For iOS developers, there’s really nothing like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
The event, which will be held next month in San Francisco, is where Apple typically announces a bunch of new software and hardware updates.
Business Insider surveyed several prominent developers to find out their wish list for features they’d like to see introduced at WWDC this year.
Apple is rumoured to be introducing higher resolution screens for its line of Macs and MacBooks, similar to the Retina Displays available on the iPhone and iPad. At least one developer really hopes these rumours are true.
'We're really hoping Apple begins introducing Macs with high resolution retina displays,' said Dustin MacDonald, a designer and engineer for Acrylic Software. 'Apple has long promised a fully resolution independent version of OS X to developers, but so far they haven't shipped any displays capable of supporting it.'
MacDonald admits that higher resolution displays would force developers to do a little more work to 'support multiple resolutions simultaneously,' but he's fine with that.
'The new iPad shows that the end result is clearly worth the cost,' he said.
'I'd love to see Apple give us a better way to coordinate and share between apps,' said Josh Abernathy, a developer at GitHub and founder of Maybe Apps. 'Android and Windows Phone both do this way better than iOS.'
Abernathy points to the Charms bar on the Windows Phone 7 as an example of what he'd like to see. The Charms bar is basically a menu that includes buttons for common actions like search and sharing that can be used with any app. So, for example, instead of developers building a 'Share to Facebook' option into their apps, Facebook could make their own button in the Charms bar which could then be accessed from every app. This would save developers some coding time and ensure a more universal experience for users.
It took Apple a long time to build a successful cloud storage platform, but one developer believes there's still a key feature missing from the product right now: the ability for users to share items in the cloud with friends and family.
'While having the ability to sync all your data across a variety of devices is essential, one of the biggest missing features is the ability to seamlessly share iCloud data (not just publish a URL),' said Milen Dzhumerov, co-founder of The Cosmic Machine and one of the developers behind EventBox. 'It would allow to transparently share data with your friends and family without even leaving the apps.'
Ash Furrow, the lead iOS developer for 500px, has a simple request for Apple: make some coding tools that don't crash multiple times a day.
'The current development tools which exist, Xcode and Instruments, have been rapidly changing over the past two years. However, every release of Xcode is very buggy,' Furrow said. 'It crashes on me more than once a day and, after speaking with other developers, this is pretty typical. Xcode 4 still uses the project file format of Xcode 3, which is XML-based and cannot be merged with git or SVN. Collaborating between developers is difficult and frustrating.'
Apple introduced deeper integration between most iPhone apps and Twitter with iOS 5. Now, one developer would like to see Apple do the same with Facebook this year for iOS 6.
'If I had to pick one feature, I'd say native Facebook sign-on, similar to what Apple announced last year with Twitter,' said Akshay Kothari, co-founder of the Pulse news reader app. 'Facebook sign-on is still a pain on all mobile platforms - having Facebook be integrated with iOS6 would be a huge win!'
'We would love to see Apple open the background API also known as the VOIP privilege for more selected apps,' said Dominique Leca, co-founder of Sparrow, an e-mail client available on the Mac and more recently on the iPhone.
Apple has refused to let the Sparrow iPhone app access this API, which would enable the app to have push notifications highlighting new e-mails just like Apple's default e-mail app does. As a result, Leca and his team have been forced to use their own server to enable push notifications and charge users a subscription for the service.
This is one of the things we really hate about Apple, but we doubt it will change anytime soon. Leca tells us that his company asked Apple to reconsider its policy, but Apple refused - even though Sparrow got 16,000 signatures on a petition urging Apple to make the change.
For whatever reason, the latest Mac operating system doesn't let users have multiple applications open if they are in full screen mode, even if the user has two or more screens. This makes it harder to multitask and according to David Bishop, senior game designer at PopCap Games, it's one the tweaks Apple should introduce at this year's WWDC.