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You know what? The App for That sucks.
December 3, 2011 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Help me not hate my iPhone.

Help me not really, really fucking hate this phone.

I have read a few of the threads about switching from Droid to iPhone 4S, and while somewhat helpful, I have already made the jump. I did so because the battery life on Droids is abysmal. It really is. I had an original Droid, family members had different variations of Incredibles and X's , X2, etc., and I had a Razr for 5 days. All versions had crap for power, especially the Razr, and I wanted so much to like that phone.

I made the switch despite loving the Android OS, and knowing the iPhone is not generally customizable in the same ways. I have certainly used friends' phones and played with the ones in the Apple store, and I have and iPad. I figured, hey, I like that, so maybe I will like the phone. Maybe I should have thought that through a bit more.

I am not inclined to jailbreak the phone just yet, as if it weren't for bad luck, I would have no luck at all. I can easily see a bricking in the future. But it is not out of my head entirely. Anyhow, I would like help with the following few things, realizing that for some or most of them, I am more than likely SOL:

*I currently use Mapquest to replace my beloved Google Navigator. What app, paid or free, is closest to this? I realize none will replace it. I hate that I put in a request and it gives me results across the country.

*If I text my sister using the Message app and put the phone down, still in-app, I do not get a notification sound when she replies. And here I thought phones were supposed to tell me when someone was trying to contact me. So, is there another option which will tell me, whether or not I am in the app, when someone has texted me?

*Same for mail.

*With Droid, WeatherBug found me via GPS and told me the weather where I was. iPhone WeatherBug wants me to input locations. Is this it? Done?

*Am I somehow missing some way to get the temperature displayed on my lock screen? (see above)

*I really do not need to know the stocks. I would like this to go away.

Some of this might fall under a "Tasker" heading, where I would normally be tweaking my phone to do certain things. I know a "Tasker'" app is not currently possible on the unbroken iPhone (so no notifications at certain times of the day/in certain locations) and some of the things I miss are things the iPhone does not even have (a customizable front-facing notification LED).

I really did think the iPhone was going to be better, and after having the Razr for a few days and seeing that the battery life is not improved over previous phones, I have to stick with it. Please help me out with any advice, and anything else you think is going to make the phone work is the smooth manner everyone always seems to talk about . I thank you in advance.
posted by oflinkey to Technology (25 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
* My Message app makes notification sounds when, in-app, I get a reply. Check your sound settings maybe?

* Same for mail.

* There's no lock-screen customization, period.

* You can easily get rid of the stock ticker. Settings, Notifications, look at In Notification Center and get the STock Ticker out of there.

* Well I don't know about the iPhone Weatherbug, but nearly all the iPhone weather apps I've used - Farenheit, The Weather Channel, and the built-in one that I now use - will happily figure out where I am via GPS.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:33 PM on December 3, 2011


You may need to turn on Location Services in your settings for apps to know where you are.
posted by TallulahBankhead at 2:35 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You will get used to it. Keep using it.
When I did the switch from iOS to Android I disliked Android for the first few weeks. I know like them both the same.
It's two different concepts, and IMHO both are great.
posted by helloworlditsme at 2:36 PM on December 3, 2011


so no notifications at certain times of the day/in certain locations

You might look into Siri and Reminders, which will help with both, to some extent.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on December 3, 2011


If you decide to jailbreak it then you can use Typophone Weather to show the temperature on your lock screen.

However, if you have ios 5, then I don't think an untethered jailbreak is available yet, so I would wait for that.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 2:40 PM on December 3, 2011


I also switched from iOS to Android and it was all fine in the end.

Is Google Navigator just for directions? Cause the regular maps application gives you directions and is based on Google maps, just like in Droid.
posted by raena at 2:41 PM on December 3, 2011


For navigation, I use MotionX GPS, and really like it.
posted by 4ster at 2:42 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know why the battery life on your other phones sucked? Because you made them constantly check GPS and go on the network to get the temperature in order to display it on the lock screen.

