My iPhone wishlist for 2010 (updated 2x)

My iPhone wishlist for 2010 (updated 2x)

Summary: My personal wishlist of features that I'd like to see on the next-generation iPhone. I'll warn you, there's a lot of Android features on the list. See, competition is good!

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I've been keeping a little crib sheet of all the features that I'd like to see in the next-generation iPhone since it came out in 2007. I've been updating my list a lot since the iPhone 3GS came out and most recently with all the improvements that have been coming to Android.

I last posted my iPhone hardware and software wishlists here almost two years ago, in March 2008, so they're due for an update. I recommend that you also read TUAW's excellent iPhone 4.0 wish list, which includes many sorely-needed features, including:

  • a new lock screen
  • a new home screen
  • vertical swiping
  • better app navigation

Here's my wishlist of new features that I'd like to see on the iPhone 4G (or whatever you want to call it), roughly in the order that I'd like to see them.

  • A unified email inbox to consolidate and read all of my email accounts in one place, like Mail.app has on the desktop. This sure beats the several clicks that it takes to get into and out of IMAP accounts on the iPhone.

  • Over-The-Air (OTA) syncing of music, podcasts, etc. I want my iPhone to sync with my MacBook Pro as soon as they're both on the same WiFi network, according to a set of rules. Currently the iPhone can only sync email and contacts/calendar OTA and only if you have a $99/yr. subscription to MobileMe.

  • Google Maps Navigation. Navigation is a defining piece of code on the Droid because it's excellent, Internet connected and free. Google Maps Navigation eliminates the need for a dedicated Personal Navigation Device (PND) for many people, saving money (and dashboard space.) (Droid feature)
  • System-wide voice search, not just in the Google and Bing apps. Roll Voice Control into Spotlight and give developers access to all of the voice APIs and encourage them to use them.
  • System-wide voice control. The current implementation of voice control on the iPhone 3GS can only be used to call contacts and play music. Like search, voice control needs to be system-wide so that I can say things like, "find the last email from Rob" or "What appointments do I have today?"
  • System-wide voice recognition/transcription integrated it into all apps. This would allow the dictation of email and messages and would be huge for productivity and has safety implications for drivers. Apple use it's $20B war chest to acquire Nuance, developer of the technology behind Dragon, the undisputed champion in the space.
  • System-wide text-to-speech so that the iPhone can read email, messages and tweets, out loud. Voice and text-to-speech are killer features that bring a completely new level of functionality to devices.

  • Status bar/better notifications. Currently you can only see the last message that you received. Notifications need to have persistence and a way to mark them as unread. Even Mac OS X on the desktop is lacking in the notification department. Apple would do well to implement a menu bar on the iPhone.
  • Widgets. Don't limit home screens to static icons. Apple has already hinted that they can do more with iPhone icons as the Calendar icon's date changes every 24 hours. Apple should allow several sizes of live widgets to live on iPhone home screens.
  • HD video recording and playback. Maybe 2010 will be the year of HD? Hopefully higher-resolution screens (like the one in Droid) come to the iPhone and bring HD playback and recording with them.
  • Multitasking. Nothing is worse than having to close down a Pandora stream or live MLB game to check your messages. The iPod app can run in the background and its high time that Apple allowed third-party apps to run in the background too.
  • Skins/themes. Goes without saying.
  • Better keyboard with easier access to numbers. The iPhone keyboard is difficult to access numbers on, making entering things like passwords a pain. A better keyboard with wider keys and one-touch numbers would be a welcome addition, especially in the era of stronger passwords.

Update:

  • Wireless syncing of everything over Wi-Fi. The iPhone needs transparent OTA discovery and sync with other Macs in my home and office. And I'm not talking about syncing over the Internet, which Apple offers with its $99 MobileMe subscription. I want my iPhone to sync with my MacBook as soon as it joins my wireless network based on a prescribed set of rules.
  • Full email searching, including the body of the email.

What are your must-have new iPhone features?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones

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75 comments
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  • Most Important

    Finder app and access to the file system. Why can't Quickoffice open email attachments directly (you have to forward the attachment to a Quickoffice account, then open it in Quickoffice)? Why can't I edit hosts without jailbreak? Why can't I organize pictures into folders on my phone?

    Give us file system access without jailbreak.
    txscott
    • iWork for iPhone?

      Is it finally arriving?
      webmaster@...
      • On the 27th?

