This year will be the debut of iOS 7. There have been things said about iOS 6 like it’s boring, it’s getting old, it needs a revamp. While I don’t agree with all of those sentiments I do think there is a lot of room for improvement. This is the T3kd iOS 7 wish list. A list of the things that Apple will hopefully implement in the new iOS. Before I get started everyone needs to understand a few things about Apple and iOS. It’s been 5 years since the introduction of the iPhone and along with it the iPhone Operating System, now iOS. In that 5 years Apple has spent time perfecting iOS while throngs of people learned to operate it. They are not going to drastically re-write it now that everyone knows how to use it.
What they will do is make changes that add to the Operating System (OS), keep it simple and retain the familiarity. Our iOS 7 wish list keeps this in mind, sort off. The list has features that would make using iOS easier, more efficient and more productive for the user. Which is what a new OS should always do for the benefit of users. So lets jump into the wish list now.
Toggle to turn the lock screen clock and date On/Off – The iPhone has a beautiful screen, especially now with the larger screen. Except we never get to enjoy the beauty of the screen. There are always elements on the screen(clock, icons). The lock screen which is hardly utilized has the clock and date right in the middle of the screen. A toggle in the Settings panel would be the most simple addition that would give users the option of turning the clock and date on or off.
Alternate Notification Center – The notification center is not accessible from the lock screen. It’s a security issue, who would want their information easily accessible if the device was lost or stolen? But why not have an alternate notification center when the device is locked. One that allows access to options and information right from the lock screen. It makes things easier and more efficient for the user. The alternate notification center could have toggles for Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Mute and Orientation Lock. It would have the weather and stock widgets for glance-able information.
iPad Specific Notification Center - Ever since the Notification Center was introduced the iPad has used the same one found on the iPhone. It looks silly on the bigger screen of the iPad and fails to use the larger iPad screen in a useful way. Steve Jobs was famous for saying the iPad unlike it’s competitors didn’t run scaled up smartphone apps. There are iPad specific apps that take advantage of the bigger screen with extra elements, features, etc. So why after all this time is the iPad still using the silly looking half baked iPhone Notification Center. The increased size of the iPads’ screens would allow more space for even more things within the Notification Center. The possibilities are endless, quick access app shortcuts, favorited apps, iPad specific widgets, etc.
Full Screen Music app – When the device is locked I want full access and control of my music. The screen is big enough so why require the user to unlock the device to do things like switch to playlist, song, or artist mode. I want to see the list of songs in the playlist, go into Coverflow, etc. from the lock screen. The double tap of the home button to gain access to the controls ensures it wont happen without user input. The Apple Maps app does it so they already know how to implement it. What’s the hold up?
Album Art/Lock screen toggle – Times have changed a lot since the iPod was first introduced. While some people still have an emotional attachment or enjoy the display of their Album Art. Others are more emotionally attached and enjoy the image displayed on the lock screen. Whether it’s a new parent with a picture of their newborn or child. Or a personal image created by the user, many would rather see their lock screen than the Album Art. A toggle button in the lower right corner of the screen would give user’s the simple option to enjoy whichever they choose.
Ability to answer iMessages from the lock screen – User’s have different reasons and times when they aren’t able to unlock the device to answer iMessages. It is much quicker and more efficient to allow them to answer or dismiss the messages from the lock screen. This is another security issue since it would allow access to iMessage if the device were lost or stolen. So the setting to enable it should be under the passcode option. It would require the user to setup a passcode in order to use the feature. When replying to a message from the lock screen the user would be required to input the passcode first. As it is now if the device has a passcode it has to be entered to reply to an iMessage anyway. So not requiring the device to unlock and the iMessage app to launch before the user could reply would be quicker and easier while still keeping it secure.
Ability to dismiss lock screen notifications – When the device is locked and notifications come in they end up on the screen until they are checked. In cases when a user can’t get to the notification it ends up in a horrible mess as more notifications fill the screen. Especially when the notification is for a message so short it shows in the preview. If you have repeating alerts the notification will also buzz again if you haven’t responded to it. There should be a way to dismiss the notifications from the screen. They should either fade away after a set time like 10 or 15 minutes or allow the user to dismiss the ones they choose. The user could tap the app icon of the notification instead of sliding it. An “x” would appear on the notification allowing the user to clear it from the lock screen notification.
Custom lock/unlock sounds – There are so many more things in iOS 6 that a user can set custom sounds for how about allowing me to change the lock/unlock sounds.
App and folder icons anywhere on the home screen grid – These devices are supposed to be ushering in the Post PC era. If that is the case there are many little freedoms we enjoy in a PC OS that we still don’t have. Like the ability to put icons where we want on the home screen. Right now the app and folder icons are put on a grid in succession. I want the ability to put the icons anywhere on the home screen grid. This allows users to arrange icons how they like while still adhering to the grid. It allows the simple freedom of putting icons around the edge of the home screen if a user chooses.
