6 Things Smartphones Should Be Able to Do by Now

Everything in the world should be perfect, and everything that isn’t perfect is the worst thing ever. Hello, I’m Chris Bucholz, and I’m a huge baby. And today I’m here to bawl at you about smartphones. Despite being one of the most powerful devices ever wrought by man’s hand, my smartphone still has a number of quirks and hiccups that irritate my soft baby skin. And because my tiny, still-developing mind possesses neither the skill nor the drive to actually fix these problems, I am left with no choice but to simply document them for you.

Here then, for your bawling pleasure, are all the problems with smartphones that humanity still has to put up with, like we just crawled out of the fucking trees or something.

#6. The Screen Rotates When It Shouldn’t

Some things look better when a phone is held in portrait mode. Some things look better when the phone is held landscape mode. This is normal and even healthy.

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Except for videos. If you shoot a video in portrait mode, you will be badly hurt.

Switching between these orientations is easy enough; the sensors in every phone I’ve used detect rotation just fine. But if you’re not rotating the phone intentionally, like if you’re laying it down on its back or, heaven forbid, trying to use your phone while laying down on your side, you’re basically screwed. Yes, I know there are ways to lock the screen in one of the drop-down or settings menus or with a witch’s hex, but ugh man, seriously? Then you’d have to turn it off when you’re done, and again, ugh. It’s easier just to sit up, which is the worst thing ever.

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“This is some serious bullshit right here.”

And there’s another thing which happens occasionally. I sometimes get in a situation where I’m trying to look at a picture that’s rotated 90 degrees from they way it should be, like the phone doesn’t know which end of it is down. Rotating the phone, like one might do with any other object in the world, just causes the phone to change orientation, which causes me to twist it again, and so on, and eventually my wrist just snaps off.

#5. The Volume Control Sometimes Adjusts the Wrong Volume

Our phones can play lots of different sounds because of all the computer chips they have, and these sounds all have their own volume. There’s the volume for basic phone noises. And the volume for notifications. And the volume for alarms. And the volume for movies and music and your fart noise apps.

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“We know that wasn’t a real fart, Mike. Frankly, it would have been more professional if it was a real fart.”

And yet we have a single volume control to work these separate sources (again, without diving into settings land). It’s context sensitive, sure, and will typically change the volume of whatever is playing, which is the right move like 95 percent of the time. But in a few odd cases, it’s clear you want to adjust a different sound entirely. Like when you want to watch a video or play a game on the bus without making any sound, pressing the volume button before the thing starts making sound, like you’d do with any other device on the planet, doesn’t adjust the video/game volume — it just adjusts the ringer.

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“Can’t talk now, Tom. No, everyone’s looking at me like they were real farts.”

Also, whose idea was it for a phone to beep when you’re lowering the volume of the notifications? Yes, I know it’s to show me how loud it is now, but if I’m preemptively lowering it so as not to make any noises, I don’t want to know how loud it is by way of a bunch of goddamned noises. Come on phones! BE MORE PERFECTER.

#4. Autocorrect

There are two big problems with autocorrect. The first is that it still makes lots of mistakes. “Song” becomes “Dong,” and “Sorry” becomes “Dong,” and “Whoops” becomes “Dong,” and… hang on. OK, someone’s been fucking with my phone.

OK, but still, autocorrect makes a ton of mistakes, and the web is filled with examples of people who have “hilariously” called their mother the C-word when they really just meant to use the S-word.

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“Jeffrey, U R a bad son.”

But the second problem goes deeper with that. Autocorrect has made everyone lazy. Because we can drop our phone in the front of our pants and hump out semicoherent text messages, we haven’t developed the hand dexterity we’ll need to survive in a future filled with very small things to touch. Our growing reliance on autocorrect is dooming our hands to grow ever more sausage-like.

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