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What Apple should have changed in iOS 7

With last week’s iteration of Apple’s WWDC, they announced a new version of their mobile device OS, iOS 7, with the focus being on a major redesign, and a move away from skeuomorphism. Now, sure, the redesign looks nifty and all, but you know what? I was pretty happy with the old skeuomorphic design. Changing it, well, I could take it or leave it, really. There are other, more nuts and bolts things that need to change if iOS is to stand a chance in the future. Here’s what I want, in order of priority:

  1. Release iOS from its iTunes shackles
    • Since I first started using iTunes, way back when, it quickly became my default go-to music library and player, pushing WinAmp off my computer for good. I am happy with that choice, though these days most of my music listening no longer happens in iTunes. It happens on my iPhone, and on my suite of Sonos devices at home, and sometimes on Spotify. So what, then, am I on about, you ask? What I am on about, is that if I want to transfer music from my computer to my iPhone, I need to use the same computer that I did the last time I did that, or else I can only add music if I delete my entire library (Yes, I know there are ways to get that content off, but frankly, I shouldn’t have to). Now, there is a very simple and very obvious solution, to which our accounts are already tied: iCloud. Another solution may be to simply allow access to that part of the file system.
  2. Give us access to the file system
    • Come to think of it, why not give us access to the file system itself, and allow all apps to use it, regardless? OK, I guess you might want to keep the applications store buttoned down, but otherwise, I have never understood the rationale behind not allowing the end user access to the file system.
  3. Allow users to set default programs
    • For most of my browsing on iPhone and iPad alike, I prefer to use Google Chrome, for several reasons, like user friendliness, a preference for the user experience and the fact that I can log into my account and store my bookmarks across devices. I’ve been using Mailbox for email for a while (more on that in a later post), and I might want to set that as my default mail client. I very rarely use the Videos app, though I do use CineXPlayer quite a bit. The list goes on, and I think it is time to give us the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Allow interaction between apps
    • One of the main reasons for the success of the various iDevices, is the fact that, since day one, there has been a rich ecosystem of apps. However, the biggest drawback of this ecosystem is the fact that the apps are very limited in what they are able to do with regards to cooperation. Beyond being able to call upon other apps from an app when transferring a file, there is little to no option for interaction.
  5. Set any song as my ringtone
    • The iPhone is a a direct descendant of the iPod, a music player, and indeed, it features a music player. So, if my phone is a descendant of a music player, and actually features a music player, why can’t I use one of the songs I have on said music player as my ringtone?

A few other writers have had a little (or big) something to say about this before the WWDC. Check them out:

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