Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Ten improvements we'd like to see in OS X

Macworld Staff | April 26, 2013
As part of last year's surprise release of Mountain Lion, Apple promised that it would begin delivering yearly updates to Mac OS X, much as it has to iOS in recent years.

As part of last year's surprise release of Mountain Lion, Apple promised that it would begin delivering yearly updates to Mac OS X, much as it has to iOS in recent years.

With the approach of summer--the season of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, at which the company often makes big announcements--it's time to start considering what additions might make their way into the next version of Apple's already very mature desktop operating system. Now, if only we could be sure what big cat was next.

Yes Siri

In the world of iOS, Apple's virtual assistant has fans and detractors, but I've often wished that Siri was available to help me with something on my Mac. Though the dictation feature that Apple added with Mountain Lion certainly has its uses, a degree of artificial intelligence would come in handy for more-complicated tasks such as making calendar appointments, adding reminders, and performing Web searches. For example, being able to tell my computer which song or album to play next might not alleviate my frustrations with iTunes 11, but it sure wouldn't hurt. Besides, Star Trek promised us a future where we could talk to our computers, and I still want that delivered.--Dan Moren

Speak up

Speaking of speaking to our Macs, Mountain Lion's Dictation was a nice first effort, but the feature could be a lot more powerful. Right now, Dictation automatically stops listening after just 30 seconds, even if you're still speaking; Apple ought to loosen that time restriction. Also, providing a live transcription as you speak would be a great addition. Right now, words don't appear until you've finished talking and Mountain Lion has had time to process what you said. But some of that processing could happen as you speak, and OS X should show it as it happens.--Lex Friedman

"Pro" tour

As part of its campaign to incorporate the best elements of iOS into the Mac OS, Apple is making it harder for long-time Mac users to tweak the OS and skirt newly implemented features designed for less experienced users. Thus we have Gatekeeper, Documents in the Cloud, "natural" scrolling, and sandboxing restrictions that prevent applications from talking to one another as fully as they formerly could. These improvements in ease-of-use will certainly be attractive to new users, but they frustrate older users who want to dig into the guts of their Macs. Solution: Implement a "pro" switch that, when enabled, lets users remove some of the most annoying hand-holding features.--Christopher Breen

Rule the galaxy (of email)

It's the tiniest bit sad that you can filter your iTunes library more finely than you can your email. If iTunes can support nested conditions, so could Mail. A stronger relationship between Mail and Contacts would help considerably. Specifically, Mail would work better if, with a simple key command, you could add a sender to a group, and any rules affecting that group would immediately apply to the sender.--Christopher Breen

 

1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.