Category Archives: iOS

iOS 9 Wishlist

Custom Map Directions

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite allows sending directions from a computer to a phone. Relatively obvious feature and it works as advertised. Adding the capability to do custom maps on the computer and having the custom map on the phone would be very appealing.

More Keyboard Shortcuts

Apple increased the number of shortcuts available with iOS but they’re still falling short of where it needs to be. Applications are probably going to be adding support for keyboard shortcuts in the near future. Apple needs to step up their game even more though.

Better Animations

A lot of people love the current animations but they wear on me. They feel slow and unnecessary. I disabled them and have been glad they’re gone but do miss having the defaults setup.

Better Siri Integration

iOS 7 “improved” Siri. Supposedly the voice got better although I’m not sure it’s better. That’s another section. I’m looking for integration. Control the Podcasts app with Siri. Allow third-party applications to tie into Siri. That is the killer feature of Siri for people who drive (aka. screw the city folk). Unfortunately, iOS didn’t improve this at all.

Better Siri Voice

iOS 8 does improve the voice experience, namely making things seem faster. However, pronounciation still is a bit broke.

Crowd Sourced Maps

Waze did a great job with crowd sourcing events on the road such as construction, speed traps, and objects on the road. They took it a step further and allowed collaborative map modifications. Apple’s accuracy problems would disappear in a matter of months if they allowed collaborative map editing. Crowd-sourced events would be nice too. Apple isn’t a social company and this will never happen.

Less U-Turns in Apple Maps

Apple Maps loves u-turns. Stop that. They can update this prior to iOS 9. Just fix this.

Multi-User Support

Not interesting for the phone but could be great for an iPad. Apple’s iPad nomenclature points to an iPad Pro. Multi-user on an iPad could be exciting for families who don’t need a full laptop anymore.

More Intuitive Burst Mode

Using burst mode for photos on iPhone 5s is easy but choosing the desired photo and deleting the others is confusing. I have only used burst mode a couple times but I still fumble around every time.

Unlimited Photo Stream Use

Everpix went out of business. Modify Photo Stream to support all my photos and videos for life. Yes there are scale issues but it would make people’s family photos reliably available even with new devices. Apple could advertise this feature and I expect it to resonate with a lot of people, even if they don’t know it. Oh, and don’t compress the photos.

Better Appearance

I know a lot of people who think iOS 7 and 8 look great. I’m not one of them. I have almost no ideas on how to improve it, but just improve it. Just because Johnny Ive knows how to make great hardware doesn’t mean he has a clue about software. I said this a while and feel like I have been proved right. While I’ve grown used to the new look I am generally happier on iOS 6.

Context Sensitive “Grammar”

Full context sensitive auto-correction is hard and processor intensive. Instead, why not just use context sensitive punctuation. If I open a sentence with “Can” a double tap of the space bar should render a ? instead of a ..

More Informative Lock Screen…On Calls

I don’t want my lock screen constantly showing statuses I don’t care about. However, it’s not uncommon I need to access the phone controls while it’s locked and I’m using the phone. Mute, “press 1 to join the conference”, and similar functions all require access to the basic phone controls. iOS 8 would do me a favor if it gave me basic controls without having to unlock the phone.

Conference Call Recognition

Good has a feature where if you dial into a bridge meeting, it will offer up conference codes which could be bridge number based on the meeting invite. iOS doesn’t natively have it. This feature would confuse non-business users but is great for business people. Options suck, but maybe make it a default off option and let the people who want it, enable it.

Music Smart Playlist Controls

I’m a pretty heavy user of smart playlists in iTunes. One of my favorites is called “Forgotten Favorites” where it lists all 5 star songs which haven’t been played in 2 weeks, which are under 15 plays. I cannot edit this playlist and it doesn’t seem to update until I plug it into iTunes – something I try to avoid. I wish it kept a full, real database and updated all the information in playlists live. Editing the smart playlists and having full control would be useful too as I can’t really divorce myself from syncing until then.

Better Horizontal Music View

Simply put, the landscape view for Music is awful. It shows all the albums, which is visually interesting, but a terrible interface. What if, heaven forbid, I wanted to find an artist instead of an album. I don’t always know what the albums are called so alphabetical order isn’t useful. An adapted portrait view would work much better.

