternative devices that even remotely start to compete in usability stakes...

  7. John

    fonts

    I want custom fonts! Deja Vu for the win

  8. David Mantripp

    oh whatever

    "Technology and features in the iPhone have always been secondary to the cool factor - an area in which Apple is still well ahead of the competition"

    Yeah, yeah. What Apple has always tried to avoid, usually succesfully, is to implement features BADLY. So, if you can't initially work out a way to do MMS well, don't do it. Total opposite to Symbian, where you've got everything but practically all of it is so godawfully badly designed that it is totally useless to the average person.

    Maybe just part of the reason that it's "cool" is because it actually works, and is a pleasure to use, not a fscking pain in the arse ? Looking nice doesn't do any harm either, but again, the average person doesn't equate a rectangular plastic box studded with more protrusions than a wathog with "looking nice"

    Having said that, Copy & Paste on the Newton was very "cool". But it would probably be tricky to implement without a stylus.

  9. Dave Ross

    nice but..

    While there is no doubt that the latest additions to the iPhone/godPhone are very welcome, I note with irritation that no extra control over the camera is mentioned.

    Given the basic (to say the least) amount of control you have over it, this is a serious ommision, and thats before we even mention the lack of video. I guess we would have to buy whatever hardware upgrade Apple makes whenever.

    I personaly would love just one tiny change to make the iPhone calendar useful, the ability to change the alarm sound for something you can actually hear.

    When my current contract ends, I will be looking to see what the market has to offer, not just meekly buying the next gen iPhone, thats for sure.

  10. wulff heiss

    and soon

    premium support in sadville, payable via itunes on your jesus phone...

    god, how i do envy you

    not

  11. Luke
    Jobs Horns

    Apple

    It is hard to argue with success, but Apple really are a mean-spirited bunch. Microsoft get all the bad press and hate and Apple tend to be seen as a nice helpful lot. They have managed to treat their users like crap for years and actually have said users be grateful for it. Genius, but really...

    The iphone is a great bit of kit, it works well and I wouldn't want another phone right now - all these new features are welcome (and massively overdue!). But Apple tie the hands of users so much (assuming you don't jailbreak). No custom ringtones without paying for songs twice on itunes or no custom alarms (kid stuff sure, but still should be an option). No user replaceable battery. Can't transfer music off the phone. These are all things that can be done on any other smartphone. And ipod touch users have to pay for a pretty basic software upgrade? Come on now, seriously...

    Yes they make great hardware, they push everyone else forward, but they do deserve a healthy dose of hate to try and at least discourage them from being such Nazis with everything all the bloody time. I really hope for Android on a decent handset soon to at least introduce some element of competition.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Microsoft's [MMS implementations] have always been a dog's dinner"

    So having it in a mailbox alongside the SMS and email accounts is a Dogs Dinner? Hardly.

    You can just imagine the new Apple iPhone adverts- "And now, for the first time ever- anywhere- there's a mobile device that allows you to cut-and-paste. On what is totally the worlds most advanced smartphone."

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Idiot

    > no other smartphone platform has a problem displaying a keyboard in landscape

    Neither does the iPhone. Ever used Safari? It just wasn't implemented in other apps yet.

    > or recording a voice memo,

    Neither does the iPhone. Ever heard of third-party apps in the AppStore?

    > or even connecting a tethered laptop over the cellular connection

    Neither does the iPhone. Ever heard of "Netshare" which was available from the AppStore until AT&T (not Apple) decided they didn't like it?

    I don't believe you've actually used an iPhone have you?

  14. Nick Miles

    Losing the plot

    That's a few average products / Apps that Apple have come out with in the last year or so. Are they now becoming tired?

  15. John Pollard

    Try one

    It is easy to list off features and say what is missing and that X phone has already done this for Y years, but it doesn't result in a measured review or fair comparison. I recommend you try owning an iphone for a few months and then write again.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But will it allow third party GPS software

    Google maps appears OK for walking around town (but so is asking directions), but until I can get some decent car based route finding / direction giving program on it I won't be buying one. Shame really cos other than that I really like the iPhone, it's just that GPS based route finding in my car is absolutely critical to me and if I have to keep my existing phone for GPS I may as well keep my existing phone for everything else.

  17. James Robertson

    Custom Ringtones are free

    You can put custom ringtones on using a free app called iToner, problem sorted.

