Each year, Apple holds its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California. At one time, this was the stage where Apple unveiled new iOS products, such as the very first iPhone, but the company slowly gravitated away from announcing new products and now focuses on software platforms, such as iOS and OS X. I expect this summer’s WWDC to be the big launch platform for iOS 6. Here are a few predictions about what the new mobile OS will include.
Better Sharing Options
Apple’s iOS may be dead simple to use, but that’s also its downfall. You can’t quickly share an image or a video to Tumblr, Facebook, your e-mail application or any other third-party application. This is an option that has been available on Android for quite some time, and one Apple needs to implement ASAP.
New Maps and Free Navigation
We’ve heard rumors that Apple will ditch Google Maps and provide its own mapping solution in iOS 6. This is huge, since it means iOS will finally catch up to the mapping experience offered on Android and Windows Phone, two competing OS’s that already provide free turn-by-turn voice-guided directions and other details such as 3D maps and much, much more.
A revamped Homescreen
Apple’s homescreen is desperately in need of a makeover. The Cupertino-based company hasn’t changed the face of iOS since its debut on the original iPhone in 2007. Users need more than just the ability to sort applications and place them in folders: we want widgets for at-a-glance looks at the weather, sports scores and more. Apple could add these improvements by announcing new developer API support for its iOS Window Shade.
FaceTime over 4G
Apple currently only allows support for FaceTime video calls over Wi-Fi networks, but we’re almost certain the next iPhone will support much faster 4G LTE networks. That means we’re also hoping that it includes support for FaceTime video chat over 4G networks. Imagine being able to chat with a friend from the train, for example, where Wi-Fi isn’t available. Or better yet, from the beach this summer!
The email support in iOS is pretty terrible compared to the experience you get on BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android. You can’t add attachments directly from the email itself and formatting looks no better than what we saw on a BlackBerry in 2009. It’s time for Apple to step it up with a better looking and more functional email experience, and I’m willing to bet we hear more on this at WWDC.
I’m not expecting Apple to announce the new iPhone at WWDC — I think that’s reserved that for Apple’s own event. But the show will no doubt be very telling as we learn more about the software that Apple’s next generation iPhone, iPod and iPad touch will run.
What do you want most from iOS 6? Let me know in comments.