Apple WWDC 2014: My Wish List - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Business
Commentary
5/31/2014
08:06 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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Apple WWDC 2014: My Wish List

Apple execs take the stage June 2 to show off the company's latest innovations. Here's what I'd like to hear.

for Apple to give users more control over where apps land on their screens.

Dynamic home screen content: Both Android and Windows Phone offer changing/updating content on their respective home screens. Android does this through widgets, and Windows Phone does it via Live Tiles. I'd love to see Apple merge these two concepts into something that allows app icons on the home screens to offer new information or content when relevant or available.

OS X
New design: Apple's desktop platform is overdue for a visual overhaul. Reports have for months suggested that OS X is headed for an iOS-like redesign. I'd welcome a refreshed look, as long as Apple doesn't go overboard with the colors. Aesthetics aside, it would behoove Apple to create more parity between iOS and OS X, which would aid usability of both platforms.

Siri: Who doesn't want to sit in their office and talk to their computer? Siri needs to make a big splash in OS X. It's been available to Apple's mobile devices for more than two years; surely Apple can squash all that power into its laptops and desktops. Siri for OS X needs to be more feature-rich than she has been for iOS, however, and must have improved text transcription powers from the get-go.

AirDrop: This tool lets iOS and OS X device owners share files via WiFi -- but only with similar devices. In other words, I can use AirDrop to send a file from my iPad to my iPhone, or from my iMac to my MacBook Air, but not from my iPad to my iMac or vice versa. Apple needs to plug this hole and make AirDrop compatible between iOS and OS X.

Hardware
Apple TV: Everyone wants it to happen, but it won't. Apple has played coy with its Apple TV product for years. If it does anything new with Apple TV this year, it likely won't be until the fall. Still, some wishful thinking can't hurt, right?

iPhone/iPad: Chatter about the iPhone 6 is nearly non-stop. It would be great to see Apple break its once-yearly upgrade cycle for its smartphones and tablets, but that seems unlikely. As with Apple TV, expect new mobile devices in the fall.

Hybrid laptop: If Apple announces any new hardware at WWDC this year, I hope the long-rumored touchscreen laptop is it. The rumor mill says Apple is working on a new laptop that uses a touch-enabled version of OS X with a touchscreen. The device might have a high-resolution 12-inch screen, which falls in between those of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs. But this could be more wishful thinking on my part.

What do you think? What's on your WWDC wish list? Add your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
6/1/2014 | 1:03:23 AM
Re: Split Screen Multitasking
If I ever switch to a Windows Phone will be for the camera. Don't really care about a split screen in a tiny device.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2014 | 5:39:19 PM
Re: Split Screen Multitasking
I've tried Windows on mobile phones, and I just can't get into its way of working. Sadly for me that means that even with the best will in the world (and the best split screen technology in the world) it isn't enough to get me to change platform.

As I asked siilarly in a comment earlier today as well, is "split screen apps" on people's "must have" list when shopping for a new phone? I really don't know, and I'm interested to hear what people think.
anon4192578946
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anon4192578946,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/31/2014 | 1:49:58 PM
Split Screen Multitasking
Windows 8 is the original split screen mobile OS, and they still implement it better than any andriod variation.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2014 | 1:43:45 PM
Ecosystem
I was thinking about this some more, and I realized that with the aggressive development undertaken by the other smart phone companies, for example, the iPhone itself is - perhaps obviously - not out on its own any more. It's not unique, so why would I buy it? 

The Mac has slightly more pull - OS/X has been so much better to use than Windows, it's not the hardware so much as the software that brings me into the fold.

Most of all though, I'm sold on the integrated ecosystem. I love that I can read books on my Mac and on my Phone. I love that I have the same music on laptop and phone without having to plug them into one another. My bookmarks are shared if I want, as is my password list via Keychain.  

So while commenting on AirDrop, I think I would have to expand my wish list to include a more general "things that make my devices work together more seamlessly" request for WWDC. Allow me to share more easily. Allow me to pass documents back and forth more easily. Use more phone data to sync with my computer (e.g. if you have a GPS lock on my phone and it's within bluetooth distance of my computer, then use that GPS data when I ask the computer for a weather update or make a mapping request!). Keep using the capabilities unique to each device to feed the other and provide an enriched experience. Now expand that to the alleged Healthbook and iWatch (or whatever) as well as home automation, and the blending of mobile, tablet and laptop devices could be a huge attraction for people on the fence.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2014 | 12:31:40 PM
AirDrop
Oh gods, yes, Please.

