Weekly Poll: What Do You Want to See in the Next Version of OS X?

If Apple keeps up with its new annual OS X release cycle, then we should be expecting to see a new cat roaring on our Macs before the end of 2013. Mountain Lion was released last July, and its claim to fame was bringing more iOS features to OS X. iCloud, Notes, Dictation, Reminders, and more came as a reminder (pun not intended) that iOS was Apple’s more well-known and widely used operating system these days.

There’s little more from iOS we can imagine that Apple would bring to the Mac, aside from Siri and possibly Maps (oh, and iBooks), but there’s quite a few power user features that iOS users are clamoring for in iOS 7. If anything, it seems that Apple needs to bring some Mac features to iOS this year.

That’s not to say there’s nothing for OS X 10.9 to conquer this year. At the very least, I’d love to see a vastly improved iCloud and Messages, perhaps Siri, Maps, and iBooks, and some much needed love for older OS X apps like Automator. It’d also be great to be surprised with some new, OS X only features, stuff to make Macs stand out even more than they already do from the competition – and Apple’s iOS devices. iWork and iLife could desperately use a new upgrade as well, though that’s hardly a core part of OS X.

With Jony Ive the head of Apple’s software design, it’ll be interesting at the very least to see what design changes, if nothing else, show up in the next version of OS X. So what are you hoping to see in the OS X 10.9? It may just be wishing, but we’d sure love to see what you hope to see from Apple this year in the comments below!


  • http://jonathangraft.com Jonathan Graft

    Personally, I am indifferent towards this, but now that Microsoft’s Windows 8 has full-fledged touch screen support, I think it only makes sense for OSX 10.9 to have touch enabled as well. I was honestly a bit surprised 10.8 didn’t have it.

    I’d also like to see more theming options (such as a black menu bar…I know there are hacks, but I’d prefer native), but I’m pretty sure that will never ever come.

    I’d also love to see third party apps able to implement into the new “Share” menu.

    • Faisal

      OSX will never be touch friendly. Apple has iOS for that and eventually Apple will stop developing OSX.

    • Justin Campbell

      I am not to hot on the touch screen idea, maybe a choice between hardware at purchase, however, theming choice would be amazing.

    • Lê Hùng Thiện

      If you want a touch screen with compatible OS, use iPad. I believe that OSX will never support touch screen.
      In my opinion, I hope to see new apps design, improve built-in apps like Calendar, Reminder, Mail app, Notes…

    • Immiddx

      This seems like a horrible idea and I’m almost positive Apple would never even consider it. Unless Apple plans on releasing a touch screen MacBook Air or Pro, there would be no point in adding in a bunch of “touch” based features.

  • sam

    i hope i can get back the 1 finger drag’n'drop gesture. i dont know why it has been changed on 10.7 from 1 finger to 3 fingers… damn steve i hate you for ‘back to the mac’ since then the nice 1 finger drag’n'drop got steved out…

    [x] 1 finger drag’n'drop
    [_] something fancy
    [_] something even more fancy
    [_] something super awesome fancy

    • http://robertoalanis.com Beto

      I don’t know what device you’re using, but with the magic trackpad you just need to START the dragging with 3 fingers, then you can lift 2 of them and if will maintain the drag. :D

      • sam

        and this is weird.
        because before ‘back to the mac’ i could drag an object (picture, window, file, folder, etc) with 1 finger, lift this 1 finger to handle with 2 displays and finally whit a double tap the object drops. it was so damn easy.

        but now im forced to act like an finger acrobat and have to maintain the drag whit 1 finger ALWAYS down on the trackpad. its so stupid that I bought me a razer mouse just because of ‘back to the mac’ killed all and specially the 1 finger tap gesture.

        • http://www.thiagoalves.com.br Thiago Alves

          @sam, you can still drag with one finger. The problem is that Apple moved this configuration from “Trackpad” to “Accessibility”.

          Open System Preferences and select “Accessibility”;
          Once inside Accessibility, select the option “Mouse & Trackpad” on the left list;
          Now click on the button “Trackpad Options…”;
          On the popup check the option “Enable dragging”;

          Done, you have your one finger dragging back. Moving this option from Trackpad was a terrible idea IMHO.

