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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:28 AM   #1
El3ctronics
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The iPhone and iOS both are in desperate need of an upgrade

I've seen lots of talk on this forum as to why iOS or the iPhone need an upgrade, but the fact remains that both are beginning to get boring and old. The hardware is almost 2 yrs old and iOS hasn't had a facelift since it was first introduced in 2007. Yes, I know its functionality has improved and the app store has been revolutionary but the OS acts and functions today almost exactly as it did 5 years ago (minus a few bells and whistles).

In terms of hardware, I'm not saying we need a 5" screen or any crazy enhancements that would deter some people. But a 4" screen and maybe a more comfortable curved back would be nice. Also I'd love a soft touch back (similar to the HTC One X) b/c it looks sexy, won't slip from your hand, and is much more comfortable to hold. Bump up the camera a bit, add an LED notification light (for the love of g-d, please!), and make the screen as close to edge-to-edge as possible and I think you have a real winner.

As for iOS, it's really beginning to feel long in the tooth. The app ecosystem is far and away the best of any operating system (which is why I always come back to my iPhone when I try to switch to another device) but the actual OS really feels old and almost obsolete at this point. Don't judge the OS based on the 3rd party apps you're running and their functionality, base it on what you can do and how you can customize your device right out of the box.

After my experience with Android, the fluidity and smoothness of the iOS UI in unparalleded but that doesn't mean it can't use some major improvements. Off the top of my head, these are what come to mind:
  • Widgets
  • Allow users to move icons anywhere they want (instead of snapping to grid)
  • Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)
  • Allow apps (and widgets) to access system settings (ex: I should be able to tap a button on a widget to turn off my GPS quickly)
  • Allow users to add info to their lockscreen (ex: allow me to have my lock screen show the next few items on my calendar but just turning the screen on)
  • Give users the ability to interact with popup messages (ex: respond to text or iMessage directly from the popup without having to go to the app first)
  • Allow apps to interact with other apps (ex: if I want to send a photo using Whatsapp, I should be able to initiate it from the Photo Gallery instead of doing it from the Whatsapp app itself)
  • Consolidate the address book so it gets info from social networks and multiple sources (ex: if I have a contact in my address book and I'm also friends with them on facebook, their info from facebook should be in their contact card if I choose to allow it)
  • 3G facetime (no explanation necessary)
  • Google Voice integration (doubt it happens but would be nice)
  • Built in voice navigation
  • An overall updated design

I'm sure you guys can think of a boatload of other ways to improve the OS but, again, these are off the top of my head. If a company only releases one phone a year, I'm of the belief that it should be a new design every year. Apple is getting into the habit of making it once every two years which I understand is the same length of carrier contracts (which, in my opinion, is why they do that). But the iOS updates have been incremental at best and at this point in time, it's in need of a MAJOR overhaul.

Last edited by El3ctronics; Apr 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
ThatsMeRight
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I agree iOS must get some major upgrades, but I disagree with some of the ones you list:

- Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)

I think Apple nailed it with the current multitasking design. Developers use APIs to let apps run in the background if necessary and this saves up a lot of battery life which is crucial on a mobile device.

I believe that the developers of Downcast can already implement such functionality (finish downloading a podcast). iTunes U also continues downloading video clips when you close the app, and iTunes U is just an app from the App Store.

The best thing Apple can do here is offer more APIs to offer more kinds of multitasking in the background.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
I've seen lots of talk on this forum as to why iOS or the iPhone need an upgrade...
So, do we really need another thread on this? Wouldn't it be sufficient to post this in one of the preexisting threads?
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
I agree iOS must get some major upgrades, but I disagree with some of the ones you list:

- Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)

I think Apple nailed it with the current multitasking design. Developers use APIs to let apps run in the background if necessary and this saves up a lot of battery life which is crucial on a mobile device.

I believe that the developers of Downcast can already implement such functionality (finish downloading a podcast).
I believe the maximum length to remain open in the background is 10 minutes. There are some apps and functions that simply need more time than that.

