Though everyone is excited about the launch of the new iPhone, I wanted to take a practical look at what features are still missing from this device, compared to others on the market. If Apple really wants to knock the next iPhone out of the park, hopefully some of these ideas will show up next time.

iPhone 3G S: What Is Missing?

Though everyone is excited about the launch of the new iPhone, I wanted to take a practical look at what features are still missing from this device, compared to others on the market. If Apple really wants to knock the next iPhone out of the park, hopefully some of these ideas will show up next time.

HD Video Support

With more content on the iTunes Store available in HD, I would like the ability to store this HD content on my iPhone and play it when I plug my iPhone into my HDTV. As more consumer products are recording in HD, it would be nice if I could store one copy of my vacation videos, instead of one optimized for the iPhone and another optimized for the Apple TV. A simple software update could fix this (to allow larger content to sync to the device) and the signal could be output via the dock connector. The Zune HD will support HD video output when it launches later this year, so perhaps this feature will make it into an upcoming iPod touch refresh before the year is out.

Wireless Syncing

MobileMe brought about push email, calendars, and contacts, allowing users to go more often without syncing their device. However, I would truly like to see complete wireless syncing either over Wi-Fi, or via Bluetooth 3.0, which should start to become more common in the wake of its release in April of this year. If the phones can tether a wireless connection over Bluetooth (unless you’re in the States, like me), then why can’t they sync via this method?


The crowd remains divided over whether having slower devices on your network brings down the general speed of the network, but I’d much prefer to have an iPhone that supported 802.11n so that I could maintain an n-only network. I’m really surprised we haven’t seen this yet, but I’m assuming it’s because of battery concerns.

Flash Support

When Flash is discussed in relation to the iPhone, it seems to be a mixed bag. Regular clunky Flash is too burdensome for the iPhone (though has anybody compared this to the new 3G S specs?) and the mobile version of Flash isn’t a good experience on the device. I’m not begging for Flash simply because I want more games on the phone, but primarily for many web sites that encode video content in Flash format (like Hulu) or with Silverlight (like Netflix’s Watch Instantly).

Of course, these feature requests are merely the tip of the iceberg compared to some of the features others would like to see. If you have any thoughts for specific features you’d love to see in the next iPhone, please leave a comment below and let me know!

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  1. Dan the man Friday, June 12, 2009

    Front mounted camera for Skype video calling and conferencing… Was expecting a bit more from Apple to be honest.

  2. The question I have is will it support blue tooth headphones?

    1. Yes, the 3.0 software update will enable that on even iphone 3g’s.

    2. I am using 3.0 on my 2nd generation (3G) iPhone. It works great with Motorola S9 stereo wireless BT headphones. The S9’s have now been replaced by Motorola with an S9-HD that is supposed to be more sweat resistant and has some kind of better sound processing. I think a lot of new BT headphones are going to be offered now that the iPhone supports BT stereo. JayBirds makes some that look pretty good. Nokia is going to issue some really expensive, high end ones.

      Note some people have reported issues about using the BT for stereo headphones and Wifi. I haven’t used mine long enough to tell.

    3. With 3.0 the iPhone now supports the A2DP Bluetooth profile. What this means is stereo headphones will just work without needing any special adapter which is great.

  3. This is more of an iPhone OS 3.0 thing but this device severely needs notification profiles. As a former BlackBerry user, I really enjoyed being able to change all the notification settings by changing to a different profile. In an extremely important meeting? Turn all notifications OFF. In a meeting that I want to get out of? Only Vibrate. My personal ringtone is inappropriate for work? When I get there I turn on my “Work Profile”.

    The vibrate on/off button on the side just doesn’t cover all the necessary scenarios.

  4. Well that is stretching a bit to find faults. Playing HD from a phone to a TV, come on – that is why I have devices that have 500 – 1000 GB drives for storage not to mention 25 – 50 GB blu-rays. You sure could kiss 32 GB goodbye in a hurry with HD video.

  5. Joseph Ranum Friday, June 12, 2009

    For update 3.1 I recommend a simple software modification that would bring some piece of mind to myself and many others: the ability to create customizable folders. I would like to be able categorize my apps into relevant folders so I don’t have to reorganize 8 pages every time I download something new.

    1. That is already possible…
      All you need to do is jailbreak your iPhone.
      But if you do, there is an app you can get of cydia (black market version of the app store), it’s called “Categories”.
      With the app you can put your apps or games into folders and the folder appears as an icon on your iPhone/iPod Touch. You can name them and even give them an icon…

  6. HD video? Good god. It would take up too much space and the difference in video picture would be negible at best.

  7. Tomas Kapler Friday, June 12, 2009

    [2] – bluetooth headphones were supported even with the first iPhone, problem was, that only mono. This was solved in the OS 3.0, so you can use stereo BT headphones as well

    [1] – please, can you describe me how do you use videoconferencing with frontal mounted cammera? I know many people with frontal mounting camera but noone actualy using it, because they would have to put the mobile in the hand and stay exactly aligned. Much better is to use an external cammera. And with OS 3, you can probably plug one, when someone will offer it (connected by BT or the docking connector)

  8. I was really hoping for direct syncing between Mail.app’s Notes and ToDo’s with the Notes and a ToDo app on the iPhone.
    I remember this concern being discussed around the time the first gen iPhone came out, but no one still requests it, except for me.

  9. Tomas Kapler Friday, June 12, 2009

    HD TV – why the hell on the device with 240×480 px you want HD???
    Wireless syncing – pardon, where exactly is the problem? You can sync whatever you want and if an application wants (is programmed so), it can sync with anyone nearby, you can even play games with your friends
    802.1n – OK, not actually usefull for iphone, but having N only network would be fine at some enviroment (bit faster for all)
    Flash – Apple cannot allow flash simply because, people will play flash games, not that ones from Appstore. He can do it, but he will simply not do it because of this simple and understandable business reason

  10. The talk about HD video being on the devices is concerning for storage…but if I recall (at least for the Zune HD) it is stored as a lower quality file and then is replayed as HD like what they are doing with the instant stream feature on the Xbox for 1080p instant stream where it starts as a lower quality to load and then ramps up to full 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound

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