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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I will now give all of you a Sneak Peek at what *I* think the next generation of iPhone OS, 4.0 should support.*

If you didn’t know, Apple is showing off tidbits of it later today, and if I know Apple, I know they’ll listen to me and maybe fit in my wishlist before they actually release the software.**

iphone-4

Ring/Alert Profiles

This is a biggie for me.  I’m a Blackberry convert, and while there are many touchy-feely things the iPhone is superior with, Ring Profiles is something it’s completely horrible at. ***

I depend on my iPhone to serve the following functions:

  1. Mobile Phone
  2. Calendar
  3. Text message sender/receiver
  4. Alarm clock
  5. Reminders
  6. Notifier of urgent things happening
  7. Silent companion for those “special times” when sound is an enemy

Like most humans, I have a schedule.  When I go to bed, I want to be able to turn off all the sounds the iPhone makes except for text messages, phone calls and the wake up alarm.  When I’m in a meeting, I want everything to be silent, and only buzz me on text messages, phone calls, and urgent email messages.  When I’m out working in the yard, I might want everything to be extra loud because it’s harder to hear.

The point? I want to be able to name my own profiles, then customize what that profile does.  The blackberry is vastly superior for this function, as one can perform all of these actions and more.  And even better is that there’s a convenience key or two on the outside of the case that you can program to bring up whatever you want – I had mine set to “Select Ring Profile”.

This seems soooo incredibly doable.

Convenience Button Support

I want extra hardware buttons on the front, back sides, top… wherever I want, so I can assign programs or functions to them.  I want to be able to select different profiles without having to navigate here, there, then there.  I want to be able to turn wifi on/off more easily.  I want to bring up favorite apps more quickly.  I want a quick-dial button that I can assign to either immediately call a specific number or bring up my “Favorites”.

I mention this as an iPhone OS 4.0 wish-list item because I want manufacturers like Mophie to be able to come out with a hardware plug-in battery case that also has extra things on it, like programmable buttons.  Maybe a LED light on the top, or possibly a flash that “knows” when the camera is about to snap a picture, and does the flash for the iPhone.

I’m guessing that Apple’s API for docks and such only work with the iPod-type of controls, such as Volume Up/Down, Stop/Pause, Next/Previous, etc.  If Apple does indeed support this functionality such as being able to launch an app via an API command through the dock port, then maybe it’s just vendors who are not coming up with good ideas such as these.

I expect royalties if so.

GPS-aware apps and settings

The phone knows where I am, most of the time, right?

The iPhone (and iPhone Apps) should therefore let me make settings based on location.

Example: when I’m at home or work, I want wifi to be turned on by default.  I want to have to turn it off manually.  Conversely, when I’m traveling in a car, I want wifi to be turned off by default, and I should have to turn it on manually.  I don’t want battery life to be used up trying to search for wifi networks when it doesn’t make sense to me (defined by my settings).

Maybe there’d even be a GPS coordinate stored with each “Favorite hotspot” so that when the phone was near the hotspot, it knew to look for them.

I can think of soooo many applications for GPS-aware settings.

  • Reminder to stop by grocery store on way home
  • Food deals to be aware of on way home
  • Gas tracking / mileage, and pointing out where mass transit options are, if close by
  • Carpooling options for those who want to share rides (can you imagine? instead of calling a Taxi, you load iShare or something, and anyone who’s driving and also willing to provide a ride, and also going your way, would stop and pick you up… you’d do the same thing if you have a car/van)

Transcription 24×7

The government’s doing it to us already.  We should also have the benefits.

I want to be able to have everything I say recorded and transcribed in real-time.  The iPhone has a microphone; it has network connectivity.  Dragon Dictation has this as an iPhone App, but I’m thinking more along the lines of integrated with the OS.

Sound that iPhone hears is streamed to a server in real-time, which analyzes it, transcribes it, and sends it back to the iPhone.  Most text is just stored as a daily journal (and the phone recognizes some voices, and for those that it doesn’t, I should be able to tag it as “Mary” or “John” and it remembers.)

Recently spoken audio is also analyzed and used by the Google Search App, so that if I’m talking about restaurants in the area, when I pick up the iPhone, it already has contextual information based on the conversation thus far.  It might key on words such as “I wonder if…<something>” and it takes the “something” and Googles it for you.

