iOS 6: 10 Features Apple's Mobile OS Needs to Impress Customers
An Improved Siri
Siri works fairly well and has impressed customers. But it's by no means perfect. Apple even admits as such, leaving the "beta" moniker on the voice-activated personal assistant while it works on improvements in iOS 6. It would be nice to be welcomed by a smarter and more powerful Siri.
Facebook Integration This Time
When Apple launched iOS 5 last year, the company brought with it full Twitter integration. And although some folks have taken advantage of it, the vast majority of iOS users wish Apple had built in Facebook integration. Facebook is the world's largest social network, which means it should be bundled with iOS 6 in some way.
Multitasking Needs Improvements
Although multitasking is a welcome addition to iOS, it needs some help. To switch between apps, users must double-click the home button. When apps are running behind the scenes, the implementation would be nicer if there was a way to "peek" at what's there, similar to the way BlackBerry 10 works. Are you listening, Apple?
The Rumored Maps App
According to the latest rumors, Apple is considering ditching Google Maps in iOS 6 and replacing it with its own mapping application, Maps. That sounds like a great idea. Google Maps is great, but it's not perfect. Maybe Apple should take a shot at its own mapping option.
Notification Center Needs Improvements
Notification Center was a nice addition to iOS, allowing users to quickly access content without having to sift through all of their applications. But for now, it's limited in what it can offer. It would be nice if Apple added some settings right in Notification Center and allowed for more content there. The more data it can cram into Notification Center, the better.
A More Enterprise-Friendly Mail
Although Mail has been getting continuous improvements over the last couple of years, it's still not where it needs to be for enterprise users. Therefore, it's incumbent upon Apple in iOS 6 to improve Mail and bring some of the enterprise-friendly features found in BlackBerry OS to the platform. It might not matter to consumers, but it'll definitely matter to the enterprise.
One of the biggest complaints with iOS 5 is that it doesn't allow users to manage their files and other data. The time has come for Apple to realize that iOS is a desktop operating system replacement and should come with some file-management features. It doesn't have to be major, but a simple, effective file-management solution would be nice.
Better Handling of Group Messaging
This is a minor point, but when iOS 5 users receive a text message from someone as part of a group, it's very easy to reply to the sender rather than everybody on the mailing list who may not care about this message. In those cases, users can only set up a new chat window or turn off group messaging momentarily. Apple must address that flaw in iOS 6.
More Home Page Icons
Apple currently only places four columns of icons across its home page in iOS 5. But as recent Samsung Galaxy launches have shown, it might not be such a bad idea to give users the option of allowing five columns of apps. That should give them the ability to do more, and thus, be more productive on the device.
Enhanced iPad Usability
For the most part, Apple has treated iOS as if it could work the same way on both the iPad and the iPhone. But as the iPad becomes a laptop replacement for many customers, it's a dangerous thing for the company to do. Apple's iOS 6 should come with some enhanced iPad usability to take advantage of the slate's larger screen and more-advanced components. Not to do so would be a mistake.