By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 12:55 am
I’ve pretty much given up making Apple predictions these days, but I’m allowed to hope for specific things, right? And divvying up all possible Apple announcements into “could happen” and “seems unlikely to happen” isn’t the same thing as making predictions, is it?
So here’s my wish list as of a few hours before I liveblog Apple’s iPhone 3.0 event. It’s highly personal, but focused on stuff that seems plausible. Which, I repeat, is not the same thing as predicting that any of this will happen.
In no particular order, I’d like to see:
1) More TLC for iPhone developers. Like clearer policies, fast-tracking through the approval process, and measures that will give companies incentive to build more ambitious apps that are worth more than $2.99.
2) Tools for managing a ton of apps. Like the ability to name groups of icons (Games, Communications, Productivity) and jump between them directly rather than having to side-swipe until you get to the page you want. You know, sort of what like you could do on a PalmPilot a decade ago.
3) Similarly, some sort of shortcut feature. How about a gesture that pulls up a dock of apps you’ve selected without making you go back to the home screen?
4) More speed. For all the wonderful fluidity and responsiveness of most of the iPhone experience, the OS still grinds to a halt in certain circumstances, especially when you open some apps, such as SMS.
5) More reliability. Safari still closes without warning on my iPhone from time to time. And the whole darn OS has been known to reboot itself, like a tiny Blue Screen of Death.
6) Task synching. Pretty please?
7) Notes synching. With a more powerful and straightforward notes app (I’d love to kill the lined yellow paper interface and funky font).
8) The notification service that Apple promised last June. So apps such as instant messengers have some ability to work in the background. I’d love something far closer to true multitasking if Apple could figure out how to do it without making the phone less reliable, but I’ll take what I can get.
9) An option that lets you choose a delay before the phone’s auto-lock feature kicks in. So I don’t have to do the slide-and-unlock gesture every time I turn the phone on.
10) The ability for third-party apps to get at file attachments from e-mail. So it’s easier to use productivity apps such as the spreadsheet in QuckOffice’s Mobilefiles Pro.
11) Tethering. It’s been four months since AT&T told us it was coming soon; the clock is starting to run out on “soon.”
12) Input-output stuff that would permit more iPhone-specific hardware accessories. I want a Think Outside keyboard for my iPhone, darn it!
13) iLife for the iPhone. Or at least the start of an iLife-like suite of creativity apps that take advantage of the phone’s hardware capabilities. I’d like to see a little photo editor, video capture and editing, and audio recording, for instance.
14) Caching in Safari. So it doesn’t want to reload pages it loaded minutes ago all over again.
15) Cut and paste. Not because I need them all that much–I think there have only been a couple of instances when I really, really felt their absence. But I’ll be glad when we can all stop wasting brain cells talking about the fact the iPhone doesn’t have them.
If even two or three of these items are on Apple’s list, I’ll be happy. And okay, here’s a small prediction that’s not much of a gamble: There will be at least an item or two that Apple demos today that I didn’t anticipate but am pleased to see.
Got any wish-list items of your own before 10am PT rolls around?