Skip navigation

In July 2007 I was one of many early adopters who sprung for an iPhone, but after limping along on it for a couple of weeks I took it back for credit after discussing my laundry list of issues with my local Apple store geniuses. That original list of gripes is appended to this article.

Without cut-copy and paste on the iPhone, you have to memorise information you need to transfer between applications!

Today I’d like to focus on just one item from that list, the one I absolutely could not do without: No select-cut-copy-and-paste!


Yes, even the omission of select is a deal breaker for me. You can’t select a line of text to delete it. So what? You could just fat finger the delete key for 10 seconds! True. So how about receiving a long email and just wanting to reply to one paragraph? You can’t just select it and reply to that quoted paragraph and neither can you copy-paste it into a new email either.

So how bad can it be living without copy-and-paste?

Well, if the iPhone would recognize .ics files from calendar invitations then you wouldn’t need to copy-paste from email, right? Same with the contact information somebody emails you in a .vcf — you wouldn’t need to copy-paste it into your address book if the iPhone understood  them. The Mac understands both, the iPhone not. The need for copy-paste would be minimised if these files did on the iPhone what they do on a Mac. Instead, on the iPhone, you have to memorise information you need to transfer between applications.

Here follows my original list of iPhone issues. Before that I just want to say that Apple were pretty decent about taking my phone back and waiving the restocking fee. AT&T charged me for only one months service and cancelled my contract without penalty. When an SDK and 3rd party software becomes available,  AT&T offers faster 3G service and the available storage space increases I’ll be back to sample the iPhone again.

AT&T Edge …

  • Edge data transfers too slow to be of practical use
  • Poor signal at home in Huntington, Long Island
  • Poor signal on LIRR East of Cold Spring, Syosset and West of Jamaica. I often only get one email downloaded per train station stop. On Mon 7/16 there was no Edge connection for the WHOLE commute home.
  • No signal in East River tunnel.
  • No tethered DUN

Battery life …

  • Typically only 80 minutes/day, without phone calls, after full charge
  • Battery often drained overnight: After being connect to laptop and fully charged in the early evening and then drained overnight when laptop closed/sleep

 Crashes have a domino effect …

  • iPod, then Safari and also Mail will crash in succession: Where is the protected memory of OS X?

No Select/Cut/Copy/Paste …

  • Need to memorise and re-enter info between application switches: Made worse by iPhone not reading .ics and .vcf files
  • Unable to select portions of email to reply to or to copy between emails

 Mail …

  • Won’t display all PDF files e.g.TimesDigest
  • Often won’t fully download emails, claiming “no content”
  • Too many clicks to go between accounts/baskets
  • Default GMail config bypasses configured “from” address

Calendar …

  • Does not send invitations via Mail (yet Settings suggest a default email account which other apps can use to send Mail, where and what?)
  • Does not import .ics from Mail
  • Way too many clicks to make a new entry: Can’t click against time for new appointment (must +)
  • Unable to make repeating entries monthly by day (e.g. 3rd Wed of every month)

Address book …

  • Does not export/import .vcf file via email

Wireless …

  • Doesn’t connect with 802.1X protocol for secure wireless

Bluetooth …

  • No Bluetooth file transfers

What I’d appreciate hearing in comments is (a) how the iPhone software has been upgraded/changed, (a) how you work around my complaints or (c) correct any fundamental understandings I might have about the iPhone’s functionality.


Suggested reading Levi’s “Ditching your iPod for a Treo 700P” article at Twelve Black Code Monkeys | On iPhone v2 Wired’s Lonnie Lazaar’s 10 Reasons to Hate iPhone 3G Already |
John Gruber’s “Copy and Paste” article over at Daring Fireball

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the link. WordPress (which I just migrated to) just sniffed out your link and added it as a comment (or pingback?).

    I wrote that article before the iPhone came out. The iPhone is certainly slick and sexy, but you point out some very good reasons to stay away for the moment.

    I would add a few more gotcha’s:

    No Stereo Bluetooth (which I would have thought would be a no-brainer for such a device)

    Capacities that pale in comparison to regular iPods

    No ability to add to capacity with external memory (with an SDHC slot, you would currently be able to add up to an additional 32GB!)

    “Walled Garden” for apps – this reminds me a lot of Tmobile’s walled garden for it’s Sidekick platform.

    No other carriers for at least 5 years! Ok, more like 4 now, but still! I’m not about to give up my ultra-cheap Sprint SERO accounts for much pricier AT&T ones! AT&T is one of my least favorite carriers for other reasons as well…

    Some of these issues may be resolved with a future iPhone version, or possibly even some software updates, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    Personally at this point I am really looking for ways to get away from Apple, or at least its iPod line of products. They are nice and I’ve enjoyed using them, but I do think there are more functional devices out there that cost less, even if they are not quite as good-looking…

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] previously blogged about this omission: iRegret buying the iPhone: No select-cut-copy-and-paste! and iPhone could learn a lesson from […]

  2. […] iRegret the iPhone has no select-cut-copy-paste! paragraph, restocking fee, storage space This entry was posted on Apr 28th, 2010 at 6:20 pm and is filed under Twitter Trends.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can Leave a response, or Trackback. […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s