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10 ideas Apple could “borrow” from other Mobile OS’s

If imitation is the sincearest form of flattery then it’s time for IOS 6 to start flattering the competition if it wants to keep its lead on the tablet market. the iPhone was the dominant phone for many years and despite huge sales it fell behind Android after 2.2 was released because it failied to flatter.

Looking around at other Mobile Operating systems there are some things IOS 6 could introduce which would improve it’s usability and workflow. This may be important as people start using Tablets over Laptops as the primary device.

As a user of Android and IOS there are a few things i belive IOS could benifit from in the next release however i fear Apple are to patent concernerd to actually implement them in any form.

Mounting as a storage device

While i do understand why IOS opens and uses iTunes as it’s conduit to the desktop and files unless Apple do something to vastly overhaul iTunes then having an IOS device mount as a storage device would seem to be a better idea.

Access to the underlying OS is never going to happen, thats not how Apple view IOS however a single processing folder which can be used to get files onto the device and are processed and put in the right place from that folder is an option.

The Home Screen

While the concept of simplicity is one i do like compared to the potenical clutter which Widgits provide on the Android tablet interface I do belive that the homescreen coul benifit with the ability to put system Widgets onto the desktop.

Apple would need to be very clear on its design guidelines however eo ensure that the widgets fit on the screen properly.

Create a control panel for basic functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and airplane mode

IOS’s need to have me go into settings to turn on and off 3G, bluetooth, dsiplay settings. this needs to be better controlled and quicker.

Android manages this by providing either a widget or a homescreen pull down where these features can be turned on or off really quickly. This is a must for IOS6 and if nothing else on this list is implemented i’d pay for this..

App Management

The App store was the first, but it’s not without its issues I dislike so much the fact that every time i install an App, i’m unceromoniously dumped out of the app store back to the home screen to watch the App install.

This doesn’t need to happen, the Android system of displaying the progress of installs in the notifications window works really well. Also I’m able to launch the first time the app from the notifications page. As apple already has notifications why not let me stay in the App store when things are installing.

This would also improve the migration or reinstall process which without iTunes right now is a pain as i have to keep reopening the app store having been dumped out as each new app installs. very time consuming.

Auto Update apps

While we are at the app store lets talk about auto updates, setting up which apps can auto udate in the background and whioch can’t what to do about licences when they change is something android does very well and i’d like on IOS. If skype has an upgrade, install it.. ou don’t need me to approve it in the app store. Use the notifications to tell me when it’s happening, and when it has finished. i there is a licence change or something i need to read to move forward. Popup a notification window to let me know.

Add in a few options to stop/allow auto updates over 3G or whe battery is below a preset threshold and we are onto a huge time saver

Choose your own Web and Mail Apps

This is a capability available via an app in the Jailbroken version of IOS which should be provided in the normal version. Although there are a huge number of Web browsers better than Safari on the device some innovating some faster none of them matter as touching a link in any other app opens Safari.

The same for Mail, i’d like to choose the Web Browser and Mail app i use, and not have to Jailbreak to do it.

Multitasking

When IOS introduced multi taksing in IOS4 it was a big move and well recived, moving forward a few tweaks to the system would be appreciated. The process of finding an app when you have many open has been implemented well on Android ICS and rather than having to scroll through a long list of apps under the home bar on IOS the user is presented with a mesh display of open apps in a popup notification style.

The system to do this on IOS would seem to already be there as the notifications system again provides a popup box solution..

Switching between open apps with an Alt Tab popup solution would also make things a little smoother, maybe replacing alt tab with a 4 finger left or right gesture? Have the icons appear centre screen and move between apps.

Integration with services like Evernote, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Along with a revam of multi tasking there is a feature of Android which changes everything.

Currently in IOS it is up to the creator of the application to provide the links out to other apps such as Facebook, Mail, Twitter etc.

Android takes a different, and i’d suggest better spin on this where each app that is installed has the option to add itself to a pool of apps supplied by the system when other apps wish to communicate away from themselves.

As an example, i’m in QuickPic an image viewer and choose share, i get a list of applications i can share that picture to. This list comes from an underlying database of apps i’ve already installed.

IOS could benifit from this and it would fit nicely into the whole sandboxing scheme as well as IOS can control how the app bridging occurs (safely)

Social network integrating

The control freaks that Apple are right now we have tied in integration with Twitter.. This needs to improve and with access (possibly using the last suggestion) to more social networks.. This time has come. If widgets on the desktop become an option a default widget much like Windows mobiles realtime social updates could be an ption.

and finally…

Stop with the skeuomorphic design

The idea that a notepad whould look like a notepad, a postit a postit, a calendar needs threaded needlework down the side. Apple is famousfor its design guidelines yet seems to have dropped the ball with all this skeuomorphic stuff on IOS. Android’s ICS however looks the business. Apple are never going to allow themes however they can get a consistant polished finish in the same way the Aqua/chrome theme did with OSX…

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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