Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Much Needed and Long Overdue iOS Features

Mr. Cook,

First I all I want to say thanks for live streaming the last announcement event to the Apple devices, it was an easy way to show appreciation to your customers (the people most likely to enthusiastically share this knowledge with other potential customers - beyond the press).  

I wanted to request a couple of features that are long overdue. I know that you will get this information to the appropriate team. 

Tim, we as iOS users are delighted, that the AppStore has over 711,420 apps available for download. While most users will only need about 20 good apps to make the iOS device extremely useful to them, there are some of us that have over 100 apps (I have 519 apps on my 32GB iPhone 5 and even more on my 64GB iPad 3). An iOS feature that is desperately needed is the ability to move multiple apps at once. 

As you are quite aware, it is quite painful to move a  single app from screen to screen; imagine trying to organize 10-20 app icons. Giving us the ability to easily move icons between home screens; tapping each app icon (adding a check mark on each icon) to select them and then pressing the home button on the destination screen or folder to move them would solve this.

Another much need feature is one that would allow us to lock individual apps and folders. As you are both delightfully and profitability aware, people have their whole lives in their smartphones. Pick up anyone's smartphone and you can learn a whole lot about them in a matter of seconds by viewing their SMS messages, emails, and pictures.  Add apps like Facebook, Twitter, Mint or PageOnce to the discovery process and you can easily share more unintended material to both deliberate and innocent eyes. 

Sure the iOS devices allows a device level passcode that prevent prying eyes from seeing this information if the device is lost, but what about more likely encounters where you wish to share "some" information with someone? Have you ever shared your wedding pictures or that funny email with a boss, friend, colleague, family member or child? Are they still looking at the original content after a few minutes in?  Have you ever wondered that?  Even if you never had that situation, you may have had this experience or have seen the following; you are on a long road trip or even a trip around town and your child is in the back seat complaining about being "bored".  What do people do more than often these days? We hand the kid the iPhone or iPad to watch a movie or play a game. 

What else are the kids  doing with our iPhone in the back of the vehicle? Deleting some of our apps? Moving icons around? Emailing our boss a picture of the back of our head? Who knows! 

I bet you are thinking, " Just use the Guided Access feature that we added within the Accessibility area in Settings on iOS 6". This will work in some situations, but not all.  

Sometimes you need people to be able to view multiple apps in a short timeframe. During this time, you would have to unlock the device or break free the Guided access.

When you hand your unlocked device to someone, you are literally handing your live over to them. 

There are times when you just don't want people to even see the icon of your apps. Maybe you have a sexual positions app that you and your wife are experimenting with. Maybe you are Muslim, but look at the Bible from time to time; what would your brothers think?  I am sure you get the point. 

Other times you don't want them to be able to open certain apps. You don't want them opening your PageOnce or Mint app and seeing your financial data. You might not want them to see your  Internet purchases via the Slice app. 

The ability to lock individual apps is far overdue! The PC era, we could get away with a single access password because every user had their own ID and password. We are in a post PC world and the rules have changed. Give us the ability to lock individual apps. 

In a nutshell, Parental Controls must be added to iOS to control access to a kid's primary device as well as better restrictions to a primary device for controlled access to sensitive data. 

Lastly, we need the ability to have unlimited apps in folders. Why do I have to have 4 Productivity folders,  6 Photography folders and 10 Game folders to hold my apps? Allow us to place All similar apps in a single folder.  

Carl W. Brooks
Check out my iPad/iOS/Mac technology website

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