This is a great question, and I’d also love to know of any alternatives. Almost all issues I face are related to the fact that most of the features are difficult to discover or interpret, especially for users who are new to smart phones (e.g. my grandfather). Some issues I have include:
It is not clear how to open the numpad. This makes it extremely difficult for people with no smartphone experience (e.g. my grandfather) to dial numbers not in the address book. It also makes it hard to engage with phone menus (“Press 5 if your call is about insurance…”). The fact that you need to click on the tab which is labeled with a in order to view the button with 9 dots, which reveals the numpad, is quite obtuse.
Often I’ll have a phone number in my clipboard (e.g. from a website - which didn’t use a
tel: URL to link the phone number to the dialer). In order to paste this into the phone, I have to open the dialer (using the merry dance I described above), and then get presented with two empty white spaces. The first white space is reserved to show the best matching contact for any phone number you’ve typed in, and the second white space is a text input for you to put the number in. However, when you haven’t typed anything in, then it is quite unclear that you need to select the second empty white space in order to put the phone number.
When viewing a contact, it is hard to know what is going to happen. For example, in the “Frequently called” tab, it will dial that persons phone number. In the “Recent call list” it will expand to show a little bit of context about the person. In the “Contacts” list, it will show up a modal dialog with the contacts picture and a bunch of actions which can be performed.
In the main screen of the phone, people may accidentally call somebody when trying to open the dial pad. If you miss the FAB which opens the dialer, then you will call one of the contact’s from a tile behind that.
I’m sure there are other things which annoy me about this, but essentially I think that the whole process could be simplified greatly…