As an iPhone user I look forward to the yearly updates to iOS as much as anyone. I don’t just get excited about the customer facing stuff but also the API’s made available to developers as that’s what allows them to create amazing apps.
John Gruber wrote an excellent article over on Daring Fireball about how Apple has already picked the “low hanging” fruit which somes up the last few years of updates. This year is different because there aren’t as many obvious areas that need to be improved, so with just under a month until WWDC kicks off and we find out whats coming in iOS 6, I thought I’d give my own personal wishlist for you guys to read.
This is the most heavily rumoured so far and all the pieces seem to fit. The Maps app is powered by Google maps at the moment but has always lagged behind the Android equivelant. Apple and Google arent exactly good bedfellows at the moment and recently Apple has been acquiring numerous different mapping companies. The technology behind these is very interesting and when you put all of the other pieces together it looks like an In-House 3D mapping app is on its way in iOS 6.
Siri is awesome. Granted it is limited but its very handy for what it does. It’s so much easier to ask your phone to set your alarm for the next again day than it is to navigate into an app to do it. There are things you cannot ask Siri to do however. Being able to get Siri to send a tweet, or update facebook would be handy but this could go so much further. What if you could ask Siri to take your photo as a remote shutter, play music from other apps such as Spotify, look up words in a Dictionary etc.
Interoperability between apps
The closest we have to this at the moment is “Open With” which is better than nothing but not as good as actually being able to communicate and share with another app. Apple is rightfully apprehensive about this as they don’t want a potentially rogue app having access to other legitimate apps but paranoia shouldn’t prevent progression. An example of my workflow benefitting would be the ability to open an iA Writer document in Blogsy without having to copy and paste the whole article
This doesn’t need much explaining. Allowing me to set Sparrow as the default mail app is sorely needed. This would open the App store up more to alternative apps such as Mail, SMS, Browsers etc.
Expanded sharing menus
This is one of my favourite features on Android. Apps have the ability to add functions into a contextual menu. Like when I’m in the gallery I can share a picture to Twitter, or I can upload it to dropbox but it also works for Emails, webpages, YouTube videos. iOs in its current form only allows for Twitter and Email which is pretty limiting.
Expanded cloud offerings
iCloud syncing has huge potential but its still problematic for developers. When I play Wheres My Water on my iPhone just now, the Game Save is uploaded to iCloud and then I can pick up where I left off on the iPad. Or in Instacast I can do the same thing with Podcast listening positions etc. Fixing that has got to be a priority. I’d also like to see some more web stuff. Being able to view photostream in a browser would be good. Not every one has an Apple TV or Mac to Airplay to but far more people have web browsers. I’d also like to see some sort of file storage but I think this may be a long shot as Apple has made it clear they want to get rid of the file system, not introduce a new one.
This is very simple. At least a music streaming service to rival Spotify. I’d love to have movies and TV shows in there as well but the powers that be still have an archaic view of how that business should be run. We need a “Napster Moment” to wake them up and realise that if you make it too difficult for people to get your stuff they will just pirate it. This isn’t an Apple problem, its an industry problem.
Not on the home screen but in the notification centre. Their are currently 2 official ones, Weather and Stocks but for those that are Jailbroken there is a plethora of good widgets like Music, Twitter, Toggles etc. This would keep the home screen clean and simple but give users somewhere to keep the widgets.
An Improved App Store
Finding Apps on the store that aren’t featured or in the top 200 is pretty difficult. There’s tons of 3rd party services that offer better App store searching and Apple has bought a few related to this area so hopefully we will see some improvement in the area.
These aren’t all “must-haves” as iOS is doing pretty well without any of these features. I’m sure Apple will come up with some hero features that will be the most talked about. What would you like to see in a new version of iOS? Let us know about in the forums.