    • Ed

      It’s in accessibility, not the trackpad settings…. Rather confusingly. I have it on mine and I use 10.8

      • sam

        thank you ed
        thank thiago

        omg omg omg! :)
        thank for this hint! awesome i can use my trackpad again :)
        bye bye mouse and hello trackpad :D

  • Jonas Salomonaaon

    I fell in love with the menusystem when I started learning Maya back in 2001. I had about 150 command mapped to five keys and it took only about one second to get to one command.

    So I would realy like to se a system wide menu bar overhaul.

    Check out the video for a old demonstration from Alias.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtH9GdFSQaw

  • Costee

    sam: You can turn that on in Universal Access.

    I’d like to see iBooks in 10.9 and split Music, Videos and iTunes app. Maybe Windows 8-like individual system app updating and deleting.

  • http://www.if.pro.br Igor Freiberger

    1. Customization for gestures both in trackpad and in MagicMouse.
    2. Dictation in Portuguese.
    3. Option to customize system sounds.
    4. Quicker transition between Spaces.
    3. Mail.app: ask and send reading confirmation.
    4. App Store.app: to save favorites or to-follow links.
    5. iTunes: control over font size.
    6. Calendar and Contacts without skeumorphisms.

  • Faisal

    UI Customization (Grey UI is getting old)
    Better Window/File Management (Live Preview from Dock, Easy way to copy paths)
    New App Store
    Siri
    iBook Reader
    Better Preview
    iOS style text selection (PopClip does the trick now)
    Menubar Note and Reminder
    iCloud Folder for any files (like Dropbox and SkyDrive)
    App Uninstaller
    Simplified Mail.app

  • http://www.ideaprison.com Oscar

    They should merge Dashboard with the Notification Center
    More customization in all apps would be nice too.

  • Jonathan Garro

    As iOS and OS X move closer, I’d like to see closer integration between the 10.9 and my iDevices. For instance, I’d like to be able to start calls on the Mac, or get notifications about who’s calling and non-imessage text message alerts pushed to the mac.

  • macduff

    I’d like to see an Apple RSS app. I know there are a lot of 3rd party apps out there, but they are either too bulky or have little funciontality. There were rumors that ML would have an app with RSS integrated into the system more efficiently. I would like to see that come true in 10.9.

    • Joruikita

      Technically, this is the job of Mail.app

  • John

    Black Menubar Option
    Black Dock Option
    Option to hide Menubar and use hot corner to bring it up
    Better File Copy / Merge (like Windows 8)
    Finder Tabs
    New File System
    Lock Screen
    More Touch Customization
    Fix Three Finger Swipe Bug in iTunes 11
    Ability to run iOS apps
    Merge Dashboard with Notification Center

    • Charles

      I echo the call for a file system update to the aging HFS+. When Apple dropped Sun’s ZFS from Mac OS X 10.6, we all lost a bit: We have to regularly “Repair Disk Permissions”, and frequently run “Verify Disk”, and we have just simply hope that Time Machine isn’t backing up corrupted data. ZFS solved this problem for Sun (now Oracle), something like this is overdue for OS X.

      File system reliability is doubly important now Apple is shipping Fusion Disks (combined SSD + spinning hard disks) – so every one of our bits moves back and forth between TWO HFS+ instances!

  • Alex

    More features from iOS brought to the mac would be great, maybe do away with desktop entirely and just put launchpad there instead to mimic the iOS springboard. I feel like Apple will eventually do away with access to the filesystem in OS X anyway so folders such as desktop and downloads will become obsolete

  • landoncube

    I have issues with Mail refusing to quit on a regular basis. It’s slow to open, as well.
    I’d love to see a Disk Warrior type software integrated with Disk Utility.

    It would be cool to have an option to free inactive RAM within Activity Monitor.
    I use Blu-ray for Mac by Macgo, but revamping DVD player to include it is still on my list.

    I hope there is a new picture of part of the universe for the desktop.

    What will happen with Java? I only use it for one business Simulcast app, but I have no alternative.

    With my Mac mini, iPhone, iPad 4, and iPad mini, I get emails and text alerts to all. I’d love a solution to get the ping to one device first, then all others if I don’t acknowledge, instead of all at once.

