It is about a week away from WWDC 2011 and I haven’t seen too much of the specific predictions for what would be announced yet, other that the broad topics of iOS 5, Lion and iCloud somehow linking the two. The follow is not a serious attempt at a prediction, but an idea that I think could become real if Apple decided to go all in on their iCloud initiative.
First, a few assumptions that I’m just treating as fact…. iCloud, or whatever is is called, will be cloud based storage/services for hosting stuff. Safe money is on your own music, without having to upload your tracks.
BUT, I had a scenario today where I suddenly realised this cloud based sync idea could be even more compelling.
Today I took some photos on my iPhone while out with the kids. I wanted to sit back and look at my photos on my iPad, but I decided I couldn’t be bothered syncing or sending the photos in any way. I could have synced both devices via my Mac, ensuring the same Events were configured for syncing and probably found the photos I was interested in where not there after I had made myself nice and comfortable on the couch. Alternatively, I could have sent all my photos manually up to my MobileMe account for private viewing, and then viewed.
IDEA 1: Ability to stream Photos from one iOS device to another in my home library.
This is easily possible, AirPlay supports pushing Photo from my iPhone to my AppleTV. In this case I was to sit on my couch, iPad in hand and want to be able to browse (i.e. pull) photos down from my iPhone, all from the iPad. I imagine this could be akin to using the Home Library feature recently added to the iPod App to stream music from my iMac. Note here though that this is one iOS device to another.
IDEA 2: Photos constantly synced up to my iCloud.
But what if the photo was to constantly push my photos up to my iCloud storage, much like Dropbox does, then I could expect to browse my “virtual collection” of photos across all my iOS devices and potentially Macs from a single index in iCloud. The physical content file may then be either sent from iCloud if present, or direct from another decice.
IDEA 3: Making iCloud Photos Social
But what if that online copy of my Photos was not just for myself, but could be tagged and shared with my friends via iCloud? Rather than explicitly sharing photos to Facebook, Flickr, etc, what if all my photos were seamlessly available only, it was just a matter of me selecting from the local Photos or Camera App at any time (meta data would be synced at any time too).
But which friends you ask?
IDEA 4: Using your Address Book as your Friends List
Apple already has the best social graph of 100 million subscribers… the iPhone Contacts App. Instead of manually “Adding” Friends, Apple already has all the contacts you have ever added to your phone, with unique keys to identify them (mobile and email address). I have previously written about this idea before, but with this use case of Photo Sharing the concept just becomes more compelling.
Rather than try to get permission from Facebook to integrate your FB identifier into the iOS SDK (an apparent early feature of iOS 4 that was apparently removed) Apple could immediately create a social network of iPhone users as a start, then add the non-iPhone carrying iTunes accounts to boot for a pretty comprehensive social graph.
So, if you didn’t need to Publish to Facebook and could be lazy and let others just see the photos you had taken locally available via iCloud, would you bother with the FB step? Equally, if I new I could browser more timely photos of a family member by going to the source (iCloud) than the explicitly shared list, would I bother with Facebook for that friends photos in the first instance.
Maintaining your friends list would just be a byproduct of using your phone. Add a new person in Contacts and you might add the name, mobile, email address and “Social Group” to contol visibility of all the social features disussed here. This social group and streaming to it would then be consistently and simplistically applied across the whole iOS including Photo, Videos, Games, Music (Ping 2.0)?), etc. Even receiving a call from a new contact would all you to create a Contact for that person and therefore the option to add to your social network immediately.
IDEA 5: Chat via iCloud
But what if I extended the cloud based aggregation to other features of Facebook, or other purposes:
- Chat could replace SMS with other iOS carrying friends
- Facetime could become more than video calling, but become more like an instant messenger (i.e. see who is online)
- Gamecenter could become more prevalent as the hub for social gaming, giving cows to your friends (if that is what you do in Farmville?)
IDEA 6: Enriched Notiifications becomes your “Wall”
There are already rumours that Notificatons will receive some love in iOS 5. No major surprises there. However imagine if Notifications was not only the framework for local Apps to receive push notifications, but the iCloud was a key provider as well given the above ideas for social sharing of content. I think a key feature of any Notifications overhaul is going to have to include the ability to view a history of recent notifications, however what if it wasn’t just your notifications but a stream of notifications of what your friends where also doing? Sound familiar?
