WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

Summary: Apple needs to address some serious holes the iPhone platform if it's going to remain competitive with the advancements in Android. Here's my recipe.

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It's pretty obvious that Apple will finally take the wraps off iPhone OS 4 and the fourth-generation iPhone handset at WWDC10 tomorrow in San Francisco so I wanted to share with you the scorecard that I'll be using to judge its performance.

Apple needs to address some serious holes the iPhone platform if it's going to remain competitive with the advancements that are being made in Android and with the onslaught of smartphones that run it.

1. Multithreaded third-party apps. We know that Pandora will run in the background in OS4 but what about Skype and TomTom? Will limited multithreaded apps appeal to most? probably, but power user may be disappointed.

2. Over-The-Air (OTA). This is a big one and perhaps one of my biggest complaints about iPhone OS. The iPhone has four radios (GSM, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth) yet you have to plug it in with and expensive, proprietary cable if you want to sync anything from your Mac -- unless you want to pay $100 per year for MobileMe. This is insane and Apple needs to deliver on OTA everything (including OS updates) or be relegated to becoming the Betamax of mobile technology. No more "Connect to iTunes."

3. Voice Input. I want voice input everywhere there's a text entry field, just like in Android. I want the option to speak to search, text, tweet, email, whatever. And I don't want to use 12 different third party applications to do it. It's a safety issue too, speaking is safer than typing because you don't have to look at the screen to do it.

4. Free navigation. It's time for Apple to bury the hatchet with Google and license its Google Maps Navigation technology. I don't want to have to pay extra for navigation on the iPhone, it's free on Android. Apple's crippled Maps application is an embarrasment compared to Maps on Android.

5. Google apps. Apple should also bury the hatchet with Google so that we can get free app goodness like Google Voice, Translate, Goggles, Shopper and Skymap. Seriously now, if Apple allows Skype why don't they allow Google Voice?

6. Widgets. Give us the option to put more stuff on the iPhone desktop. Folders, while desperately needed, aren't enough. And a bubble on an icon with the number of unread alerts doesn't count. I want full blown widgets for news, stocks, weather, twitter, whatever. And then kill Dashboard on OS X and add real (persistent) widgets there too.

7. Menubar/Statuses/Alerts. Android's menubar is more Apple-like than Apple's. How did that happen? Apple needs to update the iPhone menubar so that it works more like Mac OS X. Put alerts up there and make it accessible to users - like Android.

8. Hotspot. Tethering isn't enough. And as I said in #2 above, cables are so 1999. Apple pioneered with the first Airport base station, then pretty much ceded the market to Linksys and DLink. How about resuscitating the "Airport" brand for a mobile hotspot app that leapfrogs the likes of PalmOS and Android?

9. Video Calls. By all accounts, the new iPhone will have a front-facing camera. Apple needs to release seamless, high-quality video calls and chats. Give us iChat on the iPhone, make it dead simple and high quality. I've seen the competition and there's a huge opportunity for Apple to do it right.

I'm not deluded into thinking that Apple will ever add Flash support or a removable battery or memory card slot to the iPhone, so they don't even make the list. Apple's seems perfectly willing to leave that to the competition, but everything else is doable in software.

This is the checklist that I'll be using to judge tomorrow's keynote address. What about you?

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

    Interesting checklist, although I feel that you're really waiting for a clone of Android instead of an iPhone OS. (Nearly every point you finish with a "like on Android" ^^) There are some gut points, but in my point of view, the strength of Apple is not to "do the same as the others" but try to innovate (of course, some feathures will/must be the same). We'll see tonight :)
    Alésio
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @Al?sio

      Agreed!

      Sounds like Jason would be perfectly happy if he installed Google's Android on his iPhone. Meanwhile, the rest of us can be happy with Apple's OS.
      Steve Webb
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        @Steve Webb <br><br>Actually no, I wouldn't be happy if Apple just copied all the features of the Android OS, because that would bring it up to status quo. Apple needs to innovate and move ahead of Android if it wants to be a market leader.<br><br>I still find it surprising to hear Apple apologists defend Apple at every turn.<br><br>It's 2010 and you still need a *cable* (an expensive, proprietary one at that) to sync your contacts and music? F'real? What happens when you forget your cable on a trip?<br><br>The future, my friend, is wireless and it happened about 10 years ago.<br><br>- Jason
        Jason D. O'Grady
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        @Steve Webb

