4 Enhancements to iTunes and iPhone

On October 14, 2009, in Apple, Branding, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

Mike Merrill iPhoneIn my so called digital life I have come to love my iPhone and iTunes. I hope to make the leap to a MacBook Pro soon. Lately, there are a few enhancements that would definitely improve the user experience and make money for Apple at the same time. Some of these have been blogged about already, but thought I would offer my opinion and broaden the discussion.

iTunes Application Sorter

Like everyone, I was very excited to see the iTunes enhancement that would allow me to manage my over 6 pages of applications. iTunes lets me not only sort by category and name but also by date. However, from a human factors and ease of use, wouldn’t it be ideal to sort by actual usage and then select another button to re-order by usage. Much like an information map and click analytics can help you build your website to satisfy where your traffic is, this seems like a no brainer.

iPhone Webcam

With the launch of video capture on the 3Gs, my first question is why don’t we see apps for a webcam without having to jailbreak and use several apps to make it work as these videos demonstrate. I know Cisco Webex already has an iPhone application so it seems natural that they would develop this capability into their application. Additionally, we need some sort of  third party accessory manufacturer to develop a mount so we can face the screen during a live web discussion.

iTunes and iPod social music sharing

I am a huge fan of the Shazam application for discovering music from XM Sirius and the radio stations. One of the very cool features they have is the ability to share a song via Twitter. This is so powerful for sharing a new song with your community. Why can’t I do this within iTunes or the iPod application on the iPhone? For example, if I am listening to a song and want to share it across my social networks real-time wouldn’t it be ideal to be able to do this within iTunes and iPod. What a great way to discover and share music. This would also prove to be a great revenue driver since it will point right back to a link in iTunes enabling folks to purchase.

Better yet, create a point system for folks who generate the most affiliate downloads from their network and reward them with free music. For Example, say I discover a new unknown artist and want to share it. Say I have a 2000 followers on Twitter, 500 Friends on Facebook and a network on BrightKite. What if I share this song and 20 folks in my network download the song and it can all be attributed back to me through the link. Why not reward that user with a credit to their iTunes account?

Take that to the next level and let the studios provide incentives as well for influencial social media icons. Apple probably won’t feel inclined to built this type of incentive system so let the studios pay for it.

iTunes as a micro-payment platform

iTunesYou could argue that Apple is one of the most trusted brands on the planet. Who else has more customers most current credit card data? We all download songs and applications without even blinking. We have also seen cases of micropayments working on Facebook so why not license the API to other iphone apps or on the internet on top of iTunes. This would make the Facebook payment system and Paypal obsolete overnight. More importantly, their platform is already mobile, so it could facilitate almost anything. With their reach, they could even charge less than anyone else and still make a killing. Although, since iTunes would be so convenient they may be able to charge the same 3 plus percent PayPal does.

This was written ago last year and seems to have been confirmed, but it seems this is worth more discussion.

What do you guys think? Any other suggested enhancements or improvement to the iTunes and iPhone?

Comment below or send me a tweet @mikedmerrill