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IOS GUI Iphone Operating Systems Upgrades Apple

What Features Does iOS 7 Need? 262

Posted by timothy
from the built-in-route-to-nsa dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple's iOS 7, which is heavily rumored to make its debut at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, will almost certainly feature a totally redesigned interface. According to recent rumors (including a few key postings on the Apple-centric blog 9 to 5 Mac), the OS will stand as a shining example of "flat" design, which eliminates "real world" elements such as texture and shading in favor of stripped-down, basic shapes. That means certain iOS environments such as Game Center (with its casino-like green felt) and Newsstand (with its wooden shelving) could soon look completely different. But what about iOS 7's actual features? What could Apple change that would improve the operating system's chances against the increasingly sophisticated Google Android, not to mention the new-and-improved BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8? What would you do to iOS with Apple's full resources at your disposal?"
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What Features Does iOS 7 Need?

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  • iOS==Metro?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:30AM (#43944779)
    So, iOS will look like Metro?

    the OS will stand as a shining example of "flat" design, which eliminates "real world" elements such as texture and shading in favor of stripped-down, basic shapes

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:29AM (#43945345)

      More like the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy GUI design...
      Every time I press one of these black controls, labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let me know I've done it.

      • More like the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy GUI design... Every time I press one of these black controls, labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let me know I've done it.

        Maybe it's time to take off those Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's interesting that they seem to be trying to purge many of the ideas most associated with Steve Jobs. Skeuomorphic UIs, the one true tablet size, the one true phone size, paying out money to shareholders, not starting too many new lawsuits over design elements and so forth. Arguably Apple Maps would never have been released under Jobs, such was his demand for quality.

    • Win8 design != Metro

      Metro is the retarded interface that wants you to use your computer like you do your phone. Everybody with a real use for a computer treats it like a splash-screen that is there to ignore and promptly clicks the desktop icon. Once you are there though, I find Win8 quite slick. Much, much better than the original Aero design.

      Besides, this is 2013 and design has moved on. Textures are so 10-years-ago.

  • by gl4ss (559668)

    wouldn't need to be listening about bitching about changing the default look then.

    other stuff: start adding resolution and density independent ui elements. you know, so that you wouldn't be so fucked as apple is with osx.

    dedicated multitasking drawer+button.

    block notifications from this app button to every notification sent through the apple system.

    • Re:themes. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Eric Abbott (2525682) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:10AM (#43944915)

      other stuff: start adding resolution and density independent ui elements. you know, so that you wouldn't be so fucked as apple is with osx.

      I beg to disagree: in theory resolution independent user interface elements should be a lot better than Apple's approach of only allowing double densities. Practice however shows, that if you have a resolution independent UI API, a lot of developers are lazy and do not adapt their layout to different screen sizes, or do not correctly use the APIs.

      As an example, the windows experience on high-res displays is significantly worse than the Mac OS X experience: the majority of Windows applications simply do not work correctly on a Mac Book Pro Retina display, since only parts of the UI elements scale correctly, resulting in a complete mess.

      Android fares somewhat better due to a better API, but the fine-tuned user interfaces for different resolutions on iOS (tablet/phone) usually make for a better user experience. On Android there is too little incentive (return on investment) for developers to fine-tune their user interfaces to different resolutions.

      • The problem is "in theory" it should work better but it doesn't. The main problem is see is that it's not so much laziness but that it takes varying levels of work to get resolution right. If your app uses fewer graphics then resolutions are not as important; however, your app does not look as nice. Remember if you are selling to consumers, looking nice is important.
      • Re:themes. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:22PM (#43947155) Homepage

        Last year's phones had 720p (1280x720) screens and this year's all have 1080p (1920x1080) screens. The iPhone 5 isn't even HD at a mere 1136x640.

        The problem for Apple is to bump up the iPhone resolution to HD (the current one is still SD) by doubling they will end up with 2270x1280. That's going to be expensive, and 1080p content will be scaled awkwardly. The alternative is to pick a new resolution and make developers re-work their apps to support it yet again.

        As for Windows I guess you haven't tried it. It works fine 99% of the time with exact 2x scaling and pretty well with arbitrary scaling. Apps which don't support scaling natively are just zoomed at the pixel level, exactly the same as Mac OS. Interestingly the most high profile app that doesn't scale well is the Adobe CS suite, which didn't scale properly on Mac OS when the first retina displays were released either.

        • Keep in mind the Apple screens are smaller than all of the devices with supposed HD screens, and thus still have very competitive pixel densities. This is especially true when you look into the fact that pentile displays used on many devices do not accurately represent their supposed pixel densities with their RGBG subpixel scheme.
  • by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:33AM (#43944793) Homepage Journal

    I want to be able to choose Chrome as my browser instead of Safari.

