Is it going to be a switch in notification center? I hope this part of iOS matures some more. We need some more automated settings. For instance when I’m actively using my Mac iMessages and Mail on my iPhone should be muted. Or when I’m at home on my WIFI there should be an option to disable my passcode lock automatically. Less toggles and more automation. Some new widgets or a widgets API for notification center would also be appreciated.
As for the Facebook integration, I hope Apple unifies these under a common “Social” settings group. I don’t care much about Facebook integration but Twitter improvements would be welcome. It should be more seamless. I should be able to swipe down in notification center and make a new tweet and select a photo from my library if I want. Switching to the photo app and scrolling through a list of all the different actions available seems ridiculous. How long is that list box going to get? The whole list box idea seems tired. I hope Apple starts revamping the UI. iOS is much more capable than it was in version 1 and yet these scrolling button boxes (for when they get too tall) have been around forever and keep having more junk added to them. There needs to be a better way.
I also hope for more gesture support. Gestures aren’t always intuitive, but they’re great for power users and over time people will learn them. We’re clearly headed more in that direction than all these scrolling boxes. iOS could also use a fresh coat of paint. The baby blue pinstripes seem so dated. That being said I’m not at all a fan of the Corinthian leather or any of the other hideous treatments. Though the new movie trailers app looks nice. I’m a fan of darker UIs that are a bit more refined and easier on the eyes (I’m a huge fan of the new Photoshop CS6, even with some of the UI shortcomings the darker shade is great). I just don’t think these leather-bound book metaphors work well on a black/white glass and metal device. It’s kind of hideous and supposedly Jony Ive agrees—wasn’t that news recently?
All that being said, this is my ultimate iOS 6 wish list:
1. Siri API
2. Widget API (notification center and perhaps lock screen?)
3. Revamped UI
4. New gestures
5. Automatic settings changes (location based, etc)
6. Intents (better inter-app communication and such, or perhaps the ability to replace the Mail app with Sparrow or similar examples)
7. New maps application that blows Google away
8. Refined social networking integration (better implementation)
9. Airdrop files between Mac and iPhone, iPhone to iPhone/iPad, etc
10. Better iCloud integration on deeper levels
11. Improved dictation, perhaps local dictation for short or simple requests like the local dictation used for calls, music, etc when Siri is off? Drives me crazy that my wife’s iPhone 4 can voice dial much faster than Siri since it doesn’t use the network. So we need some intelligent switching.
12. Official BT 4.0 gamepad API (so devs are on same page)
13. Improved camera/photo apps (finally see panoramic mode?)
14. Enhanced customization (deeper settings that we can tweak like custom sounds for every kind of notification, remove built in app icons from home screen, etc)
15. Might Apple remove the YouTube app in favor of Google releasing one on the App store to try to separate themselves further? I thought I read that Mountain Lion has Vimeo support built-in but not YouTube. This could be another great use for intents—Safari would need to know the proper app to launch for YouTube links if it wasn’t built-in. Though I think this might be currently achievable to a certain degree?
So what do I think are the chances of them happening? 1. 70% 2. 30% 3. 30% 4. 50% (for at least one or two) 5. 30% 6. 50% 7. 99% 8. 70% 9. iPhone 6 this fall 10. 99% 11. 50% 12. 20% 13. 60% 14. likely in several areas, depends where 15. more likely if they cut out Google Maps, which is likely—but they may wait.
Likely to be a solid update—but I’m still waiting for Apple to pull out something huge and leapfrog competitors again like they did with the original iPhone software. While I feel like Apple is a very capable company, I still worry that they’ve lost the capability to pull off something that far out and crazy again—which is kind of sad since they have so much more money now. I’m not saying that they aren’t doing a great job, but I get the feeling that the jaw dropping iPhone 1 caliber stuff is either not likely to happen again or is quite a ways down the pipeline. I hope I’m spectacularly wrong, but I feel like so many companies in mobile right now are on a plateau waiting for copy some amazing new Apple product or software that may never come—or at least not anytime soon. I feel like Google stole much of iOS the first couple years and lately Apple has just been adding whatever new feature Android has. The main exception however is Siri—and if Siri gets an API then that could be HUGE and keep Apple ahead for at least a couple more years. iCloud also has some potential to keep competitors at bay. The whole ecosystem is a better experience with Apple. Once Google can match that then Apple may be in trouble.
Sorry for the half-crazy, scattered, long post. I’ve been awake for a very long time…but felt the need to jot down some thoughts—even if they are discombobulated and insane.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!
In memory of Steve Jobs