Apple will unveil its next generation iOS – iOS 6 at WorldWide Developer Conference 2012 on Monday.
As we’re getting closer to the event, rumors about the new features in iOS 6 have started trickling in and some folks have even created cool concept videos to show us how Apple can enhance iOS’ functionality.
Our iOS 6 Wish list:
Here are some of the features and improvements that we want to see in iOS 6:
Ability to customize the look and feel of the iOS device, such as the ability to change themes, change fonts, system sounds etc. like users can do with jailbreak apps like Winterboard. This has been on our wish list, since iPhone OS days.
Apple introduced the Weather and Stock widgets in iOS 5. We hope that Apple announces APIs that will allow developers to create custom widgets, which could either work standalone or could be an extension to their existing apps. We’ve seen quite a few cool custom widgets created by jailbreak developers.
If Apple allows developers to create custom widgets, it will be interesting to see how Apple handles the clutter in the Notification Center. We would ideally like to see a different page for widgets rather than displaying them with notifications, which can be invoked with a different gesture.
New Maps App:
Ever since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the Maps app has hardly been updated, partly because Apple depended on Google, which until this week marketed the Maps Navigation app as one of the unique selling points of Android-based smartphones. Apple desperately needed to counter that claim.
The good news is that we’ve heard that Apple will be stepping up its rivalry with Google by launching an all-new 3D Maps App developed in-house in iOS 6. It seems to have also forced Google to announce Google 3D Maps app for iOS.
The new maps app is rumored to offer a much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience. One of the major features of the Maps app is a powerful new 3D mode. Apple is expected to use technology from C3 Technologies, which it acquired last year to offer beautiful, realisitic graphics based on de-classified missile target algorithms. According to people who have seen Apple’s Maps app, the new maps functionality will “blow your head off”.
We hope that it includes voice based turn-by-turn navigation.
Improvements to Siri:
We would like to see the following features and improvements coming to Siri:
- Siri should be available on other iOS devices
- Support for additional languages
- Local search should be available in all the countries that Siri capable devices are available
- Apple should announce APIs for Siri, so that third party developers can integrate it with their apps
- Ability to change System settings such as enable System toggles
When Siri works, it is quite magical, but on numerous occasions it just doesn’t get it and makes the entire experience frustrating. Apple really needs to fix it.
Improved Notification System:
The revamped Notification System in iOS 5 was one of our favorite features, but It has quite a few limitations, which we hope Apple will address in iOS 6. Here are some of them:
- Ability to access the Notification Center from the Lock screen.
- Syncing of notifications across iOS devices via iCloud. If we’ve read or dismissed a notification on the iPhone, the notification should disappear from the Notification center across all our iOS dev)ces.
- Ability to dismiss notifications in the Notification center with gestures rather than the current cumbersome method of hitting the small cross icon and clear button.
- Ability to dismiss all the notification in one go.
- The Do Not Disturb toggle to allows users to block incoming alerts and banners.
- Dynamic Notification badges as seen in the concept video.
Improved Multitasking and App Switcher:
Currently Apple allows the services such as Location Services/GPS, audio playback, iTunes syncing, various network activity such as photo stream uploads/downloads, app downloads, automatic downloads etc to work in the background.
We hope that Apple adds few more services to this list.`For example: it would be nice if apps such as Reeder, Flipboard, Instapaper, Twitter, Facebook etc. are able to sync data in the background so that the articles and status updates are waiting to be read rather than using workarounds.
We would like to see Apple replace the App switcher with something like the Mission Control in OS X as seen in the concept video. While there’re some constraints due to the way multitasking works in iOS, we feel that Apple should make better use of the screen real estate when we double tap to access the app switcher.
Twitter Integration in iOS 5 was great, but Apple needs to deeply integrate Facebook in iOS 6. The good news is that, Apple and Facebook seem to have patched things up as Tim Cook hinted at the possibility of Facebook integration coming to iOS 6 earlier in the week at AllThingsD’s D10 conference.
Rumors have also indicated that Facebook integration is finally coming to iOS. The integration will be similar to Twitter’s Integration in iOS 5. As one would expect, sharing will be one of the major features of the integration. It should also mean that Facebook integration with third-party apps will be a lot more seamless.
File Manager for iOS:
We need a better way to manage the files on our iOS device. We essentially need something like the Camera roll for files, so that we can access files that we have received via email or files that we’ve downloaded (it is not available yet, but we’ll talk about it in a bit). The files should also be synced or available across our iOS devices via iCloud, so we can access them from all our devices. It could be a dedicated app or it could be something like Finder in OS X. And the dedicated app or Finder app should be accessible from the Mail app so that we can attach different file types to an email like we do on our computer.
Quick Access to Settings:
We need a faster way to enable or disable settings without the need to leave an application like SBSettings as using the Settings app is painfully slow.
Apple needs to improve iPhone’s call management capabilities with features such as:
- Ability to block calls from blacklisted phone numbers
- Ability to forward calls to the voice mail from specific phone number/s
- Ability to schedule when to block calls or forward calls to the voice mail
We hope that Apple brings the AirDrop feature to iOS 6. Just like in OS X, the feature should provides an easy way to share files between supported, Wi-Fi enabled Macs and iOS devices, without having to connect through the local Wi-Fi network.
There should be better way for apps including third-party apps to communicate with each other. Apps should also be able to access some basic features offered by third-party apps. For example: we should be able to highlight the text on a webpage and email it or send it via Twitter.
Ability to Change Default apps:
While it seems unlikely, it would be nice to be able to change the default app. For example: We should be able to make Tweetbot – the default Twitter client.
This feature should allow iCloud users to view a list of tabs opened in the Safari web browser across multiple iOS devices and Macs.
Predictive text while using iPhone’s virtual keyboard is very helpful but we need the ability to add words to the iPhone dictionary so that we can teach the iPhone to swear and stop it from trying to auto correct them.
Automatic App Updates:
Updating apps is quite a pain currently, we’ve to manually launch the App Store and tap on the Update tab to install the updates. iOS should have an option where users can choose to download the updates automatically.
Improved Battery Life:
While we expect Apple to add ton of new features and enhancements, we do not want them to come at the cost of battery life. We’re hoping that Apple will pull off a miracle and actually improve battery life in iOS 6.
It goes without saying, we expect everything to be a lot faster in iOS 6.