    Personally speaking I had a good mobile phone, but didn't want to be carrying my iPod and mobile, so I decided to get the iPhone, overall I am happy with it as I knew what I was buying into. so the lack of features didn't bother me. I really dont get the my phone/computer/car/etc is better/bigger/whatever than yours arguments, you buy what you want to buy and get on with it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OS3 - Phone 3 hardware this June?

    Nothing in the presentation leads to any clue that there will be a hardware refresh at the time of launch of the new OS. Or did I miss something?

  19. RichyS
    Jobs Halo

    Billtard

    "Whether these distinctions are enough to sway iPhone users is debatable. Technology and features in the iPhone have always been secondary to the cool factor."

    No Bill, technology and features on the iPhone have always been secondary to usability.

    My Sony Ericsson W910 has most of the 'features' you've mentioned, but they're implemented in such a poor way that I don't use them. I'd rather have 10 features implemented well that I can use and derive benefit from all the time, rather than 100 features of which only 1% is usable.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tempted

    I like my current smartphone - an HTC Touch Pro - but have been increasingly considering switching to an iPhone mainly because it seems to be the default phone that companies support nowadays (Last.fm app, iPlayer, LogMeIn Ignition app).

    This upgrade could be what tips it for me - OK, so it still doesn't support background apps, but I don't currently use any on my WinMo phone. I'd also be limited to the App Store (unless I jailbreak it), and I'd have to install iTunes, neither of which are particularly appealing. Guess I'll just have to wait for HTC to launch the Touch Pro3 with WinMo 7.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Good for Apple

    I try to avoid commentarding, but this is just sickening. Sorry to pick on your comments Tom, but hey, how quick did you have to come to the rescue to get your comments in first.

    I think you'll find that it's always good for Apple, at the expense of everyone else.

    "copy and paste etc. were not features when they bought the phone in the first place". I like the use of "etc." in this sentence. An incomplete implementation, but totally satisfactory to the iTard masses.

    "Apple seem to have found a way of escaping the"... ir responsibilites when it comes to developing a device that has quality and substance instead of just marketing, pretty plastic and an Oooh-thats-shiny-I'll-buy-it-cos-Im-an-iMagpie interface.

    "Apple customers are going to feel well supported by Apple here...". Yes indeed. Like tits, captured in an overly restrictive sports bra.

    I'm getting my coat now before one of the extended family of Apple salestards tries to convince me that this crap device is actually worth the huge expense (financial and freedom).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    MMS?

    ...and don't forget, MMS is something the operators want, not the customers. MMS is still barely used. email is the best way to send rich media files to someone else - completely interoperable, multi-platform. Operators like MMS because they can charge per message, rather than email which gets lost in the unlimited data bundle. So when Apple was prioritising, I guess they were thinking more abot giving the customer what they want than giving the operators what THEY want. Now they've had a bit of time to do both...

  23. lennie
    Flame

    It is Sad....

    what is sad is that copy and paste, mms, etc are "new features" and that they're actually "big" news! I wonder what has happened to todays consumers? why so backwards? can we move forward please? where is the innovation here? what, the innovation is following microsoft's local peer to peer (or social) that is implemented on the Zune? so now apple is following microsoft? what has this world come to?

    the reason no multi-tasking is implemented I believe is because it would exponentially degrade the phone's performance (maybe I'm wrong about this, but it sure seems like I'm right).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @But will it allow third party GPS software

    Yes is the answer. Turn by turn is allowed and part of the location API in v3.0

    Plus access to the API the maps application uses so you can embed the features of that in your application.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    IPHONE SUCKS ASS PEOPLE!!

    stop slagging the author for being honest. that will not change the fact that the i-phone is a pile of well-marketed crap.

    there was a comment on a theonion.com on a pisstake vid about apple I watched, something they said about computer use which rang very true with me..... they were talking about the shortcomings of a new apple laptop (only had 1 button and a wheel :) ) and saying something like "this may prove a challenge for real users who dont have a computer for just dicking around" - I think this extends to the iphone. Its meant to be some awesome uber useful tool for finding things out, maps, music, etc, but in practise turns out to be little more than a shiny interface. if you want a good smartphone that actually HAS features, buy a blackberry or similar.

    pulling out an iphone in public is the same as shouting "im a gullible advertising victim with too much money"

    down with iphone!!!

  26. Michael Brown
    Jobs Halo

    @Luke - custom ring tones

    "No custom ringtones without paying for songs twice on itunes"

    You can make custom ringtones of any song in your iTunes library very easily using GarageBand. Of course that only works if you have a Mac, however I'm sure there are Windows alternatives.