    I want 1password to be able to hook in to it.

    I want apps to open new links in Chrome instead of their own embedded browser.

    WebRTC support

    Save MP3s in to iTunes

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Goaway (82658)

      All of those things are things that malware and crapware would immediately use to make your phone much, much worse. I'd like them too, but I can see why Apple would want to keep those things off their system to keep their users happier.

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        if i want to muck up my phone with crap thats on me. I dont want apple pretending to be my dad and im 4 years old "now hold my hand as we cross the road."
        • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:57AM (#43945463)

          Then you don't want an iPhone,

        • if i want to muck up my phone with crap thats on me. I dont want apple pretending to be my dad and im 4 years old "now hold my hand as we cross the road."

          I don't know any logical reason why you would want to "muck up" your phone with crap. Apple's policies have nothing to do with you specifically. They're in place because the vast majority (well into the 90% range) of people who use an iPhone (or Android for that matter) are very ill equipped to keep their phones free of malware. Most people really just want their phone to work and don't want to deal with a repeat of the malware removal software (ala Norton Antivirus) on their phones as well as their PCs.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            Android gives users more freedom but also protects them very well. You have to be pretty dumb to install malware on Android, so it seems like a good compromise.

            You can change the default apps, even the home screen and the keyboard. A lot of people use alternate keyboards, Swype being one of the most popular. These features are not geek things, a lot of users love them and use them safely.

      • Why would allowing changing of the default apps (like the browser, email, etc) introduce malware? All apps would still have to come from the App Store, and would be subject to the same quality checks as they are now.
      • by cbhacking (979169)

        Um... no. Specifically, bullshit.

        I install an app. It has a manifest saying it supports the "default browser" profile or something like that. The app store / OS (not the app itself!) asks me if I want to make it the default. I choose yes or no. If I choose yes, then behind the scenes, the app is configured to be the handler for http/https/etc. Life goes on. Somewhere in the OS there's a tool for changing such defaults, but apps themselves can't even *tell* whether or not they are the default.

  • Glad you asked! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    OS:
    - real push notifications (no connection) a la BB
    - real bluetooth support
    - sound multiplexing
    - multi-user support a la Nexus 7

    Shell:
    - themes
    - screensaver
    - background download/upload without 'location services':o
    - exif info in gallery
    - realtime-thumbs task manager

    Politics:
    - JS JIT in apps
    - support for other browsers

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      JS JIT in apps

      I think this one is likely to happen now. The reason it is currently unavailable is due to security restrictions on application processes. Apple make an exception for Safari, but they don't want to do it for all applications due to the possibility for abuse. However Apple have recently been moving parts of their system (e.g. mail composer window) over to a new internal API that lets them embed view controllers from other processes. Once they move the web views over to this system, they'

  • by drolli (522659) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:39AM (#43944807) Journal

    are not the features, but the idea that Apple wants to control everything.

    If they change that, i will reconsider. However, since i bough quite some Apps for Android, and Android emulation would be nice

    • Yup. As soon as I can own an iPhone without jailbreaking it, I will buy one.
    • by tepples (727027)
      Then keep your Android device to run Android applications, just as one keeps an Xbox 360 to run Xbox 360 games when buying a PlayStation 4.
  • by Prez Cannady (2945605) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:39AM (#43944809)
    I might be a terrorist, after all.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @07:34AM (#43945205)

      Actually, not a bad idea. Why not let the NSA host your email for you? They will have access to it one way or another anyway. Taxpayers have already paid for all those super-duper NSA data centers, so give citizens access to all that computing power via a free NSA cloud.

      It will save costs at the NSA, because they won't need a PRISM to refract your email . . . they will have direct access to it. And if you know that the NSA has access to your email, you won't need to worry about if they do have access to your email . . . because you know they do already. It will also be secure, because the NSA are the best professional hackers in the world.

      So getting back to iOS 7 features, I'm sure the NSA has already supplied Apple with a long list of their requirements. Let's open up those hidden NSA APIs so that everyone can use them and the NSA's unlimited resources.

      Once again, I have to ask myself, "Who's been sleeping in my brain . . . ?"

  • Freedom
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Freedom is dangerous.

    • My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.
  • by AC-x (735297) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:59AM (#43944879)

    It's not going to happen, but a single checkbox in the settings would do:

    [ ] Allow installation of apps from unknown sources

    • by wile_e8 (958263)
      Yeah, but then you might have the ability to buy things through an avenue in which Apple can't take a cut, and why would you ever want to do that?
  • What Apple needs is themes. The default looks are rather blah already and now it will be more so? Nunn
  • Android (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:04AM (#43944897)

    Sounds like he's saying iOS should look a whole lot more like Android. Well, sounds like they already copied Android's and Windows' flat themes.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:20AM (#43944955)

    We have a big mix of Wintels, iDevices and Androids at home & work.
    They're all pretty good at doing what we need.
    The iDevices, however, stand out for being harder to get things onto and off.
    And don't get me started on iTunes, especially when running on a non-Mac.
    Sure there are alternatives, and apps like SugarSync and Evernote ease the pain, but why make it hard when a USP of Apple is supposed to be the user-friendliness?

