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View Poll Results: Do you agree with most of the fixes listed in the OP?
Yes (Apple should hire a large staff and implement many of these suggestions) 210 78.95%
No (The iPhone is just about perfect, and doesn't need these improvements) 56 21.05%
Voters: 266. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:08 PM   #1
wikoogle
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The next iPhone and iOS - Is this what you want to see from it? (POLL)

Below is a comprehensive list of every single thing people want to see from the next iPhone and is easily the most comprehensive such list here. Here it is starting with all the reasonable software wishes people have...

A filesystem is the biggest want for the next iOS. Not like on a Mac where you see system files and other stuff, but just a users home folder. A place that all apps can access and load and save files from/to. That way if I have a document it doesn't have to exist inside of each app in order to access it. (1 copy in DropBox, 1 in Pages, 1 in DocsToGo, etc.) Also it means that Apples apps would be able to share files with DropBox or any other file syncing service. Then get rid of the file sharing in iTunes and instead just have the disk show up as an external drive. And please let us drag and drop videos and photos from any PC directly into the iPhone's video/photos folder without having to go through iTunes and syncing everything. It sucks that we can't just simply drag and drop a photo from a friend's computer into the Phone. When plugged in, allow W7/OSX to recognize and use the iPhone as a 32GB/64GB Mass/USB Storage Device with access to the file system.

Improved notifications, notifications that don't disappear immediately, let the notifications show up somewhere and have a dismiss all button or something like that. Example: http://vimeo.com/18568684

Updated Lock Screen That Displays Number of Missed Calls, Texts, Voicemails, Emails & Custom Widgets of our choice

Dynamic Weather, Temp, Stocks and Clock Icons (or Widgets)

OTA/Wireless iTunes and Syncing - file-soup solution allowing apps to push and pull files from a cloud-synced file-collection

Output iPhone to HDTVs/Apple TV at 640p scaled/upconverted to display at 720p either OTA/Wirelessly or via a mini-HDMI port or a Dock Connector to VGA adapter

Wireless Hotspots without Jailbreaking

Improved/More Voice Commands - Siri Assistant/Voice controls across the board: Turn off Bluetooth, Turn off Wifi, Launch Safari, Open a Website, Create Notes and Type/Dictate Emails with our voice (system-wide voice to text input).

Full use of Bluetooth. It sucks that we can't BT a photo or anything else to non-iPhones.

Lock Landscape Mode (not just the current Portrait Mode Lock)

Let us Add (via Bluetooth, iTunes apps, Dropbox and other Apps), Delete and Rename Music, Videos from our iPhones directly. Also let us delete individual text messages and phone calls.

Let us download files from Safari(or other apps) and store them on the phone in a centralized location, then be able to access them without Safari on my Mac/PC for easy file sharing/swapping.

Apple, let us organize the 100+ photos and videos on our iPhones into separate folders/albums. Add a file system for organizing videos, music, photos (into albums), and documents (PDF, DOC, PAGES), and other files for email attachments directly on the phone itself without having to sync it. Adding a file system would allow us to attach any filetype to emails we are sending out. They could also improve the controls over podcasts so that we could delete podcasts or rearrange the order of podcasts and make iTunes collect them by topic, or mark podcasts for deletion upon syncing and make notes on podcasts. These features should be combined with and enabled in a Network File Browser.

More Email Functionality - Simple things like flagging emails for follow up or by category are still missing, auto-categorizing emails based on where they are sent from, and other business class email functionality would be nice. The option to let us download all of the text in our emails off the email client onto the phone permanently would also be a welcome change. Currently, searching through your emails in the iPhone is broken and really does not work. If you're looking for a specific email you sent out or received more than a week ago, you have no choice but to use your computer to find it. I still can’t view only unread emails. I still can’t configure a unique email signature for each different email account.

The option to schedule your emails so that they can be sent/delivered at a specific time in the future would be very useful and very welcome. I would love to be able to write up an email at 1 am and schedule it to be sent out at 9AM the next morning. Likewise, I would love to schedule an email to myself to be sent a week from now reminding myself that I need to contact someone at that specific date.

The ability to download themes from the app store. Users who are tired of the stale look of iOS and who want to customize the device with a theme that has been tested for functionality will be happy as will theme makers, and Apple makes some money from the sales.

Improved Calender Functionality - Syncing with Google calendars, Yahoo calendars, Facebook, or whatever you want to sync it with. Ability to see each calendar together and separated, to be able to turn on a countdown on certain events and to have a way to text appointments or some other method of sharing things you intend to do with other people. Also, features such as a week view, showing appt names in the month view, ability to copy appts to other dates, a good todo list (Shows blocks of time on a list of days of your schedule), being able to see, in month view, colored dots representing my different calendars so that users don't have to click on a day to see that I have *something* for work or church or any other specific calendar scheduled that day, a landscape week agenda view, tasks, ability to remind you of tasks, and location abilities that if it senses you are near a task/appt it can remind you.