    Michael.

  27. Jonathan White

    RE:But will it allow third party GPS software

    The presenter specifically said 3.0 will support 'turn by turn navigation'. However he also said Apple's licence for the Google Maps data doesn't include this, so if Garmin or TomTom want to make an iPhone satnav app, they will have to include their own maps. I don't think they'll mind too much about that and, along with the new 'in app billing' system, it'll give them a nice revenue stream.

    'Ah, I see you're on the way to the channel tunnel entrance. Care to download some maps of France before you get there? Only £20..."

    Jon

  28. Tom
    Jobs Horns

    @MMS?

    If Apple prioritised email/data over MMS then why did the first gen iPhone only support 1990's data speeds? (i.e. GPRS not 3G/HSDPA)

    Perhaps it was so they could bend all their loyal customers over by bringing out a 3G version later.

  29. DR

    at the AC's

    Cut and paste.

    yes, it's pretty fucking bacic, and I don't see why it wasn't there to start with... apple hadn't figured out a way to do it yet... well how about you select the text, press the screen for a menu and you choose from that menu.

    a lot like every other touch screen works.

    MMS people don't use it.

    No, you don't use it, I use it, I like to receive MMS messages, mostly because they tend to be pictures of my daughter doing funny things whilst I'm at work, it cheers me up and improves my day.

    some people don't have email on their phone. and certainly more phones are capable of receiving ms than email.

    I'll admit that it is perhaps wise to have left out a feature until it could be done well, but seriously what the fuck were the developers doing all this time, they couldn't figure out how to attach a picture to a text message and send it when everyone else figured it out ten or more years ago?

    tethering

    yes, we all know that you could hack your iphone and then install a third party app. that's not the fucking point. I don't want to have to break and hack my phone before I can use it.

    landscape keyboards "it's been available in safari just not implemented in other apps"

    to me that says that the keyboard in safari is built into safari, not the phone. (perhaps someone else can confirm this?), either way I hate landscape keyboards, they take up far too much screen space seemingly more than when they are portrait, as they just seem to stretch the buttons. it's OK for a keyboard to be an incha and a half high when it's in portrait as there is plenty of screen above. not when it's portrait and it's taking more than half the screen.

    windows phones have a backward OS that looks shit.

    OK, I can see that most people don't see the point of a start menu on their phone. but there is no reason that you can't add today screen short cuts so that you just press a button to get to your apps.

    wow! not it's exactly like an iphone, you press and on screen button to get to your apps which are still displayed in a format reminiscent of windows 3.1 you can put themes on your windows OS to make it look however the hell you want.

    windows phones have tiny text.

    start > settings > options >screen now you have an option to set the text between unreadable and fisher price, whichever you prefere, (and I have a good guess at what you prefere).

    Third party apps.

    loads of people above have been saying, yes well I hacked my phone, downloaded some shit onto it and now I can run whatever, -fucking marvelous, I've been able to install and run whatever apps I liked on my phone from the start.

    regards all other things the article is accurate, support for blue tooth headphones, now who'd have thought you wanted that from your music phone.

    I've thought exactly the same as the author, what they have this new feature now. great, bully for you, I guess I'll just keep using the features that I already had that are exactly the same on my phone with is a few years old.

    so I'll stick with my old XDA for now. a phone that I got free on a cheap contract. all the rest of you guys can keep your shiny boxes that you have to pay for on an expensive contract from the same company that I use.

    I have used an Iphone, (my missus got one for a while), yes it is easy to use, but no easier than my phone is. so the ease of use argument goes out the window as well as far as i'm concerned...

    as for the styles, stupid bit of plastic, I lost mine over a year ago and have been prodding the screen with my fingers (just like all you iphone users) with no problem ever since.

    The article isn't biased, it's just truthful, apple ARE ten years out of date with something that they now seem to be trumpeting as great new state of the art features.

    and no, I'm not an apple hater, as soon as apple join this century with the features that they offer, and I don't have to hack my phone to install any app that I like, I'll get one -cause I like shiny things too.

    (in fact I'm kind of holding out for the one rumoured to have a keyboard).

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ever used one?

    Not an Apple fan are we, Bill. Try using one for a while and then revisit your reveiw. But don't repost it, just steer clear of Apple altogether for future reg submissions.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Ivan Headache

    @It is Sad....

    is that that Zune person is peer to peering with himself.

