Article: Fix It!

by on April 29, 2012

With WWDC a little over a month away, many people are focusing on iOS 6. I agree that it is an important update, but I really don’t want to see any new features, but rather Apple focus on polishing certain things and making it feel more finished.

Recently, I had to reset my Apple ID password, as it expired. Okay, that’s fine—I’m all for added security. However, it is frustrating that my iDevices immediately shut down (a bit of an exaggeration) and I have to navigate to some settings to re-enter my password. Others pop up immediately, which is what I’d like to see for everything. Furthermore, in this last instance, my iPhone forgot my email address as a “receive at” location and refuses to verify, yet the same address is currently working on my iPad.

I’m not trying to say that one isolated incident of who-knows-what is the reason Apple is doomed or any other anti-Apple garbage that spews from some tech pundits’ keyboards. Instead, I’m saying that rather than some whiz-bang new feature, Apple should be working to make iOS more reliable, responsive, and more connected with iCloud.

Another thing that needs a lot of work is the Music app, especially if you’re using iTunes Match or on a device with an A4 chip. It’s slow, and sometimes that lovely activity indicator likes to spin for no conceivable reason at all. On my third-generation iPad, it runs fine, but was next to useless on my original iPad, and seems a bit slow when looking for content on my iPhone 4. Apple is not like Google where everything is in “beta” for years and available to the public.

The funny thing is that Apple’s high-profile public beta product, Siri, actually works pretty darn well. Sure, there are some times that it doesn’t connect, or can’t understand everything, but when it does work, it seems very accurate. I’d like to see that attitude get applied to other areas. Right now, we have little odds and ends that don’t really work at all or are temperamental.

If I did have any “wish-list” items for iOS 6 (or whatever the next major release is…5.2?), it would be weather and stock widgets for the iPad. Although I have some excellent third-party apps to fulfill that need, I find myself using the Notification Center on my iPhone for a quick update. I know it’s minor and not likely to happen, but there probably are people still holding out hope for a Cupertino-made Clock app on the iPad.

On the topic of refinement, Apple could redo multitasking to be a bit more obvious to new users and to end the “all these apps are really running” nonsense. I’ve enabled the four/five-finger gestures on my iPad, so I’ve gotten good at switching apps, but the iPhone still doesn’t allow these (and I’m not sure it could).

Features may be the way to get customers to jump to a platform, but A relatively frustration-free experience is how you keep them. I really like what Apple has done with iOS 5, but think we need some changes before it becomes a mature operating system.

Also, the title is probably a little more intense than my concern, but an SNL skit was the inspiration.

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