IDEA 7: Evolution of Ping
Apple could then evolve Ping from being a standalone App and bring it into the wider iCloud social system with notifications, friends music lists, see what your friends are playing right now, etc.
With the centralised music locker of the rumoured iCloud and licensing deals with the music labels, and therefore no need to upload your own04.13.11
It’s been a while since a Apple forecast / wish list….
Below are some very rough ideas of where Apple could take the future of the iOS SDK in order to extend the capabilities for developers and differentiate the platform from Android and others.
1) Universal MobileMe Sync
Today developers can write local iOS native Apps, however if they want to write any server side component of their application (e.g. remote syncing of data) they need to (a) host the server-side, (b) write their own interfaces, syncing logic and server-side data storage.
Instead Apple should provide every iOS device user with a free MobileMe account (for other reasons, such as cloud storage, web mail, etc) however specifically the iOS SDK should have APIs that allow a developer to write a native client-side App together with a MobileMe server-side component that might include data storage, syncing, server-side processing, etc. For example, be able to write an App like 1Password that can seamlessly sync online without need for the customer to nominate where they want to store their data (e.g. MobileMe or Dropbox), instead the App can just assume it can access online storage. For example, expose API’s like CoreData that allow client access to server-side data that is almost transparent to the programmer.
Apple would then need to take this one step further to allow external applications (e.g. Mac and PC Desktop clients) to have API access (e.g. writing other client apps to access the same data, either using high level APIs or low level data access).
2) Shared App MobileMe Cloud Space
Taking the above access to MobileMe Cloud space for an individual, each App available on the App Store should also have access to a common pool of Cloud Space (i.e. each App gets its own MobileMe account) where the App can now access a single shared MobileMe Cloud storage. For example, if the App wants to host a discussion group, rating system, shared posts, etc, the native App can use an iOS API to write directly to the cloud for access to common data across the App. Again, this would be almost transparent to the App developer and there is no need to develop any server-side code, host the code, manage the data, etc. Potentially this kind of data storage would require an additional hosting portion of the application, for example paid for via the subscription App business model.
Taking this one step further, the App MobileMe account may have an API for sharing data between applications, follow much the same rules as client-side data sharing. For example, there may be “hooks” to jump from data in one App Cloud to another App Cloud, but not allowing cross App data modification. I’ll call it the “Cloud-box”.
3) Desktop APIs
Finally, Apple could extend the iOS SDK with hooks into OS X to promote applications that leverage the benefits of owning multiple Apple products. For example, there are few Apps like PasteBot that use tricks to make the use of a Desktop Mac running OS X appear seamless with an iPhone however I am surprised Apple doesn’t exploit this “closed loop” even more.
1) Transition between editing photos in iPhoto to pick up the work on an iPad
2) Syncing data from an iPhone, such user preferences / buddy list / favourites / flagged articles, to a MobileMe Cloud, and the syncing that data to an iPad.
3) Pushing heavy processing off the iPhone to the MobileMe Cloud to process on Apple Data Farm, for example creating an image manipulation, speech to text conversion, speech to text conversion.
4) Picking the history of recent applications used on the iPad and having that history seamlessly available on an iMac (e.g. open previous email, view previous photos).
5) Allowing an App to push it’s display to a server-side application for others to join like a webcast.
6) Writing a iOS application that shared actions (gestures) with other iOS applications to create a “multiplayer” type of application.
Let me know what you think or any other applications of an iOS cloud…07.18.10
I’m writing this post from my new iPad using the WordPress App. Pretty impressive.
The more I get to know my iPad the more I come to expect it to have access to ALL my data, regardless of whether or not it has been synced from my home PC or not. I have instant access to content from all over the Internet as though it was local, and yet I have to sit in front of my desktop to plan what data I want to sync from my home Mac to have it available on the iPad.
So, how do we fix this?
I think Apple should make it seamless to be able to browse your own content from nominated Macs from your iPad as though it was an extension of the locally stored data in the iPad.