This would work with the GPS-aware app functionality I mentioned above. I’ll give an example: During the day, I tell my wife “ok, I’ll pick up bell peppers and cilantro on the way home”.  See, the servers this stuff is uploaded to are VERY smart.  VERY high performance.  It can tell that this text is my way of adding to my own to-do list.  It might even send me a request or notify tone indicating that it picked something up as a to-do item.  Or a promise I made.

I can’t wait for the first elected official to commit to using an iPhone in this way.

Screen brightness control by an iPhone App

I like my Flashlight app.  However, to save battery, my screen brightness is usually very low, and works well for me 98% of the time.  However, when I DO need a flashlight, the flashlight app can’t change the brightness of the iPhone itself.  So it’s a crappy flashlight unless I go to Settings –> Brightness blahblahblah.

When I need a flashlight, I’m usually in a hurry.

This also underscores the ability to have a case with a built-in LED flashlight that can come on with a button.

“Smart” VPN

Another are where BlackBerry still has dominance over iPhone is in the concept of VPN and back-office connectivity for mobile devices.  In the corporate world, I want to be able to connect to work resources automatically. I don’t want to go to Settings and connect the VPN, click, find, click, whatever blahblahblah.  I just want to be able to set the iPhone so that when it tries to go to corporate resources, it. just. works.

I would think that the Exchange ActiveSync platform might be a solution to this – it’s already connecting over secure ports to do email fetch/send/sync… why not modify it to do web page fetch/sync as well?  I would think the CPU overhead of using Exchange client on the iPhone would be less than an actual VPN client, and it could be brainlessly easy to set up if the Exchange setup just allowed it by default, depending on IT/Sysadmin’s policies.

Better support for multiple email accounts/inboxes

When you have work email and personal email requiring the same entrance point (the envelope icon App), and you have to back –> back –> back –> back –> email account –> inbox to go back and forth, it gets to be a pain.

I should be able to specify certain folders/mailboxes as “favorites”, such as Email Account #1 Inbox and Email Account #2 Inbox.  Then at the top, I just hold down the favorite list, a drop-down box comes up and I can hop between them without the tap, tap, tap, tap crap.

Other miscellaneous wishes:

  • I want to see phone calls, text messages and emails all in one view
  • I want to be able to update my Exchange “Out Of Office” alerts from the iPhone
  • When typing in an email address, it should be smarter about entry.  I should be able to hit “space” and the first time, it’s an “@” sign and the second and subsequent times, it’s a period.
  • It should learn how fat or thin my thumbs are.  Make me type in a few words so it can learn where I think the “S” key is and where “L” is.  I SAID “L”, NOT BACKSPACE!!!!

And the number one item on my wishlist?

BE SILENT WHEN I SAY TO BE SILENT!!!!

Recently, I went to my daughter’s Young Artists Recital, where she and a few other top flute/piccolo players did a formal presentation of their talents.  All the winners of the 2010 Young Artists Competition were invited.  It was awesome.  She sure is good.

So.

It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

We all put our phones on stun/vibrate.

Right in the middle of Caitlin’s performance, while I’m recording video from my iPhone, THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE that it’s reminding me to take my vitamins, which is an iPhone Alarm item I set for twice a day.

I’m completely embarrassed.  I fumble with it to acknowledge the alert, but I think, whew, at least it was my own daughter and I didn’t ruin someone ELSE’s day.  Also, the stupid alarm stopped my video recording, so I don’t a record of the event (and by “event,” I mean my daughter playing, not me interrupting it).

So.

It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

Next performer is on.  It’s Nine Minutes Later.

THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE AGAIN BECAUSE I ACCIDENTALLY PRESSED SNOOZE INSTEAD OF DISMISS.

I ended up turning the iPhone off and not recording anything else.  This underscores the need for multiple profiles — there should be a “Always Be Silent” mode, a “Mostly be Silent” mode for keeping phone/txt/alarms on, and other modes.

And there you have it.

What about you?  Do you have any items on your wishlist?

* kind-of misleading titles don’t bother me
** I’m not saying I know Apple.  I said “if”.
*** Besides, I wanted to be able to have  a sentence that had two fragments that ended with propositions, because a sentence is a horrible thing to end a preposition with.

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