iOS looks more or less the same over the years. I think Apple doesn’t want to risk it with the UI – not with a money making machine in hand! Remember the Mac OS X? Any UI changes over the years? Nah. Definitely not like Windows 7 to Windows 8!
So, what Apple can do to not be such a bore with the UI is that they should take those touch gestures to the next level. Remember the very first jailbreak where you could launch a rainbow like list of App icons by simply sliding your finger towards the bottom left corner of the screen (like a pretty launcher with quick access to the apps you like most). That was before Apple flirted with the idea of apps. Few jailbreak apps like SBSettings, IntelliScreenX, Dashboard X are super productive and more fun. CultOfMac composed a nice list of jailbreak apps for iPhone 4S. If app developers can do it, Apple can do it too and much more efficiently. I bet you some of the jailbreak apps will make it into the core of iOS in the future and some have already (like the appstore, notification center, folders, spotlight search,..). You might argue that Apple did not take cues from jailbreak apps but well, the devs did a great job way before Apple did any of the app talk!
Why is Apple afraid of adding a little more functionality to the plain vanilla UI? Why the heck are you not allowed to disable or strip out all FaceBook integration from iOS 6? Twitter too. Yeah, probably a deal where Twitter and FB pays Apple to promote them.
Turning WiFi off still takes a lot of taps where in Android it is one or two! Same with Bluetooth. Why can you not turn 4G/3G off? I know why, because if there is spotty 4G in the area, then you are not allowed to switch to EDGE which is much faster than a one bar 4G! Carriers probably forced Apple on this one I believe.
Scott Forstall is responsible for everything iOS and he should address these issues/concerns. I wouldn’t say he should resign (like the other verge forum post about Scott F insists) but I would love to see a Windows guy or an Oracle guy in the senior management at Apple for a different take on things. I don’t think the original iPhone team should get too comfortable with what they achieved. With Steve J missing from the scene, I can definitely picture Johnny I, Scott F and Phil S – all the top people pointing fingers at each other. Do you really feel iPhone 5 would really be some spec bumps and nothing much? Where is the innovation on the software front? With hardware, there is only so much they can do and they did a great job at that.
Having said that, I still feel the iOS is so much more mature and polished compared to the other wannabe mobile operating systems out there. It is just that there is room for improvement given that the iOS is way ahead in the game.