I imagine you would give permissions on your Mac for selected iPad and iPhone devices to be able to access selected libraries of content from you Mac. For example permissions to your:
- iPhoto library
- Document directory
- iTunes library
You would be able to grant permission to access on the same local network, or across the Internet (the later obviously being much more of a technical challenge to do securely, however nothing Apple couldn’t solve).
Once granted, the user should be able to natively see this content in local apps like Photos, iPod, Pages, Numbers, Keynote. The iDisk application could also browse your Mac’s local filesystem (from the directories you chose to share) from where you could open a file using any App that supported the doctype.
As an aside, I played with Keynote today and was amazed I couldn’t import a file from my iDisk within the App. It was easy enough to open the iDisk App and open the file, however this kind of “suggestive integration cross-selling” is something I have come to expect from Apple.
Now, once the content is browseable from my iPad without jumping any hoops or any new learning curve in the wonders of networking, there are some specific functions that I would love to be able to perform on my content from the comfort of my couch, bed, coffee shop.
Photos – basically the ability to manage and clean up my library from the iPad
- rating my photos
- adding face detection
- hiding or deleting photos
- creating an Album
- publishing photos to the Internet
Oh, and if I had an Apple TV (I do) I would like the exercise to be visible on my home TV so that the process can be a social experience.
iTunes – the ability to manage what it synced to my iPad from my iPad.
- tagging new songs, playlists, photo albums, videos, etc on my Mac to be synced to my iPad (and iPhone) while using my iPad on the couch or on the bus.
- ability to subscribe to new podcasts.
- ability to initiate a download of large content from iTunes from my iPad (e.g. perhaps if I’m using my iPad on 3G and I find a movie I want to buy, I should have to option to download it to my (nominated) home Mac rather than my iPad) for viewing when I’m next at home.
- Aside: in any of the local Apps where I can browse/stream content from my home Mac, I should also be able to tag that content to remain in sync and therefore flagged in iTunes as a permanent sync item (perhaps this is automatically assumed for simplicity).
I would love to implement something like this myself, however it’s only truly going to work as a deeply integrated experience that is core to the iOS, iTunes and OSX software, so I would prefer to see Apple do it right.
In summary, I see the iPad as a ultra portable window to my whole computing world. I don’t want to have to think about the barriers between where my content is stored, in particular my own content. Applications need to evolve to be available in different form factors around your content, not the current method where the content needs to follow your apps.
If anyone from Apple is reading this and would like more of these ideas, I’m always available to talk about jobs:)
Here is a suggestion I posted to the Apple TV feedback site today:
I suggest you develop an iTunes “favicon” that becomes common place to host on pages that reference topics related to content that is available in the iTunes store (e.g. like icons for Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Readit, etc). Clicking the icon would either:
a) take you to the related iTunes store content for that related topic (e.g. an article about U2 might take you to the iTunes Store home page for U2).
b) might add reference to that content in some kind of “inbox” or “playlist” or “favourites” within iTunes to refer to the next time you use iTunes (Mac/PC), your iPhone/iPad iTunes, or available in a “watch queue” on your Apple T
This link could apply to references across any web site to the iTunes Music, TV Shows, Movies, Apps, eBook, Podcasts content. The link could also apply to any such content that could be viewed through Apple products (e.g. Safari, iTunes streaming, Youtube on iPhone/iPad/AppleTV). The link would allow you to open that content directly (e.g. the movie, photo, music, online video), not surrounded by a web page. It provides a convenient way to add content to a “to-be-consumed playlist” in your devic
The act of adding items to playlist might cause a Push Notification to your iPhone/iPad, or display the “ready to watch/view” dialogue box on your AppleTV (i.e. like ready to watch rented movies) to allow the user to immediately start playback on their current device if desired. This is all from clicking a link in a third party website. Taking this to the extreme, you could immediately start playing music on your home stereo (via AppleTV or similar) by clicking links on any 3rd party web site that support the iTunes favicon lin
You may support combine this with an affiliate program to give a small percentage of any potential iTunes Store sale (if relevant) to the link source. This would encourage such links to be added to third party web sites as a potential revenue source. It would drive traffic for content consumption/purchase to the iTunes store for Apple. Take the affiliate program further, you might allow individuals to host the iTunes favicon to the iTunes Store in return for iTunes Store credit (e.g. to spend on Apps).
