While at times it felt like a tidal wave of features were announced today during Apple's iPhone 3.0 Preview Event, several features were still conspicuous by their absence. Here's what comes immediately to mind... after the break!
Mobile iChat: It will break Chad's heart, but Apple still hasn't put those Mobile iChat patents to use. Are they waiting on new hardware (with a front facing video-chat camera, perhaps?)
Unified messenger: I asked for this a long time ago, and Palm answered it with the Pre. Apple could certainly give us the perfect UI for something that combines mail, SMS, Twitter, IM, and other social/communications status and messages into a single feed. But will they?
Unified Email Inbox: Some people hate them, some people love them, but it takes a lot of clicks to switch between multi-account email inboxes on the iPhone right now, and to have even the option of a unified view would be good news to a good many users.
Push Gmail:: Admittedly, Gmail's IMAP implementation is so... eccentric... we worry what they'd do with IDLE, but the Android G1 has push Gmail, so we know it's possible. Google Synch has already licensed ActiveSync, which the iPhone uses as well, and while corporate users on Exchange would be locked out, we'd take what we can get at this point. Google, where is it?
Premium App Store: We heard rumors of a premium App Store Plus, but nothing mentioned so far. Plenty of news with turn-by-turn, subscriptions, and in-app purchases for the store, but nothing to separate out +$20 apps.
Cloud contact integration: Another from the Palm Pre gameplan, Apple made no mention of pulling contacts from other clouds, like Google and Facebook, and of seamlessly merging and managing them on device. Maybe we'll see a MobileMe 2.0 pick this up at WWDC?
Background multitasking: It was rumored as well, but Scott Forstall said tests of Windows Mobile and Android showed 80% battery drain with a single background IM client running (though we're sure our friends on WMExperts, Android Central, and PreCentral.net would beg to differ on that...) so Apple stuck to Push Notification instead. That doesn't solve the problem of streaming internet radio, however, so is Apple again waiting on more RAM in better hardware come WWDC?
Improved notification system: Both Android and Pre, in addition to multitasking, have superior notification systems. With Apple's new Push service, we really needed this in the iPhone as well. As we mentioned in the article, what if 30 apps push 10 model message dialogs all at once? How does the iPhone -- or more importantly, the user -- decide which to handle and which to ignore?
Video recording: Kevin Rose nailed cut and paste, and also the lack of video recording. He said it was due to hardware limitations on the built in NAND Flash RAM inside the iPhone. We're not sure what he meant, or what his source(s) told him, but the iPhone of course lacks SDHC card support, so you can't swap out your storage. Flash memory also has finite write cycles -- every time you change a bit, it decays the barrier between bits, meaning eventually it fails and you can't write to it any more. Is Apple afraid users will shoot so much video, and write to the built-in memory so much, it will fail and won't be replaceable? If so, maybe yet again we're waiting on newer hardware...
Adobe Flash: Still no love, not even video player plugin support for Adobe's Flash, Flash Mobile, Flash Lite, or Open Screen project. With the speed in which Apple is adopting HTML 5, CSS, 2D/3D animation and transform, we're guessing they'll just never be that in to Flash...
Theming: No custom home screen backgrounds, icon sets, etc. -- hey, Apple has to leave you with some reason to Jailbreak, right?
Hexagonal grids: Heh, we'll leave that for Windows Mobile 7...