Top 9 iPhone annoyances (and how to fix them)

We've not only put together a list of iPhone annoyances to vent about, we're also offering solutions (where we can) to fix those pesky iPhone problems we hate so much

3. You Can't Create Contact List Groups

On the iPhone, everyone's your friend, even your boss. That's because the built-in Contacts app won't let you split work and personal contacts into separate groups or allow you to create custom groups. Everyone's co-existing in one massive list unless you first create subsections on your computer.

Ideally: Apple could fix this. A simple drop-down list on the info page for each contact, along with separate tabs above the contact list, would do nicely.

The workaround: Get an app to do the job instead. ABContacts lets you set up smart filters that divide contacts into groups by name, location, place of employment, or notes. Groups lets you do the sorting in a drag-and-drop interface, and includes the ability to send mass e-mails--perfect for your mobile spam operation.

2. E-Mail Management Is Weak

Though the iPhone's 2.0 OS update added bulk e-mail management, it's not very good. You can tap individual messages to mark them for deletion or movement to another folder, but there's no "Select All" option for deleting or moving batches of mail at one time. It's also not possible to run a search term and delete the results, so forget about easily wiping correspondence with particular people.

Ideally: Apple could make bulk e-mail management more robust simply by adding the features described above.

The workaround: There's no truly satisfying alternative. Accessing your e-mail account via your provider's Web-based interface is the only option for more control. It may not be as pretty as the built-in iPhone mail app, but you'll get some of your functionality back.

1. Remote Wipe Costs US$99 Per Year

The iPhone was definitely in your pocket when you got into the taxi, but now that you're home, it's nowhere to be found. What to do? If you aren't already paying $99 per year for MobileMe, you've got no way to nuke your phone from afar and protect personal information.

Ideally: Apple could offer a pay-per-use remote wipe feature, without requiring a MobileMe subscription. That'd make it less like buying insurance and more like canceling a lost check.

The workaround: A $2 app called iSecurity (Find My Phone) creates a spoof app called either iPasswords or iBlackBook. The app pretends to hold your personal information. Each time a foolish criminal tries to enter the password for this app, it e-mails you the phone's location. As an alternative, consider securing your iPhone the old-fashioned way with password protection.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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