Miscellaneous and Someday/Maybe Dream Items
By now iOS should be able to handle NFC reading in a secure sandboxed fashion. There is a lot of utility in getting URLs via NFC as handlily as we do with QR codes. By way of example, at my work place there are paintings hung with little cards descriptive cards next to them. The cards can be scanned with a mobile device to get more info on the painting. I can’t do that with an iPhone without some stupid case contraption connected. That’s a ridiculous embarrassment.
This one is for the power users: allow even more URL schemes for stock apps. Those schemes are a hidden treasury trove of functionality and one of the most powerful ways of working with iOS. The vast majority of users do not know about URL schemes but it is a key feature of some of the best productivity apps in the App Store. Apple should expand on this even further to make our devices take advantage of even more automation. I already use it with Workflow to send template emails when certain events happen, and writing Drafts 4 actions.
Automatic launch actions based on changed conditions: wifi, Bluetooth, location. rimilar to what Siri wants to do but in a notification too. This may be too niche and too prone to rapid or false positive firing. There needs to be some real intelligence behind this. “I am at home and have been here for 1–2 minutes. Please execute I AM HOME protocols.” vs “I drove past my house and unlocked all my doors.”
Better Proactive AI like Google Now (too much nagging? Too many notifications?) Not sure that we would accept our digital companion talking to us the way a real companion would. Would we find it annoying?
Cooperative Siri – I now have Siri on my iphone and my watch and my ipad. Is there any way for them to work together? Will they conspire against me now that they outnumber me? Do I compute better the more instances of Siri I have? Will that equate to having my own little Downton Abbey staff composed of little black rectangles? Imagine the next level of complexity that iOS can go to with a smarter AI coupled with a personal area network of cooperative devices. Getting all that into an Amazon Echo style unit, even if it is integrated into a new Apple TV, would be another level above the competition, and should link into HomeKit.
Siri integrated into apps such as iMessage where it recommends things into the conversation based on content from both sides but only you see.
Local iCloud backups with Time Machine. Time Machine no longer works the way it once did or even should, for many reasons. The personal backup problem has never been adequately solved: either the backups rely solely on the internet and are painfully slow, or rely on a local device like SpaceMonkey or Pogoplug or a USB drive that will disappear when your home burns down or shortly goes out of business. A device that works with Mac and iOS, and gives the ease and response of iCloud encrypted file access at local speeds with the ability to have files synced into the cloud would be a vast improvement. Get that Time Capsule functionality integrated with a HomeKit/Apple TV hub unit would be quite the killer unit.
Notice simple patterns in calendar events to predetermine frequency. Natural language calendar entry leads right into just having your digital assistant do it for you. If you can set a list of someday/maybe goals (in GTD speak) then implementing automated scheduling for Personal Goals is a brilliant idea as long as it includes location awareness as context. GTD is obviously more than just a wishlist of hobby tasks but introducing people to the basics is a good step for all. Speaking of getting things done, how about nested task lists?
3D Touch for speed dial. Remember speed dial? We may be better off with a menu that just brings up the list of favorites faces from iOS8 or better yet various groups.
In all, there are many reasons to love iOS and still many other things that can use some improvement. I hope to see what surprises WWDC 2016 brings us and can’t wait to be an iOS 10 user. Or will it be iOS X? Thank you for reading this series!