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Apple iPhone 4S

We've been expecting the next major iOS upgrade, predicting new features that may come and anticipating updates or redesigns of existing ones. Many expected the software upgrade, iOS 6, would be debuted at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2012, which kicks off tomorrow afternoon (morning for you west coasters). And the enormous iOS 6 banners that we're photographed on Friday evening all but confirm that iOS 6 will be unveiled at the conference.

What remains to be seen, however, are the actual changes the OS update will bring. Will Apple play this one conservatively like in past versions? Does it have a few tricks up its sleeve?

Whatever the case, there are things we all are hoping for, things we've been longing for since iOS version 1.0 or since last year's update. Some are, of course, more far-fetched than others. But no less, they're worth sharing. Here are the major changes I'm hoping for in this year's iOS update:

 

Interface refresh

Since the very first version of iOS, very little has changed in terms of the interface. And more than once now, I have stated how iOS needs a face-lift. The overall look and feel of the OS is a bit drab and dated. The Settings app and standard app headers are beginning to look more and more like Windows 98 framework each and every day. And the home screen is still just a big grid of applications and folders.

There have been some rumors spreading of an updated color scheme to iOS 6, but I'm begging that Apple does more than just change the colors up. The operating system performs and works well – nearly flawlessly. But it's time Apple brings iOS out of 1998 and into the 21st century.

Oh, and please let the skeuomorphism die in iOS 6. It's neither cute nor useful.

 

Better notification system

In response to the massive amounts of negative feedback, in iOS 5, Apple introduced a new and updated notification system. It replaced the obtrusive pop-up notification – that would always interrupt whatever your were doing when you received a new text message or other type of notification – with an updated one that resides at the top of the display. Also, instead of relying on badge notifications on icons, all unattended notifications are collected and displayed in Notification Center, an Android-like pull-down notification shade.

Notification Center was a noble attempt at better notifications for iOS. But the system as a whole feels like a half-hearted attempt. Without pulling Notification Center, there's no way to tell how many notifications are hidden in the shade. And there is nothing begging for users to pull Notification Center down. And the pop-up banner notifications still get in the way and are a pain to dismiss.

I would like to see at least the number of total unattended notifications displayed in the status bar. And I would like to see an easier way to dismiss banner notifications (or see them shift the entire interface down) rather than uncontrollably commandeering the top quarter-inch of my display. 

 

More functionality to Safari

Back in February, Google released Chrome for Android, which implemented some awesome features in a mobile browser. And even the stock Ice Cream Sandwich browser came with features like Chrome bookmark sync.

At the risk of everyone throwing a red flag on Apple copying Google, this is where Apple could definitely take a few pointers from El Goog. I would like to see similar options in Safari for iOS. In fact, I would like to see a more robust browsing experience all around. For instance, it could use tab sync across iDevices and Macs, fullscreen mode, more sharing options, desktop site request, the ability to search a page for specific words or phrases, etc. 

I don't really use Safari on my MacBook or iCloud. But I might have a reason to if Apple were to implement a tab sync option … or something to that effect.

 

More sharing options

While I mentioned "more sharing options" above for Safari enhancements, it deserves a section of its own. One of the bigger rumored features for iOS 6 is Facebook integration. Don't get me wrong, that would be great. But I can think of at least 10 other services that I would rather see integrated over Facebook. 

As I explained not long ago, the answer to this is Apple opening up sharing APIs instead of integrating a specific service throughout the operating system. However, this would require to put some power and control over the OS itself in the hands of third-party developers.

All I want is the ability to share Web pages, pictures and any other type of media from one app to any other application or service without having to incessantly switch back and forth between applications. Android can, why can't iOS?

 

Turn-by-turn navigation

Another major feature that has been rumored for iOS 6 is an updated Maps experience. They are believed to be replacing Google Maps with their own set of 3D maps. What features these new maps will include is unknown. But I know what single feature I could seriously use on iOS: built-in, free turn-by-turn navigation.

This is one of the major reasons I always carry an active Android device. I can get turn-by-turn directions, completely free of charge, on Android. On iOS, I can get directions, but they are not spoken and it's a pain trying to use them to navigate an unfamiliar location and drive at the same time.

Come on, Apple. Fix this!

 

Mission Control for iOS, better multitasking for iPhone

On my MacBook, one of the features I use more than I ever imagined I would is Mission Control. It's a page that I have setup with various widgets, like a calculator, dictionary/thesaurus, clock, calendar, notepad and weather. It can be accessed from any of my desktops, simply by dragging the mouse to the lower left corner.

I would like to see something like this in iOS 6. For example, long-pressing the home button could pull up a page with an iMessage widget, weather, Facebook or virtually any other info-packed widget.

Likewise, I would like to see a better task switcher method for the iPhone. The current method of double-tapping the home button certainly works. But clearing out all recent apps and switching back and forth between various apps can become tiresome. That said, I really enjoy the gesture-based task switching on the iPad. If Apple could implement three- or four-finger gestures on the iPhone for task switching, it would be fantastic.

