What I’d really love from Apple at WWDC…
At ReadWriteWeb, I’ve put together a list of the things that “actually matter” for Apple’s WWDC conference next week.
But I left off a personal request: Wifi voice calls in iOS 6.
Why? Because even now, despite all the money AT&T has been putting into its “4G” network, I’m rarely satisfied with the quality of my iPhone calls. Especially at home. I’ve tried the AT&T M-Cell, and it was sometimes helpful, but mostly flaky, and often made things worse. The most reliable home phone I have right now is the one built into Gmail. That’s nuts.
This sort of addition isn’t unprecedented: Apple has now added a couple of features to iOS that replace (or at least complement) services that the phone company was previously responsible for, or would have liked to have been responsible for. First, there was FaceTime, which is fun for novelty situations — calls home during business trips, special family calls, trying to talk to the dog, etc. — but isn’t practical for quick, everyday calls. Then, there was iMessage, which has been a mostly reliable (and free) replacement for text messaging. I’d love to see Apple tackle voice calls at some point.
I’m sure there are many technical hurdles, as well as operator-business-relationship challenges. For example: How do you receive calls? Should these calls work over 4G data? How does your phone number fit into this? Should these be considered normal calls and use up your voice minutes? Or a separate thing? Does Apple really want to get involved here, or just let Skype and Vonage handle it?
But this feature would make my iPhone better, could potentially save money — especially overseas, and I’d use it all the time. So I’d love to see it.