A new feature idea for iPhone

As I recently downloaded an app, that I would label ‘productivity’ related, it got me thinking. iPhone would really benefit from a feature which gives the user an ability to group or cluster apps by theme or category.

Sounds a bit anal. Perhaps. But hear me out. At the moment when an app is installed (not updated I might add) it sits next to the last app installed. If you are anything like me you probably have in excess of 80 apps sitting on your iPhone. Each rolling page holds 16 apps, so for me, that’s a lot of finger scrolling action. There have been occassions where I struggle to find the app I’m after.

I’m no software coder by I’m sure the Apple SDK would allow for two killer features:

1) Category and/or app tagging

Wouldn’t it be great if we, the users, could filter iPhone screen views by category. The SDK could require all developers to categorise their apps. In turn these would form the basis of filtering on the iPhone. For example Easy tasks, would be categorised as ‘productivity’ and would sit alongside similar apps. You get the picture.

A similar feature is already there in The Apps Store. However, I suspect it’s either Apple manually deciding where an app fits or the developers submiting where they want their app to appear.

Furthermore the user would be able to add/ amend categories.

2) Location aware categories

So in addition to filtering, why note take advantage of the GPS. The iPhone knows where you are, so why not have a feature that would auto filter apps based on location and/ or day of the week.

Imagine it knows you are shopping and up pops your shopping list app to the front screen. Or perhaps you are at home, watching tv, so a tv listings app appears. I accept this would be very tricky to pull of, as we do not necessarily use particular apps in particular places. Humans are unpredictable afterall. But much like the new ‘Genius’ feature in iTunes, after time, iPhone would begin to understand the location based habits of a user.

Perhaps this is one step to far, but if implemented correctly it might just turn iPhone into the most intuitive and smartest operating system ever.

So if you are reading this Apple, please note where the idea came from. I won’t ask for much. Just a shinny new 17″ MacBook Pro would be sufficient.