commentary I asked on our forums last week what you'd like to see in the yet-to-be-released iPhone software, suggesting that I want to be wowed by innovation when Apple throws the curtain back on this major update on the 17th of March. I appreciate all of the responses I received, but is it churlish to want something grander than copy-and-paste?
Digg founder and iPhone psychic Kevin Rose has gone on the record with his predictions during the SWSX tech fest in Texas. For his money, Apple will include copy-and-paste in the next software release, but won't include MMS or video recording (two other common iPhone bugbears). This would be far from ground-breaking news if this was the sum total of Apple's announcement.
Rose did go on to say he thought the iPhone software update would include features to bring the Apple phone up to the same level as the up-and-coming Palm Pre. Now, this would be something to get excited about. Demonstrations of the Palm Pre in action have shown us plenty of innovation at a software level. The Synergy contacts/messaging system alone is great, but then you add full system and web searching from the home screen, full multitasking and background application activity, an all software accelerometer and you are getting closer to having our hearts racing. In fact, Apple can continue stooging us on MMS and video recording if the iPhone software 3.0 included improvements like these.
But I'm greedy, I want more. Turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps or another third-party app would be fantastic. The iPhone still seems the natural choice of device to drive the convergence between true in-car navigation and mobile telephony. It needn't be an Apple freebie either, this is something I'd be happy to pay for. Lots of phones with A-GPS are sold without navigation software, but the iPhone is the only one you can't choose to upgrade and this has to change.
On a simpler level, I agree with forum member "thought through" about wanting more home screen customisation on the iPhone. I like how Android handles this. Essentially all you can do with the Android home screen is change the wallpaper and create shortcuts, but making shortcuts for certain contacts in your address book or a phone setting you change regularly is a fantastic time saver. Also, a landscape mode for the virtual keyboard in SMS and email composition wouldn't go astray.
And yet I feel like I'm missing something, like I can't quite put my finger on that feature I want. I want to be impressed, I know that. I want to think "why hasn't someone thought of this before?" With the amount of fuss and attention the iPhone gets I want it to be the leader, not playing follow the leader. I want Apple to change the way we think about using our phones, and copy-and-paste just doesn't cut it.
If you haven't had a chance to post your thoughts already, jump onto the forums and let us know what you'd like to see.