Whether you love your iPhone or hate (or fall somewhere in between), there are at least a few things about it that annoy you. Here are our — and your — biggest annoyances and how to fix them.
Annoying, Interruptive Notifications
Some notifications require a popup, but most do not. We have popup blockers in our web browsers for good reason — popups are really annoying. iOS sorely needs a better notification system, but there are a few fixes you can try in order to make do until Apple gets around to implementing one (if they ever do).
For those of you who have no interest in jailbreaking, you can't get rid of the popup notifications. What you can do, however, is minimise how often they bother you and, in some cases, when they show up at all. To get started, go into Settings and tap the Notifications section (it's the third from the top in iOS 4). This will let you globally disable notifications (as well as sounds and badges) for third party apps, or just set the notifications for each app individually. Back on the Settings main page, go into the Messages section and turn off Repeat Alert. This will disable the repeat notifications you receive when you ignore a text message. (As a side note, in iOS 4.3 you'll be able to set the number of times a message repeats, but currently you're restricted to the default: one primary notification and two followups.)
If you want to take it a bit further, you're going to need to jailbreak. An open-source project called StatusNotifier (you can find the binary in Cydia) is a free jailbreak upgrade that puts your notifications in the status bar, letting you can swipe to access them rather than being interrupted by a popup. Basically, if you're jailbroken, the problem is solved.
Slow Performance on Old iOS Devices
While the iPhone 3GS is still snappy, pretty much any other iOS device released prior to 2010 suffers from speed issues — especially in iOS 4.0 and later. Reader v5point0 suggests disabling Spotlight and MMS to fix the problem. We also have a few suggestions of our own. To name a few, try turning of SMS previews, clear your phone's history, and disable fancy iPod features like sound check, lyrics and podcast info. There is only so much you can do with older hardware, but these tricks should help you dismiss some of the frustration and keep your phone a little more usable. If not, you can always downgrade iOS as a last ditch measure.
Syncing Data to iOS Requires a Cable
I really love iOS despite its shortcomings, but there's nothing that bothers me more about the mobile operating system than its reliance on iTunes. Syncing with iTunes is slow, annoying and fails with disturbing regularity. It's gotten so bad that I've gone out of my way to devise a plan to never sync with iTunes again. Nonetheless, those suggestions only go so far. While they can help avoid syncing most of the time, there's no way to avoid syncing completely.
Or is there? If you really want the holy grail of wireless data syncing you're going to need to jailbreak and purchase Wi-Fi Sync. If you've wanted to sync your iOS device untethered, this is the app you need. Although it'll set you back $US10, it's worth every penny next time you don't have a sync cable handy (or are just not in the mood to go get one).
Those are our big annoyances and fixes, but there are a lot of little things you can implement to solve some annoying problems quickly. Here are some of our favourites:
- Can't backup music not purchased through iTunes - Try TouchCopy
- Annoying autocorrect errors - Damn You Autocorrect! exists for a reason. Either stop autocorrect from being overbearing by typing a Z or teach it to be better with Safari.
- It takes forever to organise apps into folders - I hate to say it, but organise the apps in iTunes. While it's not going to make the process any less tedious, it will cut your organisation time in half..
- Having to choose between turning vibrate off completely, or allowing the phone to vibrate *in your ear* when on the phone and receiving a text or email - Toggle the phone to silent when you answer a call.