Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MWC '09 - My 2009 (Touch OS 3.0) Wishlist!

Mobile World Congress is running from Feb 16 thru Feb 19 in Barcelona Spain. Apple does not plan to have an official presence at the world's largest mobile communications trade show, but there are sure to be announcements that will either directly or indirectly impact the iPhone user/market. For instance, Dataviz is rumored to be set to announce the availability of Documents To Go for the iPhone. Documents To Go is essentially Office for handheld platforms. I used it extensively on the Palm OS and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival on the iPhone (or for Apple to release iWork for the iPhone). Besides a usable office type application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint compatibility, editing and syncing), what else would is needed to boost productivity with the iPhone in 2009?

My wish list for 2009, peripherals and Touch OS 3.0:

  • Copy/Cut & Paste. Several applications have included this functionality within the application. The iPhone Spreadsheet "Plus" has copy and paste and it is a pleasure to use.. Apple we need Copy & Paste at the OS level across applications.

  • HomeScreen/Application Management. Ever try getting from the homescreen to screen six, seven or eight quickly? No a lot of fun. I am not sure what the answer here is, maybe nested icons that open a new screen directly from the main homescreen. Hopefully Apple has some UI magic up its sleeve to provide the iPhone power users with a better experience.

  • Text to Speech at the OS level. I mentioned this in a previous post, since then Amazon has announced the Kindle 2 with text to speech. The idea of opening an article in Instapaper, Safari, AP Mobilenews or having newsfeeds/twitter posts read with the touch of a button is very appealing, perfect for the car or gym. Hopefully the Amazon Kindle 2 will push Apple to a degree.

  • User Selectable background processing. This is one rumor that is making the rounds with regards to Touch OS 3.0. The idea is that you select one or two additional applications that are allowed to run in the background, similar to Apple's mail.app, the iPod application or the Nike+ application on the Touch G2. I hope this rumor has some substance behind it! I would use it to set Trails to geotrack my location when shooting photos, and not have to worry about the phone state.

  • External Peripherals - Blue tooth or via the dock connector. Specifically an external portable keyboard, either wireless or connected to the dock connector! I have no problem with the onscreen keyboard for emails, texting or twittering. But the idea of editing an Excel or Word document in Documents To Go with half of the screen real estate occupied with a onscreen keyboard is not appealing. Palm had a fold able portable keyboard that connected with their Tungsten series of PDAs in the early 00s... I wish Apple would follow suit! Soon... Increased screen real estate for editing and true touch typing! Leave your laptop at home.
  • System Settings Profiles. The ability to create & save profiles with specific system settings, for instance: dim screen brighness, shut down wifi and shut down the cell radio all with one selection. The current state, a user must go into Settings and set each item separately, and then reset to the prior state.

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