sticky fingers on ipadFor the past couple of years, our kids’ favorite bedtime stories have featured a feline protagonist whose best friend is Apple CEO Tim Cook. In each story, Tim Cook teleports this cat to Cupertino (Apple HQ), where Tim and cat work on various cat-friendly inventions. Naturally, tonight’s story centred on an emergency visit from Tim Cook, requesting the cat’s help with an iOS update that could be announced at the WWDC.

As with most of these stories, the best ideas came from the kids themselves. First, however, they demanded to know what iOS is, and what an operating system is, and what the difference is between the OS and the apps that run on it (I know, I know, we’ve been terrible parents for neglecting this explanation until now). Once they had the basics under their belt, however, they came up with awesome feature ideas for the next iOS:

  1. Divide your iPad into zone so four people can use the iPad screen at once.
  2. Use your iPhone/iPad camera to identify any object: for example, hold a rock up to the camera and it will tell you what kind of rock it is.
  3. If you delete an app, it remains on the device as a ghost image; swiping brings the app back. [ed. note to Apple: please require a parent’s password before restoring the delete apps.I]
  4. Stream any app you are using to a Mac so you can use it with full keyboard/mouse controls.
  5. Filter that automatically detects where the fingerprints are on your iPad, and automatically adjusts the brightness of different patches of your screen in order to compensate and make them invisible (OK, that might have been my idea, but it still owes a big debt to my kids’ sticky fingers).
  6. Tell Siri your food preferences; she’ll remember them and in the future, suggest restaurants that would appeal to you.
  7. If you are at a friend’s house, your iPad will automatically join their wifi network, and once you’re on their wifi network, you can try any of your friend’s iOS apps for free.
  8. Ask Siri for a 3D printer and money printer; it will automatically upgrade itself to print the money you need to pay for the 3D printer and money printer.

That last one kind of broke my brain to think about, but other than that, I’m prepared to put the kids in charge of the iOS development team. Tim Cook, they await your call.