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iPhone Apps Gone Wrong

iPhone Apps Gone Wrong
By
Wasted Time with Start Screens

Why do so many of us love the iPhone? Because of the great user experience. But some iPhone apps–and even built-in tools–really ruin that experience. Apple is touted as the king of design, but it missed some very basic things that we’d like to see fixed. For example, do you really need to know who created the app you're using every single time you load it? Do you need to see that company’s logo? Do you need reminding that this game has music that sounds better on headphones, when all you want to do is start playing it? Because iPhone apps don’t run in the background, switching away to check your email and then going back to the app means restarting it. If there’s a splash screen at the start, you thus feel like you have to wait for that app every time you open it. Stanza, the e-Book program, takes you back to the page you were reading, but not to the contents or the library. Tweetie, a Twitter app, lets you know what you’ll be able to do when it loads by showing the basic interface, which is much less irritating. These two developers got it right–but others did not.

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  • -2 Hide
    hellwig , April 14, 2009 6:36 PM
    Regarding the lack of Facebook and other user creation screens, can't you use the web browser?

    And there's no task manager to keep apps open in the background? How does one get anything accomplished on that phone?
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2009 6:40 PM
    iPhone sucks my left nut
  • 1 Hide
    Tattysnuc , April 14, 2009 8:38 PM
    Oh look. Another Toms hardware dig at an Apple product.

    Seriously though, what is the point of this article? Constructive criticism toward Apples products?

    I'm surprised that there wasn't a suggestion to be able to put Linux on the phone...
  • 0 Hide
    theuerkorn , April 14, 2009 8:47 PM
    As for LinkedIn, I use the website and I tried the app for a little bit. To me it's an annoying app as it doesn't even remember your log-in and you have to type in EVERYTIME you start the app. Please at least remember the user name. So far I have not bothered opening it up again in months.

    This is not Apple's fault, mind you, and really up to each developer. The one thing I fault Apple's programmers with is the lack of a usable organizer that keeps a reminder task running in memory. The calendar is a bit basic and doesn't have a ToDo functionality nor can it draw from other applications like Contacts for location. Since Apple prevents other apps from running in the background, there is no current solution that sufficiently can fill this gap and v3.0 apparently won't either.

    To some degree I agree with the previous comment though, as to what the purpose of this list was. The title doesn't really reflect the fact that App developers are mostly independent from Apple. I mean if one application can do it, it's certainly not the system's fault for not forcing all developers to do the same.
  • 2 Hide
    quantumrand , April 14, 2009 8:53 PM
    First line of the article ruined it for me...

    "Why do so many of us love the iPhone?"

    Because they've been brainwashed into throwing away money.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 14, 2009 8:53 PM
    theuerkornAs for LinkedIn, I use the website and I tried the app for a little bit. To me it's an annoying app as it doesn't even remember your log-in and you have to type in EVERYTIME you start the app. Please at least remember the user name. So far I have not bothered opening it up again in months.This is not Apple's fault, mind you, and really up to each developer. The one thing I fault Apple's programmers with is the lack of a usable organizer that keeps a reminder task running in memory. The calendar is a bit basic and doesn't have a ToDo functionality nor can it draw from other applications like Contacts for location. Since Apple prevents other apps from running in the background, there is no current solution that sufficiently can fill this gap and v3.0 apparently won't either.To some degree I agree with the previous comment though, as to what the purpose of this list was. The title doesn't really reflect the fact that App developers are mostly independent from Apple. I mean if one application can do it, it's certainly not the system's fault for not forcing all developers to do the same.

    You bring up a good point. I encourage any iPhone app developer that might be reading this to weigh in on which issues mentioned in the article are due to constraints by Apple or thoughtless design on the part of the developers.
  • 0 Hide
    bmikulla , April 14, 2009 9:28 PM
    I agree that the log out button is placed perilously in the facebook app, but I am glad the option is avaliable.