        @Steve Webb

        Whether you like it or not, Android's set the standard for the latest mobile computing technology and the iphones have fallen massively behind by today's user needs/wants. Android has always been a big competitor of apple for the past 3-5 years and the last year, they've made MAJOR advancements for customization and capabilities, iphones, simply havent. Iphone users who see all that my Incredible can do totally feel pathetic that theirs cant do half of the stuff the Incredible can. Especially when it comes to OTA updates.....
        mclairmont
      • LOL @ ZDNet Bloggers Who Think $2 Is Expensive...

        http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?spcDB=10831&spcWord=iPod%2FiPhone+Accessories&keyword=ipod%20cable
        WarhavenSC
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      "Apple is not to "do the same as the others" so if apple went on and try to build a car they wouldn't use round wheels? ... I have an iphone ,it's ok does it's job, however it's not as ammusing as all the iphone/apple fanatics say it is ... not even close. One thing that ticks me off is the inability to customize the way it looks(unless I jailbrake it, which I won't), for example if I'd like to have 4 apps on one page placed vertically leaving the right side blank that would be great, however the great iphone can't do that, I guess it must be an 'iphone OS' way of doing things. Now I know that the new OS 4 will allow you to change your background, ... wow .... it took apple how many years to add that feature ... ? I know that every point is finished "like an Android" but it appears that all the new features that come with the new OS will allow users to do what android already does .... hmm..... interesting
      @Al?sio
      tt90
  • I need jailbreaking sofware.

    All i need is a software to jailbreak and unlock my i phone 3Gs, am tired of waiting.
    maxviewtell
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @maxviewtell Seriously? This has been out for quite some time - it's called spirit. No this doesn't only work with old bootroms or non-MC models or whatever, it works very easily.

      http://www.redmondpie.com/jailbreak-iphone-3gs-3.1.3-untethered-with-spirit-9140719/
      akmjenkins
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        @akmjenkins http://spiritjb.com/
        WarhavenSC
  • Hotspot

    #8 Hotspot: Android 2.2 can already do this.
    zaphod778
    • Hotspot

      You can already use your iPhone 3G or 3GS as a WiFi hotspot. Just jailbreak it and install MyWi ... you can then use the same data plan that you've already got for your iPhone with your iPad too ...
      perronne
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        @perronne

        The point is you have to jailbreak it before you even can TRY to get this feature....Android allows it to be built in, without having to violate your warrenty
        mclairmont
  • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

    "Free navigation. It?s time for Apple to bury the hatchet with Google and license its Google Maps Navigation technology."

    Are you sure Google isn't withholding full navigation so as to polish it's Android OS?
    pk de cville
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @pk de cville

      Actually, I'm sure that Google is probably witholding technology from Apple after jobs made that "b.s." remark about Google. But that's exactly what I'm talking about, Apple needs to work with Google for the benefit of its customers. Fighting with Google only hurts Apple customers because we end up with inferior products (i.e. Maps) or only "Web apps" (i.e. Google Voice) because of their childish feud.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        @Jason D. O'Grady

        Please, Apple needs to mend fences with Google? Did Apple sit on Google's board, get to look at the product roadmap for the next umpteen years then decide, yknow what, I'm gonna compete against Google to grow my Company. Funny how short memories get when people have agendas. Great job buddy.
        mrgoodall
      • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

        Wow, complaining about Apple apologists and yet you fail to mention the whole reason the spat started.
        nix_hed
  • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

    > It?s a safety issue too, speaking is safer than typing
    > because you don?t have to look at the screen to do it.

    Since when was looking at the screen unsafe?!! I can only imagine this would be true if you were driving - but that would be illegal (and stupid!) whether or not you're using voice input.
    nmg196
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @nmg196
      1) Laws vary on that from country to country.
      2) Yes it is "stupid" - but be realistic - people break laws and are not always doing the "clever" thing - better they do the least dangerous thing then.
      3) It is also a matter of accessibility - e.g. for disabled people and dyslexia people. I know a young dyslexia girl, and you should have seen her eyes shine when I told her about Google's voice input.
      Sverix
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @nmg196

      It's funny that you assume that I meant looking at the screen while driving. Looking at the screen is dangerous while you're *walking* too (which almost everyone does).

      Did you read about the Staten Island teenager that fell into a manhole while texting?

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/07/11/2009-07-11_shes_texting_but_then_she_just_drops_in.html

      My point is that voice commands are more convenient *and* safer.

      Should we presume from your comment that Apple shouldn't implement voice commands because it might be used while driving? I think that an adult should be able to make their own decisions.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
    • RE: WWDC10: My iPhone OS 4 checklist

      @nmg196
      If you own a GPS unit - you are looking at a "screen"

      I would love voice input when I use my iPhone as a GPS unit.
      Also why I own a Garmin....
      rhonin