Every consumer survey out there ranks the iPhone as the bestest phone on the market, putting the Palm Pre and Android phones to shame. True. I love my iPhone. It is from far the best device I have ever owned. However, there is still room for improvement.

I read an article on eWeek today titled “10 things we’re still missing from the iPhone”. It’s really spot on and I’d like to share with you what these missing features are, and my take on what Apple needs to implement in the next iPhone, both in terms of hardware and software.

1. Enterprise Features

The iPhone is not business friendly. When people ask me what type of phone they should get, I always tell them that if they want to use it for business then they should get a BlackBerry. If they want a cool phone to do everything but work, then get an iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t even allow you to save your attachments. How can that work for any business person out there?

2. Multitasking

It’s not that the iPhone can’t handle multitasking, it’s just that Apple doesn’t want you to have it. Why? Probably so they can include it in the next iPhone and get you to buy the newer model. Fortunately, there are some alternatives (Backgrounder + MultiFlow).

3 . Physical Keybard

A touch screen is great, but a physical keyboard is better. There is no way Apple will ever add a physical keyboard to the iPhone, but one can dream, right?

4. Open Source

Just like the physical keyboard, this will never happen. Apple became successful by and for its closed platform and this is not going to change.

5. Friendly Developer Rules

Many iPhone devs are fleeing the App Store, but even more are getting in, sometimes lured by the myth of easy and quick money. The App Store is still young and Apple still has a lot to learn. The problem is Apple is not a team player but hopefully they will figure out soon that communicating can go a long way when dealing with the developers that make your platform the success it is.

6. Interchangeable Batteries

Who hasn’t complained about the poor battery life of his/her iPhone? The iPhone has a very poor battery life and yes, a removable battery would be great. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen though. If like me, your iPhone battery sucks, read my 18 tips to improve your battery life.

7. VoIP over 3G

Apple (or AT&T?) doesn’t want you to use your VoIP apps such as Skype or even Google Voice (which got rejected) over 3G because it would be most likely clog the network. If your iPhone is jailbroken, you do have the option to bypass these restrictions

8. Multiple Carriers

So far, Apple has an exclusivity with AT&T and not everyone is happy about that. In Europe, it seems that the end of iPhone exlusivity means boosted sales for Apple. We can hope to see Apple ends its exclusive agreement with AT&T and make the iPhone available on other carriers (most likely T-Mobile).

9. Removable Storage

I don’t think this is a must-have feature but it’s always a nice one to have. Instead of adding removable storage (ie SD card), I think Apple should allow you to use your iPhone as a hard drive, which it kinda does in a cumbersome way so far. An easier way is to use this hack to set up your iPhone as a USB drive.

10. Some Serious Competition

Probably the most insteresting point of all is the lack of competition to Apple’s supremacy. No real competition means that Apple can basically do whatever they want as they are in no rush to release all the features we might want. In the end, you are the big loser. A serious rival to the iPhone would most likely make Apple give us more of what we need (ie. the 9 points above).

Would you add anything to this list? What feature would you like to see implemented in the next iPhone?

  • Dre

    How about the ability to send something from my calendar to another iPhone users calendar, it wud be perfect for married couples with busy lives, and hve the need to synch their childrens extracurricular activities.

  • Pilot

    And that is why we have the Motorola DROID.. Have you not seen the TV commercials?

  • Bouncy

    Full Bluetooth Access, all my friends send funny videos, pics & music to each other on their phones while I’m left out because apple say I’m not allowed to swap or share.

    Oh and there’s a flash for the camera, yes there are free apps that adjust brightness and contrast but these don’t compare to the quality of picture taken with a real flash.

    Oh and did I mention watching Flash movies or flash enabled websites. Apart from your 10 suggestions and my few listed here I actually LOVE my iPhone 3GS.

  • ant

    i’m sorry to disappoint you, but iphone platform is opensourced.

  • Donna

    Huh?

    The iphone now *DOES* VOIP on 3G or wi-fi.

    Where have you been?

  • Toni

    I just bought 1 of those $15 batteries that plugs in the bottom of my iphone.

    Works great. And you don’t have to shut the phone off… open it up… and wait for it to reboot.

    Just “plug and go”.

  • Mary

    > No real competition

    So that’s APPLE’S fault?

    It’s bad that they invented a device that’s so amazing… that no one can even come close to it?

    Don’t blame Apple. I would LOVE to see 20 different phones that are better than the iPhone.

    Currently there are 0.

  • Jill

    The iPhone hardware and software supports multi-tasking. Always has. Always will. Right from day #1.

    Many iPhone apps *DO* true multi-task. It’s *IMPOSSIBLE* for a virus to hide in your iphone and run in the background. EVER.
    (Unless you illegal jailbreak your phone. NOT recommended.)

