A Christmas Wish List: Things We Want from Apple

| Hidden Dimensions

“I wish I had an answer to that, because I’m tired of answering that question!”

— Yogi Berra

With this list, I’m reminded of the stretching spacetime fabric of an expanding universe. The larger Apple becomes and the more ambitious it gets, the more holes show up in its product line. We’d like to see some of these holes filled. So some of the TMO editors and readers have put together a holiday wish list of things we’d like to see from Apple.

It has been noted that Apple has a tendency to move on to exciting new things that they think will make them money, like Ping, before the company nails down loose ends that seem tedious but nevertheless need attention. Some holes are left behind.

Moreover, as Apple gains more and more customers by leaps and bounds, its penchant for minimalism and esoteric design, while still useful, doesn’t have that universal appreciation. More holes are created.

Finally, and most importantly, we also recognize that there are some things customers would like Apple to do that just aren’t going to happen for legal, practical or philosophical reasons. But that doesn’t keep us from making a list because that gets a healthy discussion started. With all that in mind, here’s a list of of things, in no particular order, we’d like from Apple someday soon.

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A better Finder that includes a copy drop stack, like PathFinder, and per file (AES 256) encryption.

A more robust cloud experience. Make it work all the time, perfectly. Cut back on features if necessary, simplify, solidify.

Light Peak brought to maturity. Allow FireWire and USB 2 & 3 to tunnel.

Earlier notification of WWDC, say 60 to 70 days, to allow people to plan ahead, obtain funding approval, etc.

More imagination and creativity with Safari, especially along the lines of the tab management innovations shown by OmniWeb 5 and Opera 11. Also, more, not less, transparency with respect to credentials and security, like Opera.

iTunes simplification. iTunes is a huge, bloated app that tries to do too much. Refactor iTunes into two apps: One strictly for media playback and another for all the management functions. Of course, in the Mac community, opinions vary on this, some in favor and some against.

An iPad 2G that’s more compelling and more capable, not just an original iPad with cameras.

The return of an affordable 21-inch Cinema display for desktop and MacBook users with limited desk space.

A more serious, capable e-mail client. Get rid of RSS and ToDo list, things better done by other apps. Focus more on software intelligence, power, flexibility and presentation.

Man up. When Apple announces a feature like AirPrint, then deletes functionality before release, admit it.

Allow selected iOS apps to run on Apple TV 2G, understanding, of course, certain technical limitations.

As the number of brands of tablets increases, each iPad competitor will be tempted to have its own, proprietary magazine & newspaper reading system. It would be nice if Apple, as a leader in the industry, would help the magazine industry establish its own uniform standard for digital publication: file format, structure, and standards. Then each vendor could develop its own specific reader that utilizes those standards. That’s better than Apple imposing its own standards and hoping that market share dominance will lead to a defacto standard. With luck, this may already be happening.

An Apple quality terminal app for iPad. A key differentiator for iPad versus a notebook or netbook for UNIX and IT professionals is that terminal app.

Time for Time Machine 2.0. There are just too many utilities required, like Back-In-Time 2, to complete basic Time Machine’s needed functionality.

Work with third party app developers to allow DRM protected AirPlay to Apple TV (Netflix, ABC, Hulu).

Accept Paypal as payment in the online store.

Start supporting Dropbox (or buy the company) across products. It just works.

Allow posting & editing to a Wiki/Blog hosted on Mac OS X Server from iOS Safari.

iOS device wireless sync to iTunes on a PC or Mac.

Simple file transfer for iOS devices. Apple is presenting the iPad as a content creation device, so it’s time to let us move that content around easily.

A public beta of Lion that includes a seamless, paid upgrade to 10.7.0.

Renewed commitment to pro color management. ColorSync rocks, but it’s been left to languish for years. It’s time for Apple to show pro designers and photographers it can still handle color management better than anyone else.

Give up on Ping. Admit is was a bust. Move on.

Blu-ray support. With one out of every two Mac buyers at Apple retail stores being new to the Mac, the question here is often: WTF?

Real expansion option for MacBook Pros via an ExpressCard or something similar. SD card slots don’t cut it.

Beef up the portable power. How about a 15-inch MacBook Pro that follows in the footsteps of the new MacBook Air, but with pro-level portable horse power. Light weight, big screen, long battery life, SSD.

A docking option/technology for portables

A decent Apple developed application uninstaller that gets rid of cruft no longer in use, for example, prefs, libraries, kexts.

Get back to UI standardization. Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines were developed for a reason, and Apple needs to take a refresher course.

Macintosh support for advanced multi-channel audio output: Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.

A MacBook ruggedized option for, say, travelers, scientists, pilots, surveyors and military along the lines of Panasonic Toughbook.

A removable battery option for MacBooks.

Integrated projector option for portables.

An iPhone for Verizon and T-Mobile.

A white iPhone.

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So there you have it:  a lot of holes in the spacetime fabric of Apple. Some may be filled, many will never be. But these are the ones we thought of. What are yours?

