When Apple released the iPhone last year, I scoffed. Windows Mobile on my Samsung Blackjack had it’s problems, but I was on the 3G Network — no fancy UI was going to get me to go back to poky old EDGE!
Then, when iPhones started to show up here in the office, I drooled, but kept scoffing. “Sure is pretty,” I thought, “and Safari on the iPhone beats the pants off Internet Explorer.” But, still, not worth giving up 3G.
A couple of months ago, Apple released the iPhone 3G. But AT&T wouldn’t let me upgrade until October 27th (near the end of my contract), so I waited.
Wanna guess what I bought last Monday?
Using the iPhone has transformed the way I think about my mobile. Much more so than my old Windows Mobile device, it’s a portable Web Browser. And it’s been so easy to extend the iPhone with cool stuff I find on the App Store.
But here’s the the thing. Sure, I’ve fall in love with my iPhone. It’s better than that Samsung in so many ways. But it isn’t perfect. Safari seems to crash an awful lot, I’d love to remove some of the icons I don’t care about, and I’d really like to be able to sync the Notes.
Which leads me to another recent transformation. Working at Atlassian, and on JIRA, has open my eyes to advantages of being open. Not only is Atlassian open in some many ways, JIRA is really designed to support that openness, by making it easy for the public to keep an eye on, and vote for, changes they want to see.
Using JIRA to facilitate that kind of openness isn’t unique to Atlassian, either. Lots of Open Source projects do that (like Apache and the Zend Framework), and so do many commercial software projects (like Second Life and Adobe.
So if I want to see some changes to the iPhone, I just surf on over to Apple’s JIRA instance and vote, right?
Yeah. Not so much. Apple makes some great products, but they aren’t exactly open and transparent. They don’t have an open defect tracker. The best I could do is go complain on the Apple Support Forums. Not exactly the same thing, is it?
But we get to vote, anyway
But you know what happens when you build a product people absolutely love, but forget to give them a good avenue for feedback and requests? Someone builds one anyway. FullSIX, a European marketing firm, built PleaseFixTheiPhone.com, a place for the public to ask for & vote on fixes they want on the iPhone. Last time I checked, the top vote getter had over 22,000 votes.
Oh, and speaking of the iPhone and JIRA, if you (like me!) use them both, be sure and checkout JIRA Buddy, an iPhone extension that gives you direct access to the JIRA instance of your choice.. There may not be a JIRA for the iPhone, but it turns out you can get JIRA on your iPhone! More about that next week.