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Top 25 requests for the UK Apple iPhone

The upgrades that could persuade you to buy an iPhone

The iPhone finally looks set to launch in the UK, nine months after Apple announced it at Macworld and nearly three months after it became available in the US. But as our colleages at Macworld US have already found, the first-generation iPhone is far from the finished article. While most reviews (including our own) back the iPhone as a great leap forward for music, telephony and internet access on the move, it still lacks a number of tools that could turn it into the ultimate mobile companion.

So here we revisit our iPhone wish list for the top 25 features we'd like Apple to add to the iPhone to turn it into the one of the greatest gadgets of all time.

Hardware

A few of our iPhone desires are admittedly out of reach for the current model, as they would require changes to the iPhone's actual hardware.

Add GPS support: We can't say enough good things about the Maps application that helps you easily find locations and driving directions with a few simple taps. Actually, there's one other good thing we hope to say about Maps in a future version of the Apple iPhone - it would be the ultimate mapping application if it knew where you actually were at all times. With wireless access to Google's regularly-updated maps (or the ability to pre-load maps for a region on your iPhone), a GPS-enabled iPhone would be a reasonable alternative to a full-featured GPS receiver for many people.

Go 3G: Many people hoped the first iPhone would feature support for 3G, a wireless technology that offers better network performance than the EDGE network that the iPhone actually uses in the US (though 3G is still slower than Wi-Fi). Apple has said the reason 3G support wasn't included in the first iPhone was that available 3G hardware would have hampered battery life, and that AT&T's current 3G network isn't widely available. AT&T says its 3G coverage is currently limited to 160 metro areas, although the company is expanding that coverage. In contrast, the iPhone's EDGE network is available in most AT&T coverage areas. Still, you can expect to see 3G support in a future iPhone model - and that will improve the phone's wireless capabilities. It looks unlikely that the UK version of the iPhone will support 3G, but this is surely one technology that could help Apple fulfill its promise of delivering the real internet on a mobile handset.

The interface

The iPhone's interface is its bread-and-butter, and it's tasty toast at that. But sometimes you run into a piece that just feels half-baked. As cool and 'ooh'-inducing as the iPhone's multi-touch interface is, there are things about it that don't quite feel finished.

Let us select text: Although the iPhone tries to anticipate your text manipulation needs, and provides you with a few ways of shunting information from one app to another, there are times when it's like driving in central London: you just can't get there from here. Say you want to send an address to a friend from the Maps app, or perform a Google search for a term on a web page. Maybe you just want to delete a large amount of text quickly. There's no way to do that now - instead of grabbing a block of text, swiping your finger brings up the magnifying loupe. Adding text selection capabilities - along with cop, cut and paste commands - would fix this problem in a blink.


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