Also, take an IM app for example. When I receive an instant message in BeeJive or Whatsapp, the message isn't in the app when I open it even though it was pushed to my device in the popup. I still have to open the app, wait for the message to come through and THEN begin to respond (again, this is only when the app is force closed by the OS). It's stupid and counter intuitive. The app should be able to stay in an idle state in the background as to not waste battery life but still be able to wake up when a message arrives!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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iPhone's multitasking system is by far the greatest. When people compare the iPhone to Android phones they forget to realize that android phones usually have a battery anywhere from 200mAh-1000mAh+ bigger than the iPhone's in size....plus their processor is running at faster speeds to achieve what iPhone gets done at 800MHz-Dual Core(compared to 1GHz+), 512MB Ram (Compared to 768MB+) and with a 14xxmAh Battery....

as for the thread owner using IM whatsapp for an example, apple doesn't see the point in wasting battery pushing that message into your app and having it running when for all you know ur not gonna check it for the next 6 hours.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Satnam1989 View Post
iPhone's multitasking system is by far the greatest. When people compare the iPhone to Android phones they forget to realize that android phones usually have a battery anywhere from 200mAh-1000mAh+ bigger than the iPhone's in size....plus their processor is running at faster speeds to achieve what iPhone gets done at 800MHz-Dual Core(compared to 1GHz+), 512MB Ram (Compared to 768MB+) and with a 14xxmAh Battery....

as for the thread owner using IM whatsapp for an example, apple doesn't see the point in wasting battery pushing that message into your app and having it running when for all you know ur not gonna check it for the next 6 hours.
Well I guess that depends on what you deem to be more important, functionality or battery life. You could say that iOS's system is a good blend of both. I'd argue that it's garbage b/c it doesn't let me use my device the way I want. Three examples I'll give (two listed above in separate posts):
  1. Don't have the ability to download items in the background if it takes longer than 10 minutes
  2. Instant messaging apps don't have the ability to receive & load messages in the background. Even if you receive a push notification from the app, the message still needs to be loaded after you open the app
  3. 3rd party apps can't automatically get info in the background (ex: I can't have my RSS feed check for and download updates on a certain time interval)

I'd love to have my RSS feeds available to me when I go on the subway every morning where there is no service. Currently, I have to remember to open the app and manually download my feeds beforehand. Simple things like this would GREATLY improve usability of the device.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
I've seen lots of talk on this forum as to why iOS or the iPhone need an upgrade, but the fact remains that both are beginning to get boring and old. The hardware is almost 2 yrs old and iOS hasn't had a facelift since it was first introduced in 2007. Yes, I know its functionality has improved and the app store has been revolutionary but the OS acts and functions today almost exactly as it did 5 years ago (minus a few bells and whistles).

In terms of hardware, I'm not saying we need a 5" screen or any crazy enhancements that would deter some people. But a 4" screen and maybe a more comfortable curved back would be nice. Also I'd love a soft touch back (similar to the HTC One X) b/c it looks sexy, won't slip from your hand, and is much more comfortable to hold. Bump up the camera a bit, add an LED notification light (for the love of g-d, please!), and make the screen as close to edge-to-edge as possible and I think you have a real winner.

As for iOS, it's really beginning to feel long in the tooth. The app ecosystem is far and away the best of any operating system (which is why I always come back to my iPhone when I try to switch to another device) but the actual OS really feels old and almost obsolete at this point. Don't judge the OS based on the 3rd party apps you're running and their functionality, base it on what you can do and how you can customize your device right out of the box.

After my experience with Android, the fluidity and smoothness of the iOS UI in unparalleded but that doesn't mean it can't use some major improvements. Off the top of my head, these are what come to mind:
  • Widgets
  • Allow users to move icons anywhere they want (instead of snapping to grid)
  • Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)
  • Allow apps (and widgets) to access system settings (ex: I should be able to tap a button on a widget to turn off my GPS quickly)
  • Allow users to add info to their lockscreen (ex: allow me to have my lock screen show the next few items on my calendar but just turning the screen on)
  • Give users the ability to interact with popup messages (ex: respond to text or iMessage directly from the popup without having to go to the app first)
  • Allow apps to interact with other apps (ex: if I want to send a photo using Whatsapp, I should be able to initiate it from the Photo Gallery instead of doing it from the Whatsapp app itself)
  • Consolidate the address book so it gets info from social networks and multiple sources (ex: if I have a contact in my address book and I'm also friends with them on facebook, their info from facebook should be in their contact card if I choose to allow it)
  • 3G facetime (no explanation necessary)
  • Google Voice integration (doubt it happens but would be nice)
  • Built in voice navigation
  • An overall updated design

I'm sure you guys can think of a boatload of other ways to improve the OS but, again, these are off the top of my head. If a company only releases one phone a year, I'm of the belief that it should be a new design every year. Apple is getting into the habit of making it once every two years which I understand is the same length of carrier contracts (which, in my opinion, is why they do that). But the iOS updates have been incremental at best and at this point in time, it's in need of a MAJOR overhaul.
People who want all these features buy an Android phone. Apple knows it and dont seem too concerned about adding too many changes to ios.

