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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The iPhone: Smart, but Sometimes Rude

The Apple iPhone sure is smart. You can talk to it through its fancy Siri interface, or take and organize gorgeous photos based on location and time. But when you’re making a phone call, the iPhone isn’t that bright, and can be incredibly rude.

The problem: there is no way to disable notifications on the iPhone while on the phone.

Owners of an iPhone will know the drill. They’re happily chatting when a text message or e-mail comes through. The phone prods them: Bling! Vibrate! Ouch! Even when the device is placed on mute, it vibrates when a notification comes in, rattling your skull for a never-ending second.

This has been a problem for some time. Apple declined to comment and won’t say if or when it might address it. (Who knows, maybe the company sees it as a “feature” exclusive to Apple. Let’s hope not.)

There are dozens of threads asking for a solution on Apple’s support pages. On one forum, a customer begs for help, saying it is “very annoying to hear the alerts when I am trying to talk to someone.” Another customer says, “it is distracting, exceptionally loud in my ear, and very annoying.”

In the coming months, under the leadership of Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president for industrial design, Apple is expected to update its iOS operating system with a shiny new look. Although it’s likely that it will be prettier and cleaner, it is not clear what new features Apple will sprinkle in.

Let’s hope Mr. Ive can make the iPhone a little more polite.