    Many others… do something even BETTER: You can run a chat-type program… and *EXIT* it… and it will still continue to tell you when someone chats you. Yes… *WITHOUT* the program even running. Not using up memory. Not using up battery. Not using up CPU. No need to search through a list of ‘running programs’ at all.

    Multitasking is so 1990s.

  • Brian

    Such a worn out topic. Put your energy into something constructive. Half the things you listed suck anyway. Especially the mini keyboard. They all suck and I don’t want one or I’d buy a Droid. The iphone is for people that don’t want a stupid keyboard with tiny buttons. Quit whining and get a different phone already! How about we stick to articles on how we can maximize what we have instead of crying to the world like a little brat?

    Also, forget open source. This is not that kind of phone. That’s why it works as well as it does. Every time I try to replace something I use with an open source product, I get no support and a crappy product.

  • Eddie

    +1 on the bluetooth and flash support. They also really need to support outlook meeting requests, thats the first thing a “business” phone should have

    But I have to disagree with #3: Physical Keyboard. I think the soft keyboard is easier to use and makes the phone much better in many ways. For one, it eliminates moving parts. The more moving parts you have over time, the more the quality of the phone degrades. That’s what I hate about phones like nokias. After one year of use they look like crap. The iphone looks like its brand new even after 2 years of usage. Secondly, it allows the phone to have a neat design and be less bulky.

  • I agree Bouncy, full bluetooth access would be nice.

    Also, since I’m terrible with the iPhone keyboard, a physical one would be nice.

  • Chris

    The iPhone’s keyboard is perfect as it is, don’t go adding on anymore slideout keboards!!!

    Besides a couple of minor issues that need attention, it’s as close to perfect as I can ask for. There isn’t a “perfect” phone on the market anyways, and as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t trade my Iphone for any other phone out there.

    “Iphone, you rock baby”!!!!!

  • Angicat

    Flash support! I’d like to never see that little “blue question mark in a box” ever again!

    That and a flash for the camera and I’d be happy. Apparently all my needs have the word flash in them. XD

  • Scott

    your first point about the iPhone is not business friendly, won’t even save attachments- I do not agree with. your attachments are saved in your mailbox! why save copies of documents that are already in your e-mail? and with the mobile me cloud the attachments are also synced to any computer you go to to retrieve them. you can read almost any format, cut and paste, edit, forward, etc. i can find and send 2 attachments to every 1 in other phones because i do not have to change programs. i am in a communication business and 90% of the people i know use the iPhone for business every day, in fact we probably send more e-mail, pictures, documents, sms on a daily basis than most other industries, why? is it because the iPhone is not business friendly? i think not.

    multitasking- the new apple commercial explains this, just press the button at the bottom and viola you are multi-tasking! take a call, then open up ical, change event, and mail it out, then check the weather, etc, etc. all while still on the call. this is multi-tasking.

    physical keyboard- waste of parts, too small, and the first thing to go wrong with other phones.

  • Jeffery

    Ummm adobe flash!

  • Wilfred

    just to comment each of the points up there

    1) Enterprise Features – I guess that’s the different market segment and hey, when you say iPhone isn’t business friendly, does blackberry/WinMob phone public user friendly too? I do believe there would be a day when they try to go against each other, but currently, i think Apple is on the consumer rather than business, but they are on the way for business too.

    2) Multitasking – When you multitasking, phone resource is used up. End up you blame the phone for laggy, resource hungry…etc. It is good to have, but not every user need it, and until hardware is good enough to cope for super user, best to avoid to hinder user experience.

    3) Physical Keybard – Go for WinMob then, but there are also WinMob phone without keyboard. THere is always Pros & Cons of virtual keyboard, depends type of user. BUt if you are not happy with it, stay away from it, that’s it. At least iPhone’s virtual keyboard is better handled than WinMob virtual keyboard.

    4) Open Source – Speak the same to Windows….and yes, war between proprietary and open-source, it is a never ending war. YOu either choose side, or stay out of it, and pick the one you like more.

    5) Friendly Developer Rules – this does stir a lot developer away….that has to admit

    6) Interchangeable Batteries – I guess that’s the way for Apple to keep the phone aesthetics

    7) VoIP over 3G – AT&T already lifted the block, and you likely to see the lift from iPhoneOS on next update……i suppose

    8) Multiple Carriers – bad news for the US, but elsewhere of the world, some are not having this problem….so they are lucky

    9) Removable Storage – Seriously speaking, will you carry the connector cable around all the time? Even a 16GB USB drive is cheaper than anything else today, much light-weight and easier to carry than iPhone. Get one if you need removable storage, keep your iPhone for phone and music…that’s enough.