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Originally Posted by Satnam1989 View Post
iPhone's multitasking system is by far the greatest.
really? I can't stand the way it pauses whatever I am doing if I try to do something else. I can have 12 apps downloading and installing at the same time on my Android phone while I am online. Can't with my iPhone. I much prefer Androids multitasking.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrbutters View Post
People who want all these features buy an Android phone. Apple knows it and dont seem too concerned about adding too many changes to ios.
Every item I listed is an improvement to the OS as a whole. You're saying iOS shouldn't improve and add features b/c Android already has them? That logic doesn't make sense to being that there are plenty of other differences b/w the operating systems themselves. iOS is missing basic functionality that is needed to bring it up to speed with the competition.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
Every item I listed is an improvement to the OS as a whole. You're saying iOS shouldn't improve and add features b/c Android already has them? That logic doesn't make sense to being that there are plenty of other differences b/w the operating systems themselves. iOS is missing basic functionality that is needed to bring it up to speed with the competition.
Apple are very slow to adapt, just looking at how the iphone still runs 3G only is a stark reminder of that. They just added feature to iOS 5 that Android has had for years. What I am saying is they either don't think these things are important or they can't integrate them into iOS. Either way, they still sell iPhones by the millions, they don't need to go making radical changes and look like they are trying to keep up with the competition.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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Agree 100%.

Problem is that Apple refuses to untether the device from iTunes so it will always be restricted in it's abilities!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mrbutters View Post
Apple are very slow to adapt, just looking at how the iphone still runs 3G only is a stark reminder of that. They just added feature to iOS 5 that Android has had for years. What I am saying is they either don't think these things are important or they can't integrate them into iOS. Either way, they still sell iPhones by the millions, they don't need to go making radical changes and look like they are trying to keep up with the competition.
I agree with what you're saying. But the items I listed aren't "radical" changes and more evolutionary than revolutionary. The only revolutionary item that I said was the updated UI which would be a shift from what the OS looks like now. Everything else would simply enhance the functionality that is already part of the OS.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
I've seen lots of talk on this forum as to why iOS or the iPhone need an upgrade, but the fact remains that both are beginning to get boring and old. The hardware is almost 2 yrs old
That's where I stopped reading. The case may be nearly 2 years old, but the hardware inside is not.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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That's where I stopped reading. The case may be nearly 2 years old, but the hardware inside is not.
You're right, I meant the hardware design....now you can continue reading.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
  • Widgets
  • Allow users to move icons anywhere they want (instead of snapping to grid)
  • Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)
  • Allow apps (and widgets) to access system settings (ex: I should be able to tap a button on a widget to turn off my GPS quickly)
  • Allow users to add info to their lockscreen (ex: allow me to have my lock screen show the next few items on my calendar but just turning the screen on)
  • Give users the ability to interact with popup messages (ex: respond to text or iMessage directly from the popup without having to go to the app first)
  • Allow apps to interact with other apps (ex: if I want to send a photo using Whatsapp, I should be able to initiate it from the Photo Gallery instead of doing it from the Whatsapp app itself)
  • Consolidate the address book so it gets info from social networks and multiple sources (ex: if I have a contact in my address book and I'm also friends with them on facebook, their info from facebook should be in their contact card if I choose to allow it)
  • 3G facetime (no explanation necessary)
  • Google Voice integration (doubt it happens but would be nice)
  • Built in voice navigation
  • An overall updated design
Not sure if you are aware but one of the things you listed, iOS can do already:
  • Consolidate the address book so it gets info from social networks and multiple sources (ex: if I have a contact in my address book and I'm also friends with them on facebook, their info from facebook should be in their contact card if I choose to allow it)
Withing the facebook app, if you click on friends and then on the top right corner, you can sync contacts.

Other than that... I agree with most change requests.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 01:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
I believe the maximum length to remain open in the background is 10 minutes. There are some apps and functions that simply need more time than that.
That is a bit misleading. While downloading in the background does not (yet) fall into one of the supported background operations most of the things useful for background operation can run indefinitely.

