Before many tech journalists even had a moment to sleep from the nonstop iPad coverage, Apple sent out a notice that it would be updating the world on iPhone OS 4.
One anticipated feature is an option for a global in-box. You're probably going to see a lot of predictions for the upcoming release. In the meantime, here are the features I feel iPhone OS 4 should have.
First, Apple should change the name of the underlying operating system from iPhone OS to Touch OS. With the operating system running on the iPod Touch and now the iPad, it makes little sense for Apple to continue to call the software iPhone OS. Something like Touch OS would convey the larger message that Apple wants to ultimately send about its vision for the future of computing.
Second, the push-notification system could use some help. The current push notifications are essentially dialog boxes that pop up, occasionally play a sound, and then give you the option to ignore or launch an app.
The biggest problem with the current system is that messages tend to pile on top of each other and obscure the previous push notification. This is especially cumbersome in IM applications. The next generation of push notifications should probably closer resemble the popular messaging system for Mac OS X called Growl, especially when it comes to a device like the iPad, which has more screen real estate.
I hope to see a queue for push notifications, and I hope that Apple allows developers to push out more advanced notifications that are more like tiny HTML widgets that would allow users to respond to instant messages without launching their chat client, display images, or even background messaging that updates news applications with the latest stories.
Push notification was Apple's solution to multitasking, but given the speed of the iPhone 3GS and few practical uses of multitasking on a screen so small, Apple has steadfastly refused to allow third-party multitasking on the device. Rumors of an Expose-style multitasking interface are floating around on the Internet, and I am inclined to believe that Apple is finally ready to allow multitasking, if only to get the tech press to shut up about the lack of multitasking. … Read more