The 3G iPhone is the gadget of the moment, and Apple's new App Store offers a range of software to make it even better.

However, we can't help feeling a little disappointed as there's a number of very basic features that come as standard on other smartphones, which Apple seems to have disregarded. With these features added, the 3G iPhone could come pretty close to perfect. So here's our list of the iPhone’s missing but important functions.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

Despite being fairly standard on most multimedia phones, MMS capabilities aren't part of the 3G iPhone's bag of tricks. That said, you can email photos taken with the iPhone's 2Mp camera (or photos stored on the device). You can also share YouTube links directly from the iPhone's YouTube application. So why is MMS missing? It could be tied directly to the 3G iPhone's lack of a video camera; you can't share video files if you can't shoot or store it natively on the device. As for music, iTunes' strict limitations on sharing music are probably the reason behind that, but it would at least be nice to have audio-sharing capabilities for non-DRM-protected tracks.

Stereo Bluetooth/A2DP support

You've got to love the fact that the new iPhone no longer requires an adaptor or headphones designed for its recessed headphone jack. But what about cutting the cable altogether? Unlike the latest BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile platforms, the latest iPhone still doesn't offer the convenience of using a stereo Bluetooth headset to listen to its on-board iPod, at least not without using a bulky adaptor. For such a common feature, and for a company so aesthetically inclined, that's more than a little surprising.

Selecting, copying, and pasting text

Apple fixed a few of the first-gen iPhone's shortcomings with the early-2008 firmware update (sending text messages to more than one recipient, for example), but they didn't add an option to edit text by selecting passages and copying and pasting them elsewhere in an email message. And with the new iPhone firmware, they still haven't. This missing feature is more than a little annoying for those who write more than talk, want to copy and paste long strings from URLs, or fix links that get truncated in email messages.

NEXT PAGE: The iPhone's missing horizontal keyboard for email and notes

  1. Basic tools that Apple's smartphone should have
  2. The iPhone's missing horizontal keyboard for email and notes
  3. We also want A better camera and a camcorder

While Apple's App Store offers loads of new gadgets and gizmos that will make the new 3G iPhone even better, there's still a few features that we really wish came as standard on the handset. Check out our list.

Horizontal keyboard for email and notes

Another annoyance for writers and a confusing omission, given the capability of the iPhone's on-screen keyboard to flip horizontally for some applications but not for others, is the fact that the touchscreen keyboard doesn't rotate to a landscape orientation when using the Notes, email or Maps applications. Those also happen to be the three most writing-intensive apps on the iPhone, which makes the necessary one-finger hunting and pecking required by the portrait-mode keyboard all the more annoying if you use those features a lot. Over time, using your thumbs to type versus holding the phone in one hand and poking at the keys with one finger is a lot more significant than you might think.

Improved predictive text (or the ability to turn it off)

The iPhone's predictive text feature (where the phone 'guesses' what you're going to write after you enter a few characters to eliminate typos) does a decent job of streamlining typing. However, it has only an 'opt-out' feature, which requires hitting a very small 'x' to deselect the word it suggests. This is where that feature fails. The time it saves in correcting miscues sometimes pales in comparison to the frustration it causes in forcing you to repeatedly deselect words. And there's no way to turn it off or create a keyboard-based shortcut to deselect the predicted word.

Integrated IM application

Here's the first thing on the list that the new App Store's offerings fixes, at least if you're an AOL Instant Messenger user. There's still no IM client preloaded onto the iPhone. That said, with email, text messaging, voice calling, and a host of third-party mobile web-based messaging offerings (Twitter comes to mind), do we really need another form of communication built into the 3G iPhone? Well, maybe a fax machine.

Flash support

Sadly, no one really knows when being able to view Flash animations or films will be a reality on the iPhone. This big wish-list item for the second-gen version is still missing from the 3G handset. Even though YouTube clips are in Flash format on the web, they've been converted to QuickTime format specifically for the iPhone-centric version of YouTube. When it comes to YouTube clips embedded in blog posts or other pages Safari shows a Play button and clicking this launches the clip in the iPhone's YouTube app.

NEXT PAGE: We also want A better camera and a camcorder

  1. Basic tools that Apple's smartphone should have
  2. The iPhone's missing horizontal keyboard for email and notes
  3. We also want A better camera and a camcorder

While Apple's app store offers loads of new gadgets and gizmos that will make the new 3G iPhone even better, there’s still a few features that we really wish came as standard on the handset. Check out our list.

A better camera and a camcorder

Sorry, snapshooters and YouTube filmmakers. The 3G iPhone's still camera maxes out at 2MP, and there's no way to shoot video with the camera. Those are limitations that no number of photography apps from the iPhone App Store will cure.

Unified email inbox

Microsoft Exchange is now supported, but there's no way to get all your messages from Yahoo, Mac.com, Gmail, AOL and your business account all on one page, so to speak. Then again, barring excellent spam filters across all those sites, you wouldn't want that anyway.

Voice dialling and voice memos

Third-party apps to the rescue! The new iPhone has no native support for voice dialling or recording audio memos, but a few third-party apps now available via the App Store build them into the 3G handset, including Jott for iPhone, which is available for free.

  1. Basic tools that Apple's smartphone should have
  2. The iPhone's missing horizontal keyboard for email and notes
  3. We also want A better camera and a camcorder