    10) Some Serious Competition – No competition? there is….but ask them to make up something real nice to beat Apple….competition always nice for consumer, but if the opponent is not on par, or incapable, can Apple do anything? why should i help my competitor if I don’t have to?

    Conclusion, you like it, buy it. Don’t like it, leave it. That’s all. Cheers~

  • Tomascco

    Apple is open-source? Seriously? I do not think you understand what those words really mean. Apple is the most closed-source system of any computer manufacturer. The Iphone is like the first Mac – no customer serviceable parts inside. Yet people have found a way inside, but all unapproved by Apple.

    If anything is going to decide the smartphone race it will probably come down to open-source. Forget the number of apps. If that were the case the Windows should be the only computer system, but the Mac not only persists but thrives.

    Android has a lot of catching up to do, but it will and it will surpass any smartphone currently available.

    As for multitasking, seriously, eight gigs is not enough for multitasking? Have you seen it active on a Palm Pre or a Droid? It’s not flawless, but once you begin using it you will see how truly limited other smartphones are.

  • Thanks for all the comments, guys. Here are a few replies to some of you.

    @ant Sorry but the iPhone is everything but opensource…

    @Donna Please showe me one application in the App Store that allows VoIP over 3G. There are none that do this over 3G.

    @Jill We must have a different definition of multitasking then. Multitasking to me for example is the ability to open an IM client, while skyping my friend. Then I open Crash Bandicoot while still skyping and receiving notifications of new IM. I can pause the game, go to skype and return to the game in less than 3 seconds. That is multitasking and this does not exist on the iPhone.

    @Scott this is anything but multitasking. See my reply to @Jill above. About enterprise… Are your friends able to save an Excel file, edit it, save it and email it straight from their iPhone? Nope, I didn’t think so.

    Sebastien

  • shomari

    Personally, I love Apple products (my Macbook Pro is the BEST THING EVER!) and I think the iPhone is also great (actually prefer the iPod Touch), however, every single person I know that owns one uses it 90% for entertainment/gaming (aside from obviously making phone calls). It’s basically a toy that has NO place in the business world (unless your business is making mobile apps). I think this is mainly because of its lack of “3rd-party” multitasking, which makes it incredibly limited as a device. Add in the closed-source and restrictive app store and it will not be long before its title is taken away (cue in Android 3.0).

  • Joe K.

    As far as the battery goes, I found a battery powered charger that can recharge the iPhone several times on its own charge. Last December I spent a day at the Magic Kingdom in Florida that started waiting for a bus before 7am and ended around midnight. I did plenty of picture taking, uploading those pictures to twitpic, tweeting, reading tweets, email, and text messaging.

    The charger still had two bars out of four power left at the end of that day. This one is nice in that it cradles the iPhone, does add a little weight and bulk, but that was a minor annoyance. It also adds an LED light for use as a flash light or to add a little illumination to a dark scene for taking pictures.

  • twit1977

    great article but u missed out flash support .

  • J

    Tethering?

  • Squint0241

    It is true that the iPhone lacks any real competition at this point and that could be the reason as stated as to why they delay adding all the features one could possibly want, so to speak. I think in the end they might lose out on the greenback (money). For example: the recently released 3GS was not enough of an enhancement to entice me to get another phone to replace my 3G model. It does everything the 3GS does albiet a little slower, but nonetheless they are about the same. Since I have Jailbroken my 3G, I am able to get more than enough features to hold me over past a generation of iPhone to wait till something more (a must have) comes out. Sure apple is going to sell a few million to new customers as expected. But the existing iPhone users (3G) can wait it out a year for something more substantial to come out. Thats a few more million in cash that apple could have had. Maybe in the end, apple makes so much darn money that they could care less about selling each model to every user… It’s their call after all… I can wait 🙂

  • RACHINI

    Hey Fuckers,
    go jailbreak your iPhones use it for some time install stuff from cydia then come back and apologies for your stupidity.

    bluetooth file transfer is a must.
    flash well my grandmo’s phone has one.
    Flash enabled websites support ( they’ll support Flash when no one uses it anymore ).

    The iPhone is not perfect yet, but at least it has the capability to be perfect it only apple the one not wanting it to be perfect yet, so they can sell you the newer models.

    at last : it’s just a fucking phone *~* get a life.

  • RACHINI

    Hey Fuckers,
    go jailbreak your iPhones use it for some time install stuff from cydia then come back and apologies for your stupidity.

    bluetooth file transfer is a must.
    Camera Flash, well my grandmo’s phone has one.
    Flash enabled websites support ( they’ll support Flash when no one uses it anymore ).

    The iPhone is not perfect yet, but at least it has the capability to be perfect it is only apple the one not wanting it to be perfect yet, so they can sell you the newer models.

    at last : it’s just a fucking phone *~* get a life.