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Mac Planet: What I'd like in the next OS

Photo / AP
Photo / AP

The second highest readership of this blog is not Australia, last time I heard. It might surprise you but it was the US. That implies that maybe people at Apple, or at least Americans with an interest in Apple (developers?), are reading it. I don't have metrics for the Herald, but for my mac-nz blog it's pretty crazy: for example, for March 2013 I had 46,437 hits originating in NZ and 10,157 originating in the US. There were 5747 from 'Unknown' (which I've always imagined is mobile devices, in which case they're probably also NZ-based, but AWStats doesn't detail this). There were a paltry 2849 hits from Australia, then in descending order , China, Ukraine (!), then Israel (again, !) and so on.

Anyway, this Herald blog had a similar breakdown in the first four instances, so I reckon if I say what I'd like to see in the next system, and so do you (in the comments) we have a good chance of being heard. So please do.

Mac OS 10.9x
In OS 10.9, I'd like to be able to run the apps I buy for my iDevices. Why not? iOS is a subset of OS X, so it should be easy.

I understand it couldn't go the other way, but this way? Seems (albeit uninformedly) a cinch.

It is thought OS X 10.9 might introduce two of Apple's iOS features: the rather derided Apple Maps application, and Siri the virtual personal assistant that first appeared on the iPhone 4S in late 2011.

You might laugh at the Maps idea, but with Eddie Cue now leading the Maps team (and the Siri team) Apple is reportedly working hard to fix, tweak, remove and add features to its Maps app.

Maps integration gives Apple more precise data on device location and uses, so it's potentially useful to Apple as well as to us.

I don't use Siri much at all on my iPhone (see below) but on a Mac it might be more useful. As a fairly typical (ie, reticent) Kiwi, I'm more likely to talk to my Mac in my own office than I am as I'm walking down the street to a smartphone. Siri takes a fair bit of processor power, so it's a feature that may not work on older Macs, if it appears, even if users install the latest system.
IB Times has more speculation on OS 10.9.

As a minor point, on a Mac you can alias files and folders to the right side of the Dock, between the divider and the Trash, just by dragging them to that area. I relish the ready access to folders I choose to place there, like Documents but also various folder repositories of interesting stories I find that might lead to Mac Planet blogs, etcetera.

You can launch files simply by clicking once on them, but I often prefer to open the actual folders so I can view all their contents and sort them by the various sort criteria. Trouble is, the Open In Finder button is right at the bottom; I have to scroll through these ever lengthening lists to get to it. It's a minor point, but I'd like the button to be at the top, please.

Anyway, OS 10.9 does rather beg the question: what do you call OS 11? Snow Fish? Mountain Gorilla?

On the 'new iPhone' front, a 5S is likely to appear before an iPhone 6. An iPhone 5S interim model, to follow an Apple-established pattern, will most likely appear mid-yearish. But iOS 7 will probably be announced, if not released, at the mid-year Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

As far as iOS and a new iPhone goes, I don't care about fingerprint sensors and retina scanners. I mean, after sanding floors in my house, I don't think I have any fingerprints left - how would a fingerprint scanner cope with that? Or even dirt? Some wishes like these strike me as fanciful and ridiculous. Someone's been watching too much sci-fi. Forgetting a password and being locked out of your device is bad enough. Being locked out because you've been gardening seems really stupid.

RTFD, likewise - I mean, in New Zealand anyway. Really, do you think your local Wellington café is going to have the capacity to read an RTFD chip in your phone any time soon? The banks would need to implement it, too. I doubt it. But then, the telco industry here privately insisted 4G/LTE would never happen, since that they'd skip it and wait for the next iteration of cellular data - then Vodafone launched it. And I have seen NZ developers playing around with RTFD and they're a bunch of geniuses, so I'm pretty sure near-field radio communication chips would have some amazing uses well beyond springing for coffee that I don't know about or can't imagine yet, so who knows?

Advance-wise, my iOS devices already do a lot more than I can use. I do find the Settings layout a little impenetrable at times - as the devices become more sophisticated, I'd like to see this overhauled.

Siri, of course, is still technically in Beta, so maybe this will emerge as the real thing. Whatever that is. I mean seriously, as fascinating as I find Siri and as cool as that tech is, I just don't use it. I don't like talking at my phone very much, but I know a couple of people (out of the perhaps 30 iPhone users I know) who use it a lot. But hey, how about more alternative Siri voices? The dictation features probably have more chance of being used, but it's s-l-o-w.

Do Not Disturb is a good iOS 6 feature, but it could do with more flexibility in settings.

Being able to hide or even delete the default Apple apps might be good - for now, I just chuck them into a folder and move it to A Screen Far Away. I'd like quitting apps to be easier (no, clicking the Home button does NOT quit an app).

Wireless charging, now that could be cool, since many of us already have two or more cables and chargers if we have more than one iDevice. But I'm not sure what enough electrons shooting through air to charge a device is going to do to my brain. But it could happen - Apple filed a patent application last year for 'Wireless Power Utilization', a wireless charging system using near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR).

So what do you expect, or more importantly, want?

- NZ Herald

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