WWDC starts in exactly one week and like every year im waiting for some imho extremely important features to hit the Apple operating systems. To accompany the upcoming episode of Audiodump i’ve finally found some time to jot down some of my biggest wants regarding WWDC 2017.
The mentioned functionalities are not sorted by any priority, they are just a brain dump of what’s been on my mind regading the upcoming features.
- Dark mode
Ever since i have a child, screen brightness has become extremely important to me. Not only is reading white text on black / grey background more easy on the eyes, it also sometimes is necessary when you want to read some messages while your child is sleeping next to you. The displays of current iPhone models are extremely bright - which is a great feature - but the massive white-space in iOS and most apps just lights up the entire room. I’ve been using the accessability-shortcut to trigger color inversion for quite a while now, but this only works as far as text is concerned. A true night mode would be a gift. Please, please.
- More pro features for iPad Pro
As an owner of an iPad Pro, i still like my iPad, it’s an awesome device, but it somewhat lacks a true distinct personality from regular, 10” iPads. Sure, we have multi-tasking, and yes, you get used to having it after a week, but other than that? iOS itself does not utilize the massive screen the Pro has and that is kinda disappointing. Notification Center and Control Center feel like their iPhone counterparts, with no power-user features at all. Having to swipe between the control-center toggles and media playback controls just feels totally underwhelming.
- Adding side-by-side functionality to all Apple apps
I just cannot understand why especially apps like Settings.app cannot be run side-by-side with other apps.
- Enforcement of UIDocumentProvider and similar mechanisms
There are some awesome apps out there, like Git2Go, Ulysses and Resilio Sync that integrate well into the iOS eco-system, providing their files to almost every app that supports file-editing. They enable their users to import any file from within their Sandbox and also to edit the files inside their sandbox without having to import them. From my point-of-view, this should become the default, and i know its controversial, but i think Apple should enforce this. I’ve come across so many half-baked so-called file-management app-solutions - looking at you, Dropbox - i just don’t feel like this is the streamlined Apple UX that i’ve come to love anymore. Some apps integrate their own mechanism of accessing cloud storage, but if cloud is not a thing for you, it gets even harder to manage files inside different apps. Apple provided a mechanism to let users modify and transfer their files from one app to another, so why not enforce it like they do on other features? It would make life so much easier and also satisfy some people that run the But iOS has no file-handling argument.
- Handsoff turned off by default
Seriously, why would i want to share my running processes to any potential device on my network? I understand the reason behind this default settings, but for security reasons i’d prefer to have it opt-in, rather than opt-out.
- A VPN switch in control center
Something so trivial, yet so powerful.
- Customization of control center switches
Replacing that calculator with something more practical, e.g. a VPN switch has been a wish since iOS7 and the introduction of control center.
- Cross-app copy-paste of files / content
Or maybe just a better clipboard management. It’s just outright incredible how hard it can get to copy data from one app to another, especially when the source is a webpage.
- A better way to select text
3D Touch is amazing for this, but selecting text just feels as clunky as always. This is one of the wishes where i just cant think of how to improve that feature, but i still hope that some day in the future, Apple will figure this out.
- Clear obsoletions of old technology
WebView? WKWebView? GameCenter? Anyone? Should i search for Older Macs or is AirDrop just not working? In times of Everything just works this is a no-go.
- Signing your own iOS versions
Apple Enterprise developer accounts should be able to provide different versions of iOS to company owned iDevices. That “Update this evening” feature is just too tempting. Companies loose access to outdated iOS versions way too easily.
- Time left on battery estimation / charging time estimation
Battery percentage is great, but being able to at least vaguely guess how long the phone battery is going to last when i continue with the current usage is so important. Being able to guess that if i continue watching videos in Infuse i need to stop watching them in approx. 40mins to have some battery left when i get of the train is vital information. Regarding charging time: since there are different charge times on different power plugs, i’d personally like to know wether it takes one hour or four hours to fully charge my iPhone.
- Control notification content
A weeks ago i had an email conversation with one of the folks of Omnifocus. I wanted to hide the contents of my reminders from the lockscreen, since not everyone should be able to read “Go to the doctor” when the reminder lights up my device. He quickly realized that this feature is incredibly convenient yet so easy to implement so he filed a feature-request for me. But as far as im concerned, this is not the job of app developers. Apple should provide the ability to optionally hide the notification content from Notifications.
- Better control of sound sources
There are so many cases where two apps just randomly stop each others media playback, i cannot express how annoyed i feel by this. Some apps pause music playback, while others completely shut down Music.app, others play on top of my music, switching back to the running track whenever they have finished their media playback. Safari audio playback interrupts music playback in similar ways. This feels totally counter-intuitive as is not what i want to experience from a company that is proud of their history in music business.
- Improved multi-tasking usability on larger devices
The card switcher is great, but it feels like a waste of screen real-estate when being used on large devices like the Plus-iPhones or iPads. Improving the layout of currently running apps would provide users of bigger displays with better functionality.
WatchOS seems like a really strange system to me, with no real guidelines on how to develop apps sdk-wise or app-experiences in general.
Usually, Apple is very strict in terms of both, UI/UX and software development, but surpisingly this doesnt seem to be the case for watchOS.
- A generally more streamlined usability experience
Some apps feel like they provide great functionality and have clearly designed use-cases, like Things, while others feel completely pointless with no features what-so-ever. Knowing the AppStore review process, i feel like this can be avoided.
- A battery widget that indicates the battery status of my iPhone
There is absolutely no argument for not implementing this feature. Please please please i’ve been wanting it since the release of Apple Watch.
- Improved auto-lock
My series 0 Apple Watch takes seconds to lock itself when being removed from my wrist. This creates the unpleasant feeling of my watch could so easily be stolen.
- Further development of watchOS as a whole
Many of the things i critized about Apple Watch in my past review are still there.
- A battery indicator for connected bluetooth devices
As heavy users of bluetooth headphones, my wife and me repeatedly find ourselves in a situation where our headphones run out of battery. iOS and macOS already display the battery status of connected bluetooth accessories, so should tvOS.
- Improve multi-tasking
Switching between apps is a pain. There seems to be no guessable timeframe on when other apps than the app in the foreground stop being executed. Especially the fact that video-playback often stops when switching between apps is annoying. This makes quickly looking up that actor a choice of reloading the Netflix app again or just my iPhone anyways.
- Better sign-in capabilites out of the box / SDK
Since tvOS is obviously ment to be used alongside other Apple products, the SDK should provide easier authentication mechanisms for accessing apps that require a login, like scanning a QR code that is displayed on your TV with your phone, or similar.
Why do i need to stop watching a video when quickly checking the app store, a photos notification, or other apps? Especially since this feature is present on iPad.
- Multi-user support
For the sake of all that is holy to you, Apple. A TV is often shared between at least two persons. Because who would have known that inside a household, there may be more than one person.
Anything you’d like to discuss? Shoot me a mail to contact [at] flowinho [dot] com!