Wishlist: An integrated iPhone experience
I’ve always liked the way that the iPhone fades out and pauses your music whenever a phone call interrupts. It took a bit of getting used to, but now I can’t imagine it working any other way. So I think it’s understandable that it feels a bit disconnected that my phone, ringing in my pocket, can’t pause iTunes running on my Mac Book - or even music and video on the iPad and Apple TV. Looking into the options turns up a $20 shareware solution that allegedly no longer works, and it’s not the answer. As a relatively new Mac user, I get the impression that Apple rewards those who commit fully to the ecosystem. And so I feel, something like this needs to go native.
But that got me thinking: why stop at pausing media?
The concept of finding a phone number online, pulling your phone out of your pocket and physically dialing the number; well it all feels a little last decade, doesn’t it? Admittedly, you can purchase Skype-out credits and have a dicky little widget that overrides numbers in web pages, but it’s just another program to install and more logins to maintain. Some of you may scoff at the experience I’ve described. Perhaps it’s already possible on an Android phone and a Windows box? But things like this are not about who is first to market, it’s about the value they add.
It’s been said that a lot of Apple innovations seem inevitable when you think about them. You can already use iMessage and FaceTime on nearly every iOS device. Phone calls via a FaceTime-esque protocol seems to be a standout omission. So whether calls are routed through a mobile phone via bluetooth or handled via VOIP, it doesn’t really matter. It’s certainly possible today, it just hasn’t been executed well.
Although pocket change for both companies, a pivot on Apple’s part would rival the value that Microsoft paid $8.56 billion for when purchasing Skype.
Dribbble is rife with shots portraying desktop widgets for answering calls. Spurred on by an informal rebound contest, there were 22 follow ups to Daryl Ginn’s shot. Funnily enough the shot was a conceptual take on (the terrible, existing) Skype for Mac, but the execution is good. I’d love something like this.