With Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, just weeks away, investors should start pondering what the company has in store for the next version of iOS. This year may potentially mark a dramatic shift in Apple's mobile platform, as design chief Jony Ive will get a chance to make his mark.
Not only is iOS overdue for an aesthetic makeover, in favor of a cleaner and more modern look, but I also believe that Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android has surpassed iOS in numerous core interface elements.
You can't overstate the importance of iOS: Devices running iOS drive over 70% of Apple's revenue. Here are three things Apple needs in iOS 7.
1. Better notifications
Apple brought a notification center in iOS 5, originally released in 2011. Prior to that, Apple took much criticism for its annoying pop-up approach, which constantly disrupted workflow whenever a notification arrived. For what it's worth, Apple mostly replicated Android's approach in the notification center, which is pulled down from the top of the screen.
However, in the nearly two years since, Apple's notification system is unrefined and crude. Notifications are bundled by application, and users can only dismiss them all-or-nothing. Even dismissing them requires two manual steps, while in Android each notification can be individually swiped away intuitively. Android also offers quick access to settings in the notification center.
Android's notification center is nearly a perfect implementation, and Apple wouldn't be wrong to further replicate it.
2. Better lock screen
The lock screen is another area of potential improvement. Apple has patented its characteristic slide-to-unlock (even though this was invalidated in Germany), so it may be hesitant to discard the usage so readily. Apple has slowly added minor new features to the lock screen, such as quick access to the camera, over the years.
There are still some improvements that Apple could add here, though, such as displaying pertinent information or additional shortcuts.
3. More gestures
Apple has lagged Google in incorporating more intuitive gestures throughout the interface. Google now uses swipes and other interface paradigms extensively throughout Android, while Apple has played it relatively conservatively.
There has been so much touch-interface innovation over the past few years, from third-party developers and tech giants alike, yet Apple has tried to stick to its ways, presumably because it doesn't want to alienate existing users with dramatically new gestures. Even though iOS is hardly broke, it could still use some fixing when it comes to gesture support.
More where that came from
In my opinion, those are the three biggest areas where iOS can improve, and there are plenty of other smaller places where the iPhone maker could tweak its platform. Where do you think Apple could improve iOS? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.