Apple’s data center in North CarolinaNotifications When compared to competing operating systems, iOS’s notifications system looks antiquated at best, and it needs to go. While at this stage, not much is known about how apps running in the background will interact with iOS 5 users, Apple will most likely switch to a model close to the one used in Android and WebOS, with non-intrusive, yet meaningful notifications.
WebOS notifications system – Clean, simple, efficientDirect integration with OS X Lion (read ‘iTunes not required’) The preview version of Lion – the next iteration of OS X – shows major hints of additional layers of integration with iOS. The OS X Finder may soon be able to connect directly to iOS-powered devices, without having to go through iTunes, as files buried within Lion’s Finder show never-before-seen iPhone, iPad and iPod touch icons, meant to show up in the Finder’s sidebar when an iOS-powered device is connected to a Mac.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch icons uncovered by macstoriesA direct integration between Lion and iOS could potentially allow users to easily transfer files such as documents, or even content, from one machine/device to the other. Also worth noting, Apple may allow iOS-powered devices owners use their device just like a thumb drive. Lock Screen A new set of Android-inspired gestures is currently being experimented by Apple, to allow iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users to unlock their device via a graphical pattern, instead of a numeric PIN. With this new graphical pattern unlock, users will be presented a ‘dot grid’, and will be required to correctly connect at least four dots to gain access to their device. Note that the feature is already used by Apple internal apps, such as AppleConnect.
Multitouch gestures on an iPad running iOS 4.3Ringtones / Text tones / Email tones About four years after the introduction of the first generation iPhone, iOS is still severely crippled when it comes to tones. While Apple eventually allowed iPhone owners to upload their own ringtones to their phones via iTunes, text message tones are limited to sixteen predefined tones, and users cannot even change the ‘new email’ tone used by the phone. As a result, all iOS-powered devices sound exactly the same, and having to find out which device received a new message or a new email when a tone is played is simply painful. iOS 5 is expected to offer more flexibility than its predecessor, and will most likely offer several additional tones, and the ability to change the ‘new email’ tone.
iOS 4 text tones – Limited to 16 predefined choicesFaceTime over 3G (or 4G) We’re not sure why Apple (or at&t?) decided to disable FaceTime over 3G, as FaceTime works fairly well when used via a 3G access point such as the MiFi series of WiFi/3G bridges. The next generation of iOS might allow users to actually use FaceTime over any network, and might even integrate with at&t’s and Verizon’s own video sharing services.