Hey, Let’s Start Planning iOS 6

A few dozen ways to make an excellent mobile operating system even better.

By  |  Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

In a strange way, there’s something exciting about the fact that mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android are relatively immature, and still lacking some features that people really want. If nothing else, it certainly allows their makers to release upgrades that are a big deal, since there’s no lack of worthwhile stuff to add. (With Windows and OS X, there are far fewer obvious holes; a cynic, in fact, might contend that those OSes would benefit from having fewer features.)

I’m enjoying iOS 5 on both both my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. But as I use it, I’m also reflecting on the missing features I still crave. (One example: More serious font support, such as the ability to add my own typefaces.) And over on Twitter, I asked my pals for their iOS 6 wish lists, and got lots of nifty nominations–most of which sounded like things that Apple might plausibly add, and only a few of which were (coughcoughFlash) painfully obvious.

After the jump, a few dozen of them–thanks to all who participated in this brainstorming exercise.

That was fun. I’ll bet some of these ideas show up in iOS 6, or iOS 7 at least. (Back in 2009, I listed 25 features I wanted to see in the OS then known as iPhone OS–two years later, most of them are available…but there are a few I’d still love to see in iOS 6.)

 
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21 Comments For This Post

  1. Tablet PC Expert Says:

    Wow! The predictions were really cool. But I feel that Apple has always provided more than what we expect, atleast until Steve was in Office. What do you say?

  2. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > I would like iOS 6 to give an option to install non app store apps… It could happen, right?

    You can already do that. App Store is optional and did not even arrive until the second iPhone. Previously to that and at all times since then, you have been able to install apps from any server in the world. But because the 1-click payments are not there, developers prefer to make App Store apps.

    > Top Feature, stop locking software for new hardware that old hardware can run. like Siri!

    Siri is a beta with a cloud component. The most obvious Occam's Razor reason why it runs only on 4S is that if it ran on iPhone 4 they would have to support 100 million users overnight, instead of ramping up as 4S ramps up.

  3. Tired_ Says:

    After five minutes, I stopped loading this page. Did you really need a Twitter call for every tweet you wanted to quote? Whatever happened to text lists? This would have been much faster to load as one of those multi-page slideshows (which I wouldn't have clicked through of course, because I hate wasting my time like that).

  4. Testo Says:

    I'd like to see a file structure.

  5. Rikimaru Says:

    Navigation by Siri is the obvious feature that I didn’t notice until someone brink it up here. Very interesting list.

  6. cgv Says:

    iOS 6 wishlist: Siri on all devices. (I agree they're trying it out with 4S too keep user base lower) Better App management through iTunes (it's horrible!) Split keyboard for iPhone… I mean come on, why not?

  7. Brian Says:

    One of the reasons we value Steve Jobs is that he didn't listen to what people wanted. Some of the comments above are constructive ideas, but many are the equivalent of a screen door on a submarine. Normally, I shun arrogance. But arrogance is often a quality of a genius. I'm glad Steve Jobs would never listen to anything I said.

    Instead of whining for a feature that would make no sense when really examined, I will only add a note of optimism: Siri will learn. Over time, if Siri is truly based on Artificial Intelligence, it will learn, become more exact in its responses and provide a greater quality of information. I have a hunch too, that over time, developers will take advantage of the published APIs related to Siri, and as they do, we will see a wave of amazing new apps that harness Siri, and Siri itself will be able to tap many more valuable sources and types of information for the answers to the questions we have.

    I have come to realize that Siri is NOT a search engine, but an ANSWER engine. It will be the catalyst for competition from Google, Microsoft and others to come, a competition in which we users will be the winner. (Oh yeah, and it will make Stephan Wolfram happy, because finally, Wolfram Alpha will be embraced on a scale unimaginable only a week ago.)

    AI is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It's in the palm of your hand.

  8. Wes Says:

    NEW UI. iPhone looks to basic, and cheap. Come on apple. Your letting me down.

  9. 23324 Says:

    Flash Player

  10. TweetyTweet15 Says:

    Just talking about feature requests and posting them public on the web does not always make the company read them, and you can submit feature requests to Apple: http://www.apple/com/feedback/

  11. TweetyTweet15 Says:

    I didn't mean http://www.apple/com/feedback/, I meant http://www.apple.com/feedback/

  12. Luca Says:

    Installous 6 ;)

    I'm a Hacker MUHAHAHA

  13. Nick Benedetto Says:

    they need to make a SDK (software devolpment kit), off your i device. submit. boom you made a top paid app:)

  14. Thomas Says:

    You actually can already sync without being connected to a power source! When your iPod is plugged in, you check "Sync with this iPad/iPod/iPhone over Wi-Fi.

  15. iPod FTW! Says:

    The ability to call people’s phones through a iPod touch!

  16. TweetyTweet15 Says:

    “Top Feature, stop locking software for new hardware that old hardware can run. like Siri!”
    “that it runs on a Desktop computer #iOS6″
    Then how would Apple Computer get profit for selling iPads and/or iPhone 4S’?

  17. TweetyTweet15 Says:

    Why am I getting a few thumbs-down for feature requests to be at http://www.apple.com/feedback/? Are people scared of submitting directly to Apple Inc.?

  18. e12green Says:

    I think it would be usefull to be able to hide pics videos and apps. also to have a few of the features android has like the new address book that can intigrate into twitter and maybe add facebook. also to have multiple accounts or a guest mode. having a switch apps thing where you can press a little X to close the app or choose to switch to another by just tapping on it. we also want to be able to go beyond the basic editing features for photos and to be able to delete, add, and move pictures. they could also have the multitask menu have a way to change the brightness, turn off wireless and bluetooth, and have a volume mixer to be able to lower the volume of an app, so you can listen to your music in peace.

  19. kurtis Says:

    i would like it to be a little less boring all it is is a bunch of squares on a solid background with no real multitasking.

  20. Tea Kettles Says:

    they need to make a SDK (software devolpment kit), off your i device. submit. boom you made a top paid app:)
    You actually can already sync without being connected to a power source! When your iPod is plugged in, you check "Sync with this iPad/iPod/iPhone over Wi-Fi.

  21. Alarm clocks Says:

    NEW UI. iPhone looks to basic, and cheap. Come on apple. Your letting me down.