Obviously, navigation apps, VoIP, rendering (e.g., Reel Director), streaming music, etc. apps run indefinitely if coded properly. And podcast apps that stream can do likewise.

Other activities, including downloading, are limited to 10 minutes in the background.

That said Downcast seems to take 2-3 times longer to download than, say, InstaCast. So perhaps if the app was better written you would not even notice the 10 minute background downloading limitation. I never did with my podcast apps.




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Old Apr 19, 2012, 01:33 PM   #16
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Google Voice - LOL.

Just what I want, Google tracking who I can and when I call them.
Not to mention data mining confidential voice mail messages for marketing information.

Hope everyone the OP is involved with enjoys their personal phone information being disclosed to Google for marketing purposes.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 01:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
I've seen lots of talk on this forum as to why iOS or the iPhone need an upgrade, but the fact remains that both are beginning to get boring and old. The hardware is almost 2 yrs old and iOS hasn't had a facelift since it was first introduced in 2007. Yes, I know its functionality has improved and the app store has been revolutionary but the OS acts and functions today almost exactly as it did 5 years ago (minus a few bells and whistles).

In terms of hardware, I'm not saying we need a 5" screen or any crazy enhancements that would deter some people. But a 4" screen and maybe a more comfortable curved back would be nice. Also I'd love a soft touch back (similar to the HTC One X) b/c it looks sexy, won't slip from your hand, and is much more comfortable to hold. Bump up the camera a bit, add an LED notification light (for the love of g-d, please!), and make the screen as close to edge-to-edge as possible and I think you have a real winner.

As for iOS, it's really beginning to feel long in the tooth. The app ecosystem is far and away the best of any operating system (which is why I always come back to my iPhone when I try to switch to another device) but the actual OS really feels old and almost obsolete at this point. Don't judge the OS based on the 3rd party apps you're running and their functionality, base it on what you can do and how you can customize your device right out of the box.

After my experience with Android, the fluidity and smoothness of the iOS UI in unparalleded but that doesn't mean it can't use some major improvements. Off the top of my head, these are what come to mind:
  • Widgets
  • Allow users to move icons anywhere they want (instead of snapping to grid)
  • Allow apps to truly multitask (ex: if I'm download a podcast using Downcast, allow it to finish before closing the app!)
  • Allow apps (and widgets) to access system settings (ex: I should be able to tap a button on a widget to turn off my GPS quickly)
  • Allow users to add info to their lockscreen (ex: allow me to have my lock screen show the next few items on my calendar but just turning the screen on)
  • Give users the ability to interact with popup messages (ex: respond to text or iMessage directly from the popup without having to go to the app first)
  • Allow apps to interact with other apps (ex: if I want to send a photo using Whatsapp, I should be able to initiate it from the Photo Gallery instead of doing it from the Whatsapp app itself)
  • Consolidate the address book so it gets info from social networks and multiple sources (ex: if I have a contact in my address book and I'm also friends with them on facebook, their info from facebook should be in their contact card if I choose to allow it)
  • 3G facetime (no explanation necessary)
  • Google Voice integration (doubt it happens but would be nice)
  • Built in voice navigation
  • An overall updated design

I'm sure you guys can think of a boatload of other ways to improve the OS but, again, these are off the top of my head. If a company only releases one phone a year, I'm of the belief that it should be a new design every year. Apple is getting into the habit of making it once every two years which I understand is the same length of carrier contracts (which, in my opinion, is why they do that). But the iOS updates have been incremental at best and at this point in time, it's in need of a MAJOR overhaul.
hmm i use downloads, and when i go to my home screen the download contiunes... it shows a badge on how many are active.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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Google Voice - LOL.

Just what I want, Google tracking who I can and when I call them.
Not to mention data mining confidential voice mail messages for marketing information.

Hope everyone the OP is involved with enjoys their personal phone information being disclosed to Google for marketing purposes.
Just b/c it's available, doesn't mean you have to use it.

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Originally Posted by BFizzzle View Post
hmm i use downloads, and when i go to my home screen the download contiunes... it shows a badge on how many are active.
Continues for up to 10 minutes. Any longer than that and it will stop b/c the app will be force closed by the OS.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinmania View Post
That is a bit misleading. While downloading in the background does not (yet) fall into one of the supported background operations most of the things useful for background operation can run indefinitely.

