With Apple announcing June 11th as the kick-off date for its 2012 World-Wide Developers Conference, which has already sold out, its time to start discussing what we’d like to see in the upcoming version of iOS 6. First off, we know there will an iOS 6, mainly because Apple’s been introducing a new version of iOS at WWDC since the release of the iPhone. Secondly, we’ve also see reports of iPad’s running iOS 6, surfing the web at places like Ars Technica, from an IP address from within Apple’s campus, so we know it’s coming, we just don’t know what to expect. So we’ve decide to make a list of the top five things we’d like to see.
Top 5 Things we’d like to see in iOS 6
A New UI (user interface):
Since the original iPhone was released in 2007, Apple has done very little to keep the iPhone/iPad’s UI “fresh” and innovative. With iOS 4, they introduced a long overdue feature, custom wallpapers and while the addition of wallpapers added some flavor to the UI, it still didn’t affect how users interacted with it.They were still left with just rows and columns of icons. In a matter of five years, we’ve seen Apple’s main competitor, Android, change its interface a few times, with Android 4.0 being the most recent and dramatic. We’ve also seen the emergence of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS and its “Metro UI,” which has been getting praised for its unique and refreshing take on a smartphone interface. Even Apple’s co-Founder, Steve “Woz” Wozniak has said that he hasn’t seen an interface as beautiful and intuitive as Windows Phone. Apple’s iOS is now turning five and if it’s going to last till six, the team in Cupertino better take a look around and give users a fresh or remodeled UI.
Widgets or “Live” Icons:
When Android introduced widgets, it was a game changer. Finally, users could simply unlock their device and see live updates directly on their homepage, all without having to open an app. Perhaps the best example of this, is weather. With Apple’s setup, you can unlock your phone and pull down the notification menu to see your weather, but on Android, you can have a variety of weather widgets directly on the main panel of your smartphone and it will tell you the weather, display it with an animation and some will even tell you two cities. Windows Phone has “live tiles” that act in a similar fashion. So what can Apple do to compete with these two, without looking like they are “copying” them? Perhaps “live” icons, icons that can be scaled to fill up more of the space or the rest of the icons can conform to it, depending on the type of information they are providing the user, think iPhoto’s (for iPad) photo journal, where items like weather widgets can be dropped anywhere next to photos and the photos will then just wrap around it. The idea of widgets or live icons also sort of tie in with a new interface in order for all this to work.
Better use of 4G LTE:
Let’s face, this is a given. We know LTE is coming to the iPhone 6, with LTE finally starting to reach the masses and Qualcomm releasing smaller chips with better battery life (two things Apple’s been wanting) not to mention its inclusion in the new iPad, its almost a 100% certainty that the new version of iOS will make use of LTE in a better, more efficient way than iOS 5. It has too, with rumors of Apple’s next iPhone being even thinner, quite possibly the thinnest phone released, they won’t have the room to cram in a massive battery like they did with the new iPad, so with iOS Apple’s software engineers will have to find a better, more efficient way to handle LTE.
API’s for Siri
Since Siri was first unveiled last year, developers have been itching to get their hands on her (not that way), but so far, Apple has not yet made API’s available to them, so developers haven’t been able to incorporate Siri’s voice commends into their apps. With Google preparing a Siri-like competitor, one that will apparently let developers take full advantage of it, Apple is sort of being forced to play their hand. That still doesn’t mean Apple will, after all, they are Apple, they don’t do things just because others do. But if they did provide Siri API’s to developers, I think we’d see a whole slew of new apps drop on the App Store and that, is something Apple wants.
We already have full twitter built into iOS, but let’s face it, people want Facebook integration. With 900 million people using Facebook, half of which are accessing their accounts via smartphones, it only makes sense for this move to happen. It would be nice to take a picture and immediately afterwards, be able to tap a button and have it upload directly to your Facebook timeline. We’ve even heard rumors before that this was supposed to be a feature in iOS 5.1, but was removed, we even have a leaked screen shot showing Facebook being integrated into iOS’s address book, all of this makes us think that Facebook will finally be integrated into iOS 6.
The Long Shot: The Ability to Remove First Party Apps
This is something that is SO long over due and will once again, probably will not happen. I know many of you are like me, you see an Apple app that you know you’re not going to use, yet you can’t remove it. Newsstand comes to mind, I understand how this may be a useful app for the iPad, but honestly, I don’t know anyone who would try to read a magazine on their iPhone. While some crafty tricksters found a way to hide newsstand within a folder, it would still be nice if Apple just allowed us to remove it like any other app. They could simply add a new section on the App Store called, Factory Apps, so if you delete the stock newsstand, iBooks or Weather app, you could always re-download it. Again, I seriously doubt Apple would give users that much control, hell there are even some core Android Apps that can’t be removed, so I guess we’ll have to live with it or jailbreak it (I’ll take the latter).
Is there something I missed or that you would like to see in iOS 6? Let us know.