Automatically downclock the phone during menial tasks and preserve battery life

Ability to use it like a Magic Trackpad or 10/GUI device with other apple devices

Allow us to connect our iPhone to a PC/TV to function as an external hard drive to store and move content

Letting us rename apps, remove app names entirely, and more customizations to how the UI, home screen, lock screen, dock, slider, icons, dynamic wallpapers etc all look

Multiple Profiles based on gps location (at work vs. home), time, what BT device connected etc.

More Carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile etc.)

A Competitor to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Software Suite

A Button to kill all multitasking apps at once to instantly free up RAM. It’s ridiculous that there is no way to close an app without saving its state. The iPhone is easily the worst when it comes to clutter in the app manager, and the solution would be all too simple. How about a long-tap on the home button to close an app, fellas?

Let us delete/hide the built in stocks and youtube (and other) apps, so that we can replace youtube app with m.youtube.com web app (looks and works a lot better).

Integrate a way to interact with a printer to print out emails, photos, pdfs and other documents, and integrate a built in business card scanner, bar code scanner . You simply take a photograph of the business card (or bar code) and press add to contact list and it will fill in the contact info. Also, integrate Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) support.

GPS comparable to Andriod phones at least

Refined folders that hold 16 apps or side-scrolling folders that allow an unlimited number of apps, having 9 apps is too few and it looks ugly when you open a folder only to have it be assymetric

Smarter OS (ex: if you type an email and can't send it because you're not connected to the internet, instead of the message "Cannot send mail," etc. it should say "Will send message in background once internet connection is reestablished,' better file management and connectivity with the cloud, better autocorrect, faster code execution via the new xCode 4 and other similar functions. And most importantly, stop deleting new contacts I added to my phone and the changes I made to my notes on my phone just because I sync them with Gmail. Likewise, Safari should let us set it to open new tabs in the background. The OS should be smart enough to keep the most recent version of the contacts and notes, not automatically delete all new contacts and replace the notes on the phone with the ones in gmail even though the file on the notes was modified and changed more recently. These issue absolutely need to be fixed before wireless iTunes syncing is implemented or it's going to lead to a lot of frustrated iPhone users.

Better Autocorrect + Customizable Dictionary - The iPhone has the worst auto-correct system ever devised by man. It doesn’t learn from habits, which means I have to reject the same changes repeatedly, forever. I also can’t add words. And speaking of the address book, I better not have any contacts prefaced with “Mr.” If I do, I need to be prepared to constantly reject an unwanted change every time I type the word “me”.

Scheduled on/off.
I love this feature on BB. It would also be very nice if your phone was off, it would still wake you in the morning with an alarm.

Better Youtube - The quality is horrendous and slow, especially over 3G.

Support in the native iPhone video player for all the codecs that VLC supports

Additional buttons on the multitasking launch bar and revamped UI to switch between apps that provide a quicker way to shut off bluetooth, wifi, brightness and enable/disable airplane mode. If I want to save some precious battery life and disable Bluetooth when I’m not using it, it takes five taps. Compare that to Android, where disabling Bluetooth takes a single tap on a widget.



Custom SMS, MMS, email and other custom alert sounds

Protect or hide apps (for privacy without having to lock my entire phone)






Below covers ALL of the reasonable hardware wishes people have...

Dual Core Cortex A9 CPU + SGX543 Dual Core GPU powering the iPhone 5 (rebranded the A5) for the iPhone 5 followed up with Cortex-A15 MPCore CPU powering the iPhone 6

64GB and the option to use iPhone as a mass storage device in a pinch

LPDDR2 RAM - Much faster than the LPDDR1 ram currently being used. Preferably 1GB.

4" inch Super AMOLED 960x640 screen with full RGB subpixels

A bigger screen makes routine tasks much more plesant, browsing the web, reading ebooks, watching videos, playing games, everything looks much nicer on a bigger screen.

I get not wanting the phone to be larger. But it actually wouldn't have to be...

Originally Posted by Sedrick:
I worked some mock-ups in my cad program and a 4" screen will fit (in the iPhone, without making it bigger):


If Apple cuts down on the amount of room the bezel takes, the screen could be made 4 inches without making the phone any bigger. There is no rational reason why someone wouldn't atleast want a 4" screen if the phone remains roughly the same size and shape.