Example Use Cases:
1) A news article about a band might link to mentioned songs, album, band in the iTunes Store. Clicking the iTunes icon would not open iTunes (although this could be a secondary option), but instead queue it to to “to listen” playlist. The user would then see this from their iPod/iPhone/iPad/AppleTV in a format friendly to immediately listen to or purchase the musi
2) A site like TED might include an iTunes icon link beside each online video on their web site. Rather than watch online, the user may want to browse talks online, adding them to their “to watch” queue, to later watch from their couch via AppleTV.
3) A blog post about an iPhone/iPad App might link to an app on the iTunes Store via this iTunes icon. Like today connecting to the iTunes Preview web site, clicking the link would (indirectly) open the App Store to purchase the application. However this icon provides an “official” graphical link (i.e. not a text based URL) and, if applicable, may provide a commission to the affliate web sit
4) A tweet might include a shortened URL to the equivalent of the iTunes link to achieve the same result (i.e. just without the graphical iTunes favicon). The linker gets affiliate compensation. The user immediately adds content to the to-watch inbox. You may have a format of the link that would directly open the content in the local applicatio
5) If Apple ever enhanced Apple TV to be more of a web consumption device (e.g. to read blogs, RSS feeds, etc) the favicon icon could be supported in a “TV remote” style of browsing to easily allow adding related content in the article to your “to watch” queu
Quick predictions of where Apple is taking the Apple TV product having been reading reviews of the iPad…
Take a look at the interactivity of the MLB app. The combination of video with interactive data (field layout, scoreboard, player stats). Now imagine that experience was standard for your home TV? Is this not the future of television, to provide interactive mashup of video and data that the end user can control?
Of course not all programming would benefit from the combination of a video and data stream, however for that content that would benefit, the interactivity and personalisation offered would exceed anything that digitial free-to-air or cable TV can provide. I used to think that Apple should put a digital tuner in the Apple TV, however assuming they can win over all the networks to make their content available within iPad applications (either within iTunes or in their own native apps) then now I see no reason why that feed of TV shouldn’t been streaming using H.264. In other words, I could completely see the next version of Apple TV being another customised version of the iPhone OS customised for lounge room, big screen viewing.
Obviously I’m not proposing a Touch UI on your big LCD TV, but imagine the combination of the iPad or iPhone Remote App working together with your Apple TV to no only be able to select iTunes content but also able to fire up other native Apps like Hulu, Netflix, CBS, WSJ, etc designed for your big screen TV. Alternatively, a simple Apple Remote should be capable of driving the Touch UI interface of the iPad without adding too much complexity. An Apple TV variant of the iPhone OS would probably require another jump in resolution to do justice on HD TVs, however I’d expect a more tightly controlled group of Apps to be available on the app-centric Apple TV — such as content providers (video and “print”), games, interactive data like weather, etc.
Such a move for Apple would take the next step from revolutionising music (iPod), telecommunications (iPhone), print media (iPad) to also change the way broadcast television is published. For example, in conjunction with live or on-demand video (perhaps a selection of video angles or content for a given program), just as important would be broadcasting the live stream of data to support the content on display. For example:
- Stats — like live stats from a sports match (like MLB above)
- Geotags — for travel shows, news stories, etc
- Product details — for advertisements, product placements in movies/TV shows
- Social Media — for live discussion of content (like integrating Twitter comments around a story)
Just imagine the revolution of the advertising industry to allow all TV content to support links to more information for virtually anything on display (products, places, people, content, comments, opinions, ratings, etc)?
Apple doesn’t hit the market with half-baked products. It works in total secrecy on products and then on business partnerships until it has a compelling market of content. I see this the same with an Apple TV streaming live and on-demand TV. I think content partners need to come to grips with individual solutions for accessing their content via iPhone and iPad applications and users will, over time, demand more interactive and personalised viewing experience of adding data streams to their viewing. When there is more coverage from content providers familiar with this combination of video and data broadcasting, then I think Apple are in a position to lift that from the individual experience on the iPad and make it a big screen experience on the lounge room television in a more controlled but experienced broadcasting market.03.24.10
Some quick suggestions for iPhoto (submitted to Apple on 25/03/2010).
