What I want to see in iOS 6

It's hard to say what Apple will announce at the beginning of WWDC on Monday, but here is my feature wish list if iOS 6 is announced during the keynote.

iOS 6
CNET

As is always the case with every Apple event, there's really no way we can know what the company will announce at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday. I'm personally hoping Tim Cook will walk out there with the iPhone 5 (my iPhone 4 is getting a little rough around the edges), but others are saying that won't come until fall . We're probably about due for a Mountain Lion update as well, but many are saying that won't be here until later in the summer.

Tune in Monday anytime after 8 a.m. PT for our Apple WWDC keynote live blog.

Of course that leaves a ton of possibilities, from new laptop refreshes to Apple TVs, and who knows what else Apple has up its sleeve. But most people agree that an announcement about iOS 6 will probably be a major part of the presentation this Monday.

With that in mind, I've got a few things on my personal wish list for iOS 6.

iOS 6
Apple, add a cleanup button to slide apps to earlier pages so there are no spaces. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

A cleanup button
It might just be me, but there must be other app lovers out there who agree. Have you ever tried to organize apps? Sure, you can organize your apps in iTunes and you can touch-and-hold an app on your iPhone and move stuff around while in wiggle mode, but I'm looking for a one-button cleanup. All I want is for the button to shove my apps into available spaces on earlier pages of the home screen. If you've ever dragged multiple wiggling apps from one screen to another, you know what I'm talking about. I would also like to be able to categorize pages of the home screen and perhaps a way to "send selected apps to Page 2" or "send app to Games folder," for example, but I would settle for a one-button cleanup. Does this bother anyone else? Maybe I just have too many apps.

iOS 6
Facebook really needs to be a part of this list. Even better would be a one-off social-sharing menu. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Facebook integration
Yes, I know, this is one prediction that most tech and rumor sites agree will be in the update to the OS. But I definitely like the idea of signing in to Facebook once (like we do for Twitter in iOS 5) and then having an easy way to share anything directly on Facebook. This would mean you could share directly out of your photo library, share links directly from Safari, and everything else you get with proper integration. I think even people who browse Facebook off and on might share more if it were made that much more convenient.

More weather info
I wrote an iOS app collection blog post recently recommending a couple of apps for getting the best weather coverage. Many people commented on the story with their favorite weather apps, and it got me thinking. Why wouldn't Apple just beef up the iPhone weather app to include satellite radar, richer forecasts, and cool animated weather maps? I haven't heard anything about Apple beefing up the app (and it sure wouldn't be good news for other weather app developers), but it seems like an easy win to me.

Widgets in the Notification Center
Introduced in iOS 5, the swipe-down-to-open Notification Center is a great way to see what's happening with all your apps at a glance. The Notification Center already gives you a graphical weather forecast and a stock ticker, but how about a Facebook status ticker? What about a cool Foursquare notification box with images? Maybe Apple is against making the interface too busy, but it seems like some apps could really benefit from having a stronger presence in the Notification Center.

Siri for everybody
OK, maybe not everybody. I understand there are some hardware limitations but it seems like there has to be a way for Apple to make Siri available for the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, at least. But I want even more than that. What I would like to see is Apple making Siri available to third-party developers.

Once baked in, there are a number of possible uses. Imagine saying, "Siri, could you tweet something for me?" and Siri responds, "What would you like to tweet?" Maybe you could also say, "Siri, show me how to get to In-N-Out Burger from here," which would bring up my next wish list item...

Turn-by-turn directions with voice
If the Android users' ears haven't perked up yet, they're probably on their way to the comment section now. Come on, Apple! Give us voice directions with a snazzy graphical interface to make our iPhones that much more useful in the car! Yes, I know there are apps that do this in the App Store, but I would really like to see it as part of the Maps app. Apple can even use Siri's voice -- I don't think anyone would mind. To be fair, one of the predictions I've heard is that Apple might unveil its new Maps app on Monday, so I'm hoping this one might not be very far from reality.

WWDC 2012 logo

In the end, it doesn't matter what is announced on Monday. There are sure to be great announcements along with some that leave us disappointed. But you can bet I'll be here watching every word to see what I'm going to be writing about and playing with in the coming months.

Just give me that cleanup button, Apple. Give an iOS app reviewer a break.

 

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