Improve Code

Many of the technical and involved Apple user base are concerned about the state of Apple’s software. iOS 8.0.1 was one such example. AirDrop doesn’t always work for me. iTunes Match doesn’t work with my iOS device how I expect it to (whether this is a code quality issue, I don’t know). Make Messages work reliably. Every. Single. Time. While this is the last item on the list, it’s hardly the least important. In fact, I would give up every other feature request on this list to see a significant software quality improvement. iOS 6 felt rock solid. Return to that if not improve upon it.

iOS 7 Review

iOS 7 has come with much fanfare. It looks different and has animations (although whether it has more animations than previous versions is less obvious). Unlike developers who have been using it for the past two months, I only was able to get access to it (legally) on release day. I have an iPhone 4S and iPad 3, both were on the latest release of iOS 6.

The upgrade itself went smoothly, namely since I was diligent to upgrade all my apps prior to upgrade. Downloading the upgrade binary took longer than actually applying the upgrade. The setup prompted me for a passcode which I enabled. It was something I’ve thought of enabling for a while but decided it was the time since they prompted me. All applications and previous preferences were in place after install.

I have seen plenty of screenshots of iOS 7 after WWDC so I knew what I was getting into visually. A few pieces did surprise me when I started using it hands on. First, the animations do make the system coherent. I’m not sure why but actions flow from one to the other. I attribute it to the fact that things zoom in and out in a consistent manner. I also noticed how crisp the fonts look. They’re svelt and look sharp as can be on the iPhone. I love crisp fonts and this only helps.

Control Center is quite nice to use. It makes common tasks accessible. Works as advertised.
The multi-tasking is nice but does slow down quite a bit on my 4S. I’m expecting the 5s to handle this task much faster. The swipe motion is easier but less intuitive I think than the older “x box” method. iOS 6’s method was more consistent with how to delete applications from the home screen while this has no existing metaphor. Not a huge change though and overall I like the new multi-tasking dialog.
Now onto the negatives.

The new interface isn’t bad but I don’t love it. While it has a refreshing feel to it, using iOS 6 doesn’t feel “old” to me. I’ve heard a lot of people say using iOS 7 makes the old interface feel old and antiquated. I beg to differ. I find iOS 6 to feel much more refined via iteration. I saw someone say iOS 7 feels like their old disco jacket. I didn’t get the honor of living through the disco era but I agree. I can’t find the adjective to use for the iOS 7 interface but I am starting with gaudy.

The colors also get in the way itself. I was driving and using Apple Maps to get around. The map happened to have been white and the “Slide to Unlock” text was off white. I couldn’t tell that it was in the lock screen. On a similar note, Apple Maps has a refined interface and while improved, still isn’t where it needs to be. Someday perhaps I’ll do an Apple Maps review.

The interface has some small quirks which could probably be fixed with tweaks. For example, I was in control center and accidentally turned off bluetooth instead of sliding the window down. When trying to open control center with the on screen keyboard, it pressed a bunch of keys. Small things like this don’t feel like Apple level polish. I’ve also had two phone restarts and quite a few application crashes. I’ve talked to others who haven’t had any problems whatsoever so looks like my mileage is varying.

Finally, the Siri voice is smoother but does some terribly pronunciation. I find it hard to understand and in many ways prefer the old Siri voice. I could work up some examples to show. It is much faster to recognize speech though.

My iPad hasn’t been upgraded as I need some specific functions to work in a couple of weeks and don’t want to take that chance. I’m looking forward to that upgrade and see how it feels on the iPad but I expect my experience won’t change too much.

Overall I like iOS 7. It has a fluidity to it and has some nice features such as control center. However, the interface doesn’t sit with me very well as I prefer more subtle colors to the brightness it has. It also has some quirks which bother me. I’ll happily upgrade my iPad when I can and will be fully iOS 7 then. Unfortunately, using iOS 6 is refreshing for me. Possibly for familiarity. But if iOS 6 is a refreshing escape from iOS 7, I think that will be a bad omen for this release for me.

iOS 8 Wishlist

Note: This list may be updated.

Less Crashing

iOS 7 is mighty unstable both itself and applications. Newsblur crashes almost daily for me and the OS crashes once or twice a week. I’m expecting much of this to be fixed prior to iOS 8. In case Apple doesn’t consider this a widespread problem, iOS 8 needs to be much more stable.

Update: iOS 7.1 appears to be much better in this regard. We’re not a week in yet but this was a focus of Apple’s and seems to be better.

