This time last year I wrote a post about my wishlist for the upcoming redesign of iOS which was to be unveiled at WWDC 2013 (you can read the wrap up here).
I thought that I should follow that post up with my WWDC 2014 wishlist, as well.
Mac OS X 10.10
I think everyone is pretty much on the same page that OS X will see a redesign much like iOS did last year with iOS 7. That’s probably true. OS X has come a long way from 10.4 (Tiger) when I started using Macs full time. I have very few complaints about the design that has evolved over the past eight years (the current OS is OS X 10.9 Mavericks). I am, however, ready for a fresh coat of paint. I’m excited for what Jonny Ive and team do with 10.10.
I don’t have a huge wishlist for OS X, but since it’s getting a refresh I thought I would include it in this post.
The biggest wish I have for OS X is Siri.
That’s it. That’s the wishlist. Further integrating Siri into the ecosystem needs to happen, and most likely will. I just would like to see it happen now. It’d be awesome to include in Apple TV, too.
I would love to be able to interact with OS X the way I do with iOS with Siri (when she works). Building Siri into OS X has so many possibilities, especially for accessibility.
Let’s start with what we didn’t get in iOS 7 that I wanted.
Remove preinstalled apps
Everyone, evvvveryone has that folder of crap on their phone. Apps that Apple ships preinstalled on the iPhone that they don’t use. Newsstand (let’s kill this already), Stocks, etc. This is very similar to what Windows computers did (and maybe still do), come preloaded with crapware. Granted these apps are lot more useful and better developed than what the PC manufactures loaded up their machines were, but not everyone needs or wants them.
We should have the ability to at the very least hide these apps if not delete them. This shouldn’t be very difficult to implement, especially since Apple already offers this feature with Nike+ (screenshot from iOS 6).
Set default apps
This kind of dovetails into the previous item. I would love to turn off Safari and use Chrome as my default browser, and I’m not alone. Apple’s default apps do enough for most users, however some users need more powerful apps whether they are calendar apps, address books, web browsers or whatever else.
Sharing in iOS is great and so easy. But it’s not as complete as it should be.
I don’t have a Facebook account, so I’m not signed into Facebook on my iPhone. Following that logic, Facebook should not be an option on my sharing screen.
Similarly, all developers should have access to add icons to this screen. You can share photos you receive in Messages to third party apps, but you can’t share your own photos or even links from Safari via the same option. There’s no consistency here.
Since this screen would probably get very cluttered, there should an edit screen to turn off services, much like the app Reeder 2 has.
AirDrop to OS X
Kicking off my new list for iOS 8 is a feature I’m 99% sure we won’t get because it probably means a huge overhaul of how iOS works, specifically with the file structure. Maybe this requires replacing “Photos” with a simplified Finder app that shows documnets, photos, videos that are on your iPhone (which has popped up on a few rumor sites).
Again, I don’t see Apple implementing this, however, I would love to AirDrop photos to my Mac rather than transfer them to iPhoto by plugging in my phone like this is 2011. Who wants that?
I have over 400 emails that I’ve sent myself from my iPhone since January 1, 2014, the majority of those are images that I needed to get to my computer quickly. I didn’t have the patience to go back to 2009 when I got my iPhone and get a total count of images.
Better iCloud storage
This isn’t necessarily an iOS feature, but it works with so many of iOS’ services and apps.
5GB for iCloud storage and backup is pitiful. It’s no where near enough to backup a 16GB phone. If you have an iPad as well, iCloud storage is even more useless. Apple really needs to beef up the free storage, by a lot. Google Drive gives you at least 15GB free. There’s no reason Apple couldn’t match that.
I pay for the extra backup storage, paying for extra storage doesn’t bother me, but it does bother me that I have to pay supplement the pittance of storage Apple provides. Even the upgraded storage costs are way out of line with the industry. On the low end it’ll cost you $20 a year for 10GB of extra storage. For $24 a year Google gives you 100GB, a 900% increase in storage for only $4 a year.
This isn’t an iOS wish, but for the iPhone 6 (or 6S whatever they are going to call it) needs to double the standard storage for iPhones. 16GB at the base just isn’t enough any more.
I don’t keep music or videos on my phone, and I don’t think I have a large number of apps but I am constantly getting messages that my on phone storage is almost full. It’s been four years since Apple bumped up the default storage from 8GB to 16GB, and it’s time for 32GB to be the entry level storage.