        My bet is that the tablet will open up a lot of releases. New version of
        iPhone OS X as well as iWork for the iPhone. Maybe a bit more of the iLife
        type features.
        Ken_z
    • Android DOES MORE than your wishlist

      What you didn't ask for

      - Phone that Works --> Android DOES
      Apple Infineon chips don't work with most
      GSM networks.
      Don't blame AT&T for an Iphone issue.
      FYI I'll never do business with AT&T again.
      - Service Choice --> Android DOES
      - Adobe Flash --> Android DOES (Hero/Droid/N1).
      - Folders Links --> Android DOES
      - WIFI/Bluetooth Tether --> Android DOES
      - Better Camera --> Android DOES
      - External Hard Drive --> Android DOES
      - Bluetooth Keyboard/Monitor/Headset --> Android
      DOES 1.5 and above.
      - Multiple Email Accounts --> Android DOES
      - Multiple Desktop Screens --> Android DOES

      Your wishlist:
      - Lock Screen --> Android DOES
      - Customize Home Screen --> Android DOES
      - Vertical Swype --> Android DOES
      - Better app Nav --> Android DOES
      - Unified Email Box --> Android DOES
      - OTA --> Android DOES
      - Google Maps Nav --> Android DOES
      - System Wide Voice Search --> Android DOES
      - System Wide Voice Control --> Android DOES
      - System-wide voice recognition/transcription --
      > Half baked
      - System-wide text-to-speech --> Optional
      - Status bar --> Android DOES
      - Widgets --> Android DOES
      - HD video recording and playback --> Coming
      soon
      - Multitasking --> Android DOES
      - Skins/themes --> Android DOES
      - Better keyboard --> Android DOES. Multiple
      options available, including Swype

      Sounds to me, you want an Android with an Apple
      look and feel. Apple lags what Android
      can do.

      Why buy Apple, when Android DOES.
      Uralbas
      • Here is a suggestion

        All Apple products seem to come with Apple
        stickers. Since the Apple logo seems to be what
        Apple fanatics are all about, they could buy a
        Droid and slap that Apple sticker on it. That way
        they could get a functional phone that has an
        Apple logo on it.
        NonZealot
      • I'm curious as to why you seem to feel...

        that "Apple Infineon chips don't work with most GSM networks."

        I used my iPhone in Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Russia
        and Norway this past summer. While that may not be 'most GSM
        networks,' it's certainly more than just AT&T.
        msalzberg
        • GSM Chip

          Add to that, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.... Android
          DOESN'T
          Masari.Jones
      • All Australian GSM networks work

        And we have at least 3 different networks. I suspect what you mean is that US
        based (& probably Japanese based) carriers set up conforming GSM networks -
        - which has nothing to do with Apple, and everything to do with the networks.
        Don't blame AT&T for investing in a global standard...
        mattmuir
    • You can't do any of those things?

      Wow. Just. Wow.
      NonZealot
      • And yet they just keep on a selling....:P

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • Its a matter of choice

          You want an overprice product with an Apple logo.. have it..and keep on wishing!

          You want something useful with options that fit you and want to keep money in your wallet, the choice is obvious, ANDROID DOES.
          Uralbas
          • You know, buyers confident in their purchases

            don't feel the need to justify themselves.
            frgough
          • Keep on Wishing!

            When you do get it... there will be more to wish
            for!
            Uralbas
          • Nor do they need to ...

            disparage others' purchases.
            msalzberg
          • Bingo! -nt

            nt
            TheBottomLineIsAllThatMatters
          • The common faulty logic used by you and others...

            Is simply this. What I want/need and am willing to pay for applies to
            all. Not it does not. See how easy that can be settled:P

            You seem to be one of those can't see the forest for the features type
            guy. Now I see a lot of people like you on these forums. Features are
            the end all to be all type people. More is better etc.. etc. Me I'm
            different I see features as having a value but I'm more interested in the
            whole rather than the individual parts that make up the whole. For
            instance there are trace elements of iron in your body as are in all
            human beings but when it comes down to it I'm far more interested in
            who you are not what you are made up of. Get it? The value I and
            society puts on you is as a human being not a collection of minerals
            and water.

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
    • Ahhh

      Inquiring minds would like to know...
      adboykin
  • RE: My iPhone wishlist for 2010

    My Hardware wishes:
    1. Make it less slippery. I know Apple loves sleek, but the
    phone slips out of your grasp too easily without a case
    (which makes it less pocket & dock friendly). Use your
    fancy materials capabilities to make something on the
    sides with a little more friction.
    2. Better camera, of course.
    3. Support volume up/down on the headphone cord.
    4. Improved light sensor (maybe a software issue) If it is
    pitch black, set the screen brightness to lowest
    automatically.

    Software wishes:
    1. Full email client. Flag/Unflag, create/modify/delete
    folders on imap, support groups.
    2. WiFi or Bluetooth synching of iTunes data, but let user
    specify if it is just the iTunes part (play count, position in
    song/podcast/audio book) or full file synching. I'd love to
    be able to pause a podcast on the phone walk up to my
    computer and have it know that was the last thing I was
    listening to and be able to hit play and resume it on the
    computer from the paused position, without doing a full
    synch.)
    3. WiFi or bluetooth photo synching.
    4. Just make auto synching an api so any app knows your
    phone is back on the network or in BT range and can
    synch without launching the app on the phone.
    5. Any of the improved lock screen ideas to see more info.
    6. Calendar todos or tasks.
    7. Allow more smart app icons? I don't live in LA, it's not
    always sunny & 73?.
    8. Surprise me with what I didn't know I needed.
    alexwt
  • RE: My iPhone wishlist for 2010

    Nexus One.
    ShadeTree
    • My Nexus One wishlist for 2010

      Sold in Canada.
      NonZealot