Monday, June 11, 2012

Will Apple ever fix the iPhone's biggest defect?

Let's say your iPhone is on its charger in your bedroom.  You're taking a shower and somebody calls; you don't hear it.  Or you're down the hall doing laundry and somebody calls; you don't hear it.  Or the phone is in your purse.  Or... you can see where this is going, right?

You come back and spend a few minutes getting dressed, or putting clothes away.  Your iPhone is three feet away, but it sits there silent, not making so much as a chirp to let you know that you missed a call.  You might stroll out to the kitchen to make dinner, or whatever... The hours go by, and you never knew that your friend called to see if you wanted to meet up for happy hour.

The sheer stupidity of this design was inexcusable in version 1 of the iPhone, but here we are years later and it still hasn't been fixed.  But what did Apple do instead?  Add repeating notifications (albeit limited to 10) for TEXT MESSAGES.  WTF?

Dear Apple: When something major happens in my family, my parents aren't going to TEXT me.  If someone called me, I want to know about it.

My 1990s Motorola StarTAC offered periodic audible notifications of missed calls until I acknowledged them.  My microwave beeps periodically if I forget to take the food out after cooking it.  My answering machine beeped periodically to let me know I had new messages.  But Apple's handheld Unix computer/phone sits mute after I've missed a call.

Do we have to spell this out?  A phone should offer the option to periodically notify you with an audible and palpable alert that you've missed a call, until you acknowledge it.  Not just five times or 10 times; until you acknowledge it.


Pathetic, and still not fixed in iOS 11.