Whether you love or hate your iPhone (or fall somewhere in between), there are at least a few things about it that annoy you. Here are our—and your—biggest annoyances, along with how to fix them.This post originally appeared on Lifehacker.
Don't get too excited here, because there's no magic fix. Even ditching AT&T and switching to Verizon may not solve your problems. Making calls on any network is going to have its share of problems no matter what you do, but supplementing your regular calls with VOIP calls over Wi-Fi will not only give you a little more reliability (on a good Wi-Fi connection in the most common problem areas: at home or at work) but also save you some money on minutes. When we looked at turning an iPod touch into an iPhone, we found that Line2 was a great VOIP option. On the other hand, Skype can cost a bit less if you don't use it too often and provide more calling options outside of the United States and Canada. If you're worried about having multiple numbers Google Voice can help you keep a single number. While this technically won't fix your dropped calls, it's a reasonably effective band-aid for a very annoying problem.
Currently it costs $20 to tether your iPhone--with a cable--to your laptop or desktop computer. Why do you have to pay $20 a month to use a connection you're already paying for? Good question. While there's no real solution directly available in iOS, those of you who choose to jailbreak your phones can easily tether for free and even use your iPhone (or iPad) as a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can quickly get these features by purchasing and downloading MyWi from the Cydia Store (an app that generally comes pre-installed after you jailbreak). MyWi lets you tether however you like--whether it's over Wi-Fi or through the use of an iPod sync cable. It'll cost you $20, but that's only one month of what you'd pay for AT&T's tethering so it's a pretty good deal in the long run.
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 due 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 minimize 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.
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 off 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.
I really love iOS despite it's 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 $10, 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).
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