With the Apple Event less than a day away, there’s no shortage of speculation and wish lists for iPhone OS 4, but what about less optimistic lists? For the jaded fan, there’s no reason to wait to start bitterly complaining about what should have been in iPhone OS today.


With the Apple Event less than a day away, there’s no shortage of speculation and wish lists for iPhone OS 4, but what about less optimistic lists? For the jaded Apple fan, there’s no reason to wait until tomorrow to start bitterly complaining about what should have been in iPhone OS today.

Not that most Apple fans will be complaining, but expect the continued lack of Flash to be widely reported tomorrow. Some complain that HTML5 lacks the tools that Flash has, and that’s true. Too bad.

For the rest of us, there will be far more annoying features missing in iPhone OS 4. Here are ten of them.

  1. Wireless Syncing: Perhaps Apple has usage data showing most people charge their devices by plugging them into computers, that wireless syncing is the kind of “complexity” Apple eschews, or maybe it’s greed. After all, MobileMe is Apple’s wireless syncing option at $99 a year.
  2. Tethering: It’s been promised in one form or another for years, but we will never see iPhone tethering in the US. The last chance for that died with the 3G iPad. Both Apple and AT&T would rather have consumers buy a new device and plan than have tethering as an iPhone add-on.
  3. Mobile Finder: Considering the moribund state of the Finder in OS X, don’t expect a file management initiative on casual computing devices. For good or ill, mostly ill, iTunes is the new Finder for mobile devices.
  4. iPad User Accounts: Clearly, Apple does not care about traditional families, because after monetary problems I believe the lack of user accounts for the iPad will be the single greatest cause of divorce in 2010. Unfortunately, every user account on an iPad is potentially one less iPad sold, so forget it.
  5. Unlocked Bluetooth: Sad to say, but Apple letting the iPad use any Bluetooth keyboard is good news. The iPhone and the iPod touch can’t even do that, just headphones, and Apple isn’t going to relinquish control now.
  6. Custom Lockscreen: After three years of seeing the time and date, it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users the ability to see e-mail or text messages, or the weather, or news headlines without at least swiping first. Of course, we are allowed iPod controls, so we should probably be grateful for that.
  7. Apple Todo App: Even if you pay for MobileMe to wirelessly sync you personal information, you won’t be getting your tasks from iCal. Again, after three years, it’s hard to imagine that changing.
  8. Apple Notes Redesign: Instead of a text editing tool like WriteRoom, we get cartoon icons on a yellow paper background and Marker Felt font. Obviously, Steve Jobs does not use Notes.
  9. Delete Default Apps: It’s a small thing, but why not allow the removal of the default weather app, or stock app, or the horror that is Notes? Who knows, but after three years, not happening.
  10. iPhone OS Moniker: Why not call OS X “iMac OS” or “MacBook OS”? Because it would be stupid, just like iPhone OS for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is stupid. How about iOS, or OS X Mobile, or OS touch? Looking at the invitations for the iPhone OS 4 preview, that’s not going to happen, but it should.

That’s my bullet list of bile for what not to expect in iPhone OS 4. How about yours?

  1. You are dead on with all of these items we will never see on an iDevice. I especially agree with your Number 10 item, they should rename the OS. I think it should be called iSAAC OS X. If the iBooks name could live on as an app, they shouldn’t have a problem giving the platform a name in reference to Newton.

  2. what about Contivity VPN to allow corporate users to connect to their company.

  3. You don’t think that after three years, perhaps it might actually happen? I understand your skepticism, but arguing that since three years have gone by and it hasn’t happened it means that it isn’t going to happen seems a bit flawed.

    1. I think it depends on whether there is a discernible reason, like getting the user interface right with copy-and-paste. What’s the reason for no wireless synchronizing, the missing todo application, or the existence of Notes? Apple also has a long and mercurial history towards development: Front Row, iChat, Dashboard, DVD Player. Those are just a couple off the top of my head that have become abandonware. I’ll be glad to be wrong, but the only anti-prediction I think I might be wrong on is a new name for iPhone OS. I could see that being introduced at the end, like Apple dumping the “computer” from the company name in 2007.

      1. Valid points but I remain optimistic that apple, especially with this huge push for mobile computing, will want to run a tighter ship. I think we’ll see less things fall by the wayside as they strive to remain ahead of the game. Or maybe that’s just what I hope.

  4. I don’t know, I have a feeling that lots of the “Hasn’t happened in 3 years, won’t ever” points could change now because of the iPad. I read somewhere the iPad might have shipped with iPhone OS 3.2 only because it wasn’t refined enough for the January event. Now, 2 and a half months later, iPhone OS 4 is ready to be announced, and might fix some of the holes in the iPad. This mostly applies to points 4 and 6. User accounts would be perfect for the iPad, and everyone (including Jonny Ives) thinks the unlock screen looks ridiculous on the iPad.

  5. I’m fine with them not offering a tethering option. I don’t use it much so I don’t feel guilty about having it enabled on my phone. And of course I don’t have to pay for it.

    As far as everything else I agree. Notes is the stupidest, most unapple thing Apple has ever done. God it’s horrendous.

    In regards to wireless syncing; I think it’s quite possible. Most people are not syncing entire song libraries every single day. They’re syncing maybe a new album, maybe a couple meg application and some contact info. I think it’s a viable possibility and one they can implement to run in the background.

  6. Alejandro Perez Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    FYI Thethering is not an Iphone Issue its a Cellular Data Provider Issue, NO tethering in USA, MEXICO, And other places due to the company not letting you,and have nothing to do with the phone itself. In the UK O2 allows you to Tether. via a service provider update for the phone via itunes.

  7. A co-worker of mine said Windows Mobile used to have wireless syncing but it was removed because enterprises did not want phones connecting to users computers wirelessly. Microsoft is huge in the enterprise, so they removed that feature. It’s a feature he used to love and now hates that he has to hook his phone to his computer with a USB cable. I don’t know if Apple would add that capability if they want the iPhone/iPad to gain traction in the enterprise, but maybe they’ll add it and enable enterprises to disable it.

  8. I’m wary of dogmatic statements made the day before a huge announcement on a tech blog. You MAY be right, but you better be prepared to eat your words. I hear they go well with Tabasco.

  9. Wow. Grow up. Since when do you guys write entries like a pre-teen complaining about not being able to stay up past 11.30pm.

    Some of your points are valid but whining doesn’t get you anywhere.

  10. This sounds a lot like a 13 year old whining.

    I live in Australia and I’ve had my old 3G tethered for quite a while now. The phone can do it! So stop complaining.

    It’s just AT&T that won’t let you. Go an whine to them.

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