We have alternative navigation paths to photos by people (Faces) and location (Places) but nothing particularly visual for browsing by time. Sure the Events or Photos library can be sorted by date, however this doesn’t give you a good view of the distribution of your photos over time, or easily jump to photos at a particular time.
Why not leverage the same timeline UI as Time Machine where the distribution of photos is shown in a histogram style graph down the side. Show the library of Events or Photo libraries disappearing into the distance (i.e. bottom of stack is further back in time, like Time Machine).
As your mouse hovers across the timeline, the main display will show the Key Photo for the event(s) on that day (i.e. don’t go any deeper to try to show individual photos). The idea is to find an event quickly, like a Birthday, then click on the Event or Photo library to display it’s contents in the traditional grid view.
Basically, leverage this UI metaphor across numerous forms of content in the OS. For example:
- Documents, based on version of document or backup (done, in Time Machine)
- Photos, based on date taken (as proposed above)
- Music, to browse music by era (e.g. to sort your iTunes library to view music based on when it was released)
- Web History, to view history of browsing.
You could alternatively use the Cover Flow UI (scrolling horizontally, list History in Safari) however I think that the “fading into the distance” metaphor reflects something over time better, so long as it is combined with a UI widget to also view/skip to a specific period of time (like the histogram in Time Machine).
2) Age of People
Not so great for adults, but for viewing photos of kids growing up this feature would be great. In conjunction with tagging photos with names (Faces), allow the user to configure the Data of Birth of that person. They, when you hover your mouse over a person in a photo, you could also calculate how old they were in that photo (e.g. “David (18 months)”). This feature would also allow you to search photos of a person based on their age in the photo.
3) Don’t Freeze
Hopefully this is just me, but iPhoto almost always freezes my entire iMac when I rotate photos too quickly using keyboard shortcuts (e.g. command R).03.15.10
I’m sure the smart people of Apple are already thinking of this, but since they are so often late to the party maybe they need a little prompting.
iTunes is an OK media library. It has the best backend store I’ve used (only one), integrates well with my iPhone and Apple TV — making my media almost seemlessly follow me — however the UI is pretty much designed like a boring filesystem. I can browse by many tags and search, but as my library gets bigger and bigger, I just don’t know what to watch/listen. I use Genius Playlists a lot for this reason – to pick a genre to match my mood, then play.
However iTunes could be much more. Assuming people opt-in, iTunes could know what lots of people are watching/listening to right now, then create a far more dynamic and engaging experience to sit back and watch/follow others. For example, if lots of people are watching a Video Podcast right now of Diggnation, show me this on a live homepage. Obviously filter the updates to my tastes (e.g. I’ve previous subscribed to same/similar podcasts).
Similarly, suggest music on my iTunes library, or related music on iTunes Store, based on what others are listening to. If I like Coldplay but the next thing others that like Coldplay are listening to is, I don’t know (because I’m trapped in the year I stopped listening to radio), Radiohead’s latest album. Put it in prime position on my home page.
Same applies to TV Shows and Movies. If I watched “Up”, and particularly if I rated it (ask me when I finish every show/movie, like rating an App), then my live homepage should show me related movies.
Now, let’s get interesting….
Next make different channels that I might want to watch (ala YouTube) that can pretty consistently give me content that follows a theme. So I could sit down on the couch and watch podcast, TV and movies back-to-back instead of live television. Keep track of the TV shows I have watched, and present me with the next episode in that series.
This is basically taking the current personalised iTunes Store home page and making more a consumption page rather than an online store. It must be available on my Apple TV though and constantly be showing something. Don’t just have a static “sales/suggestions” page — work with the TV studios to always be streaming something related to that “channel” (e.g. in the top corner). It might be free, but if I want to watch it full screen then I must pay (if you insist). Alternatively the studios may agree to give away the episode for free while in streaming mode (i.e. free if I’m happy to watch live now and, hey, it might actually entice me to buy the next episode).