The advantages of a 4 inch screen are numerous. Typing, websites, ebooks, emails, videos, games would all look and be much easier to use with a 4 inch screen. The iPhone, once cutting edge, currently has the smallest screen of any popular smartphone. I suggest playing around with smartphones with 4 inch screens to see just how much more pleasant a bigger screen can make browsing, book reading, gaming and video playback. The current iPhone has a large bezel that could be done away with to accommodate a 4 inch screen without increasing the overall size of the phone much at all. The Galaxy S has a much smaller bezel and is perfectly comfortable to hold inspite of this.

4G/LTE Antenna

Proximity Sensor and Antenna Fix

Anti-Glare Matte Gorilla Glass (This is why... http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/29/d...for-your-amus/)



Nvidia's Tegra SOC + Mini HDMI port with an SGX543 serving as an intermediary GPU in the iPhone 5 until the Tegra 3/4 SOC that come paired with the Cortex A-15 CPU is released. Combined with either an official Apple Controller Shell with dual analog sticks or the iControlPad, the iPhone would become the one and only handheld gaming device you would ever need. Imagine being able to play Bungie's next FPS on the iPhone with dual analog sticks, and being able to output it wirelessly to your hdtv at 640p resolution (the exact same resolution that Halo 3 runs at), whenever you're home.

An official Apple Controller Shell that adds dual analog sticks, a dpad, buttons and triggers to the iPhone to go along with the beefed up CPU, GPU. iPhone gaming desperately needs better controls. Games like NOVA, Modern Warfare and Nazi Zombies are fantastic, but made near unplayable due to how slippery glass is to try to use as a control interface, and how hard it is to control a joystick with a touch screen. A simple optional controller shell would singlehandedly help the iPhone dominate the portable gaming market. The Call of Duty franchise on consoles alone generated 3 BILLION in revenue so far, the dual analog shooter market is a huge market to tap into.

I think a Controller Shell is a necessary accessory that Apple should support fully because it is a fact that the iPhone in terms of polygon pushing can in fact go toe to toe with the best gaming handhelds out there. So given such an accessory to appeal to hardcore gamers that love dual analog stick shooters, it would take iPhone gaming to a whole another level of awesome. The DS has sold 150 million plus copies, and hundreds of millions of $30 games, think about how big a market that is to be able to tap into. Update: Turns out that such a device is already being worked on by fans the http://controllerorbust.com/ and also the iControlPad. Unfortunately, Controller or Bust/icontrolpad needs Apple's approval. Apple should fully support them. It's all that stands between the iPhone and a real full blown gaming system.

Here is controllerorbust's excellent mockup...


Here's another way to implement gaming controls (replace the keyboard in the awesome "Keyboard Buddy Case" with gaming controls and dual analog sticks)...



Xenon flash to improve low light performance of the camera (I was in Miami this weekend and couldn't get a single visible photo after 7pm to save my life),

Liquidmetal (New tech purchased by Apple that would allow for lighter, thinner, stronger, cheaper material),

HD/FM Radio Tuner/Receiver and Transmitter - "I'd like to see a FM receiver because I run on a treadmill at the gym and they transmit the audio for the TVs over FM. I'd also like to see a FM transmitter so when I'm in my car or someone else's car I can just use the radio to play iTunes." -BigQid

Bigger Camera Lens and possibly a CCD sensor to allow better low light performance,

Even Better Cameras (8MP, 1080P Video etc) featuring options such as ISO and night vision mode.

Bigger Battery

IR remote functionality to integrate it with other devices, such as Apple TV and Google TV, use it as a universal remote controller, play games on your TV and use you iPod/iPhone as a controller, as a trackpad mouse or a 10/Gui Keyboard and such

Dual speakers with the ability to emulate 3D surround sound as well as a higher volume and vibrate (the current max volume and max vibrate are way too low)

Dedicated Camera Button - This will let users take photos quickly, and would also allow them to take self portraits with far more ease. It currently takes way too long to snap a quick picture.

More efficient Bluetooth 4.0 with file sharing and either Lightpeak or USB 3.0 for faster syncing/charging,

Smaller Bezel (to help accommodate a bigger screen),

Multiple Phone Colors,

Either remove the home button entirely and switch to a three/four finger pinch in gesture to exit apps or add a LED Notification Light under the home button (preferably multicolored),

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeyy19 View Post
Inductive Charging like Palm Pre and if viable touch sensitive back for gestures and gaming functions, a Solar panel to extend battery life, or even a 3D Screen akin to the Nintendo 3DS.

RFID aka. Near Field Communication to let us use it as a credit card, pay toll machines, to let employers use it as an id badge etc. RFID is a really cool tech. I'm sure app developers, given the api, could think of much cooler ways to use it as well.

Going back to the screen size...

