10 Features We Want to See in iPhone OS 4.0
10 Features We Want to See in iPhone OS 4.0
by Don Reisinger
Multitasking is the most obvious choice for an addition to iPhone OS 4.0. It has been one of the most coveted features since Apple released the iPhone. Plus, it's a feature that's available in several competing devices. Apple needs to get to work on multitasking sooner rather than later.
Windows Phone 7 Series is in many ways a revolutionary upgrade over the iPhone. One of its main features is the integration of Xbox Live onto its platform. At first glance, it might not seem that Apple's device should have gaming built-in. But consider the fact that video games are becoming a major part of the App Store and it becomes clear that iPhone owners are also into gaming. Obviously Apple couldn't integrate Xbox Live into iPhone OS 4.0, but what about Sony's PlayStation Network? It might just work.
Apple has said time and again that the iPhone doesn't support Flash because of the company's security concerns. We get that. But the problem is, by not supporting Flash, millions of Websites just don't work on the iPhone. And in many cases, those Flash sites are nothing to worry about. Yes, we know it's less secure, Apple, but bring us Flash.
Unfortunately, Apple provides little control over its platform. One of the main complaints several iPhone owners have is that they can't remove native applications from the iPhone. Apple might not want to do it, but the company should allow users to remove the iPhone's stocks, weather or even Mail apps. Having control over a device that we bought isn't asking too much.
Improved File Management
Although the iPhone allows users to view documents on the phone, managing those documents is extremely difficult. Apple has attempted to market the iPhone as a mobile computer replacement. Unlike the iPhone, computers have file-management systems that help users find and organize documents. Granted, the iPhone has a search feature that some people like. But until true file management comes around, the iPhone is still leaving users wanting more.
Mail is the only e-mail platform users can access natively on the iPhone. Like its Mac OS X counterpart, the software is extremely lightweight and, in some cases, underpowered. Apple needs to do a better job of improving Mail, including fixing its design and working on developing a single mailbox where people with multiple accounts can see all their messages in one spot.
Built-In Social Networking
Out of the box, Windows Phone 7 Series will include social networking applications. In other words, the phones running Windows Phone 7 will be the most social devices on the market as soon as they leave the store. Luckily for Apple, Windows Phone 7 Series devices won't be hitting store shelves until late in the year. If Apple wants to beat Microsoft to the punch, it should partner with Facebook and Twitter and bring built-in social features to the iPhone out-of-the-box. Some app developers won't like it, but when has that ever stopped Apple?
One of the neat features available to BlackBerry owners is the option to decide when the phone's antenna can run. It's one of many power-scheduling features built into the BlackBerry to give users a bit more control over their devices. The iPhone lacks that feature. At the same time, the iPhones battery drains quickly if users are constantly using WiFi, placing calls and using Bluetooth in the car. With better power scheduling, users might be able to increase battery life.
When Apple announced the iPad, it fired a shot over Amazon's bow with iBooks. The company's e-reading platform will allow users to read ebooks from the iPad and buy books from Apple's store. Since the iPhone runs the same software, it would only make sense for Apple to bring iBooks to the iPhone. The device might not be the best product to read ebooks on, but iPhone owners will be expecting it in the new OS version.
An Improved App Store
With over 140,000 applications in its App Store, trying to find applications worth checking out can be daunting from the iPhone. Apple needs to start working on improving the App Store's design. It needs to make it easier to find applications. It also should do a better job of organizing the apps to get the best and most relevant programs to the user. It's not an easy task, but it's certainly necessary.