Apple might do better with its chat and messaging tools.
The power of communication has always helped propel technological advancement. From the telegraph phone and the Internet, communication has been one of the key applications for each technological advancement over the past century or so. And Apple’s products are no exception to this.
When Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone, he described it as a revolutionary mobile phone, but he also called the device that would go on to dominate Apple’s business was as a “breakthrough Internet-communication device.”
15 years later now, we can use the iPhone to communicate with other people in many different ways, but the phone’s capability might be the most basic. However, while Apple has been spending a lot of money investing in the communication capabilities of its platforms, it’s also had an inclination to let these technologies linger after rolling them out.
As Apple is preparing headset devices to announce it in the coming months One of the main areas that it’s likely to focus on is communications. Does this indicate a new interest in Apple’s investments in this area? If then, here’s some suggestions on how Apple could enhance its current communication options.
iMessage from above
The colleague I work with Jason Snell recently described iMessage as “more of a failure than a success” and although it’s a tool that I use almost every day, I’m not able to agree with him. Although the company may not be able of attracting away the countless users from all over the world who depend on other messaging platforms, there’s an excuse not to improve the experience of users who do use it.
iMessage’s incompatibility for Android gadgets has been the subject of news lately, and although I’m not sure Apple is likely to create an Android-compatible app however, there are some improvements to be implemented. Tapbacks, which are emoji-like replies are currently displayed in chat messages using any non-Apple device. They appear as the that make you groan with delight “So-and-so liked” followed by an emoji quote.
Google has improved the experience for Android users who are using the Messages application by making those messages emoticons. But a lot of Apple users remain stuck receiving these nonsense text messages, which makes the experience much worse for one particular group which is the customers of the company.
Perhaps there’s a possibility for a little collaboration. Even even if Apple does not decide to adopt the RCS standard that’s being promoted by the carriers and Google to replace SMS and SMS, Apple could be able to make it more interoperable for the two main mobile platforms currently in use. The two platforms aren’t going away. Android nor Apple will disappear, but they should at least begin to learn to coexist together. Android messages show up in green bubbles when viewed when using Apple devices.
There are a lot of other enhancements to be made to iMessage in addition to the ability to use any emojis in tapbacks. Moving away of the confusing, old-fashioned system of phone numbers/emails and providing a much more effective filtering of unwanted and spam messages that are becoming more frequent and costly to us.
FaceTime is about Face
Naturally, iMessage does not represent Apple’s sole communication platform. With the spread of the virus the world of video chats, we’ve all been comfortable at home (where else else could we be?) using video chats, and although Zoom might have become the standard term for these events Apple’s FaceTime has managed to remain in the spotlight as a great option for video calls ad-hoc between two persons.
However, FaceTime isn’t complete and has several features that could make it an appealing option. As an example, I helped a friend to test an app that can add captions to FaceTime calls. This can be extremely beneficial for people with hearing difficulties. It worked well, but as a third-party app , it needs to use the new SharePlay option, and it could be cumbersome and difficult for people who aren’t technically proficient.
However, given the fact that Apple is already using a system for speech-to-text (in the form of dictation and even live-streaming videos If you’ve ever tried the Clips application) It’s not unusual that the company, which often boasts about its Accessibility features–hasn’t yet provided real-time captions on FaceTime calls as an integrated feature.
The capability for Android customers to participate in FaceTime calls was a significant step toward the right direction. The problem is that Apple hasn’t made any additional steps since the time it was released.
There are also many other enhancements that FaceTime could make to improve its multi-person interface (it still leaves a lot of many blank spaces) and more easy access to features, such as the ability to add people to the conference (which is hidden beneath buttons that have generic icons) and the ability to show someone both camera’s front and back simultaneously (potentially useful when you’re trying to show some thing).
Phoning it in
As difficult as it may be to believe however, it’s true that the iPhone is still the phone. Sometimes, time, users make phone calls from it. However, the Phone app has been mostly unaltered since its iPhone’s launch. This isn’t surprising considering that telephony isn’t the popular field it was in the past. There is, however, some improvements to be made.
In the first place, the Phone app must do better at stopping the calls that are spam. The current solution to this issue is largely a patchwork. Carriers can perform some filtering, and you can use third-party applications to filter spam or take the more radical route and block unknown phone calls. This could be one of the instances where the company opts to let third parties manage the service, but it appears to be a sign that the company is sighing and handing over its arms in surrender.
There are additional niceties available also like the ability to browse your calls of the past as well as voicemails. You can also add additional Shortcuts integrations. However it’s quite likely that there’s little more new technology to be found on the phone, so I don’t think it’s unfair to blame Apple for not focusing on other communications technologies, just so long as it can.