Take a look at this picture, comparing the iPhone to the Galaxy S which offers a 4" screen, and yet manages to be approximately the same size and weight as the iPhone 4.

Compare the screen size and display of the Galaxy S (4") and the iPhone 4 (3.5").
Thumb resize.
Externally, both phones are almost identical in size. The Galaxy S has a bigger screen but a smaller bezel.

"From my experience, it's far easier to use the on screen keyboard, browse online, read pdfs, emails and e-books, and watch movies with an extra inch of diagonal real estate. Everything just looks nicer, especially games, websites read easier when the text isn't quite so tiny, and movies feel more immersive. It's shocking how big a difference..." -iPhonedHome

Here is a picture of a mock iPhone that maintains the same identical height as the iPhone 4 (it is wider though) while managing to pack a whopping 4.5" screen...

Thumb resize.

Examine how the design maximizes the screen size by reducing the bezel. The current home button is starting to look a little stale, let's hope the recent rumor that Apple is doing away with the home button completely in favor of multitouch gestures, pans out.[/B]

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAKshiz View Post
With all the new media apps coming this yr and into next, it's ridiculous to watch all that on a 3.5 inch screen no matter how high the resolution. I'm a media guy and would much rather watch all that hi-res on a 4.whatever screen rather than a 3.5. At least sell two phones. One for the soon to be minority 3.5ers, and one for the rest of us. Why waste all that valuable iPhone space on those black bars on the side of the screen?
It's not only tech geeks that enjoy watching videos on the iPhone, browsing the web , reading ebooks, reading maps , looking at and showing off pics, all tasks that are made substantially easier with a bigger screen. I am willing to bet that a general sample of all iPhone owners would show similar stats, with most wanting a bigger screen that makes these tasks easier and more pleasent.

If you're curious where the iPhone could go once Apple delivers on the above wishes, this seems like a great concept to try and make a reality...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG3tLxEQEdg

If you like the list. Email it to Apple.

Last edited by wikoogle; Feb 10, 2011 at 09:51 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:11 PM   #2
Alaerian
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Do we really need another "When is <xxx> going to get <yyy>??" thread?
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:12 PM   #3
Small White Car
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wikoogle View Post
4.0 inch screens are the sweet spots for smartphone screens as far as I'm concerned.

I think Apple's made it very clear that they don't think a 4" phone is something they're interested in.

I say it's far more likely we'll see a 7" iPad before we see a 4" iPhone.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:13 PM   #4
wikoogle
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I completely overhauled the OP.

I really want the next iPhone to come close to the power of the PSP2. The PSP2 is really damn impressive.

Quad core A9 cpu, and each A9 core is about 30-50% more powerful than the single core A8 cpu that powers the current iPhone 4.

Quad core SGX543 gpu, and each SGX543 core is almost twice as powerful as the single core SGX535 gpu that powers the current iPhone 4.

LPDDR2 ram, which runs at about six times the clock speed of the LPDDR1 ram being used in the current iPhone 4.

Anyway you look at it, the PSP2 is roughly six times more powerful than the iPhone 4, and yet the iPhone 4 can run games that look as amazing as Epic Citadel. So just imagine how good PSP2 games could look.

Also, I found these two amazing posts and absolutely had to share them...


Quote:
For every best, there is also a worst. And because the iPhone’s bests are so great, expectations are high and the worsts become much more pronounced. Here, I go through my compilation of the iPhone’s worst worsts.

First and foremost, the iPhone is the worst smartphone I’ve ever seen when it comes to watching YouTube videos. Forgetting the fact that half the videos I try to watch aren’t compatible with iOS, videos that should work with the iPhone are terrible. Over 3G, the quality is horrendous. I get up to 6Mbps with AT&T, Apple — there’s no need to reduce the quality of the videos I’m trying to stream. Then, over Wi-Fi, the quality is spectacular but videos won’t play. Ever. If there ever comes a time when my iPhone can stream a YouTube video over Wi-Fi without choking every 2 seconds, I might pass out. It’s funny how critical Steve Jobs is of Adobe’s Flash when he’s perfectly content shipping this steaming pile of a YouTube experience.

The iPhone also has the worst auto-correct system ever devised by man. It doesn’t learn from habits, which means I have to reject the same changes repeatedly, forever. I also can’t add words, so the only way to get iOS to remember an unknown word is to add it to the address book. And speaking of the address book, I better not have any contacts prefaced with “Mr.”, such as one of my favorite little Chinese restaurants, Mr. Wok. If I do, I need to be prepared to constantly reject an unwanted change every time I type the word “me”.

