A Christmas Wish List: Things We Want from Apple

“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.


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.


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?