Technology

Next iPhone OS/Hardware Wishlist

It’s been less than a month since receiving the brand new iPhone 5. Upgrading from the iPhone 4, I can definitely attest that it has been a pleasure to use: expanded screen real estate, lighter, thinner, and all around more polished. Apple has definitely hit a home run with it’s newest release. Over at Apple HQ in Cupertino, I’m sure they already have the next iPhone in the works! Here is my wish list for what I hope they are building in their labs. I have separated the realistic and nice to have upgrades. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments!

Realistic Hardware Upgrades

1. MagSafe Lighting Port Connector

Apple’s patented MagSafe technology has been incredibly convenient and would allow us to effortlessly charge our phones.

2. Solid color/material tone for back of iPhone

When Apple released the iPhone 5, I was surprised to see that their designers would create a two tone/material back cover. Not only does this stray from their minimalistic style, it greatly complicates their manufacturing process. According to Apple, “each iPhone 5 aluminum housing is photographed by two high-powered 29MP cameras. A machine then examines the images and compares them against 725 unique inlays to find the most precise match for every single iPhone.” It was hard for me to understand why each iPhone they manufacture would deviate so much from another where 725 unique inlay choices would be needed to find the perfect match. Why not create a solid back and eliminate this complexity?

3. Vertically activated silence switch

Switch the orientation of the switch. It will be much less awkward to activate when being held in one hand.

 

Realistic OS Upgrades

1. More advanced multitasking options

The ability to close all apps. View more on the current state of the running app (more Expose like, from OSX).

2. Open Siri APIs to developers

Opening the Siri APIs would allow developers to create amazing applications that would further integration and helping Apple realize it’s desire to become the ultimate personal assistant. Custom applications and actions that utilize Siri from outside the running application is a common scenario I have found myself in however, they have been strictly limited to Apple’s own Siri integration. In the future, I would like to be able to say things like, “Search Foursquare for the best coffee shops”, “Play ______ in Spotify”, or “Search IMDB for ______” and custom callbacks would trigger searches within the applications. Apple cannot possibly create custom integration with apps, leave it to the developers.

3. Easily accessible/customizable settings widgets

It has continued to boggle me why Apple has not made it easier to adjust the brightness and other commonly used settings in a quick to access manner.

4. Hide News Stand

Why force the user to have an app that is non-removable? I can’t even throw it into a folder.

5. Location based passcode disabling

This setting would temporarily disable your passcode when you enter a predefined region / Wifi access point. Although I realize that snooping eyes with your family and spouse may make this a privacy concern, it would nonetheless be convenient and a great option.

6. Better notification handling

The notification center could be improved. I would like the ability to clear all notifications. Apple’s own notification center does not even follow their own design guidelines/conventions where they mention that developers should strive to have target/tap locations of at least 44×44 points, which is not adhered to in a portion which is frequently used when clearing a notification block for a specific app!

7. iPad / iPhone app disparity

Weather and calculator apps are not present on the iPad.

8. Application stats in Settings.app

Although this may affect the battery life, users wanting to get more information on the battery drain, crashes, and other statistics would be able to do so. This would promote better quality apps from the developers by increasing transparency.

 

Farfetched/Unlikely Upgrades

1. Induction charging

Everything will be wireless eventually, however, I see this as being an unlikely addition in their next revision.

2. Include power adapter for older power connections

Come on Apple, what do you expect me to do with all my old power cables? At least include a voucher.

3. Glowing Apple logo on back cover

How is everyone going to know that I own the latest iPhone device in that dimly lit bar?

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