It seems crazy that iOS still doesn’t support widgets. Widgets are great for grabbing information at a glance, and Apple’s competitors all make wonderful use of widget systems. But not Apple. I want to see the current weather in an instant. I want to see if I have any upcoming calendar appointments without a single tap. I want to see a small collection of items from my to do list. And so on. It’s a little scary that Apple realized how nifty it would be to show the current date on the Calendar icon but it hasn’t yet extended that functionality elsewhere.

And why doesn’t iOS include an easy way to perform simple functions such as enabling or disabling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi? If I want to save some precious battery life and disable Bluetooth when I’m not using it, it takes five taps. Compare that to Android, where disabling Bluetooth takes a single tap on a widget.

On we go, to one of the more popular gripes in recent months — multitasking. Apple is right that there are downsides to a completely open multitasking policy, but there are better solutions than the currently available workaround. State saving is great but Apple is holding developers back by limiting the number of available background APIs to just a handful. Then, it’s ridiculous that there is no way to close an app without saving its state. The iPhone is easily the worst when it comes to clutter in the app manager, and the solution would be all too simple. How about a long-tap on the home button to close an app, fellas?

While on the topic of easy fixes, I should certainly call out the Mail app. The iPhone’s email client is actually pretty fantastic, especially with the new features introduced in iOS 4. In several ways, however, it really is the worst mobile email client on the planet. It’s 2010 and I still can’t set a custom ringtone for new emails. I still can’t view only unread emails. I still can’t flag emails. I still can’t configure a unique email signature for each different email account. And, at least in my case, I still can’t send emails generated in third-party apps because they just sit in my outbox until I open each one and manually resend it.

Finally, my biggest complaint: Apple’s iPhone has the worst notification system known to man. It is, without question, abysmal.

iOS notifications are as disruptive as notifications on a mobile device can possibly be. A box pops up in the middle of the display, interrupts whatever might be taking place at the time, and prevents the user from doing anything else with the device until one of two things happens — the user must either interact with the notification (dismiss it or open the related app) or turn the display off and back on.

Then, when the stars are perfectly aligned, something special happens. The iPhone begins regurgitating an unstoppable stream of successive notifications that render the device inoperable. Calendar alarms, SMS notifications, WhatsApp alerts, banking notifications, new mentions and direct messages from Twitter, missed call alerts, Growl notifications, clock alarms, Words With Friends notifications, to do app alerts, sports scores… all popping, dinging and dancing at once.

I’m sure many users know this scenario all too well — I call it iPuke.

Apple is a company that puts a tremendous amount of time and effort into its user experiences and the results are typically astounding. In the case of iOS notifications, however, the results are downright embarrassing.
- BoyGeniusReport

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrmjenkins View Post
Almost no one would argue that iOS is not a capable or fully featured smartphone platform. It handles media elegantly, is amazingly intuitive and offers a vast feature set to accommodate almost any need that a casual user, business user etc. may need. Rather than nitpick about small things that need to change (custom SMS ringtones), I'll outline 3 major areas of change I feel that iOS needs to excel in to move forward as a platform. It also so happens that these three areas come their competitors, as well as their own repertoire.

Notification Overhaul/Android

The intrusive bubble and badge system system for iOS worked at a time, but in the age of push notifications and an app store with a plethora of different types of apps in the user's hand, it no longer suffices. A bubble that pops up and must be addressed can be incredibly frustrating and distracting dependent upon what the user is doing. Simply disabling pop up notifications is not a solution, such as how one is notified of an e-mail, as one needs to completely stop what they are doing and return to the homescreen and search for the elusive badge (and subsequently differentiate it from other existing notifications).

How Android Does it Better

Android handles these notifications much more elegantly for three simple reasons: notifications on lock screen, widgets, and the "shade." The customization of Android allows the user to select what kinds of information is displayed on his or her lock screen, such as e-mails, twitter, weather, appointments, etc. This kind of information allows the user to preview the new activity without ever having to unlock the phone.

Widgets also allow the user to monitor activity without explicitly entering an app to do so. They are also dynamic homepage content, making the OS feel more "alive." (more on this later with WP7). Finally, the notification bar and drop-down "shade" show the user all of the apps that have new information for the user. The user decides how much this intrudes on their current activity. For example, they can ignore it and not have to address a popup to continue their current action. They can also glance at the notification bar and get a snapshot of all the activity occurring without explicitly addressing the information. Lastly, they can pull down the "shade" and have a concise list of all the apps that have notifications and what type of notification it is. From there, the user can directly address any given one of those notifications.

How can Apple take these to heart? Well, it's obvious they'll just need to straight-up copy two of them. Allow the user to have multiple, customized notifications on the lockscreen. Apple can achieve this while still providing a controlled, standardized experience. Second, they'll have to add notifications to the status bar. It's really the only place for these kinds of icons to appear that doesn't interfere with the user's current activities.

