iOS 5 Review - Top 9 Features We'd Like to See in iOS 5

Apple iOS 4.3 is a well-designed, stable mobile operating system that remains one of the best in the smartphone and tablet arenas. But it isn't perfect. Our take on the nine most wanted iOS 5 features follows, counting down from nine to one.
By: cheaplaptopbattery
June 3, 2011 - PRLog -- Apple iOS 4.3 is a well-designed, stable mobile operating system that remains one of the best in the smartphone and tablet arenas. But it isn't perfect. Recently, the rumor mill has been cranking out speculation stating that the OS' successor—iOS 5—will see a drastic overhaul that will bring a slew of new features to Apple's mobile devices when it is unveiled next week at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California (new details about Mac OS X Lion is also expected to come out of the show).

Apple has been hush-hush as usual, leaving iOS 5's feature set open for rumor and speculation. What is certain is that iOS 5 will be the driving force behind iCloud, Cupertino's new cloud-based offering (which in itself has been rumored to be the cloud based version of iTunes, a Mobile Me revamp, or both). No other iOS 5 features have been confirmed besides that, but we have high hopes for the updated iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system.

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As such, we've put together nine features that we long to see implemented into iOS 5. These features range from wireless syncing to the ability to actually roll back iOS 5 to an earlier version should your device begin to chug after you download the latest version of the mobile operating system. Our wishlist may require new hardware in order for these features to be implemented, but Apple has a history of releasing new gear on an annual basis.

Let us know if you agree or disagree with our iOS 5 wishlist by leaving a comment below, or better yet, share your ideas of what you'd like to see in the operating system. Our take on the nine most wanted iOS 5 features follows, counting down from nine to one.

9 .Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Currently, unless you download MapQuest or jailbreak your iOS device, there's no way to get turn-by-turn GPS navigation on your handheld. Apple should have this functionality baked right into the operating system. Considering that Apple tracks your movements, this seems the next logical step.

8 .Deleting or Hiding Default Apps

Apple includes a number of apps on every iOS device—Contacts, Notes, Calendar, Maps, YouTube—but Cupertino doesn't give you any method to remove those apps should you not want to use them. For example, Bento for iPad is my preferred tool for managing contact information—why does the default (and far less feature-rich) Contacts icon have to remain on my iPad's homescreen? As someone who is quite anal in app organization (I like the homescreen streamlined and efficient), this inability to delete—or at least hide—those pre-loaded icons is a wee bit maddening.

7. NFC Support

Google made headlines last week when it unveiled Google Wallet, a NFC (near-field communication) powered wireless service that lets you make purchases with your smartphone. iOS should adopt NFC as a way to quickly make purchase my tapping your phone—or with some forward thinking—allow your phone to act as a smart car key, or a smart business card.

6 .Automatic App Updates

Between my iPhone and iPad, I have numerous apps I use on a daily basis. This means that I also receive a fair number of alerts stating that software updates are available. Certainly, launching the App Store and tapping the Update icon isn't very time consuming, but I would appreciate it if Apple and the respective app developers allowed updates to automatically downloaded on their own—in the background—without my intervention. iOS should send a notification before and after the download was completed.

5. Ability to Roll Back to Earlier Versions of iOS

iOS 5 is sure to pack a number of intriguing features which will entice you to upgrade to the new operating system. But as we've demonstrated, upgrading (depending on the device) can stymie the overall system performance. Unfortunately, rolling back to a previous build can create its own frustrations. Apple needs to include a way for users to quickly and easily roll back iOS to help users of older devices whose handsets may not be up handling to the newest version.

4. Adding An App Basket

The App Store has proven wildly successful for Apple, so it boggles the mind that the company only allows users to make one purchase at time. I discover a handful of cool and interesting apps on nearly a daily basis as I explore the best iPad apps—I would love to be able to queue up a string of apps in a basket, and then move on to do other things as they download to my iPad.

3. 4G Connectivity

When the iPad debuted it was on the cutting edge of smartphone technology with its innovative touchscreen interface and, eventually, its apps store. But other handset manufacturers have managed to one up Apple in one important area: wireless connectivity. Phones such as the HTC Thunderbolt boast speedy 4G connections, which lets users download files faster or stream hiccup-free video.

2. A Revamped Notification System

The Xoom's stock Honeycomb OS has its flaws, but the way that it handles notifications is excellent. For example, when a new e-mail arrives, Honeycomb pings you no matter where you are within the operating system; iOS 4.3 requires you to the homescreen to see if the Mail app has an unread message icon. In addition, iOS only displays the latest notification message—there's no way to view older ones. Apple, take a look at what's Google done and work out a way to let users receive notifications from anywhere within the OS, and to let them read previous alerts.

1. Wireless Syncing

Apple may tout the iPad and iPad 2 as "post-PC" devices, but the first action that must be performed someone purchases the tablet is to connect it to a computer to sync account information, music, photos, video, and other files. In fact, you can't even view the homescreen without first connecting with iTunes. That's not at all “post-PC,” and the entire affair gives the iPad the air of a PC sidekick rather than that of a true stand-alone device. Apple could eliminate this problem and perception by moving iTunes to the cloud; something that seems quite possible if it builds upon La La technology (the company it purchased in 2009). This would allow users to log onto their iPads to wirelessly stream and sync content from any location—much like Amazon's recently-released Cloud Player. You'd never have to worry about USB cables again—at least until it's time to charge the iPad.

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