iOS need some changes. Now. Here are some ideas (updated with embedded videos)
I think the main fuss with all these iPhone bashing threads wasn't about the hardware. Why? Because the main argument being used is that it's "boring." While the industrial design of the iPhone is indeed iterative rather than revolutionary or radical, I think not doing do would have been detrimental by Apple because the iPhone isn't only a phone anymore. It's an icon, almost a symbol that people recognise. And how would you recognise this symbol? Rounded edges, rectangular shape, etc. To change this radically would be to risk a completely different image and risk alienating your customers. The iPhone 5 is nice looking industrially with a new design. It's okay for now.
Yet this does not mean that Apple stop innovating. I don't care how much cash you sit on but if you're a technology company you better damn well innovate. And this comes through the software. I'm tired of people saying that the iPhone is a tool and as such there's nothing to improve upon. Get your heads out of your asses because honestly there's always room for improvement. Which areas?
1). Quick View- An iPhone or any smartphone is an information device and as such things are constantly changing. There's new breaking news. There's new messages. Maybe there's a missed call. Now I don't want to unlock the screen and then click and icon and then click recent to view my missed call. Sure I could but there's a better way to do this. The live tiles of Metro are a good system of doing this but then doing live icons would result in Apple getting suckerpunched in the patent war. Maybe there's a more "Appleish" way. Here's a video (credit: Jan Michael Cart) that shows how.
iOS 5 Concept Dynamic Icons (via janmike34)
2). Spicing up the home screen: Don't tell me that the iPhone doesn't need widgets because it's so "un-Applish." If any of you folks on a mac, use four fingers and swipe right. Tell me what that black screen is with those floating "things." Seem pretty widget like to me. Cool, now that we've established the existence of dashboard, why can't the same thing be implemented on the iPhone. Here's a concept video showing how (credit: Jan Michael Cart)
iOS 5 Concept Lion-Style Dashboard (via janmike34)
3). Faster App Switching- It's there on the iPad. It's there on the mac via cmd+tab. Why can't it be on the iPhone? By all accounts it should be. Zephyr on Cydia provides a nice alternative but there remains one problem. Assume you have 7 apps open. It would be pretty hard to remember in which order you opened the app. Simple app switching like Zephyr is great but how can you accurately switch to an app. How about when you switch, you see the cmd+tab style bar that fades in when you switch and then fades out. Here's a concept (credit: Jan Michael Cart) showing how.
iOS 5 Concept Faster App Switching (via janmike34)
4). Other miscellaneous concepts (widgets done right) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjOV6je9dXM&feature=plcp
iOS 5 Concept Widgets Done Right (via janmike34)
Here's a video compiling the ones above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-yQHfNIZYA
5). Toggles, Toggles, Toggles- A major gripe of iOS users is that there's no quick setting toggles. Okay, one way is to put them in notification center. Heck any experienced developer with half a brain can write the code to do that. Go to Cydia under notification center and see how many toggles there are. Why isn't Apple doing it? I wish I knew. Maybe Scott Forstall's becoming lazy. Maybe it's something else. But a company that's sitting on 100 billion dollar pile of cash better do something. Another idea for toggles? How about a hot bar similiar to deck on cydia. Here it is:
Deck (Cydia Tweak) - Highly Anticipated Side Dock Tweak (via OpinionativeReviewer)
6). Multitasking-Frankly, I'm tired of seeing a row of static icons. I want images, I want efficiency and I want to see the actual page of the app I'm closing than it's icon. Mountain Lion already has it. It's called mission control. Why can't it be done for mac? Here's a concept:
MissionBoard Pro (via myjailbreakmovies)
7). The lock screen: The slide to unlock was cool. It's ridiculously boring now. Alternatives? How about a fingerprint scanner built in the home button.
Here's a video showing how (credit: Same Beckett, starts from 1: 35)
iPhone 5 Concept (via Sam Beckett)
Another alternative: how about draw to unlock. Here's a concept from the jailbroken community called stride.
AWESOME Device Unlock Gesture Patterns With 'Stride' iPhone, iPod Touch (via OpinionativeReviewer)
I've only touched the surface here. So please, please don't tell me that nothing can be done. And please enough with the "there's no need for change for change's sake" argument because all the above actually helps make the iPhone better.