That leaves two that Apple will have to get creative with. For starters, a carbon copy of the shade would be illegal, unoriginal, and un-Apple. They would need to come up with some sort of way to view current notifications (perhaps a simple tap on the bar?) and present it in a quickly addressable, easy to view format. Perhaps they could do some sort of variant on how multi-tasking is handled.

The second area in which they'll need to get creative is widgets. The problem with widgets is that this likely mucks with Apple's treasured user experience more than they're willing to allow. How would Apple address this? Perhaps restricting size, location and being extremely strict on quality control and usefulness.

The Grid Is Dead/WP7

One of the hallmarks of iOS's current look and feel is its strict "grid" icon system. Apps are arranged in an equidistant 4x4 grid with a 1x4 dock static dock hanging out at the bottom. Due to the juggernaut march forward of the app store, Apple has introduced folders to mitigate the space issue. However, that's all it's done. The grid remains amazingly simple and wholly non-living. No matter what you do or how you interact with the OS, the grid remains, obstinate in its regularity of lack of imagination. This makes the OS feel "dead" because it has no dynamic nature either in how it looks or how you interact with it. The aforementioned widgets of Android address this in some regard. However, even android can seem a little lackluster at times.

Enter the Challenger

Windows Phone 7 was announced just today. But with it comes a drastic departure from its lineage and how we think of a smartphone's homescreen. Windows Phone 7 device homescreen are a bright assemblage of rectangles of differing sizes with white text against a plain black background. "That sounds pretty damn plain," you may say. And you're right. But it's how it's plain. This view is entirely minimalistic in its design, which is aesthetically pleasing in and of itself. What's more, these blocks vary in shape and size because Microsoft recognizes that different apps have a different prominence and level of information that they convey to the user. That's why these blocks themselves can give you small tid-bits of information live while you look at them. Instead of a dead assemblage of shapes and text, these boxes are always prepared to tell you something about that app's activity without having to actually fire it up.

Additionally, Microsoft seems to recognize something else. Smartphones are small compared to our notebooks and desktops. Rather than confine all the information you need to the small screen you have before you, more information is but a side-swipe away. The title of your current activity (say twitter) shifts partially to the left of the screen with the swipe, or extends beyond the right of the screen to show you that more information exists and is a swipe away. This concocts the mental image that there is a horizontally continuous roll of information that you can access. Whether they wonder if there is more information or features with a scroll up or down (or a venture into app settings through multiple buttons presses), the word at the top is all you need to look at. Again, this word will be simple white text against a black background-- minimalist with a pleasing font.

How does this improve over what Apple offers? It's the difference between laying out all the relevant information on a desk and stacking relevant files on a desk. Rather than thumb through the files and look at each label, you can use your eyes and awareness of the UI to scan and pan and gather the information relevant to you. This keeps you in the experience because (hopefully), you never have to execute a pre-determined set uf button presses/taps to get to a particular part of your app. It makes you OS less of a machine and more of a living being. It keeps your experience fresh and dynamic.

Now, how can Apple implement this concept in iOS? That's actually a very good question. I'm not quite certain how Apple could do it short of copying Microsoft in some places. In others, they can provide a way for apps to present information other than a badge without entering that app. This may necessitate size incongruity, which means it is not a straightforward concept to execute. As for the in-app experience, that's even tougher. It's not straightforward how to indicate, intuitively, that more options exist in an app and are a gesture, not a sequence of presses, away. Perhaps Apple needs to increase the amount of gestures apps can recognize to make these sorts of actions second nature. This extends into my final point.

Share the Love, Man

Apple has a lot of examples from the desktop OS market as to how they could improve their mobile device experience. The first one is gestures. They've gone to great pains (trackpad, magic mouse) to make gestures second nature for both desktop and notebook users of full-featured OSs. Multi-finger swipes, flicks, twists; you name it, they all do something different. There's no reason they can't bring this experience to iOS given app providers are given clear instructions on how to interpret these gestures different from actions that are specific to their apps. In some cases, some sort of pause or gesture mode may need to be occur to enter a "gesture" mode. Or perhaps in-app simply isn't the place for these yet. That doesn't mean the springboard can't interpret them.

Speaking of the springboard, there's lot of options. It's rumored that el-Jobso himself begrudgingly added the single button the face of the iPhone because it was simply unavoidable. However, it's seemingly a go-to for special springboard behavior. Before, double tap launches a specific app, now double tap launches us into multi-tasking mode. What's the problem with this? It forces us to change our mode of interaction with the device. We go from touchscreen to hard buttons to execute actions. Some people may like this mixture of input methods, even in mundane activities. For others, it infringes upon the fluidity of their experience. Dropping a thumb to that button forces their brain to change how it interacts with the device. It takes them out of the moment.

