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In terms of money, Apple is on top of the world right now, pulling in more cold, hard cash from punters Apple Makes Biggest Profit Ever, The Pirate Bay Rises from the Ashes [Tech News Digest] Apple Makes Biggest Profit Ever, The Pirate Bay Rises from the Ashes [Tech News Digest] Everything is awesome for Apple, The Pirate Bay returns, hotels told not to block WiFi, YouTube dumps Flash, Grim Fandango Remastered arrives, and Budweiser transforms guy into Pac-Man. Read More than ever before. But money isn’t the be-all and end-all, even for companies who live and die by the amount of profit they make.

Apple in particular has built its business on the back of innovating, and it’s in danger of losing its reputation as being the company that goes into areas where others fear to tread. Tim Cook and co. need some fresh ideas. And we’re to help.

Innovative Ideas For Apple

Apple has become rather boring of late. Since Steve Jobs passed away in 2011 The Legendary Steve Jobs Has Passed Away [News] The Legendary Steve Jobs Has Passed Away [News] The co-founder of Apple, and its long-time CEO, Steve Jobs, died yesterday, at the age of 56. According to Macworld Magazine, in a statement released from Job's family, he "died peacefully surrounded by his family."... Read More , the company seems to have lost its creative spark Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? [Opinion] Is Apple's Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs? [Opinion] All technology companies experience peaks and troughs. Products come and go, execs get up and leave, consumer tastes change. Just look at RiM and the fortunes of the BlackBerry platform for proof. Apple is just... Read More . Sure, we have had the Apple Watch and that Mac Pro which looks like a bin, but the main focus has been delivering incremental updates to existing products.

Our readers are an astute bunch of individuals, so when asked to come up with some ideas to help Apple find its mojo once more, they jumped at the chance. What follows are 10 of the ideas our readers offered to Apple. Some are serious, some are snarky, but all are free.

1. Improve iOS in Obvious Ways

Apple could innovate by making an on-screen keyboard that displays the proper letter case depending on the state of the shift key, or by giving iOS users the ability to access a local file system on mobile devices. Sure, these are things that a $50 graphing calculator can manage, but for Apple they would represent a real step forward.

You either love iOS or you hate iOS. But even those who love it have to admit it’s far from perfect. There are some really obvious annoyances Apple needs to fix ASAP, as suggested by likefunbutnot Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More .

2. Design iShirts

Given that Apple’s business model is based on yearly upgrades I propose (wait for it . . . ) the iShirt, an Apple themed t-shirt with Apple-esque slogans on the front (e.g. “You’re holding it wrong!)” and the Apple logo on the back. They would change the slogans each year to ensure the faithful upgrade. I’d say $49.99 would be a fair iPrice.

Apple never misses a trick to bring in some extra revenues. A new charging cable here, an almost-imperceptibly-different-than-the-last-version 5 Reasons The New iPad Sucks [Opinion] 5 Reasons The New iPad Sucks [Opinion] As you're no doubt aware thanks to the blanket coverage all across the Web, Apple unveiled its latest hardware on March 7. That hardware being "the new iPad," or "iPad (third-generation)," or, as most people... Read More upgrade there, and it’s bonuses all round. Which make the iShirt, as suggested by Hildy J Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More , a no-brainer.

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3. Develop a Real Apple TV

A TV, not like the Apple TV but a real TV that has an updated content similar to the ones in Apple TV, maybe they will call it iTV or MacTV, or MacTV Pro, or Air. Regardless of the name will be, it should have a reasonable price.

An Apple TV Apple TV Review and Giveaway Apple TV Review and Giveaway Apple introduced its set-top digital media player in 2007, and it's currently on its third generation of hardware. Read More that’s actually a television set rather than a crappy set-top box has been rumored for years, but it’s still nowhere to be seen. Both iTV and Air are clever names, but the suggestion from Von Adam Martinez Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More of setting a reasonable price point is bonkers.

4. Cater to Those on a Budget

Apple can for a change think of the budget conscious and first time smartphone adaptors. Lumia have smartphone addressing practically every strata and class of society. Similarly, Apple should think of a budget conscious entry level iPhone and one addressing the middle tier. With that they will exponentially increase the spectrum of the market they are currently addressing.

Price continues to be an issue for many people who want an Apple product but simply can’t afford the price of admission to this exclusive club. Selling premium, mid-range, and entry-level devices to suit everybody, as proposed by Rajaa Chowdhury Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More , is surely a good idea.