    Still, as I said, never going to happen...looks like they're going to focus on the cosmetics, rather than listening to their customers. Shades of Windows 8?

    Final thought: Why don't they just take the top-selling and/or free apps, for both 'geek/power user' and 'normal consumer' and bake 'em into the OS? They've got the cash...

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      iOS needs less baked into the OS, not more. When FaceBook became popular they needed to develop integrated support for it, When Twitter became popular, they need to develop integrated support for it. With Android, everything integrates automatically, popular or not, and this same mechanism allows you to set a different browser as your default. Apple needs to get over their control fetish and greed.

    • First of all, the difficulty of installing onto an iDevixe is by design whether you agree with it or not. You might think it's Apple ulterior motive of controlling everything for profit's sake but one of the main reasons is security. If there is no SD card, it here is no Bluetooth file transfers, there are fewer attack vectors. Again you can disagree with this approach or not.

      As for more integration of popular apps, this a slippery slope. There are many here on slashdot that think Apple already controls

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        The thing is that all Android viruses have either been trojans that required the user to bee an idiot and side-load malware, or they have attacked things at driver level which Apple is just as vulnerable to and has nothing to do with the freedom to run any app.

        The security argument is bogus. Apple, just like game console manufacturers, want to tax every app and lock out all competitors.

  • Apple didn't become the largest company by playing catch up to the competitors. I wouldn't change "features" in iOS. I'd change the paradigm in which iOS runs.
  • If you take a pic with the camera you can immediately post to twitter aaaaaaaaand, that's about it. On Android I have something like 20 options directly from the camera (twitter, facebook, dropbox, etc....)
  • Multiple accounts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pascal Sartoretti (454385) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:31AM (#43945005)
    Or at least a "guest" mode, so that an iPad can be shared among parents and kids.
    • Re:Multiple accounts (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 08, 2013 @07:18AM (#43945131)

      Guided Access goes a long way to providing this. Settings->Accessibility

      http://www.cultofmac.com/225138/safely-hand-your-iphone-or-ipad-over-to-anyone-with-guided-access-ios-tips/ [cultofmac.com]

    • by Lynchenstein (559620) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:16AM (#43945561)
      Cook holding a new iPad up for the audience to see: "Multiple logins? We've heard you loud and clear. Users want to be able to share the incredible iPad experience with their mother, their kids, their best friend. Up until now, that's just not been possible." ...he pauses for dramatic effect...."At Apple, we have the best and most creative engineers and designers in the world. We've had a team of 140...they have spent many many long nights figuring out the best, most seamless, and utterly beautiful way for you to share your iPad experience with others, without compromising your security, privacy, or individuality." ...again pausing...more pausing... "Today, I present the iPad Too." He pulls out a 2nd iPad that he has had stuffed down the back of his pants. He proudly displays two tablets, as if he's Moses... He holds them up high for everyone to see..."A totally secure multiple log in, guaranteeing no data leakage between the two accounts. This is Apple innovation, and that's why I just love the new iPad Too, and everyone at Apple is really proud to show it to you today. The new iPad Too. It's simply stunning."

      The audience erupts in rapturous applause. Some are crying. They're holding each other, hopping up and down. Confetti and balloons rain down.

      The Android and WinPhone8 fanboys lose their minds online. Servers explode. Anarchy.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:01PM (#43947065) Homepage

      "Just buy another one"
            - Steve Jobs

      (sorry, couldn't resist)

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        I recently visited San Francisco, where I noted a *huge* number of billboards for iPads. Ads everywhere. OK, I'm not used to quite that much billboard-spam, but whatever. What I couldn't figure out was who Apple was targeting here; doesn't everybody in the bay area with an interest in an iPad and the money to buy one already have one?

        Then I figured it out: all the ads show an iPad and an iPad Mini side-by-side, frequently with a message about them complementing eachother. The target wasn't people who don't

  • I would love to be able to lock down the volume so my autistic son, who lives on the iPad, doesn't max out the volume on everything he does.
  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @07:30AM (#43945189)
    Apple made their mark controlling and simplifying the user experience to achieve broad market appeal. /.ers will inevitably want them to go the other direction and load up the feature set, as all engineers will. Without Jobs, the engineers will get the upper hand and the feature set will expand, thus losing their broad appeal. Unless someone else comes along who can stand up to the engineers, Apple is toast.
    • Adding features doesn't necessarily mean making the user experience/interface more complicated, although that's certainly the norm in the software industry.