    Granted this has only happened once, but I found it helpful that I could log out of my facebook account when a friend of mine was in an accident and had to spend a few days in the hospital. He did not have internet access so when I visited him in the hospital I let him log into his facebook account on my phone so he could reassure everyone that he was alright and respond to their concerned messages.

    On a different note - why can't there be an events tab in the facebook app? It sure would be nice to be able to check the address of an event on the way there without having to go through safari.
  • 3 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 14, 2009 9:33 PM
    quantumrandFirst line of the article ruined it for me..."Why do so many of us love the iPhone?"Because they've been brainwashed into throwing away money.

    Haha. To each his own, but the fact remains that millions of people *DO* love their iPhones. Of course, that doesn't mean the product doesn't leave lots of room for improvement. Out of curiosity, which smartphone do you use that is cheaper to use than the iPhone with comparable features?
  • 0 Hide
    quantumrand , April 14, 2009 10:26 PM
    TomsGuideRachelHaha. To each his own, but the fact remains that millions of people *DO* love their iPhones. Of course, that doesn't mean the product doesn't leave lots of room for improvement. Out of curiosity, which smartphone do you use that is cheaper to use than the iPhone with comparable features?


    Personally, I dont use a smartphone. The features I would have any use for just aren't up to par on any smartphone yet. If the G1 were compatible with AT&T's 3G network, I'd have probably gotten that, but even so, I dont feel it's quite everything I'm looking for.

    Currently, I'm waiting to see what more Android has to offer. Some of the SonyEricsson prototypes look like they may have a lot of potential (assuming any of them make it into production). I'll probably upgrade to an Android platform this summer if the offerings are good enough.
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , April 14, 2009 11:12 PM
    quantumrandPersonally, I dont use a smartphone. The features I would have any use for just aren't up to par on any smartphone yet. If the G1 were compatible with AT&T's 3G network, I'd have probably gotten that, but even so, I dont feel it's quite everything I'm looking for.Currently, I'm waiting to see what more Android has to offer. Some of the SonyEricsson prototypes look like they may have a lot of potential (assuming any of them make it into production). I'll probably upgrade to an Android platform this summer if the offerings are good enough.

    Fair enough, we'll keep an eye out for the upcoming Android devices too. Personally, my iPhone has paid for itself in the number of times I've been able to send important personal and work emails while I'm away from a computer, and the sheer number of people I've entertained with the "Shazam" app. To me, it is the simple, fun things that made the device worthwhile.
  • 0 Hide
    skycowboy , April 15, 2009 12:19 AM
    Lg incite 3 day of pain, tried realy tried took it back, now using iphone and worth every bit because it works!!!!!
  • -4 Hide
    Slobogob , April 15, 2009 1:09 AM
    What was this article all about? It had about as much useful information as the average commercial.
    Well, maybe i should order my own apple device. I heard you get discounts if you get redirected from www.tomsiphoneguide.com.
  • 0 Hide
    ssdietsch , April 15, 2009 1:19 AM
    my most hated "non-caching" app was a "word of the day" freebie. really, i need to connect to the internet every time i want to check out information that is updated daily? same with the ever popular "showtimes" app - no new movies were added in the last fifteen minutes? better go back online and make sure... i understand how some apps offer additional content online that cannot be cached without being previously viewed, but just give an error message like the dictionary function in "stanza."
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 12:26 PM
    whose racking up 30,000 in development costs for an iphone game? This is stupid. If you know your gonna charge a max of 4.99 for an over gloried flash game then don't spend 30000 developing it. I don't think bad economics is the iphone's fault.
  • 0 Hide
    ww1065 , April 15, 2009 7:58 PM
    It also seems to me that the answer/decline button positions are opposite to most phones I am aware of. I would be declining calls because I am used to pressing the button to the left to answer. Apple was asleep on this one!! (unless the buttons are reversed due to common convention in Europe having the answer buttons on the right side - if so, Apple should had reversed the slide direction)
  • -3 Hide
    scorcher , April 15, 2009 8:38 PM
    Oh my god woman - do you not have nothing better to moan and complain about then some absolutely pointless things that are "seemingly" wrong (in your eyes)?