How do they get around that? Simple- vertical swipes. Say, for instance, a two finger swipe down brings you to multi-tasking. A two finger swipe up takes you to the previous app (this is not unlike Palm OS where you 'flick' to quit an app). A twist locks or unlocks orientation. The possibilities are endless (and customizable!). What's better is that you give the home button back to the user. Instead of thinking of an odd gesture to launch a specific app, bring back the double tap for things such as the camera. Precious seconds often matter there.

Second, desktop OSs obviously have more power available to them. This makes things like hover-over song previews possible. Some kind of dynamic action in homescreen apps could bring some life to the OS as previously mentioned. Devise a way for the OS, and its apps, to tell the user something without the user explicitly asking for it. I may want to ask my friend a question with my speech (launch the app). I may also want to just shrug my shoulders and offer a quizzical look (gesture). Why would that work? Because he's my friend, and he knows me well enough to know what I mean, even when I don't say it.

As smartphones become more powerful, CPU intensive actions like the above don't have to necessarily be seen as infeasible or battery chomping. The next generation of ARM cores (Cortex A9) promise to give us huge performance gains yet again while preserving our precious battery life. Given the competitive nature of the market, it's entirely possible that the iPhone 5 will feature this core(s) as a third consecutive CPU upgrade.

Conclusion

This discussion is not by any means meant to be exhaustive. In particular, I'm ignoring many of the wonderful things happening in the jailbreak community (lock screen info, biteSMS), which address many of the shortcomings I've outlined above. The problem with these is that they are not Apple provided. While some of them are excellent in quality, it's inevitable that some of them will feel awkward or "bolted-on" simply because of the limitations of the OS environment these developers must deal with. A user should never have to hack to get essential features.

Apple is not stupid. They've recently made many app store concessions in the face of anti-competitive practice investigations and heightening pressure from the android platform. It would seem likely that a notification overhaul is in store for iOS 5.x. (After all, what killer must-have feature remains after multi-tasking?) Let's just hope in addition to innovating, they're not afraid to examine where others' platforms beat theirs and adopt some of the core concepts that make those systems great. After all, we only see further by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Let's hope Apple heeds this advice.

When exactly did they make it clear that they have no interest in making a 4" screen iPhone? Given how much more pleasant video playback and browsing is on a 4" screen, and how all the popular smartphones have 4" or 4.3" screens, and the oversized bezel in the current iPhone that can be reduced in size to accommodate a bigger screen, I see 4" as a natural step forward.

What about software wishes? What do you guys want to see?

Last edited by wikoogle; Jan 28, 2011 at 01:57 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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When exactly did they make it clear that they have no interest in making a 4" screen iPhone?
When they quadrupled the screen's resolution and yet left it the same basic size. That would have been the perfect time to bump it up a little if they had any interested in doing so.

They didn't.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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I hope to God and everything holy that 3D doesn't become mainstream. It's always implemented poorly in almost all it's ventures (save Avatar on IMAX, but I can't comment because I never saw it). I think 3D is the worst gimmick ever because people can charge more for something isn't necessary and usually doesn't add any benefit to the end product anyway. (Have you seen a 3D movie recently in a non-IMAX theater, it looks like *****.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 08:50 PM   #8
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I hope to God and everything holy that 3D doesn't become mainstream. It's always implemented poorly in almost all it's ventures (save Avatar on IMAX, but I can't comment because I never saw it). I think 3D is the worst gimmick ever because people can charge more for something isn't necessary and usually doesn't add any benefit to the end product anyway. (Have you seen a 3D movie recently in a non-IMAX theater, it looks like *****.
Amen. I really don't see the attraction in 3D. Even with all the advancements in 3D technology, it is clunky and I find it still causes me eye strain. And why on earth would you want a 3D mobile phone? Who wants to walk around wearing a pair of 3D glasses all the time?
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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When they quadrupled the screen's resolution and yet left it the same basic size. That would have been the perfect time to bump it up a little if they had any interested in doing so.

They didn't.
Agreed. But it's not something that they won't ever do. It's just that the i4 and i5 won't get a larger screen. We may see a 3.5" or so in the i6.
This all hinges on the i5 being an antenna fix + cdma + speed upgrade.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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Amen. I really don't see the attraction in 3D. Even with all the advancements in 3D technology, it is clunky and I find it still causes me eye strain. And why on earth would you want a 3D mobile phone? Who wants to walk around wearing a pair of 3D glasses all the time?
This would be implented like the Nintendo 3DS.

Basically 3D that doesn't require you to wear glasses. 3D that can be turned off at any time.