 

These are just a few of the things I would like to see tomorrow. I'm almost positive most of them aren't going to happen. Hey, a man can dream, right? Anyway, I'm interested in hearing what you guys and gals are looking for from the iOS 6 announcement. Sound off below and tell us what changes you want to see in iOS 6.


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50 Reactions to this post

"What do you want to see in iOS 6?"


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Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz More icons? Maybe?
Chuck Joseph Plante Jr.
Chuck Joseph Plante Jr. android os would be nice
Jasper Johnson
Jasper Johnson Siri for iPhone 3GS and 4!
Angela Tucker Clark
Angela Tucker Clark Time stamp on each text. There have been times when I needed to know exact time one arrived & apple only gives time every few minutes or so with several grouped together.
Gerald Mccrae
Gerald Mccrae To be able to lock messages and better notification for email I hate that they group them all together and you can't be notified separately for each email account and with a separate alert for each account
Reese Woodson
Reese Woodson I want to see Siri on the all versions of the 3rd gen iPad and for apple to get rid of that boring grid layout from "07".
Alex Martinez
Alex Martinez Something that works wit every iphone so we dont have to wait 2 years to upgrade
Stephen Wagner
Stephen Wagner For it to not exist to make isheep cry
Joe Keener
Joe Keener i dont understand how people buy the same phone every year, id be bored with an iphone myself, theres so many choices for android it isnt funny
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz the same bored os
Brittany Storey
Brittany Storey When is it suppose to come out??
Eugene Yap
Eugene Yap Android is 100% chance of wining iOS and Windows
Eugene Yap
Eugene Yap Numeric Apple these days
Irvin Zamora
Irvin Zamora Don't complain about Android people bashing on iOS, you Apple fanboys do it just as much on Android posts... It's ridiculous.
Yousif Sobhi
Yousif Sobhi No more just icons.. >_> isheep ppl need a new fresh UI. I don't care about IOS Tho cuz i just got my Precious galaxy s3
Steve C Trevino
Steve C Trevino Let me guess the are going to have revolutionary widgets... Lol
Daniel Timmons
Daniel Timmons The only reason I jailbreak is for sbsettings' so if iOS 6 has something like that I'm good
Chai Lee
Chai Lee A custom UI.
Ricardo OBrien
Ricardo OBrien Multi task that iphone like windows! LoL.
Jorell Rutledge
Jorell Rutledge A new UI.
Joshua K. Bane
Joshua K. Bane It's restarted to come on a post that is Apple related and smear Android all over it. Go on the Android posts and do that. Otherwise answer the question with productive statements. Personally I appreciate both platforms, I use iPhone 4S, but I don't go on Android posts and smear Apple all over it.
Ramon Rivera
Ramon Rivera Battery life!!!!!
Joshua K. Bane
Joshua K. Bane Navigation.
Seth Haber
Seth Haber 3 way FaceTime
Mian MOhid
Mian MOhid In excited for the me iOS :)
Daniel Mosley
Daniel Mosley As long as it doesn't run as crappy as Android any change will be a welcome one
Daniel Mosley
Daniel Mosley Maybe a more gesture oriented interface
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis I heard a hologram of Steve jobs will be announcing the new iPhone..
Daniel Mosley
Daniel Mosley Voice navigation
Prabhath Jay
Prabhath Jay support for 3GSs
Paul Alexandru
Paul Alexandru Available for iPhone 4S
Eric J. Powers
Eric J. Powers Iphones's are boring and restrictive.....say no to apple!!
Jacob Ryan Fortner
Jacob Ryan Fortner A whole new interface.. Oh wait, they don't know how to make one..
Justin Faris
Justin Faris Widgets
Kevin Stewart
Kevin Stewart Siri on iPad
Andy Christian
Andy Christian Something from Apple that doesn't start with a lower case "i".
Kevin Stewart
Kevin Stewart New lock screen
Kay Yon
Kay Yon I wanna see a new change in their damn OS. No more 4x4 crap.
Keith Win
Keith Win droid
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis I wanna see siri fetch my beer from the fridge..
Daniel Modell
Daniel Modell Siri should know what "check in" means
Tom Lee
Tom Lee Proximity services ala Windows 8.
Eldon Ong
Eldon Ong ice sandwich in it
Jim Messerfish
Jim Messerfish Haha, because it's crApple, am I rite guys? LOLWTFBBQ.
Dilshan Karunarathne
Dilshan Karunarathne iphone new look and new app interface!
Kevin Stewart
Kevin Stewart Change the color of the notification center
Krahulec Petr
Krahulec Petr side-loading of apps (without losing warranty/jailbreak)
Aviv Fadlon
Aviv Fadlon iPhone running Android
Dennis Kelfkens
Dennis Kelfkens android
Muhammad Jafrill Bin Karim
Muhammad Jafrill Bin Karim nothing




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