Article: An Open Letter to Scott Forstall & Co.

by on March 30, 2011

Dear Scott Forstall & the iOS Team,

I know it may be a little too late, seeings as WWDC is only a couple of months away, but there are a few things I’d like to see in the next iOS. Although I could come up with ten or more, I think I’ll pick my five favorites, especially since many others are also looking for something along these lines, too.

5. Centralized File System / Data Sync

Although I doubt you will ever open up the iOS’s file system to be as those jailbreakin’ ruffians, how about an area that all sorts of apps can access for certain files to live? Many apps do this already thanks to Dropbox, but how about something local? Better yet, offer the option to sync it via MobileMe and iTunes!

Also, how about the ability to export data from one device to another, or even have iTunes sync it? One example—game progress. It’s frustrating to beat a level on Angry Birds or Cut the Rope on my iPad and have to beat it on my iPhone (or Mac). This can and should be seamless.

4. Mail

I like Mail on my iPad better than Mail on the Mac. Although Mac OS X 10.7 looks like it will fix this to an extent, how about some desktop-level enhancements to the mobile clients? I know a lot of folks want flags, but how about some basic rules (at least for moving things around IMAP/Exchange accounts)? I’d also like to set priorities for outgoing messages.

3. Custom Sounds, Even a Little

You’ve sold a lot of iOS devices, and the Tri-Tone has become synonymous with your identity. Obviously there are a few text sounds to pick from, but how about letting us pick from ringtones, so we can make our own? It might also be nice to have custom sounds for Calendar alarms and the like, since I find myself fumbling to figure out if it’s my iPhone or my colleagues’ that is going off.

2. Better Notifications

I remember the time before push notifications, but I’m getting so many navy blue popups on my iPad and iPhone that there’s bound to be something missed if it doesn’t factor in nicely to your built-in system (the Phone and Messaging apps can list multiple). I don’t need complicated, but how about something just a tad smarter?

1. Independence

This last one is a little pie-in-the-sky, but you market the iPhone and iPad as post-PC devices, so why not actually let them be? You’ve proven with the Apple TV that an iOS device can update itself, so why not allow people to use an iPad as their primary machine? I know plenty of folks who would pick one up for their elderly relatives or use as their only computer if it weren’t for something known ad iTunes.

Obviously, a lot of people are asking for a lot of changes, especially with what we’re starting to see over in Androidland, but I think a few changes like these could really keep you competitive and the end users happy in the post-PC world you’ve been big on.


Eric Schwarz

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