It seems to me that iTunes is sitting on a goldmine of social data about peoples preferences, yet doesn’t seem to exploit this to a content stream. Assume people are lazy and unimaginative – if you don’t “tell” then watch to watch/listen, they won’t necessarily go looking.
As I said, I’m sure Apple are already light-years ahead of me.03.9.10
I should rename this blog to something related specifically to Apple predictions…
I was reading a blog today, Great Advances are Coming to Apple Remote & Apple TV, and suddenly a few pieces of the Jobs puzzle fell into place.
Specifically Patently Apple drops all the clues (my emphasis in italics),
Although the patent brushes over this fact quickly, the fact remains that Apple TV will be able run applications beyond iTunes, such as “email, web browsers, programming guide applications or game networks…” Yes, we can easily see that Apple’s iPad will also be able to work in sync with Apple TV which is likely to run to the same operating system in the future.
Apple’s patent point # 59 specifically mentions game networks (think OnLive, as an example) and the screenview of FIG. 14 below confirms this and also phrases it differently by including game station – which could be hinting at Apple working with one of the major gaming console makers.
and finally this..
And lastly, the patent provides us with a hint that Apple TV could, at some point in time, include cellular telephone communications protocols. That would hold some interesting scenarios indeed, but I think that such a feature is a little too down-the-road.
So, why would Apple ever partner with another games network when it has tens of thousands of games in the App Store? Why not have a “games network” where a user could, using their Apple TV, download any game from the App Store as required and play the game on their TV? Perhaps iPhone games (320×280) don’t have the resolution to do justice on TV (e.g. HD 720p is 1280×720), however games developed for the iPad (1024×768) would be getting much closer to acceptable on the big screen. iPhone games may not have the same depth as consoles, however with a wireless remote (i.e. iPhone/iPod Touch with accelerometer) there is potential for the same fun factor as a Wii. And the In App purchase model would allow for quick download of new content.
Another very new angle is the announcement of Steam for Mac, there would be potential to offer richer single and multiplayer games closer to consoles. I doubt you could sell an Apple TV for the same price with the required video card to do these games justice, however if Xbox and PS3 can do it, so could Apple if they wanted to be in this market.
My long shot prediction for the Jobs master plan is therefore:
- Support iPhone apps on the iPad to provide instant library of applications.
- Promote iPad app development for the larger form factor.
- Use the iPad to get movie / TV studios used to larger scale digital sales (i.e. improve access to content)
- Release upgraded Apple TV as a true media centre with TV, current movies, games (see below) in a closed in DRM protected package.
The Apple TV clearly has lots of potential as media device. Having owned one for over a year and love it as a media player, online video store (albeit older releases) and music player, to make it a killer media device I think it needs:
- Very latest releases, at least current with DVD for that country .
- Free to air TV, either via the Internet (ala Hulu) or a Digital Tuner.
- Recording, live pause and playback of TV
Addition of games for me is a nice to have, but I can see it rounding out the purchasing decision for a family wanting an all-in-one media device.
 As an aside, I would like to see iTunes and therefore Apple TV (or, to keep the movie studios happy, only Apple TV, to keep content viewing in the lounge room) offer variable pricing for TV/movie releases but with simultaneous worldwide distribution. For example, right now I would like to watch Caprica in Australia, however I would need to wait until an Australia network picked it up for this market. I’d be happy to pay say $5 per episode for the option to watch it in time with the US release. This high premium therefore should compensate studios for the lose of premier deals with local networks. This premium price is consistent with the premium budget of Apple owners so, in my view, takes the cream off the top for the studios, gives Apple an exclusive content offering to justify a premium product, and still leaves enough in the bottom end of the market for per country DVD releases without DRM. Brilliant.02.9.10
A feature request for Apple or anyone else that cares that might also be in the business of mobile phone OS software…
When will someone realise what a pain in the a** it is to join a phone conference on a mobile phone. Here’s the usually process when dialling in from the road:
1) Reminder goes off;
2) You typically need to open the invite and copy the phone number;
3) Switch to phone app to dial (or, maybe if you lucky the number what highlighted for direct dial – depends on where number was stored)
4) Switch back from call to invite.
