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Monday
Apr112011

Apple iOS 5 Wish List - Give Us Features to Avoid Jailbreaking

My iOS 5 wish list basically involve improvements and features that would make me think twice about Jailbreaking. There are lots of features that Jailbreaking allows us to install, and many of them can be included in the stock iOS. After all, iOS 4 borrowed a lot from the Jailbreaking community.

Multitasking is one, though it's not exactly true multitasking. It emulates the Jailbroken Backgrounder app. Folders is another, which eliminated the need for the Jaibroken Catagories app. Tethering is finally included, but requires AT&T's blessing (and a seperate tethering plan), which doesn't kill off Jailbroken tethering apps completely (to avoid the tethering plan, there's MyWi, PDA Net, etc).

However, there are still other features that Jailbreaking allows that makes the iPhone a more pleasurable experience. Apple can indeed include this in their next iOS and finally make Jailbreaking unecessary for most users.

 

Quick Toggles

For those who Jailbreak their iPhones, you've probably installed SBSettings as the very first thing to do. Well, this is because SBSettings got it right! A quick swipe at the top bar brings down the ability to quickly toggle many things on or off. This allows us to toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Airplain Mode, Data, 3G/EDGE, and Autolock on or off without having to go through the Settings app.

You can also adjust the brightness from here! They even have a rudimentary task manager! You can also reboot or shutdown the phone. This is worth Jailbreaking the iPhone for, and Apple will curtail a lot of users from Jailbreaking if they just impliment this feature in the next iOS.

I'd personally think twice about Jailbreaking if that was in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better SMS

The Jailbroken app, BiteSMS, is winning! It looks and feel like the stock SMS app, except it allows you to reply to incoming SMS messages in the same notification dialog box. You don't have to open the SMS app! This is great because you don't have to leave the app you're on just to answer the text. Of course, if they did a better job on their notification system in the first place, we might not need much improvements in the SMS app after all.

It may be a security issue, but BiteSMS also allows you to answer your text in the lock screen. You can also disable this, too if you're concerned. When these notifications come up, you can close them as read, or close them and let it stay "new" so you can read it later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Playback Controls and Album Art Display

 When listening to podcasts and online radio such as Pandora, it'd be nice if the current song or podcast shows their art on the lock screen, just like how the stock music player does. The Jailbroken app, Music Controls, allow for this. They also add playback controls when you double-click on the Home button. It's actually easier and look more polished than the one Apple gives us (swipe to the left at the bottom tray after double-clicking the Home button).

On the lock screen, not only do the album art of the currently song display, but the artist, album, and song as well. Apple can just create an API to allow developers to hook onto this to give a more seamless feel to their audio app, much like how the stock music app behaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Tethering

Apple has the weight, and they should use it. Much like how they influenced DRM-free music on iTunes, they can reform how carriers look at data. Tethering is a feature of a phone, not the carrier. We paid for the data, so why do we have to pay more just because we are using it differently?

Apple should build the feature in as a feature of the phone. It should not "phone home" and let carriers know that users are tethering. It should be up to the carriers on how they would like to detect or deter users from tethering. The cat is out of the bag.

How hard is it? Carriers already limit us to 2 GB or 5 GB of data. Let that be the deterent to heavy tetherers. If I only use a few hundred MB with just my phone, what can't I use the rest with my laptop? If I go over, then it's my responsibility to pay the overages.

This simple change would make me forego Jailbreaking completely. It's the main reason why I Jailbreak. Mind you, I don't tether like crazy. I just like knowing I can in case I have to. In very rare times when internet goes down at the house, or the hotel does not give out free WiFi access.

I am grandfathered in the AT&T unlimited data plan, but even so, I am very judicial with my tethering. Heck, just using the phone by itself, I can rack up 3-5 GB of data usage! I know that, so I try my best not to paint a red target on my back.

To keep from data abuse, carriers should just give us a reasonable data cap. The current 2 GB cap AT&T gives us is simply not enough. The industry practice of 5 GB is good. I'd gladly let go of my unlimited data if that means I get to tether an the same price as the non-tethered data plan with the only data cap as the deterrent from being a data hog.

 

Better Notification System

Apple, please see out how Palm's webOS does it. Android's way is nice, but they don't let you get rid of individual notifications. It's all or nothing. Either way, it'll be better than the current iOS notification system. That lower area that comes up when you double-click on the Home button? Yeah, that's a good place to put it.

 

Option for True Multitasking

I understand Apple's view for not doing multitasking the same way Android and Pre does. However, with dual-core CPUs that might be on the next iPhone, it's about time we get this. Or at least, give us the option to do so. The Jailbroken app, Backgrounder, lets us put an app in the background without suspending it. If Apple would give us that option (don't enable it by default), it would give the enthusiests more control.

 

Option for Sideloading Apps

I know, I know...asking for this feature would be pushing it. Apple still want to remain in control, but why not give your hardcore users the ability to sideload apps without needing to go to your App Store? Just like on Android, it could be a setting that can be turned on or off for security (default to off, of course). You might want to beef up your DRM on the App Store apps, however.

Make it more like an Easter Egg - like some kind of unlock code that changes with every iOS update. But let us figure it out. :) This will give us the impression that Apple is on our side, but still also on the side of the carrier and their investors.

 

So come on Apple. Open up a little, and you'll see a reduction in the Jailbreaking population. It may also turn some Android fans around in the process.

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