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25 new Apple iPhone features needed for the UK

The upgrades that could persuade you to buy an iPhone

Add custom alert tones: When you have alerts going off for calendar events, alarms, email, voicemail and more, being able to customise each allows you to immediately know what's going on just by the sound. For example, if you're working and get an email alert, you can decide to ignore it; on the other hand, a calendar alert may notify you of an imminent appointment. Currently you have to check every time an alert chimes on the iPhone; greater customisation would increase the phone's usefulness.

Let the iPhone become a modem: As good as the iPhone's web browser is, many people would rather surf the web on their laptop. More important, there are plenty of internet-required tasks you can't complete on your iPhone because they require an application on your computer. Many mobile phones provide the capability to use the phone as a modem for your computer; that would be a nice option to have with the iPhone. (Although not for the faint of heart, there are instructions available for sharing an iPhone's EDGE connection with your computer.)

PDA features

The iPhone's existing features and applications make it a capable PDA, its lack of true third-party applications notwithstanding. But there are a number of things we'd like to see it do, or do differently.

Create to-do lists: iCal, with which the iPhone already syncs, offers To-Do lists. So why doesn't the iPhone? While we can turn to Ta-da List, which stores multiple to-do lists online and is accessible via the iPhone's Safari, we suspect that iCal's To Do lists will eventually make their way onto the iPhone.

Let users sync Notes: Notes on the iPhone is handy for jotting things down, but none of the notes you write can sync with your Mac or PC. You can email them from your iPhone to your PC, but it's a one-way process. The main obstacle to syncing Notes is the lack of a corresponding application on your computer to sync with. But given that a notes feature will be included with Leopard, we expect it won't be long before Notes syncing will makes its way into an iPhone software update. Will this help PC users? Hard to say, but it would be a nice idea.

Access your Contacts list from the Home screen: The Contacts button in the iPhone's Phone screen is convenient; we want it to stay right where it is. But we'd also like to be able to access the Contacts list directly from the Home screen for those (many) times when we need to access contact info from within another application.

Assign a calendar event to a specific calendar: You can sync multiple PC- or Mac-hosted calendars to your iPhone's Calendar application; however, they get combined into a single calendar on the phone. That's a minor inconvenience, but one we can live with. It's going the other way that's the problem: when you create new calendar events on the iPhone, you can't decide which of your computer's calendars each should sync to. Instead, all iPhone-created events get synced with the single calendar you designate in iTunes. We want to be able to assign new work events to our work calendar and new personal events to our personal calendar.

Give us storage capabilities: You can use any iPod as a removable drive to store and transfer files by enabling Disk Mode via iTunes. However, despite being a member of the extended iPod family - it syncs via iTunes, after all - the iPhone doesn't offer this option. We hope Apple eventually offers this feature via a software update; until then, you can approximate it using iPhoneDrive.)


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