August 22, 2010

My Apple iPhone Saga Continues...Apple Still Annoys

Well fanboys, it looks like Apple is most likely going to get my business in the end.  One of my business partner (who "broke" her iPhone) ended up finding an iPhone 4 at an authorized AT&T dealer and made the purchase.  This sort of locks in our company for another couple of years with AT&T.  And, while I complain about my iPhone 3G to no end because I hate what it's become with Apple's RECOMMENDED UPDATE!, AT&T does not have a quality Android phone.  The Aria is the only one that makes my list of possibilities on the network (since Sony dropped the ball with the Xperia X10), but it is not as capable as an iPhone 4 with all that is available with the Jailbreak.

Besides some of the jailbreak features I've told you about in recent posts (here & here), my current favorite hacks are themes and an SMS text previewer that allows you to respond in multiple ways...even when the phone is locked.

First, the themes.  Because of good ol' Star Trek and the fact that a ton of phone features started with the communicators from the massive franchise, I thought I'd go with a Star Trek theme.  (I know, I'm a nerd.  I have a blog.  Hello.)
Besides the cool pictures, there are sound changes for everything.  That's right, the theme changed sounds from the standard, "unchangeable" ones from Apple.  The keyboard *beeps* like any console in the Star Trek TNG episodes, my received text sound is the sound of the Star Trek "doorbell", and everything from the voice of the computer telling me I have a message when I receive a voicemail to the intruder alert sound when my calendar alarm lets me know about a scheduled event, this theme makes my iPhone unique to me (and other Star Trek nerds, "Trekkies" if you will).  The point is, my phone is different from the other 51+ million out there because I made a choice to jailbreak a phone to allow it to do more.  I've unlocked some of the phone's potential.
You'll also notice there are 5 apps across the bottom, instead of 4.  This is nice.  I have more than 4 apps I use on a consistent, everyday basis.  Now I don't have to find which page or folder one more main app is on or in.  I wish there was more freedom with app icon placement.  5 across is nice.  I want the freedom to place the icons in any grid location (5 across and 6 down) that I desire.  I think it's doable, huh Apple?

Notice the conveniently located "date and time" now always on top.  I have access to the current date and time in almost every app now.  It's always there for me (unlike Apple).  This was a no-brainer addition.  Apple?  Next update?

How about HTC's "leap view (page 24 of the linked PDF)"?  It allows the user to pinch to zoom out and see all 7(on HTC) of the available screens as thumbnails.
That was a little rabbit trail.  Back to my jailbreaking ways.  An amazingly useful hack is the useful SMS/text preview function.  It allows the user to reply, call back, send a template, delete, etc. a received text from a locked screen or in any program without unlocking the phone or leaving the program.  The following images show this from a locked screen. My locked screen is a little different because of my theme.
Note in the images above, all the options available for reply.  You simply swipe right to left to reveal more options.  It's great!!!  Also, notice the profile picture on the received texts.  It takes the profile picture of the sender, gives it an artistic angle, and includes it in the preview.  Awesome and easy stuff for Apple to update, right?

So, in recapping my requests, Apple needs to... well, let me do this in my "letter to" format:

Dear Apple,

While I think you are arrogant and deaf to what users want (or just so greedy you don't care), please add these simple features to the next iOS update to make your product better.  Soon, Android may take the cake...or the gingerbread (refer to Android 3.0's code name).

1.  System sound changes, allowing the user to customize the sounds and alerts heard for each specific function of the phone.
2.  5 Icon across by 6 Icons down with freedom to place icons anywhere on the grid.
3.  Date and Time on the top status bar.  This can be optional.  Apple can use one of their clever toggle switches somewhere in system settings.
4.  Leap view (pinch to zoom access to thumbnails of all pages).
5.  Text preview and reply from a locked screen or within a program.  This should be a simple update.

From (not sincerely anymore),

James Guhn

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