How Apple can take IOS to the next level
First this is a dream I know it would never happen.
Apple should buy Nokia's meego swipe UI. Not meego, just the swipe UI. Apple has more money than they know what to do with and Nokia is desperate for cash.
Here is my dream, don't rewrite IOS to meego and qt, etc... Just take the UI Ideas, and some apps/features. You get the UI and the missing features of meego to add to where IOS is stale or behind. You get the IOS is just works and apps, then add swipe and its social integration. Here are a few specifics
Swipe UI, should be nuff said, if not go watch some youtube videos. The way this works it makes homescreens look pointless and from the stone age. 3 pages that carousel around, notifications, apps, multitasking. With swiping you are never reaching your thumb around for a button, you just swipe where your thumb is. (also making bigger sizes making more sense). Swipe left/right/up to minimize an app, down to close an app
Notifications, IOS made progress here but is behind android. Swipe ui is ahead of android. Android does a great job of showing your notifications on both the status bar and in the drop down bar. Here is how Swipe does it better. One of the 3 main pages is all notifications all the time. The notifications it includes are missed calls, voicemail, texts, email, calander, Social(facebook and twitter), battery, status/toggles(bluetooth,nfc, etc..), software updates, time maybe some I'm missing. Thats all on the top bar. When you go to the page you get a feed with your social. I have twitter/facebook/youtube/rss feeds/and calender updates that go 500 deep. On the top you get time and weather. In the middle you get other normal notifications. Like calls/text/email. But also facebook notifications/messages and same for twitter. Email, software/apps updates. Here is also why those are better than android. If you check a facebook notification on your laptop/pc, it goes away on your phone, on android it stays. Same for email, etc.... So your notifications are not out of control. There are also api's to add to your stream.
Double tap screen to unlock, its so perfect, again where your thumb is not reaching for a button.
Lock Screen, you can pin widgets on it, weather, notes, etc.. Also notifications show up on it and you can swipe to open. Swipe up and hold for a second and you get 4 quick apps for quick launch. To open just swipe any direction. Its the best off all worlds
Account Sharing. Android does in app sharing. Swipe does accounts. So if you are trying out 4 different twitter apps on android all 4 show up on sharing, on swipe it just goes to that account, not app. The great thing here is you can write apps just for plugins fork accounts. Also these accounts go into chat. So I have facebook/skype/gtalk always on with out an app, because the account plug in. You can add any chat service you want. Or things like lastfm to scrobble, etc...
Social integration and chat. So with these app plug ins your contacts can add them. So If I log into yahoo chat my contacts automatically adds my yahoo friends to my contacts, and merges those that are obvious. Its easy to merge those that do not have anything to link it. You can opt out of this as well. So I sort my contacts by availability then by last name secondly. This way when I open my contacts I can see who is online in all my chats together, facebook,skype,gtalk,yahoo, aim, msn, icq, etc...... The next great thing when I talk with these people on either text, facebook, and yahoo they all go into one threaded conversation seamlessly. And you can plug in any service you can imagine as long as someone supplies the plug in and if meego which has no apps for it covers 90% of services, I'm sure IOS devs would support 110%. If you don't want them all online at the same time, with the drop down status menu, there are quick toggles with one touch you can turn them off/on. Or go into your accounts and you can go on/off for all with one click to open accounts, one click to turn off/on. Simple and brilliant
Drop down status bar, android,ios, and symbian all have a drop down notifications with some toggles. In my swipe I have all toggles since I have a notification page, its all toggles and quick settings in the drop down bar. Here is what I can do in my drop down bar. Profile, volume,brightness,chat accounts off/on, post to facebook/twitter. bluetooth,nfc,mobile data E,3g, dual, flashlight, wifi, mobile data on/off, battery %, connect to pc profile(sync/mass), restart, portrait/landscape/lock, Dnla, transfers, current connection/manage it. All that just by dropping the bar. Basically most common settings and social in a quick drop down. You can also add music controls
Nokia basically gave up on this, not because it wasn't good enough. In fact in my opinion this was the most complete launch of any mobile OS, but because they had 0 ecosystem for it and they didn't have the power to grow it. Ask any mobile editor on here or engadget and they will most likely love the swipe UI, but too bad it was DOA.
Take IOS's maturity, eco system, optimization with battery/processor and add this UI and its a huge win. You have a easy to learn, easy to sell and market new UI. Its still mainly a grid of apps, instead of in pages that swipe side to side, its a swipe up and down, you even have folders that look at work the same. Keep apples app freezing, but show the tiles to make fast app switching better. Notifications would be a huge improvement along with social integration. Apple all this up into IOS and I'm sure they could make improvements. It would be a huge win, and pretty easy transition. All you have to teach is really swipe instead or push a button. Anyone who have used this started to try and swipe apps away on their other phones. Its perfect and the way to go.
Hardware wise, you can loose the homebutton and go all screen. The n9 is 116.5 x 61.2 and the Iphone 4s is 115.2 x 58.6. The n9 has a 4" screen compared with the 3.5 of the 4S. Side by side its about the same footprint. Apple could go 4.3 and keep the footprint to about the same size and with swipe you don't have to have your thumb go from the top opposite corner to a home button, you have to just go corner to corner. So the daring fireball thumb test, you could go up to 4.5 all screen almost the same as top screen to homescreen button below the screen.