Screw Widgets. This is what I'm looking for in iOS 6.
WWDC will be upon us quickly, and with it, the unveiling of iOS 6. At the top of this list should be something magical that I can't even comprehend. Something that a posthumous, glorified Steve Jobs revealed to Tim Cook through some sort of celestial facetime call. But the thing about giving people something they don't know they need is that people don't know they need it. So this list is what I know I need. I want Apple to do the magical parts for me.
#1-Non intrusive text response option, a la Bite SMS
What you have to go through in order to simply respond to a text message in iOS is ridiculous. It happens nearly every time I receive a text message. I am in an app or my phone is in my pocket. I receive a text and I have to exit the app I am in or unlock the phone, wait for the messages app to load, tap the reply box and then I can finally reply. Then, if I want to go back to the app I was in before, I’ve got to reverse the process and depending on how that app behaves in the background, I may have to wait for it to load up again. The Jailbreak app BiteSMS solves this problem beautifully, allowing you to simply reply from the notification box itself without ever leaving your app or unlocking your phone. Apple must implement something of this nature in iOS 6 or it severely falls behind the competition when it comes to managing text messages.
#2-Fix Safari Caching
Maybe you’ve noticed that when you press the “back” button in safari, an older version of the webpage you were requesting is displayed instead of the current version. For example, on a news website, I see all of today’s news listed and I click a link to read an article. After I finish, I click “back” to see my reading options again and to choose a new article. But instead of being presented with the current news, I am presented with the yesterday’s headlines. In order to display the current version of the page, after pressing “back”, I must refresh the page and wait for it to load again from scratch. This is because in IOS 5, when you press the “back” button, Safari reloads the webpage from its cache instead of downloading the page from the internet and it struggles to cache the most recently loaded version of the page for some reason. This is a major and frustrating problem when browsing news pages, Reddit, or almost any other site where one might use the “back” button to navigate. iOS 6 should fix this.
#3. It might just be my pipe dream, but doesn’t anybody else think it would be useful to have a notification scheduler? To put it simply, there are times when I want to be notified that I have a text message and there are times I don’t. There are times I want to be notified that it is my turn in Words With Friends, and there are times I couldn’t care less. Currently, it’s an all or nothing endeavor with iOS. Sure, I can toggle certain settings to stop an app from making noise at me, but the only choice is to have it always make noise, or never make noise. And to change the settings is quite a task, so much so that I daresay very few people do it on a regular basis. Let me give an example of how it should work. Let’s suppose I get home from work at 5:00. I would like my phone to notify me loudly that I have text messages and that it is my turn in Words With Friends. At 8:00, I still want to hear loudly when I have text messages, but I would rather not be bothered at all with online games as I am winding my evening down. At 10:00, its lights out, and I don’t want ANYTHING to bother me, not even the *BUZZ BUZZ from an incoming, “silenced” text, or the bright screen lighting up my bedroom or calls from drunk friends who want to hit a new shwarma joint. What I would like, however, is if my mother calls me at 2:30 in the morning, that that call ring through, because I probably want to know what is going on if she is that desperate.
This would be a killer feature for me. Apple could very easily implement a time and location based notification scheduler. I don’t hear many people worry about this though, as most seem to be more worried about widgets etc.
#4. Improved Keyboard-Stay a Step Ahead
I’ve always liked the iOS keyboard. I can say that I can type more proficiently on it than any other mobile keyboard. With the unveiling of the recent swipe-to-edit keyboard for Jailbreakers and BlackBerry’s swipe-to-insert keyboard, however, I am starting to get hungry for some advancement. Apple should stay ahead of the game with this. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like to envy a BlackBerry user again. I don’t care if they have to straight up copy somebody else’s concept (hasn’t stopped them before, right?) I just want a better typing experience, and the concepts and tech are there to do it now.
#5. Fix Siri or Stop Advertising it
Siri doesn’t work as advertised. It’s that simple. It is frustrating for me to watch Santa Clause, Zoe, and “rock gods” talk to Siri but when I try the same things, I get a network error, or worse, nothing but a spinning microphone thingy. This isn’t to say Siri isn’t cool. It is a great idea. It is amazing when it works. It just doesn’t work as advertised and is still a beta product in most every sense of the word. Fix it by iOS 6’s release or stop talking about how perfect it is.
Quite seriously, iOS 5 is a rock solid mobile operating system. I'm very happy with it. If Apple can sufficiently address the above stated issues in iOS 6, I'll be thrilled. If they can throw something magical on top, I will be ecstatic. Here's to hoping....