AirDrop is so incredibly useful (and underutilized by owners), but one of the key uses I'd have would be to get pictures quickly from my iPhone to my MacBook, and I can't do that because iPhones can ony AirDrop to other iPhones for some unknown reason. Right now I end up doing stupid stuff like emailing myself pictures. And ok, yes, I could plug it in, but we live in an awesome wireless word, but AirDrop is so fast it's a silly set of steps to make me go through. So yes, please, AirDrop interoperability between iOS and OSX. Urgently.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2014 | 12:27:28 PM
Re: iOS 8
@RAM1950> I guess Swype is an acquired taste, and I wo uld probably need to use it more to appreciate it - it didn't grab me when I tried it. However, I'm happy to believe the legions of users who say it's great, and I do think that Apple's resistance to third party keyboards is a bit odd. Of course, there are other keyboards out there, with APIs so that app developers can incorporate "better" keyboards in their apps, but that won't help with any of the core Apple-supplied apps, which will use the default system keyboard.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2014 | 12:23:33 PM
Re: glass
@BillB031> 
I would like to see an iPhone that wasn't so fragile.  My wife has broken the glass on her 5s twice.  It looks like the new iphone 6 will be edge to edge glass which may be even worse.
 
--That would be nice on all phones to be honest. My wife and I have had iPhones for 4 years now and never so much as cracked the screen. My children on the other hand...are definitely candidates for Otterbox cases ;)

If Apple was so inventive, why the heck was it Samsung to come out with something as simple as a water resistant phone. 
 
--I wonder, truly, if that's a big selling feature. Not saying it isn't, but I'd be curious how many people actual list that on their requirements for a new phone.
 
I can see why Apple has not come out with split screen multi-tasking.  Hard to deal with on a postage stamp size screen.  But maybe they will with the next larger screen model.
 
--Or not. The rumor was that split screen was being targeted at iPad I think. I gather though that you like to hold a phone against your head that's roughly the size of an encylopedia, which is of course your right. 


Also, Apple absolutely needs to do something about the lousy camera.  Samsung has blown Apple away in this arena.  If I recieve one more upside-down video or sideways picture from an iPhone user, my head is going to expload.
 
--Upside down video? Ok, that's a new one on me! I'll give you the camera thing; not that the 5s had a bad camera, but it needs to keep evolving to keep up. While megapixels aren't the end of the argument for quailty (by a long way), Nokia has been innovating the heck out of the cell phone camera recently

Yes, My Wife has the iPhone 5s, and I have an old Galaxy S3.  My S3 is a much better phone than the iPhone 5,  and the new Galaxy S5  even more.  I'm waiting to upgrade.  Hopefully the new iPhone 6 with have some features that I like.  I would love to switch to an American Company.
 
--Better is such a subjective word, but if you prefer it then that's cool. I happen to prefer the iOS interface and ecosystem, but then there are definitely things that I see on Android phones that make me thing "Wait, why can't I do that?" ;-)
 
RAM1950
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RAM1950,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/31/2014 | 10:38:39 AM
iOS 8
Swipe keyboard? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. After three Androids and the disgust of never getting updates I moved to the iPhone about 18 months ago. Overall I'm happy, but when you say that a swipe keyboard is almost a deal breaker I can totally relate. I own an iMac, a Macbook, an iPad Mini and a 5S. You could say I'm all in, but without a swipe keyboard I "may" seriously consider another phone this fall.
BillB031
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BillB031,
User Rank: Moderator
5/31/2014 | 9:31:36 AM
glass
I would like to see an iPhone that wasn't so fragile.  My wife has broken the glass on her 5s twice.  It looks like the new iphone 6 will be edge to edge glass which may be even worse.

If Apple was so inventive, why the heck was it Samsung to come out with something as simple as a water resistant phone.  I can see why Apple has not come out with split screen multi-tasking.  Hard to deal with on a postage stamp size screen.  But maybe they will with the next larger screen model.

Also, Apple absolutely needs to do something about the lousy camera.  Samsung has blown Apple away in this arena.  If I recieve one more upside-down video or sideways picture from an iPhone user, my head is going to expload.


Yes, My Wife has the iPhone 5s, and I have an old Galaxy S3.  My S3 is a much better phone than the iPhone 5,  and the new Galaxy S5  even more.  I'm waiting to upgrade.  Hopefully the new iPhone 6 with have some features that I like.  I would love to switch to an American Company.
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