iMessage and Phonecalls

The shiny nature of iMessage has loses one thing to SMS, the ability to be delivered while you’re on the phone.

SMS can come in alongside phone calls. I’ve got used to this, I’ll sometimes call people while waiting for other people to turn up, I’ll hear a text message arrive, can read, and act accordingly.

iMessages are shiny. iMessages are data. This means they’ll only arrive if I’m on WiFi or on a 3G UTMS connection.

If I’m on a 2G GSM connection, or a CDMA network user in the States, and not connected to WiFi, I’ll not be receiving messages while I’m on the phone.

Yes iMessage says things are “delivered” but I don’t yet know what that means, and I’ve seen people complain on twitter that it’s not delivered to the handset. I guess people haven’t seemed that bothered with BBM, but that has stronger delivery feedback; But the transparency of SMS/iMessage is the problem, I’ve had people ask “HOW DO I SEND THEM?” because the only distinction is the blue/green colouring, in some ways it’s so transparent you might not understand.

I’m not sure this is a massive issue, but it’s got the potential to make meeting people comically awkward, given my phone still spends a bit of time on 2G networks.

Siri and Boris Bikes

If Siri included bicycle hire status, that could make finding a dock much easier when you’re on the move.

I know it’s not launched yet but it would be great if Apple incorporates the TFL Barclays Cycle Hire feed into Siri. Siri is perfect for when you can’t use the screen, like when you’re cycling. It would be great to be able to ask:

“What cycle docks are available near home?”

“5 docks available at Oval Way, and 4 at Kennington Post Office”

I know it’s a market specific request, but there’s an XML feed they could parse – here’s hoping the “beta” label gives them the wiggle room to add this kind of thing. There are a number of bike-share schemes around the world so it might not be that bespoke.

It won’t happen; but I can dream of a voice-controlled Bicycle as a Service future.

aside: you could emulate this with a text message service

“Siri, send a message to bikes, ‘i’m coming home'” and siri could read the reply.