22 March 2015

iOS 9, 10 musts!

1.) Better Maps
Since Apple introduced its own Maps in iOS 6 in 2012, nothing much has changed with the app itself. Sure, the data in the app has gotten (arguably) better and more accurate, but the app itself still lacks a ton of basic features (and more advanced ones), especially when you compare it to the leading champ: Google Maps.

Data improvements aside, I hope Maps in iOS 9 will finally bring public transport directions and indoor mapping. Public transport is a no-brainer (I mean, why doesn’t Apple just buy and integrate the awesome CityMapper app yet?). And indoor maps are becoming more practical now especially since the iPhone 6 has a barometer that can tell what altitude you are at. This sensor would allow Maps to know which floor of a building you were on and present the appropriate floor’s map.

2.) Passcode-Protect Any App
Any app developer can code a passcode screen into their app which locks others out of it if they don’t know your pin. This is handy because it allows you to lend your device to people and still restrict access to certain apps (like your financial apps). But many developers don’t add passcode capabilities to their apps (nor Touch ID support). We’d love it in iOS 9 if you could go to a new screen in Settings and toggle passcode/Touch ID login on or off for any app on your iOS device.

3.) The Ability To Merge Apple IDs
This isn’t a feature specific to iOS 9, although it would benefit every iOS user. When Apple introduced Apple ID’s over 15 years ago they started out as membership IDs for people paying for their iTools and .Mac services. However, when the iTunes Store came into being in 2003, Apple started using Apple ID’s for that. Then for the App Store as well.

The problem is over the last 15 years many people accumulated more than one Apple ID, leading them to make some purchases under one and some purchases under another. Needless to say, having one digital ID is best and leads to a lot less confusion, so here’s hoping this year is finally the year Apple allows users to merge their Apple ID’s into one.

4.) Default 3rd-party Apps
People have been asking for this since day one. Maybe iOS 9 is when we’ll finally get it? I happen to be a big fan of Mail, Calendar, and Safari, but I know there are plenty of people who think other third party apps handle those services better. The ability in iOS 9 to select a default 3rd-party app, replacing the standard iOS one would be a huge boon to users. Honestly, out of all the wish list features, I think this is the least likely...but then again no one thought Apple would ever add support for third-party keyboards.

5.) Hide Pre-installed Apps
Apple, I’ll never use the Tips or Podcast app. If you insist I can’t delete them from my device, at least let me be able to hide them from the home screen without stuffing them in a folder marked “Useless”. ‘Nuff said.

6.) Make Sharing NOT Suck 
Sharing stuff on Android is brilliant. It doesn’t matter what application you’re in, you can share pretty much everything with every contact and application on your phone. Say you’re looking at something in Facebook and want to share it with a WhatsApp contact. On Android this is simple. On iOS you have to jump through about four hoops to do it –– and this just isn’t good enough.

Fingers crossed Apple will sort this out in iOS 9. Sharing media and content with applications and your contacts is an intrinsic component of user experience, and Apple has been getting away with a sub-par solution for way too long. I want to dictate what applications can share content with each other, not Apple.

7.) An iCloud Drive App
iCloud Drive was a big feature of both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10. With it Apple attempted to make its cloud file management solutions better. And they actually accomplished this on OS X, because the Mac operating system allows you to browse a default iCloud Drive folder in the Finder where you can browse and manage your iCloud Drive files just like any other files in any other folder on your Mac.

But on iOS you’re still limited to navigating these files only inside apps that support iCloud Drive. We’d love to see a dedicated iCloud Drive file manager app in iOS 9. Hint: Apple, just copy the Dropbox app.

8.) Weather App for iPad
The Weather app for iPhone introduced in iOS 7 is one of the most gorgeous weather apps ever made. But why the heck isn’t it available on the iPad? Those beautiful weather animations would look amazing on the iPad's bigger display. Here’s hoping iOS 9 give us the Weather app for iPad.

9.) Multi-user support
This is a holdover from our iOS 8 wish list. A feature long requested for iOS--particularly on the iPad--is multi-user support. The way this would work is that iOS would allow users to create multiple accounts on a single device. A user could log in with their pin, password, or Touch ID fingerprint and their iOS device would then be fully customised to their last-used settings: everything from app layout to wallpapers to email accounts.

This is arguably a feature more appropriate for the iPad as often times families or couples share one iPad between then. Also, iPads are frequently shared in work environments. Multiple user accounts for the iPad in these environments would mean secure sharing between people without the risk of anyone else seeing your private information.

As for the iPhone...multiple user accounts could also be enabled, but since our phones are such personal devices it’s not clear how many people actually share their phones with others to begin with.

10.) Customisable Control Center
Another holdover from our iOS 8 Wishlist: Control Centre was perhaps the best feature included in iOS 7. With a swipe up from the bottom of any screen users could finally quickly toggle Airplane mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and rotation lock on or off.

Users also finally got quick access to music controls and shortcut icons to Flashlight, Timer, Calculator, and Camera. What would be great, however, is if Apple would allow users to customise these four shortcut buttons. For example, I don't use the Timer that much, so I’d love to replace its shortcut button in Control Centre with a button for Calendar, an app I use a lot.

So those are the items on our iOS 9 wish list; what’s yours? Let us know in the comments!


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