    How long has it been out? I've never seen one.

  33. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    Serious?

    Come on Bill, try a little dispassionate reporting rather than poorly argued and half-correct polemic...

    Paris... because even she knows impartial journalism when she sees it.

  34. Khurt Williams

    Certainly NOT the iPhone.

    Which existing smartphone/PDA/music player device has support for BlueTooth syncing for medical devices? Which one has a landscape mode? Which one will allow me to connect my glucometer to download and create reports on how well I am managing my diabetes?

    So which device needs to play catchup? Certainly NOT the iPhone.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    fanbois and hators

    is there anyone out there that is just *indifferent* about apple? every time theres an article on apple all the hat0rs and fanbois creep out to mindlessly flame each other with meaningless drivel when neither side are prepared to listen. i love it - the futile bickering makes me smile :)

    me? i dont hate apple, i just grew out of shiney toys when i was about 6.

  36. David Harrington
    Thumb Up

    Fair comments

    It is good to see an article which cuts through the marketing hype from Apple. It has been clear since the launch of the original model that the iPhone has been missing many features which come as standard on other platforms and also that Apple want people to pay extra for basic features which are available for free on most other phones, such as MMS and over the air backup. Most people also forget Apple is still a minor player in the mobile phone business. Finally, the closed nature of the platform is a serious concern - in that respect alone it is much worse than any Microsoft product. Not to mention the lack of an SDK which actually supports the features of the hardware...

  37. Chris
    Thumb Down

    Double standards much?

    I do like the way the iFans blast 'every other smartphone' for using third party apps to alter the look and feel, yet their defence for not having tethering/landscape keyboard/voice memos is instantly 'go to the app store!'

    And yes my WM6.1 phone does have a skin, but it looks nothing like the gaudy mess of the iPhone, it's a nice standard HTC Home jobbie. Perfectly finger-usable, my stylus stays put. The difference is, I get to decide what apps I'd like to install, not Apple. Why must they hold the users hand so much, are they really that scared that outside their little walled garden the shrubbery is looking a little rough?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Lee

    Yes.

    It was specifically mentioned yesterday.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Oh dear...

    It's usually the accompanying comments that are flame worthy or fury induced rants, not the article itself.

    To cover the only point missing, I can't tell you how much I long to be able to use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to control my iPhone.

    Jeez... I stupidly thought "finally, people will be happy, they've got their flaws addressed" and we could move on with our lives, but no. Has any piece of kit ever drawn such heated debates before? A sign that someone is bucking the trend and bucking it well.

  40. Stuart Duel
    Jobs Halo

    Urgh!

    Someone asked the question: Is there anyone out there that is just *indifferent* about apple?

    Very few I would imagine. I don't buy Apple products because they look cool or I'm an iTard or iSheep and incapable of thinking for myself, as many here arrogantly and ignorantly state. I buy them and love them because they work as advertised, they make bloody awesome hardware and software which 'just works' and Apple have an eye for detail which no one - NO ONE - comes remotely close to matching. Anyone who hasn't used Apple products is hardly in a position to comment on them, let alone slag them or their users off.

    My previous 3G phones were an SE and after that Motorola. I never used internet or email because it was so bloody hard to set up. From the impenetrable user manual to unhelpful/clueless telco to the indifferent manufacturer's support line it was always an exercise in futility. I almost never used the cameras because they took such shitty pictures. I rarely sent MMS messages because whether they arrived at their destination depended on the other person's carrier, their phone's implementation of MMS or indeed whether they could figure out how to even turn the feature on which once again required contacting the telco to set it up. UTTER - PAIN - IN - THE - ARSE. The other problems with MMS is there is no way of knowing which phones in your address book actually HAVE MMS support so bang goes a chunk of your messaging allowing for absolutely no benefit. I prefer sending images attached to emails.

    Apple isn't perfect. They were the first to make USB useful, but were virtually the last to include USB2. I can't fathom how they took so bloody long to implement Cut, Copy, Paste - no doubt the result of some internal hissy-fits - but it looks like an elegant solution they have finally come up with. Beats the dicking around on the SE or Moto phone. The lack of landscape keyboard across all apps was an irritant but not a deal breaker. Why that wasn't implemented from the start is the bigger mystery here.

    Tethering would be very useful, but see your data allowance quickly vanish if you're not careful! As stated by others and Apple, this function is dependant on your telco's attitude.