5. Stop Limiting The Max Volume

Apple needs to change limits of maximum volumes in all their devices. I don’t know if this is a governmental or medical limit but some of us consumers have hearing losses for whatever reason and we should have the option of being able to hear like everyone else if we can. What would even be better is some kind of equalizer so that individual settings per needed ranges would be sweet.

We all know listening to loud music can damage our hearing, but the decision to do so is surely ours and ours alone. Apple has gone from being the revolutionary of 1982 to the dictator of 2015, and Merlyn Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More thinks the lecturing needs to stop.

6. Sell a VR HMD

The most awesome Virtual Reality HMD for phones that anyone has even hinted at. Of course open content installation would be great but Apple being Apple. And, of course, a phone with display resolution that can give a real 1080 vertical resolution over a virtual cinema screen (greater over full display.)

Apple has a somewhat deserved reputation for stealing ideas from others but then improving them so that they actually work. Several companies are jumping on the virtual reality bandwagon Why Virtual Reality Technology Will Blow Your Mind in 5 Years Why Virtual Reality Technology Will Blow Your Mind in 5 Years The future of virtual reality includes head, eye and expression tracking, simulated touch, and much more. These amazing technologies will be available to you in 5 years or less. Read More , but perhaps, as suggested by DonGately Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More , it’ll be left to Apple to perfect the idea.

7. Develop a Modular Computer

How about making a computer for the people instead of single-use sealed-unit luxury items? Something customizable, repairable, expandable, plug and play that anyone can build from reasonably priced parts that don’t require specialized knowledge to assemble and use? They are trying to do that with phones, why not computers?

Apple currently makes computers which only Apple geniuses are meant to open up to explore the inner-workings. Perhaps, writes Kenneth DeVries Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More , Apple should turn this approach upside-down by developing a modular computer that works in a similar way to Project Ara Project Ara: How Your Next Smartphone Will Be Built by You Project Ara: How Your Next Smartphone Will Be Built by You You buy an expensive device and it runs perfectly for eighteen months. Then it gradually starts to get a bit slower, and the storage fills up, and the battery doesn't last as long. Read More .

8. Learn From Google Android

Here’s an idea: stop locking down iOS devices and shift to a more freedom-oriented, democratic, non-censoring policy like most Android users enjoy. Think “Unknown sources”, alternative app stores, no app-submission panel to deny your apps, etc.

There is no love lost between fans of iOS and fans of Android. Which is dumb really, as they’re both just mobile operating systems which share a lot of things in common. If only Apple would borrow the whole let-users-have-control-of-their-own-possessions mentality from Google, as suggested by Christopher Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More .

9. Create a Foldable iPhone

How about a “phone” with a foldable screen technology? I imagine it being like a folded up map. At its smallest it would be about the size of current smartphones. Unfold once and it’s a phablet. Unfold again and its ipad size. You could make it whatever size you want depending on your needs. A whole Ipad in your pocket.

This is probably the most innovative thing anyone suggested, but it’s also difficult to see how it could be achieved. Also, we suspect Apple would be against anything which would harm its bottom line, as releasing a smartphone/phablet/tablet all-in-one would surely do. Still, Mateo Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More deserves credit for thinking outside the box.

10. Start Reading People’s Minds

The ultimate dream would be an iPhone that could read your thoughts. How about wireless headphones that double as an EEG? I can imagine it now: version 1.0 would only allow you to open apps, simple web navigation, maybe play a game like pong. But as the technology gets better, you finally are able to do advanced things like word processing and coding with your mind. No more need to use your clumsy fingers and smudge your beautiful display. Why type when you can just think it??

An iPhone that can read your mind is either a Utopian dream or a dystopian nightmare, depending on your relationship with technology and attitudes to privacy and security. Either way, it could happen one day, and Apple is sure to be a pioneer when it does eventually arrive. Mateo Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help? [We Ask You] As much as Tim Cook and company are swimming about in pools of cash, there's a distinct lack of fresh ideas coming out of Cupertino. Perhaps we can help this company in need. Read More strikes again.

Continue the Conversation

We doubt anyone working for Apple will actually ever see this list, but that’s OK. Perhaps the competition will steal the ideas instead, and beat Apple to innovating once again. Not that the Apple faithful will notice, because unless it’s on an iDevice it’s not a real thing. Apparently.

To be honest, this was all meant to be very lighthearted anyway, even though the responses suggest there are a great many people out there who do actually think Apple has started running out of ideas. Money in the bank is great and all, but the widely accepted belief you have stopped innovating could be damaging in the longterm.

