Apple iPhone 5: Rumored features include nifty radial menu

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 14:32 by Tech Correspondent

Apple’s iPhone 5 is scheduled to release in June 2011 and everybody has their own particular demands and suggestions for Apple. Some of these suggestions are made because they improve the existing iOS services, while others are capabilities that the competition already provides. Either way, here’s a list of all the things iPhone 5 ought to be able to do, and we hope that these predictions do come true. Don’t miss: iPhone 5 launch rumors

Radial menus

These are menus that expand in every direction. The concept has been applied to desktop computers for some time, but it is only now that Apple has decided to use it for devices running on its iOS such as the iPod, iPor Touch and iPad. Radial menus just take up less screen space.

Apple recently filed a patent for these menus. The official document describes them as “…(i) non-uniform spacing of menu items, (ii) the use of shading or highlighting within a region associated with an item to indicate the present selectability of the item, and (iii) the use of radial gestures for opening sub-menus and the subsequent display of the sub-menu.”

Game Center

As of now it is possible to find one’s friends using Game Center only by searching for them one by one by username or e-mail id. On iPhone 5, this software, which is meant to be a social network for gaming, similar to Xbox Live, could just be integrated with social networking sites such as Facebook, or could add the people on one’s e-mail contact list.

iphone 4 photo

Photo: On iPhone 4, it is possible to find one’s friends using Game Center only by searching for them. We hope that iPhone 5 would change that.

AirPrint

AirPrint is an app that makes it possible to command a printer from one’s iPhone. When Apple first spoke about it, we were given the impression that AirPrint would be compatible with any printer than can communicate wirelessly with an iPhone. However, when the app was released we discovered that it only works with some e-print devices from HP.

This is doubly surprising because there are apps on Apple’s own App Store that are more versatile than AirPrint. So it seems that Apple perhaps has a deal with HP and that AirPrint is meant to serve HP’s purpose, and is therefore good for people who already have a new age HP printer. iPhone 5 could have a more universal version of AirPrint.

Syncing

Apple uses iTunes for syncing and while the program is phenomenally slow, it still does manage to synchronize vast volumes of music, contacts and other data.

However, iTunes will only sync data between your iPod or iPhone, iPad etc., with one computer. People who use multiple computers or want to share data with friends are essentially doomed because iTunes makes both these absolutely necessary functions virtually impossible (Perhaps in its bid to discourage piracy).

The only time one avoids iTunes is while transferring contacts, calendars etc., wirelessly. But to organize music, video, data files and practically everything else, there’s iTunes in the way making things tough.

iPhone doesn’t let people sync files using Wi-Fi networks also. It’s necessary to carry an Apple cable along when one wants to transfer files between an iPod/iPhone and say a laptop. This is another reason that wireless syncing would be really popular if it comes to iPhone 5.

iUSB drive

Apple doesn’t want its devices being used as external hard drives. If you don’t observe the sacred Apple code, your devices start dying on you and it’s impossible to figure out why. It would be good if the iPhone 5 would double up as a USB drive, but this would mean that the Apple wire problem described above would have to be sorted because it just doesn’t make sense for the iPhone 5 to work as a USB drive if one has to carry an Apple cable around as well.

As of now, it’s possible to use the iPod as an external hard drive by selecting the “manually manage files” button on iTunes and then opening the iPod drive from My Computer if you’re using a Windows computer, or its equivalent, and then storing files there. With wireless syncing and a little more freedom with at least some of the space on one’s iPhone 5 the device would be immensely useful.

Flash support

This has been talked about for quite some time now. Apple refuses to support Adobe Flash because its CEO Steve Jobs is convinced, and justifiably so, that Flash uses too much processing power, and keeps crashing, causing system failure continually.

However, a lot of the websites uses Flash, and if that’s not reason enough, Android has managed to support Flash. But then, knowing Apple, that’s surely no reason for it to make up with Adobe (after all the disagreements of the past), and start supporting Flash.

Screen apps

Applications that run in the background while the iPhone’s screen is locked can be very handy particularly if one uses the phone as an alarm or for reminders, lists or as a notepad.
And finally,

FM radio

Legend has it that there is indeed a radio within the iPhone, but that it’s used only for Nike+ communications. Wouldn’t it be great if the iPhone 5 could do this simple thing — the lack of which causes so many of us to put away our iPods from time to time?

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