Re SMS/email, I always hit the lock button when I put the phone down so that it makes the same sound. (The SMS app can make a sound when it's in the foreground, but it's a different, quieter sound.)
posted by trevyn at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


so no notifications at certain times of the day/in certain locations

You can absolutely do this. I regularly set Reminders - usually via Siri - for things like "Remind me to call Bob when I get to work." And poof! When I arrive the next day, I get a little "ding!" and my phone tells me to call Bob.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:59 PM on December 3, 2011


Check your sound settings for mail and messages. I get at least a vibrate even if I'm in the app. Are you "pushing" mail? (Settings > Mail Contact and Calendars > Fetch New Data)

I use MotionX GPS as well, and while it's not as good as the native Google app on mr. desjardins' Droid X, it's serviceable.

I just got RE.minder for ... reminders. I can put in recurring reminders (take medication 2x day) and tell it to bug me incessantly until I do it. It does not include location, though. The native reminder app apparently does, but I have not used it.
posted by desjardins at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2011


Thanks so far, all. I am going to check out MotionX GPS for sure, and explore more of the phone. It does not help that the Verizon reps gave me contradictory advice (from what I see here). I believe here first, trust me.

Trevyn, I shut eveything off on a Droid but for call-out/receive phone and text once. Still came in under 8 hours.
posted by oflinkey at 3:42 PM on December 3, 2011


It does not help that the Verizon reps gave me contradictory advice (from what I see here)

There's your problem. Get iPhone support from Apple. Do you have an Apple store near you? Make an appointment with the Genius Bar and they'll get you sorted.
posted by empath at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Navigon for directions. It's not a cheap app, but the maps and data are stored on the phone and it works whether I'm in the city or in the middle of the nowhere with no reception (which is coincidentally where you sometimes need directions most). Doesn't rely on network for anything.
posted by the jam at 4:18 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm an iPhone lackey, slave, servant, fan, and lover and still found MacLife's Always Current iOS5 Tips and Tricks guide very useful. I don't guarantee you'll hit my levels of obsequiousness but the guide might help you attain some kind of distanced admiration at least. And Mapquest does driving directions fine for me.
posted by firstdrop at 4:27 PM on December 3, 2011


I use the TomTom app for navigation. It's expensive but works great (most of the time).
posted by tamitang at 4:31 PM on December 3, 2011


If you want a free navigation app w/ voice prompts including street names, get Waze. It's really good (at least for free). I have no experience with any paid iPhone nav apps. I'm quite happy with Waze. Mapquest sucks.
posted by reddot at 4:34 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


For all lock screen customization, you'd have to jailbreak the device (and install IntelliScreenX or similar), but there's no jailbreak available for the iPhone 4S yet. (There's a tethered jailbreak for iOS 5 using redsn0w, but it doesn't work on the iPhone 4S or the iPad 2. If you're interested in keeping up on this stuff, watch the Dev Team Blog for news. And there's no way to truly brick an iPhone by jailbreaking it — you can mess up the software, but you can always restore the device using iTunes.)
posted by dreamyshade at 5:35 PM on December 3, 2011


What empath said - a half hour at the Apple Store will answer all these questions and more. Recommended.
posted by Miko at 7:47 PM on December 3, 2011


Weather: As of iOS5 (what you've got) the built-in weather app will show the weather at your current location. You can disable this if you want. It's a little slower in day-to-day use than putting in your cities of interest, since it needs to get a GPS lock before downloading the appropriate data.

Navigation: MotionX GPS is not a turn-by-turn direction app, which is what I think you want. There are a bunch of them. I've heard good things about Navigon, but have not used it.

Text notifications: the Messages app gives a different notification sound if it's active (screen is on)—just a little "bloop?" noise. Otherwise you get the default notification sound.

Mail notifications: Dunno about them. I've always got new e-mail, so it's pointless to be notified of it.

