Last night, as we waited for Carson Daly to tell us that it was time to make a lot of noise, I found myself laying on my buddy’s lawn with glass number one-too-many of something toxic in my hand. As I stared up at the stars, I pondered something I’d imagine most of the country was pondering as well:
Does Steve Jobs make New Years Resolutions?
I mean, really; outside of continuing to kick cancer’s ass and perhaps expanding his wardrobe, there’s probably not much that needs resolving in El Jobso’s personal life. His number one pet project (outside of that other one), however, could probably use a bit of work right now.
Now, now, Apple fans, cover those teeth back up. The iPhone is doing just fine by most counts, but it has its flaws — and, as Motorola’s “iDont” campaign proved, competitors will be more than happy to play on them. It’s been 6 months since the launch of iPhone OS 3.0, and things are just starting to get stale; with the mobile space heating up and Android finally finding its feet, that’s the last thing Apple wants.
And with that, we present: Six New Years Resolutions For Apple And The iPhone In 2010, a completely theoretical (and highly hopeful) to-do list for the folks in Cupertino going into the New Year.
- Stop hogging background processing:
Apple’s own apps can continue to run in the background after they’re closed, but the other 100,000 applications available for the platform can’t.
Apple cites battery efficiency as the primary reason why they’ve kept backgrounding to themselves. Jailbreakers have long had an application available to them called backgrounder, which lets them run any application in the background – and you know what? The battery does just fine.
It’s long past time to open this up. Certain apps will surely be more battery hungry than others – but, as with anything that uses a battery, it’s really up to the user to learn how to make the most of it.
- Stop going home so often:
This one goes hand-in-hand with number one. If Apple ever gets around to allowing background processing on a larger scale, they’ll need a quicker way to hop between running apps. The homescreen is great and all, but do we really need to see it every time we want to switch applications?
The jailbreak community recently launched an app called “Proswitcher”. With this, users can switch between any apps running behind the scenes, calling up the switcher using any one of 10 or so options from holding the home button to double tapping the top bar. It’s essentially a direct rip of the cards system found on Palm’s webOS, but it’s incredibly smooth and has entirely changed the way I use my iPhone.
- Stop with the crappy cameras:
The first two iPhones rocked a 2 megapixel camera, and the 3GS bumped it all the way up to.. 3. Really? 3 megapixels? The megapixel count isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to image quality, but 3 megapixels is down-right itty bitty by high-end smartphone standards these days.
As augmented reality, image processing, and video sharing become more commonplace, the quality of the camera is getting more and more important. Lets hope the next iPhone brings a bigger upgrade to the camera than another one megapixel bump.
- Embrace the stack:
The iPhone uses Qualcomm’s BlueMagic 3.0 for all of its Bluetooth needs, yet makes no use of a significant chunk of the features it supports. A number of these, such as OBEX (for wireless file transferring) and HID (for Bluetooth keyboard support) are profiles that are pretty much standard on other smartphones.
Oh, and hey Apple – feel free to add support for Wii remotes while you’re at it.
- Learn to sideload:
Apple seems to be loosening their death-grip, but there are still a million-and-one applications that they’ll never allow on the App Store – and that’s just fine. What’s not fine, however, is that there’s no other way — sans hacking — to get said apps onto the phone at all.
If only Apple allowed people to add whatever they wanted by way of sideloading, everyone would be happy. Power users get whatever apps they please, and Apple keeps the App Store clean to their specifications.
And why wouldn’t they do it? The only semi-decent argument against it is that it (potentially) makes piracy easier by opening another gateway to the device that Apple has to protect. Considering how easy it is to get pirated apps on the iPhone already (read: it’s really, really easy) — and how unlikely it is that Apple will ever be able to block it — I’d say the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Make Background Notifications suck less:
Whether or not Apple decides to support background processing, they’re going to need to fix the background notification system. Before changing their focus from web apps to native applications, Apple never really intended to have to deal with such things. As a result, the notification system is a bit tacked on – and it shows.
Notifications blast onto the screen, interrupting whatever you’re doing. Only one notification is supported at a time. If a second alert comes in, the first just disappears into the ether. It’s a nasty solution that just barely gets the job done, especially when compared to the notification systems of webOS or Android.
There are plenty of other things that we’d like to see Apple do with the iPhone in 2010 — breaking up with AT&T (or at least setting their status to “Open Relationship”), for example — but now we want to hear from you. If you could change one thing about the iPhone going into 2010, what would it be? Let us know down in the comments.