No Contact Is an Island

There’s plenty to like about the iPhone 2.0 Software Update, not the least of which is the fact that it now officially supports a brand new world of third-party applications. However, I’m only being a little facetious when I say that for me Apple really dropped the ball with its Contacts module.

I definitely have to agree with your last comment regarding their sloppiness, as the whole iPhone/MobileMe debacle will attest. I am hopeful, though, that the ‘Year of the Snow Leopard’ will bring about a lot the housekeeping that has been left undone around Apple.

  • Jeez… you’re making a mountain out of a molehill here.

    ‘Dropped the ball’?



    Because they haven’t (yet) added support for a non-trivial field (you’ll notice it’s not flatly one-dimensional like Phonetic last name; it’s a list, and one with custom keys at that) which almost certainly very few users are even aware of?

    If I were on the iPhone team and I worked on Contacts, my priority delivery date for this addition would be something like April 2010. It sucks that you make regular use of this field and can’t access it on your iPhone, but this is so not an issue for the vast majority of users.

  • I was a bit disappointed by some of the Apple releases last week too, primarily, MobileMe.

    .mac syncing was horrendous. I constantly got the conflict errors between my 2 macs, telling me I deleted X things on one mac, only to have the other mac saying I need to add the same X things, back and forth it goes until I wipe out the syncing data and start over.

    I was hoping with MobileMe, that in addition to the new features, that they would improve what’s already there. That was not the case at all, in fact, I didn’t think they even touched it. Still the same interface, still the same syncing problems.

    As I complain about it, it’s barely works well enough to justify paying for it, along with Back to My Mac. But that’s not really an excuse, and I hold Apple to higher standards than that.

    But, such is the life of a software company, adding new features while leaving the old features to rot. Microsoft and Adobe are the biggest offenders.

  • @Neven Mrgan: I think the case that Khoi is trying to make is that if Apple developers are going to put a field like ‘Phonetic First/Last Name’, why not run the gamut and include the other fields available to Address Book, what seems ‘non-trivial’ t

  • Related names simply lists a contact’s related friends in Mac’s Address Book. To populate such an idea manually is too much work. When a field like this one could automatically populate and sync with your favorite social network like facebook or myspace. Or better yet, sync all the Mac subscribers on a mobile me network.

  • Related names simply lists a contact’s related friends in Mac’s Address Book. To populate such an idea manually is too much work. When a field like this one could automatically populate and sync with your favorite social network like facebook or myspace. Or better yet, sync all the Mac subscribers on a mobile me network.

  • the related contacts in address book is kinda ridiculous at the same time. I assigned 21 mothers for one contact. That’s just too many mothers for one person. However in the course of possible divorce rates amongst lesbian marriages, I guess people can have plenty of mothers. The iPhone is not built for Mormans in Nebraska bearing kids in polygamous marriages.

    This feature is either a special edition available to mac users only. Or not ready to release to the general public.

  • How about being able to accept iCal meeting invitations in Mail on the iPhone? It’s a pretty basic business need for a supposedly enterprise-ready smart phone, and yet … not there. Why?

    If I can accept iCal invites via Mail on my iMac, I should be able to do the same thing on my iPhone, end of story. This phone is not quite ready for business use, in my opinion.

  • Here’s a problem I have. The new contacts app can not be removed from the phone. The same goes for any other apps that were developed by Apple. The reason I bring this up here is that I’m sure some third party will come up with a contact app that is superior to the current one and may do exactly what Khoi is talking about. So, we’ll be able to use that instead. Except that the original is still sitting there taking up space.

    Obviously, some apps should not be removable (SMS, phone, iPod). But when a third party creates an app that I prefer to Apple’s (or the Apple app is of no use to me), I’d like to be able to remove it. In the mean time, I have a page of apps that includes Notes, Calculator, YouTube, iTunes, App Store and Stocks that I’ve placed out of the way on my final page of apps. In the future, they may be joined by Calendar, Weather, Clock and Photos. I’d like to be able to remove these completely. Then if I want to add them back in the future, have them available in the iTunes application folder. This may seem picky and a bit anal retentive, but that side of my personality is why I give large amounts of money to Apple to begin with.

    With all of that being said, I’m glad that this is an issue. Weeding through the app store can be tedious (how many flashlights does one need?). But there are a few gems in there, and, in my opinion, this is the biggest step forward that the iPhone has taken since its launch.

  • To say Apple are getting sloppy is a bit harsh I feel.

    You only need to look at Apple’s ‘Remote’ app for the iPhone to see that they are still certainly capable of producing an application with an incredible, and even surprising, level of polish.

    Anyway, here’s hoping that these issues are resolved soon for you Khoi. For me the quality of the iPhone hardware and software is still leagues ahead of any other mobile device I’ve used before.

  • I really wish they’d work on the OSX Address Book app more, too. That related names field is okay, but I want to relate two separate contact entries together, for when I have two different entries for people who live in the same house. Aside from all the usual contact stuff, I use the address book to print address labels for holiday cards every year, and the way they do combine related fields for the name line is a mess, and always requires those to be separated out and hand written. So all my single friends get their cards a week before everyone else.

  • Your last comment about Apple losing their ability to finesse and deliver on the details as they’ve expanded fits my experience. As AppleInsider pointed out, iPhone 3G and the associated products it was released alongside (iPhone 2.0, MobileMe, AppStore) have been plagued by bugs. I’ve also written on my blog about how Apple has taken their apparent ‘marketing-first’ approach to unpleasant extremes.

    The kind of innovations that Apple routinely introduces are surely difficult to launch 100% smoothly, but the appearance of severe problems shortly after product launches has become the rule rather than the exception. This has tarnished Apple’s reputation for me.

  • I agree with Khol – I regularly use the children fields for names and the child’s birthday. I frequently use the info when I do not have access to my computer. Not to mention – when I get child info from a(n) friend/acquaintance, it would be nice to record it immediately in my iPhone. Now I need to find paper & pencil, write it down and be sure to enter it on my computer when back home. I am very disappointed to not have this info on my new iPhone.

  • Converting from a Treo 700p to the iPhone 3G, I exported my 1700-contact Treo address book in vcard format, then edited it in Address Book on the Mac. When I synched, I discovered that all the info that I had laboriously moved into the partner/spouse/child/assistant fields wasn’t visible on the iPhone.

    Worse, if I had not spent the three or so hours and had just left the info in the Notes field, which is where the Palm software put the custom fields when it exported them, they would have been in the Notes field on the iPhone.

  • Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.