    In the end, I knew the limitations the iPhone had at launch. I didn't get sucked into SJ's reality distortion field, I got fed up with crappy phones which had all the functions and none of the usability. I also knew that I could rely on Apple to release updates for free or at least very low cost, which gave me what was missing and much more, and wouldn't force me into an ever tightening spiral of totally unnecessary hardware upgrades. Just like owning a Mac actually.

    So take your juvenile iTard insults back to the playground where they belong.

  41. Christopher Cowan

    Keynote is worth a look

    Just watched the keynote on the iPhone 3.0 OS, you can see how cut and paste is implemented as well as some interesting ideas of what the new OS can do, the uses as a medical device were interesting. http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/0903lajkszg/event/index.html is the link.

    BTW background apps on other phones reduced the standby battery life by 80% whereas the push model on the iPhone decreases standby battery life by 23%.

  42. Stewart Midwinter
    Thumb Down

    keyboard please

    Apple announced more uses for bluetooth in 3.0, but I haven't yet heard an official confirmation that I will be able to -- finally -- use an Apple bluetooth keyboard with an Apple iPhone. I guess I'll have to keep using the keyboard instead with my Nokia phone until Apple reaches the mid-90s with its bluetooth stack (even my old Palm Tungsten could use a bluetooth keyboard).

  43. Will Tisdale
    Stop

    @Stuart Duel

    I'm sorry, Apple *used* to have an eye for detail and be the best, but now they have too many fingers in too many pies and churn out generic crap much later than everyone else.

    They should have concentrated on what they were good at, which was computers. Now they are not particularly good at anything and anyone who has used Apple products over the years has undoubtedly seen the standard of software released substantially lowering and any honest Apple fan will admit that. (But there ain't many of those about).

    As for the iPhone v3 software, it's pretty much a non-event, move along people.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Really

    I just like using my phone for making calls and sending texts, how bizarre. It means it can be small and functional with a long lasting battery - what a novelty. I'd have to go back about 12 years to find a mobile phone with the battery life these things boast.

    Why the fuck do people seem to need a miniature version of a laptop on them 24/7?

    Want something to read on the train? How about a newspaper? Or a book?

    Want to listen to music? Normal phones do that.

    Want to watch TV? You're sadder than I thought.

    Want to browse the internet? Get a life you sad fuck. You've probably been sat before a computer all sodding day, can't it wait until you get home? "Oh, but I need to look up a map or find a restaurant while I'm out" blah blah blah

    How did civilisation cope before all this shit came along? Anyone who wants one of these or any other data-leach portable devices is just a network operator's wet dream.

  45. Tom Peach

    RE: @Good for Apple

    It is about managing your customers expectations.

    You are looking at it from a (mildly) techy view, yes there are loads of basic features that iPhone 2.x doesn't have. I have an iPhone and I don't miss a single one, they really aren't important, MMS...pah.

    The point is that Apple delivered, it was well known these features were not included. People are free to choose from a range of phones that have MMS, cut and paste but many choose to buy an iPhone, so these features clearly aren't as important to the general public as you would believe.

    Nobody expected to get a large range of additional functionality without upgrading the handset, and without paying more money, iPhone owners will feel good about this.

    And for the record, before you label me as a fanboi, I think the iPhone is pretty crap, the interface is laggy and Safari painful to use. Add the fact it is crippled by a dependency on iTunes gives it even less appeal. I look forward to the Pre.

  46. Colonel Panic
    Boffin

    Cut & Paste - why so long coming

    The absence of cut and paste is due to the security lockdown on the iPhone. There is no common filespace, and rather than restrict access using POSIX permissions, Apple chose (in its wisdom) to have single user, but use signed executables and encrypted storage - each app can only see and read its own data (Apple apps can read each other's data because they are signed with the same key).

    I'm guessing that's why cut and paste was non-trivial to implement (rather than the oft-quoted "we couldn't think of a gesture interface for it" excuse).

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Will Tisdale

    Yes indeed, well put. Let's forget about that ghastly nightmare that's called the iPod. Stupid name anyway. Who would possibly want to have something like that? Let's also forget about that iPhone thingy. I mean, all the other phone companies had such great devices lined up for us consumers, but thanks to Apple, they are now forced to come up with derivative crap. Not because customers want it, but because Apple does it, and that's reason enough for doing it. I mean, if Apple is doing it, you have to follow them, even if it's a very very bad idea. And that App Store, I mean really. A friend of mine downloaded an app from there once, and a few days later, he deleted it. So there, empirical proof that the App Store is a complete and utter failure.

