Yet another wish list for the most important event of the year for Apple and for us.
iOS Software — The iPad Problems
Yes I wish for a more stable iOS. Yes I wish for a better shift key design (duh!). But I do have a more profound wish: after five years of iPad, time has come for Apple to push the iPad to the next level (someone else has the same wishes it seems). Apple said many times that Android tablets were running unoptimized apps. We could argue the same about iOS apps on the iPad which tend to look like a scaled up version of iOS apps from the iPhone. If Apple wants to make the iPad a laptop replacement, consider these areas in need of some attention: screen space usage, documents management, multi users support and multitasking users support.
Screen estate usage on the iPad sucks. For example, take home screen folders. I’m ok with one level deep folders but please increase their content size to more than nine apps. There is no need for their design to be the same across all devices. Easy to fix.
Next, make better use of the screen size. Notifications in all usage contexts could use more space on the screen. The Notification Center in landscape mode waste too much space. Top screen notifications in landscape mode also waste too much space. iOS 8 introduced expandable notifications which is great. But just look at expanding an email notification while the iPad is in landscape: the text is all cramped in the middle of the screen. Why is that? Is this great design? I wonder if this choice of presentation is not dictated by other considerations.
Next, the lack of an iCloud Drive app on iOS is just unexplainable. There is such app on OS X and it is called the Finder. There is such app on icloud.com. But on the iPad, there is none. Why is that? Oh, finally, is it too much to ask for a way to attach documents to an email? Thank you. This one is easy to fix and I wish Apple respond to that in some way this week with iOS 9 preview.
Next, multi users support. I know Apple would like to sell an iPad to all individuals. But the reality is different. Many use cases would benefit from multi users support on the iPad. The family iPad is a prime example of that. I don’t know how iOS could be modified to support switching between two users though as installed apps are tied to Apple IDs that got them. Find a way and enlighten us.
Finally, and not the least, running more than one application at a time would improve the value of the tablet compared to traditional computers. We need a way to run two apps at once. I tried a few implementation ideas myself and find it hard to come up with a complete solution (look here and here). I’ll let Apple’s designers to come up with something brilliant.
Apple Watch-More to come
The last wish I have is the watchOS SDK. Frankly, WatchKit apps are the web apps of the iPhone OS 1.0. In a previous post here on Medium, I exposed many of my observations gathered while using my Apple Watch. The main theme is how slow apps or Glances can be. My hope is that apps built with an SDK will improve the experience while the watchOS itself will mature.
It seems Watch OS will be called watchOS.
iOS Hardware — See you next time
Like many people, I do want a refresh of the Apple TV. But it seems the new Apple TV is not ready for prime time. What if the problem was the software? I wish more about an Apple TV SDK because this is where the action will be in the future. Remember when Steve Jobs said an SDK for the Apple TV will come in due time? I can’t wait to see what developers will come up with the soon to be announced TVKit or AppleTV SDK or whatever it is called. This means new opportunities for developers, and more possibilities for users like me which translate into a more powerful Apple ecosystem. That being said, developers could be in the same situation they were in with the Apple Watch: built WatchKit apps without being able to test it on the actual hardware. We’ll see.
Mac Hardware — Nothing to see here
I don’t expect much for the Mac hardware. MacBook and iMac were recently updated and I lost hope in Apple to make the Mac mini enticing again. I don’t wish anything for the Mac Pro as I’m not the target consumer for this beast.
This is it. Now turning my attention to Apple.
Oh, I almost forgot: Apple Music (cool if available in Canada). iTunes Radio (cool if available in Canada). Apple Pay in Canada (One can dream. Later this year I guess.)