  • http://www.davidskunsten.nl David

    icloud synced ‘do not disturb’

  • Cullen

    I would love to see Apple get rid of the skeuomorphism in all their apps (Calendars, Reminders, Notes, Contacts, GAME CENTER).
    I would also like to see a re-designed User Interface, not like Windows 8 re-designed, but a more modern/sleek design.
    Mail needs a BIG re-design. I am stuck with Sparrow until Apple updates this.
    I would also like some small changes:

    • Better compatibility with older Macs
    • Faster, more reliable Safari (And bring back RSS!)
    • Full-screen Finder mode
    • Two finger swipe to go back/forward in Finder
    • More multi-touch gestures
    • Siri
    • Have two full-screen apps open on different displays at the same time (This showed up in the ML preview, but was removed)
    • Built-in Weather app
    • Built-in Clocks app

    I can’t wait to see what Mac OS 10.9 (or OS 11) will bring.

  • Will

    I honestly hope they take longer and go back to the drawing board so the next version is OS XI 11.0. I personally feel lots of OS X is dated and still treats the user like a moron.

    The things I would love to see changed are:
    - Rip out all of the skeuomorphism
    - Contacts, calendar, and mail should be one app
    - Something better and more modern than the dock (and no, Launchpad is not the answer)
    - Messages could take some notes from Pidgin and Trillian (or have an API that apps like Adium and Trillian can use)
    - Give users a browser ballot to select from when they start for the first time instead of forcing them on Safari (this is exactly the same thing as Windows forcing users on Internet Explorer)
    - Get rid of the animations for things like fullscreen where it doesn’t make sense
    - Blu-ray support would be great (granted this isn’t hard to add now)
    - There are numerous UI updates that would be nice such as window chrome, the menu bar, and Finder
    - Are tabbed Finder windows too much to ask for? It kind of shocks me that neither OS X nor Windows do this natively.

    Frankly, I’m not really counting on Apple to pay any more attention to OS X than they have since iOS came out. If anything, they’re going to continue to pay less and less attention to it and I’ll end up using Windows or Ubuntu more at home (I already use Windows at work because it’s impossible to use OS X and connect to network shares and expect to be able to accomplish anything).

    • Justin Campbell

      I completely agree with you on the combination of Calendar, Mail, and Contacts (bringing Reminders back to Calendar woud be nice to) as for tabbed browsing in a file manager natively there is no support as you said but maybe something along the lines of TotalFinder or XtraFinder?

    • Jason

      I’ve been wanting this for years- there’s no reason Calendar, Mail and Contacts should be separate, and quite frankly, they could all do with a wholesale redesign. They need to match the usability of Gmail for the iCloud web apps, and the third-party apps on OSX that trump Calendar, Mail & Contacts.

      • immiddx

        Disagree completely. I have Mail open all of the time, Calendar open about half of the time and contacts open never. I don’t need the functionality of all 3 for the same amount of time, with the same frequency and they aren’t all equally important. It always drove me crazy that, in Outlook, there were a million functions and a million options to choose from but I only ever needed to use 1 or 2 regularly.

        Besides, it is not as if there is some major benefit to them being squashed into 1 application, even in the instance when I need to use all 3 at the same time. In Outlook, for example, I have to click on the Calendar tab to open my calendar. In OSX, I have to click the Calendar application to open my calendar. The app opens just as quickly as Outlook switches to calendar mode and it is still just one click. The only difference is that it “feels” different to you for some reason. Learn to get over that and there is literally no important difference.

    • Scott

      I would hate to see the Dock altered or nixed; I have never seen or heard of a better click-method to launch and organize apps. Maybe you just don’t know how to customize it? I have over 200 apps in mine and they’re all two clicks away. Super efficient, personalized with my own photo icons, and organized into my own groups for my own workflow. It looks good and takes no screen space. If you don’t like it; don’t use it.

  • http://www.mactexan.com Joe Kelley

    Lose the Launchpad and Dashboard. Does anyone really use those? Also, we should have a section in the App Store for non-sandboxed apps. Perfectly safe, stable apps like TextExpander and the real version of 1Password will never pass muster with the sandbox police. I never want to have to “jailbreak” my Mac to install what I want. I’m afraid that’s where the whole thing is heading.

    • deadtokyo

      Launchpad: Yes.
      Dashboard: No.