    You're absolutely right: Apple should stick to making computers. In fact, I'll go one step further, and say that Apple should reintroduce the Apple II, beige plastic and all. It was popular back in the day, so I see no reason why it couldn't be popular once more. All those unibody MacBooks and MagSafe connectors, overrated crap I say.

    Paris, because she should have some more fingers in pies, but should turn out less generic crap.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Keynote is worth a look

    No it's not - really. Fill your time reading a book or going for a walk.

  49. D@v3

    3rd party apps.

    To all you people who seem to be perfectly happy with their non iPhones, good for you.

    I have had in the past various nokias, and it never even occured to me that you /could/ install new software/apps onto them, and i have a fairly strong feeling that, that goes for at least 80% of mobile phone users.

    Then Apple came along and said.

    You know what, you can install usefull aplications that we didnt include as standard (because not everyone wants to do everything), and its easy, and better than that, will will provide you with a shop, accesable from your phone, from which you can download them, many for free, some for a (usually) small fee.

    The only thing i ever downloaded for my old phones were the occasional game, at wallet damaging prices. I now have 11 games, plus many other, very usefull apps, that i havnt had to pay an extra penny for.

    After descovering that there were a couple of things that i wanted to do, that were available only by jailbreaking, i did, and have since got slightly more functionality, (i tried a jailbreak cut/paste app, after a week of not using it, i got rid of it).

    The jail break process was so easy, it seemed like the logical thing to do, yet if i ever even thought to try and look for an app forone of my old phones that i could use to record my training sessions, and show me routes of cycling journeys that i make, i wouldnt have even known where to start.

    Please remember that not all members of society are 'Geeks/Nerds/whatever...' and just wantto be able to buy nice shiney things that they can just pick up and use.

    I'm no iTard, i just know what i like.

  50. Sooty

    @DR

    "Cut and paste... apple hadn't figured out a way to do it yet... well how about you select the text, press the screen for a menu and you choose from that menu."

    That would be the perfectly natural and logical way to implement it. However that would also violate microsoft's patents, for clicking, that the retards in the US patent office granted them for windows mobile.

    so it is quite possible that they hadn't figured out a way do do it, in keeping with the rest of the UI.

  51. Jessica Werkz

    @Really

    "How did civilisation cope before all this shit came along? Anyone who wants one of these or any other data-leach portable devices is just a network operator's wet dream"

    Blimey, I didn't think these people existed anymore.

    Hide ->rock->long time.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Still no flash support?

    Woo, MMS. Yippee, a maps API. Where oh where is the bloody Flash support?

    Oh, right, 90% of the apps in the store are lousy versions of Flash games.

  53. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Re: Double Standards much?

    @Chris

    "I do like the way the iFans blast 'every other smartphone' for using third party apps to alter the look and feel, yet their defence for not having tethering/landscape keyboard/voice memos is instantly 'go to the app store!'"

    Can't say I've noticed anyone doing both of those things. It's possible that some iPhone fans have said don't use 3rd party apps and some have said do use 3rd party apps.. Just proves that we all have free will and don't have to do what everone else says.

    "

    And yes my WM6.1 phone does have a skin, but it looks nothing like the gaudy mess of the iPhone, it's a nice standard HTC Home jobbie. Perfectly finger-usable, my stylus stays put. The difference is, I get to decide what apps I'd like to install, not Apple. Why must they hold the users hand so much, are they really that scared that outside their little walled garden the shrubbery is looking a little rough?"

    Clearly we haven't used the same HTC Touch interface then. The one I had was a complete mess. Coupled with an OS that took several minutes to start (which wouldn't be a problem but it also used to crash regularly) and was extremely sluggish. More so, actually, than the N95 I replaced it with even though the specs of the N95 were lower than the WM phone.

    Yes, I have an iPhone and, despite it's problems (incomplete Bluetooth support being my biggest bugbear), it *is* the most reliable mobile I have had.

    Maybe when Microsoft get a proper UI design team to look at Windows Mobile and the handset maufacturers realise that you need more than just a few funky 3d effects to make a good UI, then Windows Mobile will be able to compete.

