Apple WWDC 2012 – iOS 6 wish list
iOS 6 looks set to have a smattering of new tricks up its sleeve including a Google-free 3D Maps app, iTunes Facebook integration and FaceTime over 3G. We decided to whip up our own personal wish list of features that we'd like to see Tim Cook reveal at WWDC later on this evening.
iOS 6 – Smarter lockscreen
Sure you can already access the camera without unlocking your iPhone and see a few unread notifications, but we'd like to see even more useful information displayed on the screen without having to slide to unlock. HTC's Sense 4.0 (above) can show emails, messages and social network updates in a visual stream of moving tiles, letting you get up to speed at a quick glance without having to unlock the phone. Having access to the notification bar would also save a precious few seconds and provide a more fluid experience.
iOS 6 – Mass storage mode
The chances of Apple allowing the iPhone to be used as a USB mass storage device are slim to none due to hacking concerns, but we'd still like to have the option to transfer more than just photos or videos between our PC and iPhone. It's a basic feature that's been around for years, and will come in very handy for occasions when you find yourself desperately in need of a USB stick.
While we're at it, adding some semblance of a file browser for easier organisation of downloaded files would be a welcome addition too, as long as it doesn't follow in the unorganised chaos of the current Android file system alternative.
iOS 6 – Siri location search outside the US
For all its clever tricks, Appleites outside of the US still haven't been able to use Siri to its full potential due to the lack of a local search feature. It's about high time International iPhone users got in on the location-based action, and we're sure iPad users would like to see Siri make its way onto their iTablets too.
iOS 6 – Smarter notifications
Apple's Android-like drop-down notifications were a step in the right direction, but we'd like to see a few simple improvements. For starters, the ability to dismiss all notifications with a single button or gesture will be a godsend for popular gadgeteers, who currently have to delete notifications one at a time.
A pop-up message box which lets you read and reply to texts and emails from within open apps would also provide a more fluid experience, shaving off precious seconds without having to leave your current app. This is already possible with third-party SMS applications like Go SMS on Android, so it's certainly possible.
iOS 6 – Live widgets
Whether you love them or hate them, there's no denying that widgets (when used properly) can add something useful to your smartphone experience. Windows Mobile 7.5 Mango is a prime example of this, with its large live tiles which display useful information at a glance.
If Apple doesn't want to crowd its minimalistic homescreen with different-sized moving icons then it could always implement an OS X Dashboard-like screen with different widgets which can be accessed at any time by a three-finger swipe from within any app.