My country is cell phone crazy.

The telecommunications industry is big business here; cell phones sell like hotcakes, and everyone has one. Democratized pricing, provider subsidy and creative budget service plans enable people from all walks of life and all income brackets (and even those without an income) to own a phone. Having the latest and greatest phone is a mark of success and a guaranteed status symbol - casually and nonchalantly whip out a new one in public and heads will turn.

A consequence of this is that everyone texts everyone else anything and everything all the time. It’s cheap and fast. SMS is the communication medium of choice. Whole government coup plots can live and die wholly on text. An urban legend has it that the SMS messages flying to and from a major mall in Manila in just one weekend afternoon surpasses the entire month’s messaging activity of some small European countries.

Which brings us to OS X’s Address Book.

Personally I’m not a big fan of keytap messaging (even if there is such a thing as the T9 Dictionary function). I find it wearisome and tedious - and occasionally dangerous; some people here love to drive and send text messages at the same time. If I can avoid it, I will. I’d much rather call people than have an SMS chat session with them. If I have to, I prefer to use my PDA when I’m mobile, or when I’m in front of my Mac, I use Address Book to send my SMS. It’s a great free app for text messaging people from the keyboard, but unfortunately, you get what you pay for in this case.

I just wonder why Apple, through the many iterations of this little app across the various versions of OS X, hasn’t developed Address Book. With each new release of the OS, I look for some sign of improvement, and Tiger has been another disappointment. Same app, different OS version. With the drive to go wireless industry-wide, I wonder why Apple neglects this area for its users. It seems like a no-brainer, right?

I don’t want to have to purchase third-party apps for just a simple thing like SMS, like buy a copy of the wonderfully thorough and comprehensive (but not free) Phone Agent or some similar app. Like most spoiled Apple brats, I would prefer this functionality free from within my operating system. Everything else is in there anyway, I don’t know why Address Book is so retarded.

Yeah, it’s a great basic app. You can keep your contacts in there, complete with pictures of them, lots of number slots and you can sync them to your heart’s content with every danged Mac you own - but it can’t do a simple thing as keep a record of the messages you send using it - it’s not recorded on your phone, so no one except the person you sent the text to can say the text message actually exists. It can’t even split a long message into two or more and just send them out that way - it just refuses to send the thing if you go over the character limit. Hell, Address Book can’t even give you a proper acknowledgement that the text you sent actually went out properly; the window closes after you click on Send …and that’s that.

Wouldn’t it be great if it kept a copy of all the text we receive and send, sortable by time, date, sender, recipient, etc. and the content archivable, indexable and searchable from within Address Book or Spotlight? Wouldn’t it be great if it could get or send the existing messages to and from our cell phones, so we never have to erase any messages ever again? Wouldn’t it be great if it had the ability to send graphic smileys like on Sony-Ericsson phones? Send text to multiple recipients?

It should be able to handle MMS, for God’s sake! Think of all that wasted Quicktime functionality! Think of what you can actually do with your iSight outside of videochatting with the precious few who have iSights as well! Think of all that multimedia goodness we could create and output through the phone, to wow all our non-Mac friends!

Better yet, why doesn’t Apple just junk the darned thing and buy up the company who makes Phone Agent? Enable iSync on it, call it the The New Address Book - Now on Steroids! and incorporate it into Leopard. Now that would be fantastic!

Whaddaya say, Steve? Should we all text him about it?

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2 Responses to “Addressing Address Book”

  1. Andy Merrett Says:

    Whoa whoa chill man!

    It is an address book - since when did your old-fashioned address book keep a note of all the letters you wrote to people or the phone calls you made?

  2. Adel Says:

    Hi Andy. To answer your question - ever since my Address Book began thinking it can send SMS.

    I believe if Apple wants to take it this direction, it should do it properly. And in the usual Apple way, not just do it properly, but do it well. As it does with the other stuff it comes out with, both in software and hardware.

    We don’t deserve less, right?

    Thanks for the comment!

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