Well obviously the hot item for the next major release of Mac OS X will be Intel compatibility but I’m hoping they’ll get a chance to squeeze some new features in too. Here what I’d like to see next:
Apple’s new iMac-only media centre interface seems to gave garnered quite a bit of a attention. So much so that enterprising individuals have hacked it onto their Mac. Apple should make it available to non-iMac users, possibly as part of 10.5, the next iLife or maybe even bundled with the optional remote control.
User interface unification
Every new app Apple release seems to have a new user interface now. While the look is merely cosmetic the behavior is often affected leading people to expect one result and get another.
Here’s hoping the iTunes 6 UI trickles across through the whole system, perhaps even with a switch in control panel that lets people choose between that and Aqua. In the mean time check out Uno which sorts out as much as it can visually, behavior needs to be done by Apple.
If you feel like stealing what little Longhorn still had, check out the Ruler Aero theme instead.
Back when OS X was still called OpenStep it featured a rather nice install system called Package Manager. OS X still has the installer part of this and indeed records the receipts for use by an uninstaller… That has never existed. Come on Apple, sometimes we need to uninstall apps and we’d rather not trudge around the /Library/ to clean up after them.
Microsoft Windows in a window
Apple have already claimed they will be encouraging dual-booting with Windows on their new Intel boxes even if not actively supporting it.
A better approach would be something similar to their Blue Box virtual machine running Mac OS 9 apps under OS X. As 10.4 will use their new Rosetta technology to run PowerPC apps on Intel this should be simple by comparison. The problem here is that they may need to get Microsoft to license them portions of VirtualPC.
iTunes DVD audio-track ripping
If Apple want to shift more of their higher end iPods whilst keeping the record labels in check, why not introduce a function to rip the audio soundtrack from DVD video’s to iPod’s. I for one have a bunch of comedy shows and stand-up material I’d like to have on the go and I’m sure not paying for them again.