Custom Map Directions

iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks allows sending directions from a computer to a phone. Relatively obvious feature and it works as advertised. Adding the capability to do custom maps on the computer and having the custom map on the phone would be very appealing.

More Keyboard Shortcuts

Apple increased the number of shortcuts available with iOS 7 but they’re still falling short of where it needs to be. Applications are probably going to be adding support for keyboard shortcuts in the near future. Apple needs to step up their game even more though.

Better Animations

A lot of people love the current animations but they wear on me. They feel slow and unnecessary. I disabled them and have been glad they’re gone but do miss having the defaults setup.

Better Siri Integration

iOS 7 “improved” Siri. Supposedly the voice got better although I’m not sure it’s better. That’s another section. I’m looking for integration. Control the Podcasts app with Siri. Allow third-party applications to tie into Siri. That is the killer feature of Siri for people who drive (aka. screw the city folk).

Better Siri Voice

iOS 6 had a Siri voice which was robotic but relatively clear. The new voice is less robotic but makes sounds with humans do not make and that includes the Swedes. Its pauses for commas are awkward as well. “Okay, Paused, Kevin” has spaces more like periods, not like commas. Overall the voice is a step back, not forward.

Crowd Sourced Maps

Waze did a great job with crowd sourcing events on the road such as construction, speed traps, and objects on the road. They took it a step further and allowed collaborative map modifications. Apple’s accuracy problems would disappear in a matter of months if they allowed collaborative map editing. Crowd-sourced events would be nice too. Apple isn’t a social company and this will never happen.

Less U-Turns in Apple Maps

Apple Maps loves u-turns. Stop that. They can update this prior to iOS 8. Just fix this.

Multi-User Support

Not interesting for the phone but could be great for an iPad. Apple’s iPad nomenclature points to an iPad Pro. Multi-user on an iPad could be exciting for families who don’t need a full laptop anymore.

More Intuitive Photo Burst Mode

Using burst mode for photos on iPhone 5s is easy but choosing the desired photo and deleting the others is confusing. I have only used burst mode a couple times but I still fumble around every time.

Unlimited Photo Stream Use

Everpix went out of business. Modify Photo Stream to support all my photos and videos for life. Yes there are scale issues but it would make people’s family photos reliably available even with new devices. Apple could advertise this feature and I expect it to resonate with a lot of people, even if they don’t know it. Oh, and don’t compress the photos.

Better Appearance

I know a lot of people who think iOS 7 looks great. I’m not one of them. I have almost no ideas on how to improve it, but just improve it. Just because Johnny Ive knows how to make great hardware doesn’t mean he has a clue about software. I said this a while and feel like I have been proved right. I’m considering not moving my iPad to iOS 7 for performance and appearance reasons. While I’ve grown used to iOS 7 I am generally happier on iOS 6. iOS 7.1 may make some small improvements but time will tell

Inter-App Communication

x-callback-url exists and is being used well by numerous applications. A fully featured inter-app communication system could significantly change how people use applications. Text can be reliably moved from application to application using native methods. Safari would even play with this as x-callback-url isn’t supported by Apple whatsoever as far as I know.

Improved Touch Targets for Scroll Wheel

Previous versions of iOS used the slot machine style wheel. iOS 7 refreshed the look of the wheel. Not only was the look overhauled but the touch targets were also modified. An article is on the Internet about why it is more challening to use than the old one. Fix this.

Better Fonts

I know Apple loves their new font selection but it’s not a great font. It’s not very easy to read and it’s often too thin. I can’t articulate what I don’t like about it, but I don’t.

Context Sensitive “Grammar”

Full context sensitive auto-correction is hard and processor intensive. Instead, why not just use context sensitive punctuation. If I open a sentence with “Can” a double tap of the space bar should render a ? instead of a ..

Slide to Delete Behavior

A lot of apps have swipe to delete. A recent behavior, iOS 7 related possibly, is they require a very long swipe to keep the delete button visible. If you let go too quickly it will go to another screen. Tis ambiguity and precision required for swiping is very frustrating. Only makes me hate gestures more than I do.

More Informative Lock Screen…On Calls

I don’t want my lock screen constantly showing statuses I don’t care about. However, it’s not uncommon I need to access the phone controls while it’s locked and I’m using the phone. Mute, “press 1 to join the conference”, and similar functions all require access to the basic phone controls. iOS 8 would do me a favor if it gave me basic controls without having to unlock the phone.