On MSNBC: iRegret: Apple’s smartphone isn’t so smart

iRegret: Apple’s smartphone isn’t so smart
No measurable improvements to this remarkably inventive device
By Joe Hutsko

Also: Five cool iPhone apps you can’t use


13 Responses to “On MSNBC: iRegret: Apple’s smartphone isn’t so smart”

  • I read and enjoyed your article. I decided to wait a few months to buy an iphone because of the glitches. It seems to me that the company known for being user-friendly has become the complete opposite in this case. I want the iphone purely because of the Macintosh interface that I enjoy every day at work and home. Apple will match that accessibility, and soon. I’m sure of it.

    With all that, I’ll give you $150 bucks for the iphone that’s a paper weight on your desk now.

  • First of all, I agree with some of your critisism. Whyfor did 1.1.1 not add copy and paste? It’s not the end of the world, but it seems like a simple enough feature. Currently, I am finding a general issue when the device has some, but poor, network coverage. It can slow down or lock up till you turn on airplane mode, or get good WiFi/EDGE service.

    That said, why are 3rd party apps such a make-or-break deal? I have owned (deep breath): A Casiopeia, a Compaq iPaq, a Viewsonic PDA, and a Treo 650. The only apps that have been of interest to me have been what is built in. Oh, plus the Jabber client I had for the 650. I can get that, and a better version, via Safari on the iPhone. Other than that, 3rd party apps are a big added cost I don’t really want to get into, and they don’t do much for me. I am, to be honest, truly ecstatic with the applications Apple has provided, and couldn’t ask for more.

  • I think it would behoove your readers for you to acknowledge that MSNBC and Microsoftt are business partners at the beginning of any articles you write critical of Apple or their products given that Microsoft and Apple are business rivals.

    That acknowledgement would be easier for people who are interested in technology to take you seriously as a journalist and not just a shill for a very powerful company.

    I’m not sure it is fair to say that interest in the iPhone has waned since they have sold over a million.

  • David, they’re usually good about that and I sent my editor a message asking him to put in the line about MSNBC and Microsoft. At the same time, I’ll state again what I’ve said before: That MSNBC is totally free from any Microsoft influence or editorial control, and in fact my editor continually tells me pull no punches when writing about any company or product, Microsoft’s included. Case and point: My Mac User Switches to Vista story that was deeply critical of Vista and had me, at the end of the story, returning to the Mac, which is still my platform of choice. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Best, Joe

  • BTW to Joe Putnam, you totally cracked me up on the $150 offer. I’ll hang onto it because I expect Apple eventually *will* allow standalone applications created by themselves and others. In the meantime, I’ll be using this Centro to test it out and write a review. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Best, Joe

  • Joe: Open mouth, insert foot. The same day that MSNBC ran your two articles bashing Apple and the iPhone, BusinessWeek reported that Apple will issue a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the iPhone within 90 days. (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2007/tc20071015_258257.htm)

    The reason for the wait? To make the SDK ready for the upcoming release of OS-X 10.5, as this next release will contain software advances that take advantage of the software inside the iPhone. My conclusion is that this has been planned for a long time. The article indicated the distinct possibility that this will be publicly announced in the January MacWorld keynote address.

    There have been rumors of this circulating about this for quite some time. Yet, you chose to write and publish your articles on MSNBC. Thousands of people will read them, unaware of what Apple has planned. And by the power of your pen, you may have turned away thousands of new customers. Do you understand what damage you have done by being impatient?

    When you opened the box containing your iPhone, there were legal statements about modifying it. Apple has made it clear in advance that the company would not support the types of modifications you did to your phone. They did so as far back as the public announcement of the iPhone in January of this year. And yet, you went ahead, fully aware of the risks. But that did not stop you from flaming Apple in your article.

    In the court of public opinion, the accuser has the high ground. The accused are guilty until proven innocent. Any rebuttal by the accused comes much later and at a considerable disadvantage. Was this what you had in mind? Or were you aware of the damage you could sow with your articles? If it’s the latter, I would beg you to think twice before writing anything like this ever again. It was pedantic, unprofessional and frankly, whiny. Further, you left no link in the MSNBC articles to allow readers to contact you. I had to track you down by a Google search in order to post my comments here. To me, that’s drive-by journalism. Speed by, pull the pin, roll the grenade and move on.

    Joe, you can do better than this. I grade your article with a “D.”

  • Ouch. Furthermore, you wrote “To be fair, there’s no doubt that a great many iPhone users could care less whether the iPhone….”

    The phrase is “couldn’t care less.” Not so smart yourself.

  • Joe,
    You say you like the new Palm device but want to wait intil it is available on AT&T. Why wait? Sprint is a great service. I access everything on my 700wx through Sprint and it works great everywhere I go. And they’ve got Airave if they don’t happen to have great coverage at your specific house.

    And I do love the 3rd Party apps that are available for my Palm.

    Brian’s rebuttal above reads like the leagl document you were supposed to memorize when you bought your iPhone. What’s up with those Apple guys?

  • ” I downloaded and installed it, and when it was done, Installer.app and all the cool applications I’d downloaded earlier that day were gone.”

    “A little searching turned up the aforementioned revelation, that 1.1.1 locks out modifications or bricks the device”

    So Joe, my question is, why did you install the iPhone update?

    Apple gave advance warning that the update might affect modified phones. Even if you didn’t hear it from Apple it was a talking point on every tech site on the web.

    The actual installer for the update issued a clear WARNING:
    ‘If you have modified your iPhone’s Software, applying this software update may result in your iPhone becoming permanently inoperable.’

    Yet you seem to be saying that you were unaware of the consequences.

  • I must say…being someone that has always been one of the first to get the latest Treos, Blackberrys, and MS Pocket PC’s, I could not DISAGREE more with this article. While it is true that the iPhone does not do everything in it’s first release, it is LIGHT YEARS ahead of my former Treo and current Blackberry (forced to use for work). It is amazing to me that a company with zero experience in this space was able to come up with such a great first version that Palm and RIM could have easily developed a few years back but failed to do so. I also believe it is a safe bet that new product innovations will be more significant with the iPhone based on their ability to listen to the market unlike RIM and Palm…who just seem content repackaging the same features and technology.

  • Eeek. Really?!?! I love my iPhone, and “couldn’t” care less about add on applicatons. Most of the ones that I had found were poorly conceived and poorly developed. Beyond that, Apple announced just today that they are allowing thrid party appications and will supply development kits.

    As far as typing in names to search… are you kidding??? By simply by tapping a letter on the list to the right of the contact list, you’re 90% there. I’m almost certain that it takes fewer steps to find contacts on an iphone than on any other “smartphone” out there. Just because you’re accustomed to finding contacts the old way doesn’t mean that its the best way.

    I’m suprised you’re a tech writer. I didn’t know dinosaurs could do that.

  • Joe, as a follow-up to my earlier post above, Apple today issued a note from Steve Jobs announcing third party software support for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and that a Software Developer Kit (SDK) is on the way. Below is a copy of the statement issued today by Apple (which you can see on the Apple site here: http://www.apple.com/hotnews/

    Third Party Applications on the iPhone

    Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

    It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

    Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

    We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.


    P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. [Oct 17, 2007]

  • I also purchased an iPhone at the very beginning. However, the main point of your story is that Apple should allow third party programs to run on it. Apple said that third party apps would not run on the iPhone, yet you bought it based on this. So if you are so pissed off that 3rd party apps dont run on it, why did you buy it n the first place?

    If you pay attention to tech news, you would know that Apple has announced an iPhone SDK.

    So GJ asshole, you are just trying to make people hate Apple cause you work for MSNBC.

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