MacMost Now 174: 2009 Apple Wish List

Gary Rosenzweig spells out his wishes for Apple in 2009. Items include copy and paste on the iPhone, a better Apple TV, new Mac Minis, and no more DRM at the iTunes store.

Video Transcript
Welcome to MacMost.com. It's time for my annual wish list to Apple. Here are the ten things I'd like to see Apple do in 2009.
So number one is I would like to see more features on my Apple TV. Now we've already seen what third parties can do, like Boxy, in adding great additional functionality. I would like to see Apple actually produce that as part of their native software for the box.
Number two is by far the most requested thing that I get in e-mail. It's how do I go and use the custom Mac modes ring tones as an SMS alert sound? And the truth is you can't. Apple doesn't have that functionality built into the iPhone. You're stuck with the few sounds they've got. But there should be a way for you to go ahead and use any sound or any ringtone at least as an SMS alert sound. My preferred way of working is to have a MacBook Pro and hook that up to as big a monitor as I can find, in this case, a 30-inch monitor. You need a dual-link DVI adapter to do that. With the older MacBooks it was easy to do that. Just plug it right in. But with the new MacBook Pros, you need to actually get a display port to dual-link DVI adapter and one isn't even available yet for Apple. There's no way to get one and when one is available it will be a whopping $100. I like to see Apple fix this by reducing the price making it available.
Number three is tethering for iPhones. What a waste that I've got a 3G connection in my iPhone and sitting right next to it when I'm in some place like an airport or traveling or a hotel room, I've got my MacBook Pro and there's no way to connect even to get a little bit of data like my e-mail or send out a quick message or check a web page. I can either look at stuff on the iPhone or I have to get a completely separate connection for my MacBook. There should be a way to tether. AT&T offers this for a lot of their other Smart phones and they should offer this for the iPhone as well, even if it's somewhat of an extra charge. I'd pay a little for it.
MobileMe came out in about 2008 as a successor to the Dot Mac service. Well what a disappointment it is. It isn't even anything but a way to sync up calendar events and contacts and things like that. It really should have some more advanced social features. The photo gallery should really be something much more social like Flickr and it should have all these ways to communicate with other Mac users, creating websites about using the overly-complex iWeb application. So, I vote for, in 2009, that they overhaul MobileMe again, adding a bunch of cool new features to make it worthwhile. Apple could be sitting on a gold mine here, and for Mac users it could be a great service that we could all enjoy.
Number six is a tiny request that everybody wants but Apple still hasn't delivered. Copy and paste on the iPhone. Real copy and paste between all the applications as a standard part of the text editing window.
Now I love the Mac Minis. I think it's an important part of the Mac line. I'd love to see a refresh in 2009, but I don't want to see it dumbed down like the MacBooks were. Right now Mac Minis have Firewire, they've got standard DVI out -- I'd love to see them keep those features. I'd like it to be like a little Mac Pro in a tiny box.
Now I love Apple's direction with Snow Leopard. Fix everything, make everything faster, make everything easier for developers to make applications -- do all that and just don't add any new features. I think it's a great way to go, but I think they should make Snow Leopard free, a free upgrade at least for Leopard users. I think this would be the right way to go; get everybody to jump right to Snow Leopard and they can work on the next version of the OS which will add all sorts of new features and we can all pay for that.
Now I love Time Machine; I think it's the best back-up program out there for Macs and, of course, it comes with Leopard, so it's easy to use. But I'd like to see there be some preferences. I like, for instance, for you to be able to go ahead and set when it's going to back-up and come up with a time schedule for back-ups, maybe prioritize back-ups, have it back-up documents every hour but maybe back-up other things later. There's all sorts of cool customizations they could build in for an advanced preference panel for Time Machine.
Now the last item on my wish list is one that I've had for years. People are surprised when I tell them they should buy Macs, they should get Apple services and products but they shouldn't buy music from iTunes. That's right, I don't recommend people buy music from iTunes because it's all got DRM. And I'm against DRM; it penalizes the honest people that pay for music and it doesn't really stop piracy. So I think Apple should get rid of DRM once and for all off iTunes; this will allow them to maintain their lead in digital music downloads and it will get customers like me to come back to them.
So there's my wish list for 2009, directed at Apple. If you've got some features that you'd like to see added to Macs, iPhones, iPods, or any Apple services, leave them as comments to this post at MacMost.com.
Over this holiday season a lot of different podcasts shut down for a few weeks. They want to take a break, take vacations. But MacMost Now will continue publishing just as usual. So if you've got friends who listen to some other podcasts, and watch some other shows, you might want to tell them there's going to be new episodes of MacMost Now and they can subscribe at MacMost.com/itunes.html. Thanks for watching.

