I came across this awesome feature on Android, named "widgets". Wiki defines a widget as "a placeholder for a manufactured device". In the case of operating systems, it refers to an area on the dashboard/desktop/mobile home-screen where an application is running instead of simply having a shortcut or an icon there. For example, look at the below "todo" widget by Astrid.
In any other mobile operating system (I have not checked the new Windows Mobile phones, but I speak of Symbian/Apple/Blackberry), especially your beloved iPhone, there is no such feature. You can't add widgets to the home-screen of your phone. I have been desperately looking for such a feature for so long! I often forget todo items, birthdays and am always at the mercy of gadgets like smartphones to remind me of them. But if I add a todo item to a todo app, I always forgot to open the app and check the list. Similarly, if I set a birthday-reminder, if I am busy i snooze/kill the reminder and forget about it. Now with widgets, the todo items/reminders will always be on my home-screen. Now I pay my bills on time, can see my GPRS/3G usage on the screen all the time and even have important phone-health data being showed on the screen in real-time.
I still use icons/shortcuts for applications like email, contacts, messaging - widgets are not required for everything. But things like reminders/todo/birthdays/live tweets/fb updates can now be seen on the screen all the time - this was an orgasmic discovery for me! Sadly, there weren't any tech-geeks around me when I found this feature :( But I did dash to my sister and tease her to my heart's content. She's one of those bhatke hue log who have iPhones :)
There are many more pleasures that your iPhone cannot offer you. More on Steve Job's forbidden pleasures in the next post.