      :D

  • jenn

    - remove dashboard (or a as someone mentioned above merge it with something else
    - revamped dvd player
    - personally not a fan of the some of the ports they brought across from ios – I.e. launchpad.
    (I hope there is no maps integration or other apps brought over – or at least let us remove them/select which ones we want)
    - better full screen functionality/support
    - more options to customize dual screens
    - this is more for itunes, but i wish they would allow us to update more info of TV shows, and have it sort properly.

    • Justin Campbell

      I can totally agree with you on the multi-screen support. This is a big bugging factor for me!

      • Scott

        SecondBar or MenuEverywhere fix the multi-screen problems pretty well, but that should be handled natively at least in a basic way.

  • http://naaos.com Cornelius U

    TABBED FINDER.

  • Edgar Baiz

    just one thing, please please apple don´t sell Maps like a great feature, really?
    maps on my iMac please NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    that´s for iphone and iPads only

  • Darren

    I’d like to see some colour back in the finder side bar. Colour makes icons quickly recognizeible and therefore speeds up usage.
    I’d also like to see a quick way to tile windows on the screen when two or more apps are open.

  • http://clozed2u.com clozed2u

    I think 10.8 has great iCloud integration. One thing I need to see in 10.9 is powerful Safari (Now Chrome is better than it).

  • http://geertdedeckere.be/ Geert De Deckere

    Proper full screen behavior for multiple monitors. Turning the other screen gray is useless.

  • Beatrix Willius

    The user interface needs a serious overhaul. So many things are hidden, obscure to find or totally obfuscated. In the race to make things simpler Apple made things so much more complicated. Yes, many users are beginners. But power users need to be able to work with Mac OS, too.

    • Scott

      Veto that. If advanced features were out in the open I would spend all my time helping the majority of users I know who are too inept with their Macs to not attempt deleting System files to make room for image files, yet too productive at real work with their Macs to downgrade to an iPad.

  • Chris

    1. Restore the user control we had in Snow Leopard
    2. Restore coloured icons to Finder
    3. Better and more flexible foreign language dictionary integration
    4. An App store app that works properly

    • immiddx

      These comments are so vague I can’t really tell if I agree or disagree with you.
      1. Which user control features in Snow Leopard are you talking about? Which features did we lose that you want back? Are you talking about specific functions that they remove or the way in which features were accessed?
      2. I personally prefer the uniform grey icons but if you prefer the color ones, take a look at SideEffects: http://macmatrix.blogspot.hu/p/sideeffects.html
      3. What a ridiculous comment. You want the feature to be “Better” and “more flexible”? Of course you do! So does everyone else! Everyone wants everything to be “Better” and “More flexible”. What specifically do you want it to do better? What specifically is it lacking that is keeping it from being “Better”?
      4. Again, what the hell? What does this even mean? In what way does it not “work properly”? When I open the app store, I can click the download button on an app and that app is downloaded to my computer. So far as I can tell it works precisely as it is supposed and precisely as Apple has said it should. What is it doing/not doing that makes it not “work properly”?

  • Iaian7

    - Remove file versioning! Unstable, unusable, and has ruined several good apps I’d like to use again (notepad, keynote, pages). It’s been perhaps the worst experience I’ve had in OSX. Ever.
    - Re-enable file system access in Dashboard. I used to use it constantly as a front end to command line file processing. Now I can’t.
    - Fix visual glitches when switching Spaces. It still doesn’t work as smoothly as it used to in Snow Leopard (the last great OSX version for power users).

    There’s more, of course, but just undoing some of the catastrophic blunders of Lion and Mountain Lion is far more crucial than new features to me.

    • immiddx

      Remove file versioning? Why? It works fine for me but, even if it were true that it was completely unstable and non-functional, wouldn’t the recommendation be to fix and stabilize the feature? Not remove it entirely. In principle, file versioning is a brilliant idea. You never have to lose anything ever again and you can always undo/fix mistakes or changes.

      Why throw out a perfectly good baby just because of some dirty bath water?

  • Appleguy

    I don’t think Apple will fix those elements that they have clearly omitted in the past e.g. uninstaller or UI customization, we’ll always need 3rd party apps to really make it different/useable because it looks like Apple likes to start something and leave it for others to finish it or to expand the idea possibilities (essential missing apps – PopClip, HyperDock, TotalFinder, jiTouch). Just as others have mentioned OSX is really dated and deserves a retirement so in 2013 I hope to see a real change (same as in iOS update). Touch is the future so a tablet with an additional keyboard is the way to go, give me a MacPad with basic OSX functionality, a classic desktop mode in the background like with OS 9 in 2001 or like with Windows RT (and optional Windows 7 for file management).

