Apple's campus is a surreal place to be. You're surrounded by a loop of buildings where some of the most advanced technological innovation is going on behind closed doors. That excitement aside, another great thing about being on campus was being able to dine at Café Mac. Café Mac is Apple's cafeteria/restaurant for employees. It's some of the best food you'll ever eat and the café rivals whatever Google has. But I loved Café Mac for more than the food. It is a place where you can meet and mingle with people from all different departments, be that legal, marketing, IS&T, software, or hardware.
Now before I go any further, let me state right now that every single Apple employee I've ever met takes their NDAs very seriously and no employee has ever revealed insider knowledge or let any secrets slip (to me anyway). I've remained iChat friends with a bunch of Apple employees I've met from some very cool departments on various trips to campus. I can tell you, though Apple would never admit to being influenced by sites like Engadget or TUAW, individuals at Apple do read those sites and do take into consideration what they read on them.
Now, here's where you come in: I know there's been a ton of excitement about the impending Apple iSlate, but let's not forget that, if past years are any indication, the iPhone OS 4.0 will be previewed sometime this Spring with a probable Summer release. I'm sure you all have your hopes and dreams what you want the next iPhone and iPhone OS to include, so here's your chance to get your voices heard – hopefully by many of the people on Apple's campus too.
I'm writing a series of features about what people want in the next iPhone and I need you to send me emails detailing what you would like to see in it. I'll have one iPhone article a week for the next month. Each article will deal with a specific wished-for area of the iPhone: next week's article will deal with the iPhone OS as a whole (settings, home screen, search, general behavior, etc.). Week two's article will cover iPhone hardware, while week three and four will cover the iPhone's built-in apps like Mail, Maps, Calendar, etc.
Until Friday, January 8, I'll be collecting your wishes and ideas for the next "general" iPhone OS. You have until then to email me your feedback, wants, mock-ups, and concept drawings. Don't be afraid to link to concepts you've seen at other places on the web either. And don't be afraid to borrow features from the Palm Os or Android, too. If they have something you like there's no reason Apple can't learn from them, so by all means include it if you think it would make the iPhone better. I'll present everything you guys tell me in an article and hopefully the boys in Cupertino will take notice.
Only feedback sent to tuawiphone [at] me dot com will be considered, but please feel free to lash out your thoughts in the comments too. Also, please only send me your "general OS" wish-lists now, or things could get lost in my mail box if you send your hardware wishes for articles down the line, etc. And, judging from the amount of email I'll get, it would be a great help if you could put your ideas in list form with a description for each if necessary.