Local Siri functionality – Siri is Apple’s digital assistant. Able to make calls, make appointments, send messages and more with one big downside. Using Siri requires an internet connection. So even though for things like making a call or setting an appointment the data is all local, without an internet connection Siri is not available. The digital assistant is on break. This doesn’t make sense to me and also slows down the adoption of it dramatically. These functions need to be built-in so that Siri can perform the tasks without the need of going back to the servers first. The more people that use Siri result in the service becoming better at performing tasks and understanding what is being asked.
Siri Travel Mode – The device can sense when the user is travelling at a faster speed than possible when walking. There should be a travel mode where Siri activates and reads all notifications to the user. Then in the case of emails and iMessages it would wait for the user’s response. One thing hasn’t changed about society. When using Siri you feel and look just as crazy as when Bluetooth headsets were just introduced. When was the last time anyone in a public place used Siri to create an email, iMessage, appointment or dictation? We are still not comfortable talking to our devices in public. In travel mode the interaction with Siri would become like talking on a phone. Since it wouldn’t be a one sided conversation of commands. Siri would read an iMessage and then ask “Would you like to reply?” this leaves the outside conversation as “yes, blah blah blah.” Siri:”Would you like to send your message?”. The conversation would feel more natural and comfortable. It would also help with the problem of texting, emailing, etc. while driving.
Allow Siri access to more OS features – Siri should be able to do things like turn DnD on and off. It is easier and faster for users resulting in more use of OS features.
Allow Siri access to the alarm clock – I want to be able to say Siri “turn my alarm off for the next three days”, if I’m sick or don’t need my weekday alarm for some reason. The alarm should turn off and then re-enable three days later saving me the effort of maintaining it manually.
Additional Do Not Disturb(DnD) sets - I want more than just one DnD range. The time I don’t want to be disturbed is not the same on the weekend as it might be during the week. I want to click add just like you would for setting multiple alarms and then be able to add more DnD ranges. I want to be able to pick specific days for each range. So you could have weekdays, weekends, Holidays and turn them on and off just like you would alarms. Better yet turn them on and off via Siri.
Quick Access Camera shortcut assignment - The iPhone camera is very popular. Our smartphones are usually in our pockets and with the stunning quality of the iPhone’s camera. It makes for the perfect camera. Starting with the iPhone 4 the popularity of the iPhone on photography based site Flickr passed the mainstay, Nikon D90 a DSLR. It’s an impressive feat. Now combine that with the fact that there are many third party camera apps provide functionality and features that aren’t available in the stock camera app and there is a chance to make it even more popular. The quick access shortcut on the lock screen is the easiest, fastest way to get to the camera. It’s too bad that there is no way to assign what is opened with it. The OS should assign whichever camera app is being used to the shortcut enabling users to get the most out of both the camera and their apps. The OS would do it automatically leaving the user with no settings to change manually.
iDevices in AirDrop - iDevices have now gone wireless many of the things that used to require plugging in to the USB cable has been replaced with wireless or on device options. However a few things still requires a connection to the cable. One of these is to transfer images to and from the device. The devices should be accessible through AirDrop. Then all that would be required to get or put images onto the device is a Wireless connection.
Thumb gesture app switcher – Steve Jobs said that the iPad doesn’t run scaled up phone apps. So he made it know that there is a distinction between an iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch at times. So why not have some iPhone/Touch specific multi-touch gestures that work on the smaller screen. I’d love a thumb swipe to open the app switcher. It would be faster, more intuitive and save the home button some clicks.
On-screen Rotation Lock – Rotation lock should be an on screen button that appears when the user has rotated the screen between orientations more than once. The app Pocket has already implemented this and it is so elegant and efficient. It needs to be system wide.
Shared notes – Just like shared calendars I want to share notes between between Apple IDs
Ability to un-install native apps – I have never used the native Stocks, Weather, Compass, or Newsstand app. So why can’t I un-install them? The new Apple apps like Podcast, Apple Store, iTunes U, etc. can be installed and un-installed just like any other app. I want the same ability for the other natively installed apps. I understand if the core apps like Phone, Calendar, Messages, Safari have to stay for the basic use of the phone. If grandma’s stock or weather app was deleted I don’t think she would miss it. Even if she did a simple install would fix the issue.
Glass app folder icons – This is my personal taste but I want to enjoy the beautiful Retina screen and my own beautiful background. The linen folder background is hideous but having it in the folder icon is even worst. Why not have an elegant glass look to the folder icons with the background blurred a bit and then a steel or aluminum style ring around the folder icon. (See app and folder icons anywhere on the home screen grid)
Device Connectivity – All iDevices should be able to connect without Wifi. Use BLuetooth or NFC or whatever works. Just get it done and allow users to transfer pictures, videos, notes etc. between devices easily.