The iPhone Next Generation

As much as we love and hate our iPhones, there are things the next version of the hardware must improve upon in order to evolve the platform.  Other than the 3G issues and crashes, which I believe will eventually be solved by an updated firmware and better software QA, there is still more to be done.  Check out my points below.  What is your next gen iPhone wishlist?

Push notification – WHEN?!? We’re now two updates past when we were promised push notification.  In the 2.1 firmware it was even screwed up, so we know there are issues with the system.  What will it do to battery life when my IM client is always on?  From the few jailbroken apps that run in the background, we know this can reduce battery life, but with my power cable always with us, we’re prepared.

Better battery life – the next iPhone must improve battery life at the same time that it adds more always-on connectivity.  Solutions like the Mophie Juicepack have arrived, but they are pricey solutions.  The device needs to be more usable without having a charger a work, home, and in each vehicle.

Wireless sync.  We already have Bonjour sync through various applications.  It’s time for iTunes to do it to the PC and Mac host system.  And speaking of synchronization, when will we be able to sync notes.  How about tasks?!? The iPhone should be usable as a very basic PIM without resorting to the purchase of apps from the store.

The built-in PDF reader should support bookmarks and “jump to page”. This would make the iPhone much more usable as an eBook reader.  Currently I have to use Datacase, which is not always stable and ruins the reading experience with larger books.

Photo SMS – It seems this is really up to the carrier, and AT&T has yet to implement it.  Some of the foreign carriers are already working on this and we can only hope that AT&T will have something for us.  I can only imagine that this will be available as the next iPhone in August, causing a new round of upgrades.

Copy and Paste seem to be a much asked for feature, but I rarely find myself wishing for it during the day.  Instead, I feel this represents a basic issue of inter-application communication.  Currently Apple allows you to call other apps such as the Apple Store or the browser, but more is needed, especially once IM applications become more available.

Voice input for all apps as part of keyboard to prevent driving accidents.  Google has made good progress with this with the latest Google App for iPhone, but this needs to be built into the device the same way Google Maps was and further used throughout the system.

The next interation of the iPhone could be as little as a year away.  In that time we should see some further refinement of the interface.  Home screen interface – we need a way to arrange icons on multiple pages without scattering the icon all over; what we need is an orderable list view.  Password Keeper – Cookies don’t last forever, and it gets tiresome to enter passwords. Password keepers are the norm these days.  Some of the jailbroken apps are making major headway in these improvements.  I’ve seen one where swiping your finger across the top status bar will bring up a dashboard that lets you work with Preferences.  There are many times where the WiFi wigs out on me and I need to jump out of my application to fix it.  Jumping out of the application is an issue with the user interface, and these hackers have come up with an elegant solution.  It’s inconceivablt that Apple is unable to make these improvements, yet some hackers with a little free time area able to make it happen.

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