We’ll have to wait for the iPhone event this fall to see if that happens or not.
Additions to Touch ID
Touch ID works so much better than I could have expected on my iPhone 5S. It’s fast and very rarely fails for me. Almost never. I would like to see a Touch ID API for developers so that we only have to put in passwords to apps once.
I understand that there are possible security issues here, but here is how I see it working (speaking as a non-security expert): When you put a password into an app, a pop up asks you if you want to store the password in Touch ID. Then when the app needs to verify your identity, you scan your fingerprint. Touch ID then returns back a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ message.
The app doesn’t need to see your fingerprint and is only told one of two possible responses. If a ‘no’ is returned you are prompted to either rescan your fingerprint, or to enter your password.
This could also replace the passcode feature for advanced security that apps like Dropbox and Evernote have.
Notification Center Overhaul
I love Notification Center. It’s very useful to see my day at a glance and any notifications. However, almost a year after iOS 7 and Notification Center launched I’m still not sure what the ‘Missed’ tab is in Notification Center. Notifications that show in Missed also show in the All tab. Really, aren’t all notifications that you don’t take immediate action on or dismiss missed notifications? The Missed tab needs to be removed or turned into something else.
While on the topic of notifications, I love getting notifications on every device. It allows me to be up to date on what’s going on in my life no matter if I’m on my iPhone, iPad or iMac. However, as someone who works from home I am generally in the same room as all three devices. When I receive an iMessage, all three beep boop beep. Notification Center isn’t synced across these devices (except iMessage). If I jump on my iPad I see the same missed FaceTime notices, game notices, etc. even if I cleared them from my iPhone. If you clear them in one place they should be cleared everywhere.
Control Center Customizations
I would love to be able to edit the apps that appear in Control Center. I seldom go into the Clock or Calculator apps, and I would like faster access to other apps there. You have music controls there, but no easy way to get into the music app quickly if there is nothing playing or anything that was recently played. I’d much rather have a Music app shortcut there.
Please, Apple. Puh-lease let me leave group iMessages or at least mute them. I know you probably can’t do anything about SMS messages, and I’m okay with that, but please fix this in iMessage.
Also, Apple needs to fix an issue with Messages which relates to the storage issues on people’s iPhones. Messages is often the biggest user of storage space on people’s phones. People send tons of messages, many of them including photos and videos, which need to be stored somewhere, and that somewhere is on your phone.
Last I looked Messages was using over 3GB on my phone, the second app (a photography app) was well under 1GB. I don’t know what the solution is, but this needs to be fixed.
Massive Siri upgrades
There are rumors that Siri will have Shazam capabilities in iOS 8, which is great, but don’t stop there, Apple.
Way too often I get an error from Siri that she can’t perform a simple task like adding a reminder or getting directions to a location. I understand that network connectivity plays a part here, but for local issues, like creating a reminder or calendar event shouldn’t need to go out to the cloud to be completed, syncing that item can wait until network connectivity is better.
But beyond, you know, actually working, Siri needs some serious feature updates. It’s time like this that I really wish Google and Apple were still friendly. Google Now blows Siri away when it comes to online searches and tasks. Apple really needs to beef Siri up here to make Siri a true digital assistant.
Other miscellaneous features I’d like:
- Don’t lock or require a passcode when I am connected to my home wifi or specific wifi I specify from my networks.
- Tapping and holding on an icon in Control Center to bring up the settings for that item. This would be especially useful for joining new wifi networks.
- Easy way to clear all notifications at once in Notification Center.
- Calls/FaceTimes that you ignore/mute aren’t marked as missed. Similarly, FaceTimes that I answer on one device aren’t marked as missed on other devices.
Much like last year’s wishlist, my 2014 wishlist is pretty boring. I’m done looking for awesome new features. There are rumors of a payment/NFC system (again) and an app/ecosystem called Healthbook (similar to Passbook which I’m not sure how widely it is used), which sound interesting but will probably get sent to the junk folder shortly.
I mean, I’d welcome anything Apple wants to unveil, but what I really want is big updates and upgrades to what we have, plus a stronger and cooperative connection between OS X and iOS.
Unless, of course, rumors of Apple unveiling some kind of home automation system at WWDC are true. That would be really awesome, especially since Ali and I just started the process of building a house in New Braunfels. That would definitely be a welcome new product line from me.
Apple’s 2014 WWDC Keynote is on June 2nd at 12 noon central.