Even the iPhone isn’t perfect. Here are the top ten iPhone annoyances and what you can do about them.
By Jared Newman, PC WorldJul 30, 2009 8:00 am
Even the greatest gadgets have flaws, and the iPhone is certainly no exception. Praise it all you want, but the "Jesus phone" has plenty of little annoyances or nuisances that get under a user's skin. Fortunately, technology is all about workarounds to common problems. So we've not only put together a Top 10 list of iPhone annoyances to vent about, we're also offering solutions (where we can) to fix those pesky iPhone problems we hate so much.
10. Default Apps Can't Be Hidden
The iPhone's start screen is filled with shortcuts to prepackaged applactions that come with your iPhone whether you want them or not--for example, an app for checking stocks whose shortcut can't be removed from the iPhone interface. Despite Apple's insistence, not everyone wants to check the Dow Jones Industrial Average or for that matter the weather, or even use the iPhone's calculator. That the iPhone's prepackaged apps can't be hidden, deleted, or otherwise customized speaks to the stubborn rigidity of Apple.
Ideally: If Apple wanted to fix this annoyance, it would have an "Appearance" option in the Settings menu that would allow users to make unwanted apps disappear without actually deleting them.
The workaround: Isolate undesirable apps on your last home page--that's the quick and dirty method. A more elaborate trick, detailed at Macenstein, stashes apps on a hidden overflow page, though this works only until the iPhone is turned off. Jailbreakers will seek out programs such as Sbsettings or Poof.
9. You Can't Run Pandora or Other Apps in the Background
One of the iPhone's greatest assets is the ability to stream Internet radio stations such as Pandora and Slacker from anywhere with a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Too bad you can't listen to that music while checking e-mail or playing games.
Ideally: In a perfect world, Apple would allow certain apps to run at the same time as others. We understand that Apple's trying to keep the smartphone running smoothly, but if the iPod app can play music in the background, the iPhone's audio apps should be able to do the same.
The workaround: Sadly, you'll have to use your get-out-of-jail-free card. Jailbreakers can download Gaizin's Backgrounder app for full multitasking glory.
8. The App Store Is a Pain to Browse
There may very well be an app that suits your wildest dreams, but good luck finding it among the junk that populates so much of the iPhone's App Store. Only a text search or sorting apps by release date will get you beyond the top 100 in each category, and even then you'll turn up plenty of unwanted results. (As reported this week--and as we're glad to hear--Apple has added search keywords, but we understand that the function is somewhat glitchy.)
Ideally: A great search option would be a "Show All" feature. This would allow you to sort by name or rank, covering the full breadth of the App Store's vast shelves.
The workaround Use an app to browse the store, such as App Miner, which builds lists of apps that go on sale--including paid apps being given away--and lets you create a "watch list" for discounts. For filtering and better user recommendations, try using Web sites such as Apptism, AppBeacon, or Macworld's App Guide.....