iWish: iPhone updates we'd like to see

/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Meeting with Apple representatives in New York last week, I warned I had a long list of “Wish List” items. These hoped-for features run the gamut, ranging from the gadget itself to email capabilities to the embedded iPod.

Though they wouldn’t comment on individual wish list items specifically, they drove home the point that downloadable updates work wonders, and except for a couple items below, it’s my guess that nearly all of my items can and will be addressed with future fixes.

Once you've read our suggestions for future features, let us know what you'd like to see Apple integrate into iPhone.

  1. Phone: The iPhone needs a contact lookup feature. Other cell phones offer users the ability to tap out the first few letters of a name and see matches. The iPhone offers contact lookup when creating an SMS text message or email, so why not with phone calls?
  2. Copy and Paste: There is no cut, copy, and paste. Insert the feature here, please.
  3. Hotkey: On a future version of iPhone, a hotkey, below the volume control, could do different things in different applications: Press it in Camera to take a picture, or hold it down for 2 seconds in Phone and to activate voice dialing. When typing, users could hold down the hotkey and drag fingertip over text to activate a cut, copy and paste pop-up menu. You get the idea.
  4. Search: The iPhone begs for a system-side search feature, similar to what the Mac OS and Windows Vista have. Type in the search field and all matches appear, be it an email, a contact or a previously visited Web page. Palm devices have done this for years, so why not the super-slick iPhone?
  5. Keyboard: Narrow the space bar in the portrait-view keyboard and add a period key —and possibly comma, too. In the meantime, here’s a tip: Tap and hold down the punctuation key, then slide your fingertip to the period (or comma) and let go. Boom: There’s your period and you’re back to the keyboard without having to hit two taps.
  6. Keyboard 2: Show lower-case characters on the virtual keyboard when in lowercase mode and uppercase when you hit the shift or caps lock keys. As it is, the shift key highlights to indicate whether you’re in lowercase or uppercase — but this distinction is easy to miss.
  7. SMS length indicator: Though it doesn’t matter when sending SMS messages to another iPhone, the rest of the world likes to know when a text message is tipping over the word count into a second message (or more).
  8. iPod: Allow the user to manage music manually, same as on all iPods. This sounds minor — just sync your playlist, right? Apple calls the iPhone the best iPod ever, but without the ability to manually manage music like all those un-best iPods, I disagree.
  9. Email: Though Apple is pushing IMAP as
  10. Email 2: Allow size/attachment limitations in email settings to choose not to download messages that go beyond a certain size, or block huge attachments like audio or pictures or videos from downloading in emails. But do give users the option to download large attachments if desired, as other handhelds can do.
  11. Email 3: Add support for Hotmail.
  12. Notes: Sync iPhone Notes with Outlook sticky notes, or with Mac Stickies or other notes programs like SOHO Notes.
  13. Document page control: Allow a “jump to” page feature when viewing PDF documents like the 100+ page online iPhone manual.
  14. Leash hole: In a future iPhone, put a tiny “leash” hole on the side or at a corner so owner can attach a wrist leash – this thing is too beautiful and too expensive to risk it crashing to the sidewalk.
  15. Phone: Split the single message/missed call indicator into two, showing number of missed calls in one, and number of voice mails in the other.
  16. Video: No brainer here, add the ability to shoot video, like every other mobile phone with a camera.
  17. Camera: And while we’re at it, add the usual assortment of options to the camera and video features, like light adjustments, day/night, zoom, etc.
  18. Bluetooth: If a Bluetooth headset is paired with the iPhone and active, make it the default device when using the Phone to make a call or listen to voice mail. After all, why would I turn on my Bluetooth headset if I didn’t want to use it?
  19. Bluetooth 2: Figure out a way to let users send things via Bluetooth. Obvious choices are ringtones (a whole separate issue), wallpaper pictures, and Word and Excel documents — assuming there will be document editors like Documents to Go for Palm devices and the mini Office applications available on Windows Mobile devices.
  20. Bluetooth 3: Let makers of portable Bluetooth keyboards connect to the iPhone. Once those mini apps are available, the iPhone can act as a true notebook replacement.
  21. To do: Add a to-do application and sync with iCal and Outlook and other supported task/to do programs.
  22. Alarm: Snooze is great, but give us some options like 5 minutes, 10 minutes. Some of us are freelancers!
  23. Battery: Not to repeat what others have said here, but one interesting solution might be to widen iPhone distribution to all AT&T-authorized cell shops and allow them to replace iPhone batteries. I’d much rather wait a few minutes for my new battery than send my phone off to the battery doctor for a minimum of three days.
  24. Word List: Let the user see what words the keyboard has learned (or thinks it has)  and add the ability to add, edit, or delete known words.
  25. Open it up: Most importantly, open up iPhone development so thousands of mini apps can make this device into a Many-Splendored Thing.