  54. DR

    @ comment above

    "Apple isn't perfect. They were the first to make USB useful,"

    I fail to see how the USB implementation on the iphone is any better than the USB implementation on my windows smart phone, I use it to download and install apps, (if I don't want to use the built in wifi, or GRPS connection on my phone).

    I use it for syncing my calendar, I use it for connecting my phone as a modem, I use it for copying files.

    I fail to see how it's done any better on an iphone than on any other device.

    It's not that I hate the iPhone, it's just that like the article says, it is behind the times, and the *new* features, are really anything but new features. -at least they aren't new to the rest of the world.

  55. B

    @David Harrington

    "It has been clear since the launch of the original model that the iPhone has been missing many features which come as standard on other platforms and also that Apple want people to pay extra for basic features which are available for free on most other phones, such as MMS and over the air backup."

    - Except that is NOT clear since I'm not paying extra for this update. I get it free. Awwww, -1 point for innacuracy. . . Pity though, you sounded so regal right up until I compared your statement to reality.

    "Most people also forget Apple is still a minor player in the mobile phone business."

    - Depending on how you measure it, I guess you could say this is true. If you just look at the numbers then they (being a new entrant into the market for not even 2 years now) are definitely minor. If you look at influence and pushing the competitiion which has rested on their laurels for too long, then Apple is a MAJOR player. If they are so minor why are YOU talking about them?

    "Finally, the closed nature of the platform is a serious concern - in that respect alone it is much worse than any Microsoft product."

    - A concern to who? Not me. Open doesn't necessarily mean better, it just means open. And why would Apple be worse than MS? What is your logic on that skewed statement? If they are both closed then why is Apple worse? Hate much?

    "Not to mention the lack of an SDK which actually supports the features of the hardware..."

    - Again, -1 for innacuracy. An accurate statement might be phrased "an SDK that doesn't expose ALL the features of the hardware".

    It's not often I see a post that is 100% wrong, but you seemed to have nailed it! Congrats, you should be proud, at least you excel at something in life . . . too bad it's at being woefully innacurate.

  56. Chris
    Boffin

    @ Stuart Castle

    Look up to the Anonymous Coward at 16:01, an excellent example of sending people to the App Store to cover up failings in the OS. But WM users aren't allowed to use examples of the excellent, free 3rd party apps that improve the OS, oh no.

    It's also an excellent example, when discussing the tethering, of Apple denying users a function of their phone for reasons of internal politics. The phone can psycially support it, so can the service providers. It takes me two taps to enable it on WM6.1 and get HSDPA either over USB to my laptop, or via bluetooth. That's built in; there's also a third party app that turns the whole thing into a WiFi Access Point and shares the HSDPA to multiple computers.

    As for the HTC interfaces, yes some are sluggish - TouchFlo3D on my Trinity is too slow, but HTC Home works brilliantly, is fully customisable and does exactly what I need. If I want gaudy I can, if I want something a little less offensive to the eye I have the choice, something iPhone users do not.

  57. B

    Your comments are so well thought out

    "How did civilization cope before all this shit came along? "

    Quite right! I mean let's look at a few more examples which illustrate your point as well. . . .

    Want to live in a house? Ever heard of a cave?

    Want to drive a car to work? What, are you too lazy to feed a horse and saddle it, that you have to get one of those newfangled contraptions?

    Want to take a dump on a nice porcelain toilet? You mean you can't find a field nearby with some healthy grass to wipe your arse with?

    Want to post your ridiculous hypocritical bitching on a computer? Have you ever heard of pencil and paper, an envelope and stamp? Or how about smoke signals?

    Did you really think your post through before you sent it? It's called progress. And since you were posting from a computer instead of using paper to send a letter (see your newspaper rant for a similar comparison) then you seem to have the very same problem you are berating others for. . . .funny how that works, isn't it?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @chris

    How exactly is the ability to add software to a device an OS failing? I have owned several windows mobile devices. The OS is a shocker. Power management is embarrasing. The bad interface is made worse by operators fucking around with it. The available software for it was limited and ridiculously expensive. Htc build quality is extremely low to the extent that the handsets look and feel cheap. The availability of third party hardware addons is poor. Battery life is poor - if the battery runs down the thing looses all the data it has stored on it! Face it, HTC's new "touch" interface is lipstick on a pig. Cheap lipstick at that. Tethering aside (Available in 3.0. AT&T didn't want it, not Apple. This I guess is an understandable compromise to the unlimited data allowance) the iPhone shits on pretty much everything that windows mobile and htc offer, and this free update makes the chasm larger. You wintards are obsessed with ticking feature boxes regadless of how well they are implemented. You generally have the audacity to claim that it's open too!