  • urbanlegend

    Not much can be done with this so I want a brand new OSXI, Apple prides itself in trend setting by removing dvd optical drives or neglecting bluray but they’re still exploiting an old and tired cat, with OSX you could argue it’s animal cruelty :).

  • john trenouth

    I’d like to see an end to kernel panics. Apple needs to just make the next upgrade stable. Read the support forums to see what I mean.

    I’ve got a MBP and an Air — both kernel panicked all the time after upgrade to M-L and I had to roll back to Lion. I even did a fresh install of ML on the Air with the same result.

    Of course Apple makes this practically impossible to roll back. Fortunately I do nightly full HD backups with Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Bottom line: just make the next OSX version stable.

  • iCrazy

    It’s the end of the line for Mac and OSX as we know and I want to see the new path forward. I won’t jump into the dark without knowing what’s the future for this platform.

    • Andy

      Then just research what Tim Cook and others multiply said about the separate but inter-connected future of both OS X and iOS.

  • Scott

    I doubt OS X is doomed; iOS would not work on a desktop or laptop because it’s overly simplified for business use and relies on touch screens. Touch screens for desktops and laptops were heavily tested and rejected by Apple years ago for good reason: they don’t work for productivity software! OS X will become XI and I’m guessing kinds of bears. I can’t wait for Polar Bear!

    I want to see serious Finder improvements, including full file management functionality in Save and Open dialogs so I can rename, delete, move, copy, etc… during a save or open operation.

  • JongAm Park

    Let’s separate OS from Mac OS X, to differentiate bundled app from OS.

    For the OS, it will be great if they start to pursue a integrated architecture between OpenCL and GCD.
    Also, if they bring the originally planned Resolution Independency which is not confined to 2x resolution only.
    Bring more QuickTime features like reference video to AV Foundation.

    For SDKs, I wish that Apple modernize their Cocoa for Mac to be same or similar to Cocoa for iOS.

    For bundled apps or services, yeah.. iCloud need big update in terms of users’ control of how things should be synced. ( i.e. what folders/files are to be merged, synched, etc. )

    For bundled apps, there are bunch. But I hope Apple doesn’t fool people that new Mac OS X is new by updating some bundled apps.

  • http://iynque.com iynque

    I want Apple to finally make me impossibly happy forever so I can stop bitching about tiny little details that cause my entire world to come crashing down.

    Why can’t they just put this in OS X?!!? WHY APPLE!??! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!!?!?

    Oh, and an iOS emulator might be cool. I just wanna run those apps on my laptop sometimes.

  • Andy

    > With Jony Ive the head of Apple’s software design

    No, he took over Human Interface. Craig Federighi took over and now leads both OS X and iOS teams (everyone ignores that).

  • Sheryl

    You know how in the taskbar in windows, it collapses and only shows a few items, then you can click the arrows to open it up? I want that for the menubar.

    Safari needs to be faster. It needs to not reload every tab when something goes wrong in one of em. I like the look and features of Safari but its flaws ruin the experience.

  • http://sethrattan.com Seth

    I’d rather see them take a number of things out, and perhaps return support for actually valuable features. This puts me in a minority of users: those who use OS X to actually get work done.

    To Remove:
    - Dashboard and Widgets
    - Share button cluttering up all the default apps
    - Facebook and Twitter integration
    - Launchpad
    - Notes, Messages, Reminders

    To Restore:
    - Sane behavior for network sharing (perhaps the ability to control whether it treats the shared connection as open or closed NAT)
    - Traditional Save/Save As/Save a Copy workflow, or at least granular control over file versioning

    To Add:
    - Anything other than HFS… for the love of god!
    - Better support for multiple monitors (when apps are in fullscreen)

    FOSS that’d be nice out of the box:
    - vim
    - git
    - ruby

    Also, it’ll never happen, but I’d love to see Apple open up the source code to Rosetta and let those who want to hack away at it.

  • Matt

    Proper dual screen support!!!

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