Coming to iPhone OS: Advertising, Enterprise Support?
When Apple announced earlier this year that it purchased mobile-advertising firm Quattro Wireless, just about everyone wondered if ads were coming to iPhone OS 4.0. It's certainly looking that way. Jobs isn't dumb. He realizes that Google is planning to use advertising to increase its own revenue beyond the sale of phones. He also realizes that if Google is successful in its mobile advertising efforts, it could easily generate even more revenue than Apple. With the help of Quattro Wireless, Apple can ensure that it gets in on the mobile-ad market. AT&T might not like it, but when has that ever stopped Apple?
6. Music-streaming integration
Apple recently acquired online-streaming service Lala. For now, the company has done practically nothing with the service. But based on the success of streaming apps, like Pandora and Last.fm, it's entirely possible that Apple, as a music retailer, will attempt to get in on the action. Yes, it could cause trouble with developers, but when it comes to music, Apple doesn't care. It sees that it can turn a hefty profit on music streaming, and an integrated app that helps users buy songs from iTunes as soon as they listen to them is a great way to generate even more revenue from the iPhone. Lala could be a major player in Apple's mobile strategy going forward.
7. Better enterprise support
As Apple starts parlaying its success in the consumer market to other areas, it could attempt to improve enterprise support. Currently, Apple's focus on the enterprise is partial, at best. The company realizes that the consumer market is the most profitable sector for it right now, and it doesn't want to get bogged down in corporate issues. But it also doesn't want RIM to corner the enterprise space and keep it out. It's possible that on Thursday Apple will announce some enterprise-friendly features to satisfy its growing number of corporate users. It won't be the flashiest announcement at Thursday's event, but it could be the most important announcement to the enterprise.
8. Native printing support
One of the most frustrating issues with iPhone OS is its lack of native printing support. The iPad, for example, doesn't come with printer drivers, which means users can't print from the device. But now that the iPad is out and Apple is trying to market it as a mobile computer, the company might be more willing to bring printing to iPhone OS. It might not seem like a necessary feature for some users, but if Apple wants to be considered a real player in the computing space, printing support must make its way to the software.
Anyone who owns an iPhone knows all too well just how difficult it is to organize all the apps that can be added to the OS. The only option available to users is to move the apps around the different home screens. But that's not enough and Apple knows it. If Apple announces a new and more effective way of organizing applications, I'd like to see it include folders in some way. Both the iPhone and the iPad are in desperate need of folders to help organize content. Once again, the iPhone and iPad are supposed to be mobile-computing devices. To achieve that, they need better organization.
10. More efficient navigation
There are some odd quirks with iPhone OS that Apple needs to address. When users want to access content in, say, the iPod, it's far too difficult to navigate through the app. And the iPhone's Mail app leaves an awful lot to be desired. Hopefully, Apple will announce design improvements to native applications in iPhone OS to make them easier to navigate. Right now, it's sometimes frustrating to work with the operating system and its odd functions.