My top 5 iOS 5 Wish-list

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Update: Looks like we got #1, #3 and #4, possibly parts of #2 (details weren’t provided). Not sure about #5.  Look forward to more details.

It seems that Steve Jobs will unveil, amongst other things, the newest version of the iPhone/iPad operating system today, iOS 5.  While he may or may not unveil  new iPhone hardware, software could be pretty exciting itself.  Here’s some of my biggest wishes:

1. Improved alerts/notifications

I think that mobile alerts could become one of the most important parts of the mobile ecosystem, with the power of e-mail and SMS combined. Alerts on an iPhone are pretty primitive, they are delayed and they don’t get archived, so if you have multiple alerts queued up, it’s hard to navigate/remember what they were. Even alerts that one has new updates to install don’t work properly.  Most of the time, it doesn’t show that one has new updates until one clicks on the App Store icon. The alerts system on Android and WebOS are both superior, I assume Apple will catch up here.

2. Improved Maps Application

It’s a shame that Apple’s issues with Google have handicapped perhaps the most useful app on the iPhone.  Google Maps on Android has far surpassed the iPhone’s Maps app. It seems, per Erik Schmidt recently, that Apple and Google have renewed their relationship here, so hopefully we can expect some improvements here.  My top requests?

  • Turn by Turn directions
  • Offline option (why not let us download one city of offline maps so as to avoid problems with network congestion (and subway)?

3. Improved E-mail Application

The other most important app on the phone could use a refresh. I would ideally like Apple to allow a GMAIL native client here, but don’t see that happening. In lieu of that, it would be great if Apple could learn from what BlackBerry did to revolutionize mobile e-mail. Better shortcuts like “mark all as read”, better search (any real search would be helpful), and a way to activate push notifications without killing one’s battery life would be great.

4. Synch over the air

This is one that is widely expected in some form, given the iCloud announcement. But fundamentally, the fact that we still have to connect our iPhones and iPads to our computers for any reason seems silly in the “post-PC era”. Even if this was just available over wifi, it would be a start.  This would be a huge step though.

5. Background processing for loading data

What do I mean by this? Right now, the only apps/processes that can run in the background are music and location-based processes. I would love it if news/RSS/instapaper could be updated in the background, without necessitating me opening the app completely.

These are my top 5, but some of my others include:

  • Adding profiles to the iPad OS so multiple family members can use without confusion.
  • Fixing underlying issues to improve call/network quality and battery life.
  • Improving the App Store and app discoverability.

What do you think? Will these happen? Other wishes?

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