General Question

Evan's avatar

iPhone update? missing feature?

Asked by Evan (805points) August 7th, 2007

So i know the iPhone is fantastic and all, and I certainly have been craving one.. but I just went into a store, and left quite certain that I won't have to buy one for some time.. why? Because the iPhone is lacking, from what i can tell (and was told), what is probably one of the most basic phone features in the most recent past two decades... SPEED DIAL!!!! Can someone please tell me why this is? when they'll be doing updates? if we can expect something like this?

p.s. - i realize that there is a favorites tab.. but that is virtually useless to me, unless i'm only going to be calling 3 separate people total in a given month.

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12 Answers

Turtlemonkeys's avatar

Well being an iPhone owner, I can tell you that your comment about only calling three seperate people total in a given month is slightly off base. First of all, you can store up to 20 people on the favorites list. Secondly, I rarely ever even go near my actual contacts list, opting mostly for either favorites (on which i currently house 7 people) or recent calls. On top of that, any time you either lock your iphone by pressing the top button, or just leave it long enough for it to auto lock, and then come back to it, the phone allows you to pick up right where you left off, rather than return you to the home screen. Finally, whenever a call ends, it also returns you to your point of last... touch. Moral of the story is that Favorite IS speed dial because of the fact that i touch any one of up to 20 names that i've set up and it immediately calls them. I dont have to sort through a long list of contacts or do anything except touch the screen. Once. Speed Dial.

xgunther's avatar

and seeing how there are no physical keys, speed dial, in the old fashioned sense, is impossible.


Evan's avatar

i understand the merits of the phone that you're talking about, and I don't disagree that it's useful. but the truth is that 20 names on the list isn't going to cut it. i realize that many of us call no more than 20 people on a regular basis, but that's just not the case for me. 20 names is 1) too small a list to store everyone, and 2) decreases in functionality as the list gets longer, because you're simply having to scroll through yet another list.

sure it goes back to what you were doing pre-call or whatever, but that's somewhat irrelevant to the issue. What it comes down to is that in the current old ghetto phone that i'm using now, every single entry corresponds to a number between 1 and 300 - so all i have to do is type in a person's number, and it dials to them. meaning that in effect i have 300 speed dial options, of which i probably use (e.g. remember) somewhere around 50 or 60 of them..

and @ xgunther - all you'd have to do is go to the phone screen, and type in the number. the physical keys issue is again, irrelevant.

c_harris08's avatar

speed dial would be useless, its way eaisier to scroll down a quick, alphabetical list than to remember 50 speed dial numbers, geez

Evan's avatar

but it's NOT way easier.. you're really remembering patterns of numbers on the keypad, not the actual numbers, usually anyway.. and ultimately it just comes down to a user-issue. I can remember all those patterns, someone else maybe couldn't. whatever. It just seems to me like it's just about one of the most basic features to integrate into a phone.. yet a phone as advanced as the iPhone just presumes that it's unneeded..

I just think that it's somewhat 'stereotypically Apple' to make a product and assume that every single user should just conform to Apple's way of doing things. It makes it especially bad simply because they really do make such good products. But I personally don't think that having an awesome product gives you a free pass when it comes to designing things for a wide array of users.

alabare's avatar

I guess i'm unclear on why you believe the iphone should be all things, to all people. While I would love more features, the truth is, this device does more than any other hand held device I've ever seen. I really don't feel like features are "missing". I feel like it's more a matter of give and take. For me, I'm more than willing to give up speed dialing for the many other features you can not and will not find on other phones. Plus, knowing that Apple can update the firmware anytime they deem necessary is somewhat comforting to me. I know they are developing new and innovative features that will only continue to improve this product.

At the end of the day, this is a 1st generation model for new technology. 2nd generation may be worth the wait in your case.

bob's avatar

Evan, that's a great technique for speed dialing everyone. My current non-iPhone phone doesn't support it -- I have to add speed dials manually. But it's a good idea.

The favorites tab is pretty good, but I agree that speed dial on an iPhone will never be as fast as speed dialing on a regular phone. I can flip my phone open and press 2 to dial my girlfriend's number without looking at my phone. Dialing her number will take 3 or more touches and my attention on the iPhone.

I don't think this will get updated anytime soon. One potential solution would be a gestures-style speed dial, in which drawing a shape across the phone dials a specific number. That would be fun. But it would still limit you to a few speed dial numbers, rather than 40-60.

Evan's avatar

with ref. to c_harris08 -- if others would be so kind as to also hit that "flag" button, and click the "obscene" check.. that'd be much appreciated.

@ alabare - i agree that it'll be worth a wait.. and i guess that's mostly why i posted this, in that i was interested in finding out what others' thoughts were on iphone updates, features updates, etc. etc. and i agree: it's an amazing phone, but i'm just not sure i'm willing to trade the speed and ease of dialing quite yet.

@ bob - it's true, the speed might not ever really be matched, but with apple i feel like they could do something pretty cool and innovative to make it possible. and the idea about gestures is cool, but you might be right: hard to have as many. Although.. you could probably set up the "gestures" to be touch patterns, for instance - meaning that if i was to touch three separate spots on the phone screen in a certain order, it would recognize that gesture as a speed dial - and conceivably it'd be possible to have quite a few of those, if you were just replicating patterns of numbers on a keypad..

very cool idea, indeed. :)

adriankeith's avatar

Let me just start off by saying that I never thought I would end up with an iPhone. Yet here I am, a proud owner of one.

"Dialing her number will take 3 or more touches and my attention on the iPhone."

Don't take this the wrong way, but if you can't look at your phone to press a few numbers I'd be worried about my mental health rather than the features of a phone. I'm sure most of the users here will text message someone throughout the course of their day. Does it really take that much time out of your day to look down at your phone and press the necessary numbers? Surely it doesn't take you -that- long.

I'm not saying that the Speed Dial function should have been left out as I know quite a few people who do use it, especially those who aren't so tech savvy and have numbers programmed so they don't have to go rummaging through their phones just to call someone. If you look at the progress of how the iPhone has been "hacked" I'm sure that a Speed Dial "hack" wouldn't be too far off or even a legitimate update from Apple themselves (as some others have stated).

BTW. 50-60 contacts memorized on your speed dial? That's amazing. I think that's the total amount of contacts on my phone.

alabare's avatar

For what it's worth Evan, with all of the "hacking", it's just a matter of time before 3rd party apps can be placed on the phone with ease. I truly believe applications will be created to allow for just such a task. I have a feeling it wouldn't be very hard to program. Currently, if you go to your keypad, you can still hold down the #1 and have it speed dial into your regular voicemail.

adriankeith's avatar

BTW, I just checked AllThingsD, and it looks like the Favorites can hold 50 contacts.

mineshaftgap's avatar

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, check out my free application that creates speed dials on the iPhone.

SpringDial: Speed Dials for you SpringBoard

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