Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Most Useless iPhone 3.0 Feature

In the iPhone OS 3.0 update, there were a lot of nice features added. Some of them are fairly major and useful, like cut-and-paste. Some of them are subtle and useful, like the 30-second rewind button when playing a podcast. But there’s one feature that sticks out to me as totally useless: “Shake to Shuffle”.

I guess there’s some tiny “cute-factor” to it. But in practical terms, it’s pretty darned useless. When you’re using your iPhone or iPod Touch to listen to music, you’re probably either: on the move (in your car, jogging, biking, mowing your lawn, etc.) or in a passive environment (working at a desk, connecting your iPhone to an external amplifier/speaker system, etc). Rarely are you going to be carrying your iPhone in hand, but still enough to avoid accidental shuffling.

And accidental shuffling is what makes this feature so useless. I didn’t realize that Apple had defaulted this feature “on”. So imagine my confusion when on a couple of occasions I was driving down the road and my iPhone skipped the the next track in the middle of a song. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but then somebody mentioned “shake to shuffle” on Twitter, and it suddenly occurred to me that I should check that setting. Doh!

Thanks, Apple. You re-invented the Sony Discman.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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5 Responses to Most Useless iPhone 3.0 Feature

  1. Yeah, it’s annoying when you accidentally shuffle it. although there is a “cute-factor”, it’s not really THAT cute at all. Maybe I’m just not seeing the real use of that “shake to shuffle”.

  2. music sheet says:

    I didn’t realize that Apple had defaulted this feature “on”. So imagine my confusion when on a couple of occasions I was driving down the road and my iPhone skipped the the next track in the middle of a song.

  3. iphone ebook says:

    Really it is painful to hear this info from apple. Anyway thank you for sharing.

  4. I love it, “You re-invented the Sony Discman.” Too funny, but right on the mark. Once again showing that things don’t always turn out as they are envisioned on the drawing board.

  5. I don’t have an iPhone, but I can see this technology eventually coming into better reception after a few touch-ups. I would hope that it becomes as well-crafted as the muli-touch apple mouse wherein only exact shaking motions (that only humans can make with their hands) are accepted to shuffle. I “hope” that is the case, but who knows. Great post and thanks for pointing this out.

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