      For example, Siri has the potential to be the main user interface to new features without the user having to be aware of them at all unless they are using them.

      The user interface also doesn't have to be the same for everyone - it could potentially adapt to the user such that a user that routinely invokes advanced functionality could choose to have the co

    • by ugen (93902) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:51AM (#43945759)

      Mod parent up. iOS needs to keep doing what it's doing. It must be doing something right if /. consensus is that Android is "increasingly sophisticated". This is by the same group of people who don't understand why Linux does not have broad appeal.

      As an iOS user and developer (as well as user and developer for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS and attempted but tired and frustrated user and developer for Android :) ) - I hope Apple continues with incremental and stable approach, giving users well thought out and tightly controlled new feature sets, while maintaining clean, simple and usable system.

      Do *not* under any circumstances let engineers ruin this one.

    • Oh, excellent. Please be correct.

      That means we have at least 5 years of improvements into OS X and iOS.

      It think it's going to take that long to connect Steve's brain to the Spaceship, then all hell is going to break loose.

    • I don't think it is a question of engineers getting the upper hand or not. Jobs was always involved with design aspects and he was the final decision maker. It gave Apple products some semblance of consistency whether you agree with his choices or not. That's what Apple really needs: one person to be the head designer. It seems that Jonathan Ive is that person now after Scott Forstall has left. This is very different from the waring fiefdom model that MS uses.
  • by Monoman (8745) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @07:49AM (#43945249) Homepage

    PAH-LEEZE ... doing the flat look is more like changing the skin, not a total redesign.

    As for any features add, changed, or modified ... well that is anyone's guess until Apple says so. Anything else is speculation and a blatant attempt to boost advertising revenue by driving clicks/impressions.

  • I want to be able to tell iOS to a) only check for app updates on a schedule I specify and b) individually opt in or out of an update for a specific app. At an absolute minimum I would settle for the ability to turn off the icon badge for the App Store. I'm ticked off with the constant barrage of updates, the badgering of the badging bugs me.
  • by AmazinglySmooth (1668735) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:46AM (#43945413)
    I want to be able to select which app opens things by default. If I want a new mail app, then I want all mail links to open in it. If I want a new browser, then I want all hyperlinks to open in it. If I want to change the default maps app to Google, then I want all directions opened in that. Etc.
  • I think it is very important that they provide a way to allow some background processing to any app, it is plain stupid that you receive notifications and the content is not there after opening the app, that messages don't get sent because you minimized the app or that you can't minimize a web page / app while something is being loaded. Mainly because of this my iphone 5 feels like crap compared to my old Galaxy SII. Also: - Let people decide the snooze time... the fixed 9 minutes is weird. Turning off the
    • Actually they re supposedly going to demo air sharing for iOS. Share files between devices directly.

  • by howardd21 (1001567) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @09:11AM (#43945531) Homepage
    May sound silly, but if it supported a bluetooth mouse (I do not jailbreak but know I could and get this) I could use it much more effectively in two ways - easier to select text for copy/paste type operations, and when connected via RDP or VNC to another box I could have the full experience of that box. I would still use my iPad 90% of the time for browsing, email, etc. But if it had this and I added a BT keyboard it would get a lot more use.
  • sshfs.

    It'd be great if Android provided that, too.

  • All apps should run on all devices OS agnostic. AppleTV, iOS, MacOS, Classic (PPC/68K/Intel), Windows, DOS, CPM, Unix. With rare exceptions everything should run. The computing power to do the emulation is there on even the lowliest Apple device.

    Likewise we should be able to access and manipulate our data sets in our applications on any device.

  • run 3rd party software like android

  • Ogg vorbis support is needed to be supported a lot better then it is now. Currently if you want to play Vorbis music files you have to transfer the files manually to your iDevice and use a different music player that supports the format. However, I doubt the chances of this happening may unfortunately be slim to none. Ogg vorbis IMHO is a much better format then AAC but god forbid Apple supporting it on the devices and in iTunes.

  • iOS 7 should let the device act as normal flash storage. This is a crippling weakness in Apple's current devices and traces all the way back to the Newton's custom filesystem in the 90s. Seamless printing, especially with all the wireless printers around, is a no-brainer.

  • iTunes as a method to manage things is a joke. App organization is particularly weak.

    Buying apps through iTunes is silly: why not use the web? At the very least the browser built into iTunes should be made more robust. You should be able to do browsery things like change the font size, bookmark, etc.

    Photo syncing is a mess. In fact the whole backup/sync distinction is too confusing.

    The find file function lets you launch an app, but doesn't tell you where the app lives.

    USB hubs should be supported so that m

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