You can't get rid of Apple's default apps, but you can treat one app folder as the Island of Misfit Apps and get them out of your way, banished to a remote screen.
posted by adamrice at 7:50 PM on December 3, 2011


Navigation: MotionX GPS is not a turn-by-turn direction app

Yes it is.
posted by desjardins at 5:28 AM on December 4, 2011


If you swipe from the very top of the screen to the bottom when the screen is unlocked, the notification screen will arise and by default the first thing at the top is the weather based on GPS location. It's also the default first screen when you hit the default weather app. The iPhone weather app is so good I've never even thought to look for another.

Your phone should make the sounds for email and chat even when you're in those screens. Not sure why it isn't.

To clarify, you're not using the default map application (which uses Google) because... you want something that will read to you, or automatically progress to the next step, or something else? The default map application will show you all the steps once you route, you just go to list view. If you click on a step, it will show you the step on the map, zoomed in, and you can press previous and next to go through each step. Not sure if that's adequate for you, though.
posted by Nattie at 12:00 PM on December 4, 2011


*I currently use Mapquest to replace my beloved Google Navigator.

I'm unfamiliar with Android software. What is it Google Navigator does that Maps [default Google maps app on iOS] doesn't do? That might help those more familiar with the App Store give a recommendation. Is it turn-by-turn navigation you're missing? You might want to check out this comparison by GigaOM.

*If I text my sister using the Message app and put the phone down, still in-app, I do not get a notification sound when she replies.

*Same for mail.


Both Mail and iMessage make sounds if you have sounds turned up. Double-click the home button, swipe your finger left-to-right twice and you'll have found the volume control (which is not the ring tone/alert volume, controlled by the buttons on the side of the phone). Make sure you have a sound assigned to them in Settings->Sounds.

*With Droid, WeatherBug found me via GPS and told me the weather where I was.

The default iPhone weather app by default uses the GPS locator to determine weather. You can additionally add pre-set locations. I'm not really sure why WeatherBug doesn't try this. Third party apps can determine your location (for example it's how foursquare works).

*Am I somehow missing some way to get the temperature displayed on my lock screen?

Not without jailbreaking, I think, but you can always just slide your finger from top to bottom to pull down the notification center. It includes GPS-located weather from the weather app.

*I really do not need to know the stocks. I would like this to go away.

You can't delete the app. It's one of the few you can't. I would like to kill it with fire, too. You can get it off the notification center in Settings->Notifications, though.

I know a "Tasker'" app is not currently possible on the unbroken iPhone (so no notifications at certain times of the day/in certain locations)

I'm unfamiliar with Tasker, but from the sound of your description, you'll be wanting to use the Reminders app. You can set the reminder to go off either/both at a time/date and at a location.

Can't help with front-facing LED notifications, though.
posted by asciident at 12:36 PM on December 4, 2011


I have a folder of apps called Crap, containing Stocks, YouTube, Notes, Game Center, Music and some other things I forget. It's on my last screen of apps. Not quite killed with fire, but buried anyway.

I get to music by double home, swipe left. I don't use the others.

As others have said, most of your other issues can be solved in the Notifications screen of Prefs. Spend time there. Experiment.
posted by rokusan at 2:32 PM on December 4, 2011


I know a "Tasker'" app is not currently possible on the unbroken iPhone (so no notifications at certain times of the day/in certain locations)

This is exactly what Siri is all about.

"Remind me to call Bob when I get home tomorrow." worked for me right out of the box, no configuring needed

(That said, she really doesn't know what it means to "reset" a timer.)
posted by rokusan at 1:01 AM on December 5, 2011


I really did think the iPhone was going to be better

Well, one, from your questions it doesn't sound like you're really familiar enough with the iPhone to make that call. Several of your complaints were easily fixable with just a little knowledge. If you're going to make the switch, just accept that it might take you a while to fully grasp another system and give it a chance.

Secondly, imho there is no 'better' between android and iOS. They each have a different philosophy. There's a chance that after you understand your iPhone inside and out, you STILL prefer android. If that's the case, I'd switch back.

Also, I use Navigon, which just got bought by garmin, for my driving gps, and it's never let me down.

Good luck.
posted by justgary at 9:59 AM on December 7, 2011


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