    You go on about not having consistancy in swiping across an item - crickey, Apple gave developers some freedom as opposed to saying "If ye swipe ye shall delete". Give the developers of their respective programs a break, please!

    Who cares about the fact that you might log yourself out of Facebook - god forbid infact that you would lose any time at all in contact with your (I'm sure) thousands of friends.

    Slide to answer, mistakenly cancel the call - WAKE UP, learn how your phone works and you will be fine. LinkedIn pops up a box to say Sign In failed - what the hell else would you like it to do and what is wrong with simply pressing OK?!

    I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with the iPhone - i agree with you totally about the issues of loading maps and keeping them offline and I thought I was in to a really good article until you started moaning about STUPID little things which clearly irritate you - but lets face it, we arent all stupid and lazy - get with the program and accept that with diversity in applications comes, quite simply, diversity - don't complain when suddenly every single thing is not 100% perfect. I'd like to read an article writen by you on a Microsoft product and all the applications that are designed to run on that - god forbid a popup appears in that experience, or the need to shutdown your machine by clicking on "Start". I quiver in fear to just think of the disaster that faces you.

    To end off - this article would have been so much more worth my while to read had it not been for the stupid banter in the middle. I'm sorry if it seems like an attack on you but sit back and have another read through the stupid issues you have talked about and tell me REALLY which are you being plain lazy/dumb and which are true iPhone issues.

  • -4 Hide
    scorcher , April 15, 2009 8:39 PM
    Oh my god woman - do you not have nothing better to moan and complain about then some absolutely pointless things that are "seemingly" wrong (in your eyes)?

    You go on about not having consistancy in swiping across an item - crickey, Apple gave developers some freedom as opposed to saying "If ye swipe ye shall delete". Give the developers of their respective programs a break, please!

    Who cares about the fact that you might log yourself out of Facebook - god forbid infact that you would lose any time at all in contact with your (I'm sure) thousands of friends.

    Slide to answer, mistakenly cancel the call - WAKE UP, learn how your phone works and you will be fine. LinkedIn pops up a box to say Sign In failed - what the hell else would you like it to do and what is wrong with simply pressing OK?!

    I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with the iPhone - i agree with you totally about the issues of loading maps and keeping them offline and I thought I was in to a really good article until you started moaning about STUPID little things which clearly irritate you - but lets face it, we arent all stupid and lazy - get with the program and accept that with diversity in applications comes, quite simply, diversity - don't complain when suddenly every single thing is not 100% perfect. I'd like to read an article writen by you on a Microsoft product and all the applications that are designed to run on that - god forbid a popup appears in that experience, or the need to shutdown your machine by clicking on "Start". I quiver in fear to just think of the disaster that faces you.

    To end off - this article would have been so much more worth my while to read had it not been for the stupid banter in the middle. I'm sorry if it seems like an attack on you but sit back and have another read through the stupid issues you have talked about and tell me REALLY which are you being plain lazy/dumb and which are true iPhone issues.

  • -2 Hide
    scorcher , April 15, 2009 8:40 PM
    Sorry for posting twice ...
  • 0 Hide
    talbion , April 16, 2009 4:05 PM
    I've really tried to find the point of this article,
    but none was found.

    "...But the LinkedIn app takes up the whole screen to tell you that you got it wrong, and makes you tap “OK” before you can try again..."

    REALLY?!?!?
    That's a problem ?!?!?

    Let me just get this straight:
    You move around with a piece of plastic that weights 135gr,
    can show you your location in the world within less than a minute,
    Play your favorite songs, videos and movies,
    On the way-this will be your camera too,
    Play quality games,
    connect to the internet with Wi-Fi,
    AND SERVED IN SUCH BEAUTIFUL AND CONVENIENT WAY --

    But your problem is that some applications are not fully perfected Human-engineered to your needs and requires you to hit "OK" when you miss-type your credentials... :o 

    These unnoticed nuances..

  • 0 Hide
    kittle , April 16, 2009 11:51 PM
    hrm with all these problems, mabye I wont get one afterall
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