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Things I wished they’d announced at WWDC

by: Rich Hauck

Well, WWDC has come and gone, and I’m looking forward to upgrading my iOS devices and running Mac OSX Lion on some of my machines. That said, there are a number of things I wished they’d have addressed/included in the upcoming operating systems:

Swype

Ask anyone using the beta on their Android device, and you’ll learn that typing with Swype is a night-and-day improvement over traditional typing. Since Apple doesn’t allow for third-party keyboards (rightly so, as that would segment the user experience), they should license this technology as soon as it’s out of beta.

Browser Scrollbars in Webkit

I just wrapped on a job where I’m using JQuery’s ScrollTo to have users pan around a webpage. I soon discovered what a nightmare this is in iOS because Webkit doesn’t support fixed css positioning or div’s overflow:scroll well (see Apple’s guide on preparing sites for Webkit). You might notice that mobile Safari doesn’t even display scrollbars, and divs with overflow:scroll require two finger dragging–something that’s not intuitive to users.

There’s a third-party workaround called iScroll, which works rather well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t support horizontal scrolling (which this project required). I also experienced different results between the iPad and iPhone. In the end, I had to use server-side browser detection to insert the necessary javascript. Messy!

All-app kill switch

If you’re like me, you open and run multiple apps at once. As a programmer, I know that keeping track of different states inevitably has to require more memory, which I believe adds to more battery usage. As a result, I find myself having to open the iOS app bar and continually click until all of my apps are closed. It’d be nice if Apple were to include a one-button switch to close all active apps.

Facebook address book sync

Twitter address book syncing is nice, but let’s face it, there are far more users on Facebook. I’ve been using FacebookSync and realize that Facebook is partly owned by Apple’s competitor, Microsoft, but this is still a no-brainer.

Mobile Safari dev bar

I don’t expect to write HTML on my iPad, but it sure would be nice to view the source when needed.

Flash, Java, and yes, even Silverlight

I agreed with Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Flash, however, I firmly believe that I should be allowed to run the software I want on the hardware I purchase. The current processors should be able to handle Flash (heck, Android devices can!), and with HTML 5 video and audio being the mess that it is, I don’t see Flash Player going away soon.

Did I miss anything? Let me know below!


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About Rich Hauck

Rich Hauck

I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and three boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.


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