That is how Nintendo is doing it with the 3DS and that's how Apple will do it. And trust me, it'll be awesome.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:36 PM   #11
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This would be implented like the Nintendo 3DS.

Basically 3D that doesn't require you to wear glasses. 3D that can be turned off at any time.

That is how Nintendo is doing it with the 3DS and that's how Apple will do it. And trust me, it'll be awesome.
I will not buy one if they move to 3D. That is how much I hate that gimmick. Unless they keep the contracted price the same (most likely they will because it's the magic price). But only if it something you can turn on and off.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:37 PM   #12
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Ability to use it like a Magic Trackpad or 10/GUI device with other apple devices
Rowmote already does this...
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:43 PM   #13
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Rowmote may do it, but until Apple does it, I doubt we will be able to seamlessly control AppleTV and even Mac computers with an iPhone. Apple's implementation would likely be paired with an IR sensor in the iPhone as well as universal remote functionality.

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I will not buy one if they move to 3D. That is how much I hate that gimmick. Unless they keep the contracted price the same (most likely they will because it's the magic price). But only if it something you can turn on and off.
People condemn what they do not understand. Wait till the 3DS releases before you diss 3D.

I actually got to demo glassless 3D in person, and it's AWESOME. A far superior experience to the 3D movie experience. And yes, you can toggle the 3D on and off with the 3DS (though there's few good reasons why anyone would want to).

When the Nintendo 3DS releases in a month or two, I guarentee that the general populace will finally embrace 3D like never before.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:43 PM   #14
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Do we really need a bigger screen? I think at this point the screen size is about as perfect as you can get! My neighbor has an Evo and to me, its just too big. It just doesnt feel right in your hands for some reason. I tried putting it in my pocket and getting it back out was a challenge, it seemed to want to catch on the inside corners of my pocket.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 09:54 PM   #15
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The only other phone I like besides the iPhone is the 4g evo. So far I think apple should beat that for next year iPhone. I would love to see a 3D screen like the 3DS, if it had that I would be sold I could forget all the other things i wanted it would be that awesome.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 10:04 PM   #16
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I think Apple's made it very clear that they don't think a 4" phone is something they're interested in.
Because Steve never lies about what apple wants...
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 11:28 PM   #17
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Do we really need a bigger screen? I think at this point the screen size is about as perfect as you can get! My neighbor has an Evo and to me, its just too big. It just doesnt feel right in your hands for some reason. I tried putting it in my pocket and getting it back out was a challenge, it seemed to want to catch on the inside corners of my pocket.
The Evo 4G is a 4.3 inch screen. More importantly, it has a HUGE bezel. So a 4 inch iPhone wouldn't be near that size.

They could accommodate a 4 inch screen onto to the current iphone by making it a mere 2mms wider simply by shrinking the size of the current bezel on the top, the bottom and the sides.

Trust me, an iPhone with a 4 inch screen would be PERFECT.

Typing would become much easier, as would browsing, and watching movies on a 4 inch screen would actually be worthwhile (based on my experience with the PSP).

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Old Sep 26, 2010, 11:57 PM   #18
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I have a very strong feeling that most if not all of these hardware features will find their way into the 2012 iPhone, which I'm convinced that Apple is already in the process of planning.
I have a very strong feeling that most of these things will not be in the 2012 iPhone, which yes they are obviously already thinking about.
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 12:07 AM   #19
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Apple could add HDR for the front-facing camera as well...
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 12:25 AM   #20
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Apple could add HDR for the front-facing camera as well...
front camera isn't designed for taking pics it's more for facetime hence no hdr
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 12:54 AM   #21
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The bezel is there for a reason and not simply for aesthetic reasons either. It's at the right size right now for holding the phone. Apple has to consider a majority of users and how the bezel affects them.
As far as the viability of a reduced bezel, do you have any evidence that a reduced bezel would still be usable? Is there another phone that has a reduced bezel that is similar to what you're asking of Apple?

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They could accommodate a 4 inch screen onto to the current iphone by making it a mere 2mms wider simply by shrinking the size of the current bezel on the top, the bottom and the sides.

Trust me, an iPhone with a 4 inch screen would be PERFECT.

Typing would become much easier, as would browsing, and watching movies on a 4 inch screen would actually be worthwhile (based on my experience with the PSP).
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 01:07 AM   #22
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 02:58 AM   #23
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 03:04 AM   #24
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Well that list does look very reasonable.

I can't wait to un-box a 1000, 2kg, iPad-sized iPhone 6. Then spending 5 hours scrolling through 10 pages of system preferences to set it up just right.
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 03:14 AM   #25
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Sorry to sound serious for a second but that is hilarious on so many levels I hardly know where to begin.
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