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iPhone OS 3.0: Dreams really could come true

Aron Trimble

In case you haven't checked iCal lately, the iPhone OS event is only hours away! What that means (aside from all of the tubes being clogged with rumors on what the new OS version will feature) is that it's time for another TUAW wishlist! Please know that while these are all going to be the best guesses on the whole wide web, they are still in fact just that, guesses.

Many of the staff are visiting SXSW and having the grandest of times; the rest of us are working from our satellite office (on the moon, actually). However, we thought it would be a great disservice to not begin the discussion on what you will definitely probably hopefully see in Apple's latest release of the iPhone OS.

Now, sit back and let the reality distortion field wash over you as we wax philosophically about today's press event. Don't forget to come back at 1pm ET/10am PT for our live chat during the preview session.

Aron Trimble

I think it would be remiss for Apple to not even address Push notifications. Now that MobileMe is up, and running stably for the most part, it is a logical progression to extend the Push functionality to the rest of the API.

My top, most-requested update would be to the Springboard. While I am bored of looking at the same thing for over 2 years, I realize that it's tough to mess with a good thing. Even if the overall appearance stays the same, something really must be done about the difficulty of managing more than two pages of applications.

Copy and paste functionality would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath; honestly, I'd rather have a landscape keyboard available in every application. I think Notes-syncing would be pretty easy and pretty likely as well. In my humble opinion, however, I think that multi-tasking is a pipe dream, at least on the current hardware. I'll be glad to eat crow on this one, but I just don't think it's in the cards.

My final dream would be an update to the lock screen. It would be really useful if I could pull my iPhone out of my pocket and glance at the weather or any upcoming calendar appointments. As it is now it takes a swipe and several screen taps (I have a PIN set up) to get to "quick" information. Being that no one is talking about this, it is either incredibly unlikely, or a definite new feature.

Steve Sande

My wishlist? I want my iPhone 3G with 3.0 firmware to magically allow Bluetooth tethering so I can dump my $60 monthly Sprint data service fee. I'd love to see cut and paste, but even more I'd like to be able to use my Apple Wireless Keyboard to type into iPhone apps like the upcoming DocumentsToGo from DataViz. I'd also like to see voice dialing and the ability to capture video.

Which of these will actually come true? All of them! And I'm also getting a free pet unicorn from the economic stimulus bill!

Cory Bohon

My wishlist is not really a wishlist at all, it's a few demands that I have been wanting since purchasing an iPhone on launch day. First off, I want tethering for my MacBook Pro. Sure, I have NetShare, but I want something that will let me tether without the likelihood of having my service turned off for violating the agreement. Secondly, I want copy and paste. Pretty much every "smart phone" out there has some type of copy/paste ability ... c'mon Apple, give iPhone users some copy/paste love too!

Lastly, the iPhone needs some type of app launcher that will allow you to have many more applications than home screens can hold, and the ability to hide unused apps from the homescreen. Oh yeah, and I would love the ability to search through my apps, similar to the way you can search through contacts. That's just about it [/me ends rant now].

Michael Rose

Given the longstanding hunger for copy & paste, and adding in the Kevin Rose rumor (no relation!), I'd say that's a lock -- check out Adam 'lonelysandwich' Lisagor's video for a sample UI approach that might be close to the real thing. As the guys above have noted, a Springboard update that includes folders or another metaphor for app organization is both likely and necessary; I need a way to keep the 'fun' apps and the useful apps in buckets so I can navigate to them more quickly than with seven swipes to the left. I'd also like to see an option to have the home-button doubletap trigger an application quick switcher such as the Blackberry offers... of course, if one had IM or Twitter applications running in the background, so much the better.

From the enterprise user standpoint, the lack of searchable email and the inability to send meeting invitations are both contributing to my slow slide into madness. Dropping out to the Gmail web client just to track down where that key bit of information might be among thousands of messages is not gettin' it done. Even a sort-by-sender or by subject would improve matters quite a bit. Meeting invites seems like it should be straightforward, as the feature is already in the ActiveSync API; I couldn't believe it wasn't in the iPhone the first time I tried to do it, and I still don't really believe that it doesn't work.

As for the rest: MMS doesn't excite me much, turn-by-turn directions would be nice but not vital -- now give me tethering or I'll cry. $15 a month doesn't scare me when compared with the cost of a separate data card & plan, but allow pay-as-you-go instant access to tethering for $10 a week and you'll make a friend of every infrequent traveler in the country.

Victor Agreda, Jr.

I'll add that I think we may see some access to calendar data. Currently developers can access your address book info, but not your calendar info. While I don't think Apple will allow read and write (due to the potential of nuking calendar events from a rogue app), I do think reading calendar events must be done at some point.

Chris Ullrich

To be honest, the only things I really want from my iPhone and any upgrade to the OS is to be able to reliably place calls and not drop them repeatedly no matter which part of the city I might be in. I know that's not all the iPhone's fault, but it must take part of the blame along with AT&T. Also, I would love it if I was able to use 3G everywhere as well and if it would actually work at the speed advertised.

Perhaps these are both unrealistic wishes? I don't think so. The iPhone is the most advanced "smart" phone on the planet and Apple is one of the most innovative, if not the most innovative, companies on the planet, so these requests should be very possible to accomplish.

For today's event, however, I can make my requests much more simple. I would like to see MMS. That's all. If I get that, I'll be happy -- at least until I try to make another call and it fails.

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