  59. B
    Thumb Up

    @Mac Phreak

    OMG, there's somebody else on this site who "gets it"! It's not the feature list, it's the implementation. You had me at implementation. You COMPLETE me!

  60. Andy Bright

    Hilarious

    I love fanbois when they try to justify their expensive purchases, but what they fail to understand is charging for standard features through an app store or locking down the OS so it can't be used properly are not bonuses the rest of us appreciate.

    One truly outstanding retort was "well it's not rubbish because that was once a feature you could buy until Apple and AT&T decided we weren't allowed to."

    I recognise that Mac users are used to buying service packs packaged as new versions of an operating system, but the rest of us are not. We expect a smart phone to have the same features every smart phone has had for the last 10 years. And we expect those features to come as standard, not at $3-$30 a go.

    What we certainly wouldn't accept is being told what software we're allowed to run by the previous owner of our phone. I know Apple likes to think they still own all the hardware they've sold, but they need to learn to let go. Some of the people that use iPhones are not Mac users and that means they know how to wipe their own arses.

    "I just use my phone to make phone calls, you're just stupid for wanting it to do other things."

    And yet you spent $400 to do this? Ok I must really be the stupid one, because I can't see the point of spending the extra $400 over something you can get for free if that's all you want to do.

    And my absolute favourite..

    "No Bill, technology and features on the iPhone have always been secondary to usability."

    Brilliant. We don't have any features or technology, but the phone is really usable. Again, you paid how much for a phone with no features or technology but is really, really usable? Awesome I can make phone calls in landscape.. and portrait.. and landscape.. no I'm not listening to the other person, I'm using my usability and it only cost me $400 to do this.. oooh look another shiny object.. can I give you $1400 for that? It may only be a rock and doesn't have any features such as throwing, but as rocks go it's really, really usable..

  61. slider5634
    Go

    Honestly Not A Fanboi

    "is there anyone out there that is just *indifferent* about apple? every time theres an article on apple all the hat0rs and fanbois creep out to mindlessly flame each other with meaningless drivel when neither side are prepared to listen. i love it - the futile bickering makes me smile :)"

    I can honestly say I'm pretty indifferent to Apple as a whole. I've done some third party support for different Apple products sporadically and my only opinion to the company itself is that they produce products that are different.

    I have also demoed several smart phones -- Blackberry, Palm, and a couple of Win Mobile devices -- and can honestly say without bias that iPhone was my favorite device to use. It does have its downfalls, but what device doesn't.

    Blackberry was too cryptic to navigate reasonably, Palm just seemed outdated, and the Windows Mobile devices had some serious stability issues. iPhone just seemed like it had the first well designed interface. Sure, it's still lacking features -- which sounds like most will be taken care of now -- and it's stability and perfomance aren't 100 %, but until another better designed and supported interface comes along, this will probably be the last smart phone I own for a while.

    Trust me, just give it a try. If you don't like it, you don't like it and I'm sure there's another device out there better suited to your needs. Seriously though, don't knock it until you try it.

  62. Mark Sund

    features vs usability

    Since when did a list of features make for good tech? El Reg used to know the difference.

  63. Michael Brown
    Thumb Down

    Anti-Apple bias

    With El Reg publishing such blatantly biased anti-Apple articles such as this one is it any wonder that your request to attend the iPhone 3.0 preview event was turned down? Citing "lack of space" as the reason was just being polite.

    You don't have to be Apple fanbois, straightforward unbiased reporting on technology would be fine.

  64. vincent himpe
    Jobs Horns

    @stuart dell : i used apple and threw it out

    Stupid overpriced flimsy plastic box. The lid would never quite stay on right. Plug in cards were horrible to mount. Ribbon cables to hook up very expensive floppy drives. An oversized powersupply. Clunky keyboard that was mounted way too high up on the case. A brain dead 6502 cpu that had to spend 50% of its time to retrace the screen because they were too cheap to make real video hardware. All the chips in the cheapest sockets they could find. Every once in a while you needed to push em down because you would have a bad contact. The board was only mounted with a few support points.

    Stupid apple 2. I switched to the IBM PC and never looked back.

  65. F1reman
    Jobs Halo

    @ Bill Ray

    FGS start getting your facts straight on the mobile industry and defrost on apple.

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