So I finally got around to downloading the new iOS 4.2 update tonight and after reading through the list of updates I found a couple features that haven’t been talked about too much. It seems all the hype has been around the AirPrint and AirPlay functionality. The features I am happily looking forward to are:
- Find text on the web page in Safari
- New SMS/MMS text tones and the ability to set custom tones per contact
Find text on the web page in Safari
I can’t recall the amount of times I have loaded a web page in mobile Safari and wished this feature existed. It seems this feature would be very important for small screen devices since skimming large amounts of data is not easy. I’m not sure how this will look in the UI, but I will update this post once I get the update installed.
After I got the update installed I loaded up Safari to check out the new find feature. I loaded up the Apple website and started poking around to try and find the feature. The first button I tried was the middle button on the bottom bar that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it. It was the wrong choice, but it did show me where the “Print” button was. I then tried clicking each button including the URL and Google search and still couldn’t find where the feature was.
I then opened the Google search to see if anyone else is having problems. As soon as I started typing a new bar appeared right above the keyboard saying how many matches there were on the current page. Apparently you have to use the Google search feature to find items on the current page. This to me doesn’t make sense at all. How is that intuitive? I click “Google” to find what is on the page? Weird.
After typing in the term to find on the page, you then have to scroll down past all the results that Google returned. Again, this seems a little out of place. Finally, clicking on the “Find ****” line opens up the interface for the find feature. The term you are searching for is highlighted similar to how the desktop version of Safari does it. The term is highlighted in a yellow bubble. A new toolbar at the bottom allows advancing through the matches and there is a “Done” button for when you are finished.
Overall I am not a big fan of how the feature is implemented. I feel Apple could have done a better job with the user experience.
New SMS/MMS text tones and the ability to set custom tones per contact
This is another one of those features where you ask “Why wasn’t that in version 1.0?”. It seems like it would be so easy to add this feature in, but apparently it never seemed important enough to Apple. I have always been disappointed with the lack of choices for tones for SMS/MMS. Not only that, there are only 1 or 2 that are any good and the others are just annoying.
Having the ability to assign certain tones per contact will nice. However, if the new tones aren’t any good then you will be stuck using the annoying tones.
I still wish Apple would add the ability for custom SMS/MMS tones. How hard would it be? They could even sell them for $1 and make a killing. I would assume they are eventually going to go this route.