Now that the gifts have been unwrapped, family has gone home and the decorations are starting to come down, we've reached the last milestone of the year -- New Year's resolutions. We're obviously working on our own here at the TUAW offices -- less fast food and more veggies, guys -- but what about Apple? If we could build a magic wish list of what we want Apple to consider in the new year, what would be on it?
We've asked a few of the TUAW staff to hash out what New Year's Resolutions they wish Apple would make for 2014. Here's what we decided on.
In 2014, I'd like to see Apple to stop censoring comic books in ways that confuse the marketplace. Multiple times in the last year, comic books have been outright banned and banned and then unbanned in the Comixology app because of Apple's often arbitrary stances on what content it will sell. Look, there are certainly pornographic comic books and companies have a right to ban whatever they want. But nothing in the comic books in question matched scenes from movies like American Pie, where a man is tricked into drinking beer laced with bodily fluids, and Apple happily sells that movie every day. Apps have content restrictions for young users, and these choices should be left up to parents, not billion dollar tech companies, to make.
The companies that publish these books sell them out in the open on newsstands and comic book racks every single day. If Apple wants to punish their adult customers by blocking books that have content that amounts to nothing more than an R rating, they should explain why so publishers aren't blindsided the week a book comes out. Especially if, in some cases, Apple has banned a book from an app like Comixology while still selling it in their own bookstore.
Michael T. Rose:
I would love a more transparent battery usage metric for the iPhone... can't quite fathom that I'm the only living boy in New York who can't get through the first six hours of my day without turning on the Mophie.
Victor Agreda Jr:
1. This should be the year of rock-solid releases. Kill all the bugs.
2. Let's make the M key on the iPhone keyboard a wee bit bigger, shall we? I'm tired of telling people by autocorrect that I will "eat" them later.
1. Apple should make a New Year's resolution to use its own HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) from now on, instead of changing things willy nilly without regards for the users.
2. It should resolve to do better beta testing on its OS releases!
In 2014, I really hope Apple finally adds transit directions to its built-in Maps app. Apple Maps have steadily improved since first being released, but the lack of built-in transit directions remains a glaring black spot on the app. Apple has made a number of interesting mapping acquisitions recently so hopefully iOS 8 will have some nice Mapping additions.
I'd love it if Apple stopped treating New Zealand like a third-world country in terms of the services it offers here. There are still no local services accessible via Siri -- not even Maps -- and the nearest Apple Store is across the Tasman Sea in Sydney. NZ is almost always left out of the first-round launch schedule for new products, even though Australia always gets them. Getting products serviced here is a huge pain in the ass, especially iPhones. And the 10 to 15 percent markup on products sold here, even after accounting for sales tax, is simply inexcusable.
Apple's attitude toward NZ makes it really difficult to be a fan of the company or its products when you live in this country. I'm not at all surprised at how many people here have a poor disposition toward Apple.
I'd like Apple to resolve to not release either an "iWatch" or some ridiculously large-screened internet TV device, just to make even more Wall Street analysts look like fools. Also, I'd love to see Apple and the other major shareholders stick it to Carl Icahn's plans to distribute (drain) the vast cash holdings of the company to make Mr. Icahn even more wealthy. And finally, I'd like to see the company resolve to make NFC a thing of the past through some wild mashup of iBeacons and Passbook.