Wednesday, January 20, 2010

iPhone OS 4.0 Want-List Suggestions

As we grow closer to Apple's new devices annoucement, and inevitably a new iPhone and OS update, people start talking about what we'd like to see in iPhone OS 4.0.

Some of them are quite complex and/or too complicated for Apple to even consider, but there are others that should have been done a long time ago.

For instance, the lock screen. I wouldn't mind if it showed a nice layout with my missed calls and unread emails, etc. But more importantly, I'd like it to alert me if I missed the notifications.
Without a blinking led, there's no way for us to be visually "alerted" to something on the iPhone after the notification message is shown. Maybe it could simply "flash" the screen every 30sec or so... Or else, are they expecting us to press the home button every time we want ti see if we missed a call or notification or etc.?

Besides, the notification sure need a serious overhaul. Modal popups that instantly zap any previous pending notification? Totally unacceptable... Fix it!

While some ask for extra menus (with vertical swipes evem), I would go for a much more tried and tested approach: give us folders to manage our Apps!

I want to be able to group games/photo apps/utils together without swiping right and left like a madmen.
Even better, as we're not allowed to delete Apple official Apps (including the ones we intend to never use) at least we'd be able to thrown them into a "trash" folder and forget about it.

Dictionary and auto-correction. Ok, it works great most of the time... but... that's no excuse to keep correcting perfectly good words with nonexistent ones! At least in Portuguese there's a dreaded known issue that corrects "te" to "Tê" (which doesn't even exist in Portuguese!) Come on Apple... give us the chance to at least enforce some dictionary rules to prevent this from happening (or do it yourself in a timely fashion, so I don't have to use nasty workaround like creating a fake contact name for the next couple of years.)

Dynamic Icons.
With all the attention to detail Apple is known for, I still can't figure out why they haven't done this sooner. If Apple cared enough to show a little plane zooming along when you select/deselect airplane mode, why - oh why - do I get a Weather App icon showing a sunny day and 22ºC even when it's pouring down and freezing below zero?
Similarly, why it the "Clock" App icon stuck at 10:15 all day long?

If the iPhone is all about the "tiny details", then have someone look into this!

I rarely feel the need to multitask on the iPhone... as most of the Apps I use found ways to alleviate the problem. Twitter clients now have embedded browsers and allow us to send emails without leaving the App, as do other Apps; and Safari itself shows us how well it could be done, flicking through different screens with ease... We do realize multitasking affects battery life, but shouldn't we be allowed to make that decision? Sometimes it would be far more efficient to have two apps running for a couple of minutes, than having to go back and forth beween them, opening and closing them each time, and taking far longer!

I've talked about a lot of this stuff right after OS 3.0 came out (auto-translated link). Let's hope Apple addresses some (if not all) of these issues in the upcoming 4.0 iPhone OS.

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