Obviously, navigation apps, VoIP, rendering (e.g., Reel Director), streaming music, etc. apps run indefinitely if coded properly. And podcast apps that stream can do likewise.

Other activities, including downloading, are limited to 10 minutes in the background.

That said Downcast seems to take 2-3 times longer to download than, say, InstaCast. So perhaps if the app was better written you would not even notice the 10 minute background downloading limitation. I never did with my podcast apps.




Michael
Video podcasts can take a while to download. I'm assuming most, if not all, your podcasts are audio only.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:19 PM   #19
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rendering (e.g., Reel Director) ... apps run indefinitely if coded properly.
That is not a supported use of the background APIs.

If that app is doing that, it's using some sort of trick to get around the iOS restrictions.

For me, the lack of proper multitasking is the biggest thing wrong in iOS at the moment.

If it's going to be crippled, they at least need to add more scenarios where it's allowed.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
Video podcasts can take a while to download. I'm assuming most, if not all, your podcasts are audio only.
Yes, most. If I could play them on my Pad 3 in a small floating window I would probably have more (though I am happy that videos can at least play audio in the background).

But I suspect downloading will be added to the list of allowed background processes. It's wanted by many developers. However, it is not without caveats. Already there are complaints--or misunderstandings--about apps continuing to download in the background. For example, how do you handle the transition from WiFi to 3G. Obviously the app should have an option to not use 3G but what should be the default? Default to allowed and you will get complaints about the app unwittingly sucking down 3G data. Default to off and complaints the app doesn't really work reliably in the background (actually, misunderstandings but when people get turned off by an app they may not care to return to it).




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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:31 PM   #21
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This is all subjective really. What some see as a need, others see as a drain on battery, or something else. There's choice; if you don't like what Apple offers, get something else. And vice-versa.

Don't get me wrong; I like that people post stuff about what THEY would like to see. Add-ons, enhancements, etc. But it always turns into a "INSERT YOUR FAVORITE BRAND HERE is better than yours" argument.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:33 PM   #22
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But I suspect downloading will be added to the list of allowed background processes.
Michael
But even that's not enough. There are other legitimate reasons why certain apps need to be allowed to remain open in the background even if in an idle state (IMing and RSS feed downloads were just two examples).

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Originally Posted by nefan65 View Post
This is all subjective really. What some see as a need, others see as a drain on battery, or something else. There's choice; if you don't like what Apple offers, get something else. And vice-versa.
This isn't an answer or a reason not to implement these features. Many people, including myself, are invested in the Apple ecosystem (whether it's financially invested in the app store, have friends and relatives using iMessage, iCloud, iTunes, using Macs/iPad, etc.) and can't just switch to other platforms. We still want and in many cases, should already have, many of these features.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 03:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by El3ctronics View Post
This isn't an answer or a reason not to implement these features. Many people, including myself, are invested in the Apple ecosystem (whether it's financially invested in the app store, have friends and relatives using iMessage, iCloud, iTunes, using Macs/iPad, etc.) and can't just switch to other platforms. We still want and in many cases, should already have, many of these features.
I agree with this completely. I just got my 4S about a month ago, and I love it, but the main reason I chose it over an Android phone was because of the Apple ecosystem. I already had a decent amount of apps that I bought for my iPod Touch, and I have tons of friends who have iPhones so I can use iMessage and play games with them. I don't have a Mac yet but I plan on getting a Macbook once the 2012 refresh hits because I love all of the iCloud features and such. Apple products just compliment each other well.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 03:09 PM   #24
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The real question is when did it become normal to need a need phone and design every year?
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 03:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by benaq View Post
I agree with this completely. I just got my 4S about a month ago, and I love it, but the main reason I chose it over an Android phone was because of the Apple ecosystem. I already had a decent amount of apps that I bought for my iPod Touch, and I have tons of friends who have iPhones so I can use iMessage and play games with them. I don't have a Mac yet but I plan on getting a Macbook once the 2012 refresh hits because I love all of the iCloud features and such. Apple products just compliment each other well.
When I got the iPhone, I wasn't in this boat, but I am now. I would like to see some of the things from OP happen, but I really want the overall experience quality to remain the way it is now. For instance, App multitasking is not worth the terrible battery life.
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