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14 Comments Leave Your Own

Murray Henderson

Hi John, thanks for the intelligent list, first one I have seen.
MHH

jas

The new MacBook Pro’s (the 15 & 17 at least) should have both onboard SSD, ala MacBook Air, and a standard 2.5” SATA drive (which could be a “normal” rotating drive, or a 2nd SSD).  This would allow the massive capacity of a normal drive, and the awesome speed of the onboard SSD.  If the 13” MBP has to give op the optical drive for this to fit, so bit it, but I’m sure they can find room in the 15, and especially the 17 for it to fit.

It is time to support USB 3.0, but please keep the FW800 as well.

eSata would be very nice, but I’d be willing to live without it if they bring back the ExpressCard slot (and then I can just add eSata with the expresscard slot).

geoduck

A few comments:
“Light Peak brought to maturity. Allow FireWire and USB 2 & 3 to tunnel.”
Yes that would be wonderful

“iTunes simplification”
Absolutely. This cute little music player has turned into Godzilla.

“An iPad 2G that?s more compelling and more capable, not just an original iPad with cameras.”
If they add a camera and nothing else I’ll get one. But if they improve the screen, add a USB port, and make it lighter it’ll be easier to convince SWMBO that I “need” one.

“Time for Time Machine 2.0.”
The old one works for me but yes it could be improved. There’s much more that it could do.

“Blu-ray support”
Meh. With Apple’s push toward streaming and away from physical disk media I just don’t see this happening. Makes no difference to me as I don’t use Blu-Ray.

“Get back to UI standardization”
Yes. Apple’s gotten sloppy in the last few years.

Here’s a few others
Apple has an integrated spelling checker in OS-X. It needs to be improved. It should be smart enough to use grammar and syntax in addition to the letters. If I type “I will be sarking late at the office” in TextEdit, it should know that I mean working. It should not suggest sparkling, snarking, snaking, or spiking.

With a few more features Preview could be a passible Graphics program. It’s almost there now, just a few more drawing tools.

While they are at it why isn’t there a good graphics/drawing/photo editing program in iWork? I currently don’t use any of the iWork Apps (OpenOffice does all the writing/spreadsheet stuff I need) but add a drawing program and I’m there. My ancient Canvas died this fall and I’ve been crippled since then. Especially with iWork and iLife apps available separately in the MacAppStore.

KitsuneStudios

Stereoscopic 3d support. Sell digital3d movies through iTunes, play 3d video games, very useful for 3d development in Maya, blender and Autocad.

Just my personal wish. An iPad or tablet with pressure sensitive stylus support for artists would be nice too, but perhaps too much of a niche for Apple.

John Martellaro

geoduck: For drawing, I use EazyDraw.  It’s not cheap, but it can open AppleWorks files and comes highly recommended.  A 9 month demo is $20.

EazyDraw

Tiger

Here’s a bold suggestion for a wish list….make printing work on the iPad and don’t make us BUY apps to do it! It is ridiculous that I cannot add an IP printer to print to over Wi-Fi.  iOS 4.2 on the iPad is not an OS without the ability to print. Period. It’s severely crippled.

Oh, and for good measure, find a way to make dual external monitors work with the laptops. The options available right now are AWFUL. You either get on really large stretched screen or mirrored clone images. That’s it. None of the external docks will drive dual monitors for MB/MBPs. The MiniDisplay Port offers little help and gets crappy reviews as being the weakest link on the Apple portables.

Don’t worry about new stuff, fix the missing stuff!!!!!!

palenoue

A 3-D printer, like this but with the Apple style: http://www.makerbot.com/

Apple practically created the desktop publishing industry by making a laser printer and software that everybody could use.  They could do the same with with small scale fabrication.

Also, a text-to-song feature in Garageband.  Apple has a good text-to-voice so why not take it one step further and let us make it sing?  Like vocaloid but much easier to use.

d'nomder

A credible replacement for MS Office.  iWork isn’t (yet) that replacement.

Matte screens.  Please.  Apple just lost two holiday iMac sales here because of that.

iTunes… yes, a diet is clearly in order!

USB 3, yes.  Leadership, ahem, Apple….

A fully-standalone iPad (this includes printing that works).  No Mac or PC should be needed for anything.

Metalizer

matte screens ? options all round…and/or a souped up mac mini/mid tower to use with matte screens of other manufacturers if Apple can’t provide the first option wink

info

Excellent list!

Lee Dronick

Redo the Character Viewer, make it is easier to outwit.

Ion_Quest

Yes, an Apple mini-tower for a $500 to $1000 price.  As I move cross-platform, just picked up a new HP mini-tower for $300 including Win 7, keyboard and mouse.  Works fine so far.

Lancashire-Witch

Notes ! - along with To Do lists.  Lotus Organizer 1996 was better.

In fact, Mail, Address Book and iCal need a functional overhaul.

gnasher729

Product idea: Monitors that match the looks of the iMac. That would be nice for iMac owners wanting a dual monitor iMac with two matching monitors on the desk, but also for owners of a Mac Mini or Mac Pro.

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