More iPhone annoyances.

(Overall, the iPhone is freaking fantastic, but I’m not going to add any value by singing its praises repeatedly. It’s much more fun to talk about the parts that suck.)

The #1 most annoying thing about the iPhone, by far, is that finger-scrolling on the iPhone is the reverse of two-finger scrolling on an Apple trackpad. On the iPhone, you touch the page and push it up to scroll down. On a MacBook, you’re notionally grabbing the scrollbar, and pulling it down to scroll down.

Each switch between my iPhone and my MBP costs me a few seconds to readjust. The iPhone interaction pattern is clearly correct; the solution for me will probably be to reverse the trackpad’s scroll direction. This will probably work fine for web browsing, but in other contexts it may feel wrong. OS X doesn’t expose an option to switch the trackpad — yet — but there may be a third-party solution.

Speaking of scrolling: Scoble is absolutely right that Google Reader is unusable on the iPhone. But he’s complaining about the limited mobile version. The full version is not the answer — it’s even worse! Google Reader, and other sites that have content inside a scrollable frame, are broken on the iPhone because the browser doesn’t give you a way to scroll the frame independently of the rest of the page.

Single-tapping stories will scroll them to the top and allow you to move down the list, but if a single story is larger than the screen, you’re screwed.

Google has clearly been tweaking this over the weekend. For a time yesterday it looked like they were redirecting all iPhone useragents to the mobile version, but they’ve turned that off. I’m sure they’ll eventually find something that works, but the best solution will probably be a dedicated Google Reader widget. If nobody else writes one, I just might.

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2 Comments on “More iPhone annoyances.”

  1. dDub Says:

    I too have been frustrated with not being able to reverse the scrolling direction of my trackpad of my MacBook and found this post via (another of many) Google searches.

    Well, after allmy frustration i’ve finally found a solution soon after finding this post! The app is called ‘Smart Scroll X’ and it allows you to reverse scrolling and much more. I’ve yet to test the other features but ii can say for sure that after fooling around with it, i’ve managed to get my track pad, mouse wheel, and Firefox grab and drag extension all in reverse sync. Only problem now is that i have to get used to scrolling in reverse again =P

    I’m not sure if you allow HTML so here is the straight up URL: http://www.marcmoini.com/sx_en.html

    It’s a free evaluation and $19 to buy… I’m in no way connected with the apps author don’t get me wrong (and i realize there are ‘other’ ways of ‘buying’ it), but judging by this quote, i think you are not alone in your iPhone frustration and will appreciate the program.

    “Super Wheel makes your scroll wheel or trackpad smoother, faster and more comfortable. And it lets you reverse scrolling on the Mac to match your iPhone. Try it!”

    Hope this post doesn’t get SPAM filtered and lets you relieve the frustration as it did me.

    p.s. i’m also a Bostonian, GO SOX!

  2. Dewb Says:

    Thanks for the tip. At some point, though, I just got used to the differences between the iPhone and the trackpad. Now my brain just switches subconsciously. It’s good to know that option is out there, though.


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