Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The iPhone, as it has been shown, fits well with what I want. Easy syncing with the Mac, Address Phone, phone features, music, and voice mail all look very nice. But there are 3 missing features that need to be there for it to be a good value for me.
RSS News Reader - Mobile web browsing is good, but mobile newsreaders are even better. On my Sidekick, I lived in my web-based news reader during my bus commutes. I don't want to spend time surfing around the web and slowly downloading banner ads, etc... I like my news and blogs in a nice updated, quick and easy to read list. If the read/unread and flagged/unflagged status can be synced with my work and home computer, it would be icing on the cake. Offline support so I could sync in the airport and read news feeds on the plane would be nice too.
Basically, I want an application that looks just like the Mail on the iPhone but reads RSS feeds. Perhaps this is something Apple could integrate into the Mail application, or something they could let the NetNewsWire folks develop as a 3rd party application. But, I need my feeds!
iChat - I was shocked to see iChat support missing from the iPhone on it's introduction. The introduction showed SMS messaging by not AIM. This is such a big hole that no one I've talked to can believe it. I say "I wish the iPhone had AIM" and they say, "I'm sure it does." Well, Apple hasn't shown it yet. I hope it is in there by the release date.
The Sidekick had great instant messaging support. The great thing about instant messaging, compared to SMS, is that personal and business contacts can see when I am available. With the Sidekick, I was able to be available at my desk computer, my home computer, and on the road. I didn't have to have my phone on all day because I could change my "presence" to my desktop, and I didn't have to use my minutes or annoy other bus riders shouting into my phone when a simple chat message would do.
So Apple, please bring on the IM! It would be ok with me to start with text and introduce audio and video chat later. It would also be ok with me to start with AIM and add other services later. But, I need my instant message!
Developer SDK - I would love to develop applications for this exciting new platform. I know many other developers would too. I think a safe way to do this would be to open it up slowly. Start with widgets, expand access as time goes on.
Apple has sited security and stability as issues... right. I have tons of 3rd party applications on my Mac, and it is very stable. I'm not saying that security and stability with 3rd party applications is easy, but I am confident Apple can do it. Users would need to know when an application is about to be installed, they would need to be able to easily remove it when they no longer want it, and certain functions (such as turning off other audio when a call comes in) would need to be protected. But, I'd love to see Apple open this door, even if they open it slowly.
The Mac platform has many of the best developers in the world. I'm sure the iPhone could attract many top developers as well. Users will want niche applications, and developers will want to provide them. Show us some love Apple!
I'm hopeful that Apple will add these soon. They have done a great job of keeping innovations flowing on their other products, and I'm sure they won't let the iPhone get stale. I'm going to try and hold out for second generation before I buy one, but I can't wait to play with an iPhone in person.
In the mean time, please buy my timeline software so that I can afford an iPhone when this apple is ripe!