Please continue the conversation in the comments section below. While some of you took part in the original discussion, there is always room for more opinions. Do you think the idea selected for the list are good ones? Or could you do better? If the latter then please add your own suggestions to the conversation happening below. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions.

A Debt of Gratitude

In order to compile this list of ideas to help Apple innovate once again, we asked for help from the MakeUseOf community. As always, our readers proved to be an invaluable part of the site you’re reading right now. The readers we need to thank took the time to answer the question, Apple Has Run Out Of Ideas: Can You Help?, and their responses helped us compile this article.

Image Credits: Ilya via Flickr

  1. Zafar
    April 2, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I switched to MacOS and IOS. The price I paid for being so cool? I compromised on missing features because the HW is nice. I would never have switched from Android to IOS before IOS 7 came out, because 7 and 8 at least have tried to have some usability built into them.

    But yes, Apple, please for God's sake let us access the file system and let us choose default apps (e.g. Google Chrome, Google Maps and other nicer alternatives to the built in SW).

  2. Henawder
    March 26, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Apple's always been IBM...
    "I Buy Macintosh" (IBM)

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Ooh, I like that. I might have to steal that as if it's my own. As is the way of the Internet.

  3. YB
    March 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Apple needs to begin developing OS XI. OS county is over 10 years old. They could start with that. This should be relatively easy with Intel CPU'S.

  4. Jake
    March 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Sorry... you folks are high.

    I know, I know... "fanboy, blah, blah, blah..."

    Frankly, I'll be the first to say Apple since Jobs has gotten a bit sloppy. The "new" iWork -- especially Pages -- is awful and has remained so despite updates. My Mac, which never used to crash, now does sometimes under Yosemite. And iOS 8 too, which has its imperfections.

    But overall? It's still a superior experience and they're still coming up with the best stuff of its kind. Apple learn from Android? Please. The iOS system is hardly the prison so many non-users like to claim. And what restrictions it does have, it has because -- here's something to learn from Android -- leaving it wide open lets in a lot of crappy programming.

    Do I wish Apple would re-release a smaller iPhone again? Yes. Do I wish they'd clean up there software to make it more streamlined? That too. But, again, you're just looking to make yourselves impressive by trying to out-top the top dog. And it ain't working.

    • likefunbutnot
      March 26, 2015 at 11:50 am

      iOS's keyboard does not display lower case letters. If an iOS user wants to use the same file in more than one application and those two applications cannot natively share data, the file has to be copied into each application's sandbox. Users can't change default applications or use a web browser that isn't based on Webkit. Apple's native iOS apps have a ridiculously short list of approved data formats for audio and video for no particularly good reason; users have to transcode all their data or install another app to use the data they have so that their media collection is not available device-wide. iOS users can't download arbitrary files from the internet, even if the file would simply be inert data to the device.

      The first of those is simply insulting, but for the rest, the result is absolutely a prison. I would go so far as saying that it's actively hostile to end users. I'm sure it's fine if Safari and Netflix are the extent of your ambitions, but for as much processing power and storage as fruit devices have, they're unacceptably limited in their capabilities.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Even you seem to be admitting Apple is far from perfect, despite admitting to being a bit of a fanboy. My biggest problem is how boring this company has become.

  5. Dennis in Osaka
    March 26, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Apple...... the new IBM

  6. Phil N
    March 26, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Apple steals ideas, that's for sure. Now improving on them is something they need to actually try.
    Next they could try listening to customers instead of talking at them. Then try hiring a designer who actually knows what good design looks like. Next they could make devices that are reasonably priced, or at least priced for what they're worth. These are just a few in a long list of things they need to do to become successful as a company (and success doesn't just mean money).

  7. Dan Price
    March 26, 2015 at 4:26 am

    iTV (Apple) vs ITV (UK TV channel)... Better get the popcorn ready for the decade-long court battle!

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      I remember there being rumors of such a fight a few years ago. I've had my popcorn in a bowl on the arm of my chair ever since.

  8. Dan
    March 26, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Why do they need to change? Apple can just continue to litigate for patents and buy the technology they need. It's not like their business requires innovation.

    Sorry, that wasn't helpful. Maybe they should pass out #RaceTogether buttons at your local Apple Store!

    • Dave Parrack
      March 30, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      It seems the less they innovate the more money they make. Which is bizarre.

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