Comments: 10 Responses to “MacMost Now 174: 2009 Apple Wish List”

    12/19/08 @ 3:31 pm

    hey gary. you’re pretty spot on with your wishlist. gotta say, after listening to all your points, it made me feel like apple is actually kinda lame. haha!

    one thing i wanted to point out that you were mistaken on, not ALL itunes files are protected with drm; the itunes + files are unprotected, as well as being better quality – 256k. i was very happy when they launched this option and wish more labels/artists would take advantage of it.

    as a music podcaster, i find the old drm files to be a pain in the butt because even though an artist may have given me permission to play their track, i can not import those protected files into garageband! so then i’m forced into a technically illegal workaround…

    anyway, good list! take care and i’ll be podcasting right alongside ya through the end of the year. :)

    Daniel
    12/19/08 @ 8:44 pm

    Great show Gary!
    Very good list for Apple to work on. Copy & Paste, iPhone as a modem, Mobile Social Friendly should have been here by now.
    As I stated before, I still think adding a “Print” feature to iPhone is over due too. I own a wireless printer hooked up to my home network (Apple extreme base station) that can also connect viva bluetooth. How cool would it be to be able to print an e-mail, document or photograph off my iPhone with out using a cable?
    Other smartphone have this feature, surely Apple can add this. It is part of the OS right?

    12/19/08 @ 9:04 pm

    Daniel: A print feature is a great idea. I love it.

    Phaku Malatji
    12/20/08 @ 10:54 am

    I’d like to know if you think its safe to do internet banking on the iphone.

    Thanx

    Phaku

    12/20/08 @ 11:39 am

    Phaku: Yes. As long as the bank app or Web site encrypts the data, it is safe. Sure is a lot safer than giving your credit card to a waiter or getting your statement delivered to your mailbox.

    12/20/08 @ 11:56 am

    anji: I was disappointed in the “plus” option. While it didn’t have DRM, I didn’t like the fact that they charged so much more for it. I’m not sure if they still do. But it seemed to me that even at 256kbps, it still is inferior to CD (not that any human ear can tell) and actually costs more than buying the CD. I still continue to buy music on CD — same price or cheaper, no DRM, high quality, can put on my Mac, iPod, iPhone or any device, and comes with a backup (the CD itself). That’s what I recommend to most people.

    12/20/08 @ 1:30 pm

    1. Java JRE 1.6 (JDK 6)support. I do Java development and Apple is stuck at JRE 1.5(JDK 5). I can get JRE 1.6for Linux or Windows.
    2. Cheaper RAID for hard drive. Why is there such a high price for RAID relative to Dell? This is a rip off. My company will be upgrading a programming computers to the new core I7. MacPros are awe some but they will not be considered because of the RAID penalty. BTW, the software developers would be just as happy booting windows on a MacPro as a Dell if the RAID penalty wasn’t so high.
    3. End the key confusion! Apple should have the ability to dynamically change the keyboard short cuts as a function of the application or ‘space’ instead of having one global mapping that overrides any application short cuts. Many of my NetBeans short cuts conflict with apple short cuts. When the Finder or any Apple application has the focus use Apple system short cuts. When I am in Netbeans I want the Netbeans shortcuts to take priority over the operating system short cuts. I did find a way to map the short cuts in the preference panes. I must use command F9 for expose’ because F9 has a different function under NetBeans. Basically I had to change all apple short cuts to use the apple key. Normal windows and Linux apps use the control and alt(option) key so they should conflict. However, NetBeans is somewhat ‘Applefied’ in that it uses the command key instead of the control key like it does in windows.

    If I can’t get the keyboard shortcuts to be configurable by application then by ‘space’ in spaces. I can put NetBeans in space two had provide a different mapping there. There is still the issue of how to change spaces with a short cut key that doesn’t conflict with an applications short cut.

    4 Fix Safari. The latest version of Safari get in a mode where it uses up all my CPU power. I am now using Firefox almost exclusively.

    Peter Nachtwey

    Jeff
    12/20/08 @ 7:35 pm

    1/ Bluetooth on the iPod Touch so that a wireless keyboard could be used.

    2/ Mac Mini update to include new intel quad core processor and new Apple video connector. Mini could then replace iMac when coupled with new Apple display (mini could even run off the notebook power connection from the display).

    3/ Apple Tablet to be a very simple computer (about the power of a netbook), but capable of linking to a more powerful system (?macmini) in screen sharing mode to use the remote systems processing power and storage. Tablet on its own would be for web surfing and mail (and music).

    Carlos
    12/21/08 @ 11:09 am

    Gary,

    A great list indeed. Hopefully, someone out there at Apple is watching your video and reading these entries. The only one I would add to the iPhone repertoire is the ability to email multiple photos at once.

    Congrats on an other great year of what I consider the best video podcast out there targeted to the Mac community.

    Carlos

    Oliver
    12/26/08 @ 3:37 pm

    IPHONE NANO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments Closed.