iOS 5 is set to take a bow in just a few short weeks, if the Apple rumour mill is to be believed. And the major update will need to bring some serious changes in order for it to compete with Android’s latest iterations. Here are our Top 10 features it needs to have at launch.
1 Improved AirPrint
AirPrint should have been so beautiful, but let’s face it, it’s not. The inability to use shared printers on Mac or PC means it’s a niche feature when it should sit front and centre of the device. Apple must ensure this feature is tuned up for iOS 5.
2 Beefed-up Game Center
Twitter and Facebook access for Game Center is key to its success. Telling your pals about games would make the service infinitely better. Currently, it’s proof positive that Apple doesn’t “get social”.
3 Wi-Fi syncing
For too long, hooking up that knackered white cable has been the only way to get music, movies and files onto an iPhone. Apple must find a way of including decent syncing over Wi-Fi in this update or risk looking archaic.
4 Better hotspot
Three devices on Wi-Fi is not enough. Hotspot might be iOS 4.3’s leading feature, but it hardly excites when Apple says how many gadgets you can use it with. The networks can do that with data caps and Apple shouldn’t be telling punters what to do in this instance.
5 Free MobileMe
Let’s be honest, why pay for MobileMe when you can use Google, Microsoft or Yahoo’s services for nothing. MobileMe needs to go gratis and sit at the centre of iOS 5. If Apple goes all out, it could boss cloud computing in the years to come, especially with so many iPhone owners already out there.
6 Mail that mirrors the iPad
The iPhone’s mail app is a bit of a mess. Apple needs to find a way to bring the pop out menus from the iPad, as well as better attachment saving and an easier way to flag mails for viewing later. Currently it all feels a touch too simple and not professional enough.
7 Gesture support
This was included in the iOS 4.3 beta but stripped out. The chance to ape a MacBook’s multitouch swipes on your phone is smart and could easily lead to the end of the home button on any new iPhone. It would also work a peach on an iPad.
8 Android-style lock
A recently leaked snap showed an iPhone running an Android style pattern lock, where users can set a unique gesture rather than a pin code. It feels far more secure and is harder to crack too.
9 Free upgrades for all
Apple’s habit of charging some users for iOS upgrades, those using iPod touches and older iPads for example, needs to end. With Apple already cornering swathes of the market, this would be a gesture that’d be most welcome, if a tad unlikely.
10 Adobe Flash support
An outsider, but Flash would finally stop plenty of bleating about the iPhone being unable to handle the whole web. Adobe will need to prove to Apple it can do the business and that it won’t hammer the phone’s battery. Unlikely, but we can dream.