I've been an iPhone (iOS) user since 2007. Yep, that's when the 1st iPhone hit the scene. While the iPhone back then was revolutionary I still had a running list of improvements that I wanted to see. I even went back to dig up my original "50 Ways To Make The iPhone Better" post to have a look to see what was still missing today in iOS 4?The good news is that the vast majority of my original list has either been addressed via iOS updates or 3rd party Apps. Four years later I'm asking myself what do I still want? Having looked at the current iOS 4, 3rd party Apps and the Android platform, there are still a few things I'd like to see:
- Over the Air Updates – It's time to cut the cord and receive iOS updates over the air. The only time I should have to plug in a sync cable is when I'm doing a full restore or if I want to have things go faster. Android already has this.
- WiFi Media Syncing - I would be putting it mildly when I say that it totally sucks having to plug in a cable anytime I want to sync a new playlist, movie, podcast, etc from my iTunes library to my iOS Device. Apple let's you download gigabytes of data from the iTunes store directly to your device via WiFi, why not allow syncing of your OWN media via your OWN WiFi network? Long overdue!
- Multiple Mail Signatures – We've had multiple email accounts since day one, but only one email signature since day one. Yes there are 3rd party Apps to work around this, but this should be built-in like it is in Mail on the Mac OS X desktop.
- Set a 3rd Party Browser as your Default – Mobile Safari is cool, but iCab blows it away! I could easily make a list of 10 or more things I'd like to see in Safari. However, I've found all the missing features I wanted, in iCab. While Apple does allow you to download and use 3rd party browsers, you can't set them as the default browser. This means that any tap of a link inside another App always launches Safari instead of your preferred browser.
- Spam Filtering – Need I say more?
- Widgets – One thing on Android OS that I really like and wish were in iOS is the concept of Widgets. These on screen "widgets" show you information (current weather, latest tweets, email subjects, etc.) without having to launch an App. iOS really needs this!
- Sound Profiles - This one goes way back to my Treo days. Mute is not enough! I'd love to setup profiles that will allow vibration, emergency calls to ring through, silence (no vibrating), etc. etc. If this were a "smart phone", it would be possible.
- Notification Schedules – Currently, Notifications are either on or off. I'd like to setup a schedule in which my device doesn't make a sound or pop up a notification during night hours or meetings. Sure I can just turn them off, but then I'd have to remember to turn them back on.
- Email a Group of Contacts – If I email the same 3, 5 or 10 people all the time, why do I have to manually enter their names in each new email? Group support in Mail please!
- Ability to Assign Ringtones to Groups of Contacts – one of my oldest requests! Although we got custom ringtones years ago, there is still no ability to assign the same ringtone to multiple contacts (groups) at the same time. It's still a painstaking one-by-one task.
Why not just switch to Android completely?
I actually have an Android based tablet (Motorola Xoom) and phone (Motorola Atrix 4G). Like comparing ANY two things, there are going to be things I like in one that aren't in the other. So it's no surprise that there are things I like in the Android OS that aren't in iOS and vice versa. I have the luxury of being able to use any device I want whenever I want. Overall though (at least for now), I find iOS to have MORE things I like about it than Android. Sure, Android OS answers the majority of my list above, but I could easily come up with a list of 10, 20 or 30 things that are missing from Android OS that are currently in iOS. Not to mention a huge existing investment that I have in iOS Apps that I'd be leaving behind. Even if I were willing to leave my Apps behind, Android Market doesn't have all the same Apps or equivalents for all the Apps I use. There is NO PERFECT! Just like there are things I like even in Windows 7 over Mac OS X. I use Mac OS X most of the time because it has more things I like over Windows, but Windows 7 is only a reboot away when needed.
WWDC Kicks off Today
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off today with news around iOS 5 as well as iCloud and maybe even some hardware announcements. It will be interesting to see how much of my remaining wish list is addressed.