iPod Gripes – Now With Solutions!

So in true Gilmore style*, I started keeping a pro/con list of my iPod touch. Well, maybe not that as much as a list of gripes of things this thing can’t do that even my old Dell Axim pocket Pc could do. But then I started finding solutions to them one by one. I haven’t come up with something for everything (the lack of any text formatting options, including in this WordPress app for one), but I’ve found enough to satisfy me… For now!

No Private Appointments

Since I sync this with my work calendar, it’s nice to be able to create appointments that others can’t see. But it’s apparrently too difficult to have a ‘sensitivity’ setting in appointments on the iPod. This is one of those things the PPC did well. How’d I solve this? Well, I AM a programmer. Since Outlook stays running on my work PC 24/7, I wrote a script to flag any appointment with the word ‘Private’ in the notes as private. So far, it works like a charm! Leave a comment, and I’ll share the code with you.

No Snooze for Appointments

PPC could do this, too, but I’ve found you can easily click on ‘View Event’ instead of close and just change the reminder in the appointment. Voilà!

No Note Or Task Sync

Honestly, I don’t use these too much anyway. There are plenty of apps out there that do this better than the stock notes app anyway. Plus they sync on Macs, so it’s just a matter of time. I’m personally just waiting for AwesomeNote (which syncs to Google) to have a sale.

No Find in Safari

This was pretty irritating the first time I realized I couldn’t use it. I wonder if this is just one of those things that users learn to live without and then rejoice when Apple finally includes it. Like copy and paste. Why’d that take so long? Anyway, Google to the rescue: http://www.google.com/search?q=find+iPhone+safari

Music – Few Album Covers and Syncing Issues

Did you know iPods play music, too?! Not having a graphical music player for most of my listening, I never cared about album covers. But since the iPod likes to slap that cover up whenever you play a song, it was irritating that over half my albums were coverless (Zune software, I might add, nailed almost 100%). This one was resolved with just a lot of manual work, though iTunes certainly made it easier by letting you paste a copied image into the file properties.

Outstanding Gripes

Multiple E-mail Accounts

While I’m glad that Exchange works great, and I haven’t run into any limitations (at least with my 7 accounts), it takes no less than 4 taps in various locations to swap accounts. Even if I could bypass the ‘Inbox’ selection, the two clicks might be tolerable. My PPC switched instantly with a drop down selection. And I hear Android has an integrated inbox. (Users in my industry are always counting clicks; I figure it’s only fair I do the same)

No Text Formatting

While I didn’t use Pocket Word or Excel a whole lot, it was nice when I wanted the occasional bulleted list or extra emphasis on a word. Even this WordPress app is plain-text which means I’ll have to finish it on a real computer.

No Back Button (or Other Navigation)

I’m using one program, and I click a link that opens a browser, mail, or the app store. When I’m done, I want to go back to where I was without finding it again. I guess “no background app support” makes this difficult.

I also miss the 4-way directional swich for backing up to fix mistakes in text. The press-and-hold method works, but seems to take longer and usually more than one attempt.

Tricorder and Yahtzee

This is a bit of a stretch. I had a neat little tricorder emulator and a set of games that included Yahtzee for free. I haven’t found any free ones, but I’m sure that with over 100,000 apps, I could find one somewhere if I looked.

*Another Gilmore-ism: using references that nobody knows.  Why would I do this when I haven’t seen that show in years? Because I always think of Rory when I do pro/con lists.

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