5) At this point you probably need to write the CEC down on paper as most phones won’t play the DTMF tones when you paste into the call app (separate idea there).
6) Switch back to phone app, manually enter CEC into phone app, hopefully in one go. At some point you probably need to actually listen to the IVR to learn what other numbers you need to press around the CEC that the meeting invite didn’t contain.
Sounds a little too hard for a basic task of joining a phone conference, right (please enlighten me if this problem has already been solved).
Here’s my feature list for modern day telepolygamy…
a) Make storing a Contact Record about phone conference number simpler
I save common Conference Entry Codes (CECs) as a contact with all the appropriate pauses (p’s) and hashes for one touch dialling. Please make it so I don’t need to do a Google Search and test dial 3 times before I get this cryptic magic number right.
b) Make booking a CEC simpler
When I’ve made my booking, email me back a vCard or similar with the contact record (point a). Include this vCard in the meeting invite.
c) Allow me to save the CEC with the appointment as another field like, but not instead of, Location
I usually have a room booked (or multiple) and then want to save / send the CEC for the call. Attaching a Contact record and sending as a vCard in a field designated by all PIMs should do the trick.
d) Allow me to dial the CEC from the appointment in one touch
(hmm, just realised I how now automatically refer to it as a touch instead of click)
When the appointment reminder pops up, allow me to dial straight into the call with one touch from the reminder window (e.g. buttons for “View”, “Close” or “Dial-in”).
e) Allow me to send the CEC to a nearby physical phone (e.g. polycom, speaker phone)
This might be low-tech, using DTMF tones, or high-tech using something like Wifi or Bluetooth. The point it in this day and age I don’t think it’s necessary to retype numbers between devices. The later, high tech, solution probably requires some standards between software and (conference) phone devices.
Let me know what you think…09.14.09
Here is a suggesting I posted to iTunes Feedback tonight…
Could you add a “Now Playing” page to iTunes that only displayed details of the current track, much like on the iPhone’s iPod. With so much music, it is often hard to find exactly what track is playing (e.g. in shuffle mode) and the “Go to Current Song” sometimes only highlights the Genre Folder of the current song.
The “Now Playing” screen would be an alternative view to watch while listening to music and may show options like:
- Song, Artist, Album (clicking on any while just to browse mode for that Artist or Album”
- Ability to rate the current song
- Display artwork (click to maximise artwork to full view (or full screen if already in full screen mode)). Maybe show Cover Art in a Coverflow style (I think helping you visually see your albums like a real collection is important to extending the metaphor to digital music).
- Perhaps have a link to jump to a Genius Playlist based on current song
- Perhaps a “Add to Playlist” dropdown (or similar)
- Go ahead and add a link to the iTunes store to buy more from the current artist
- Potentially show the track names of the previous and next, say 5 tracks so you can look up and see what you have just heard and potentially change what is coming next (i.e. like a Jukebox).
- On the topic of the Jukebox, I think iTunes DJ does this, but I think you should make queuing tracks a more typical / accessible way to select music. For example, perhaps Option + Click would add a track to queue without interupting current song – but you wouldn’t need to be playing the iTunes DJ “playlist” before trying this. The idea is you might select 10 songs in a row inspired by the current song, but not interupt finishing the current song.
This “Now Playing” page could potentially be accessed:
- similar to the iPhone (e.g. Right Arrow from current browse view)
- by clicking the current Album Art in bottom left
- double clicking a song when you select to play may automatically start in “Now Playing” page (with back button in top left to return to music library, like iPhone).
- View | Now Playing
You may also want to jazz up the Now Playing page with some subtle animations to make it an interesting but not distracting animations. For example:
- Subtle visualisation (e.g. background may be bouncing bars of a graphic equaliser – very subtle though)
- Maybe stream additional content from iTunes store (e.g. additional images, lyrics, related news or suggested songs). Perhaps this is a feature only of iTunes purchased content as a “value add” against privacy (but does not require the LP version)?
One of the key requirements here is that as you listen to music, you get the opportunity to immediately improve on your library such as rating, managing playlists, maybe send to a friend, etc.