My 2013 wishlist – Ravi (the iOS edition)

Putting together an iOS wishlist isn’t actually too easy. Year after year, Apple has slowly been filling in the little gaps, to the point where iOS is now a fairly mature offering. That said, there are still a few things I’d love to see from Apple come WWDC’s unveiling of iOS 7. A lot of them are Android inspired, and I make no apologies for that. These are features which I believe would make iOS even stronger.

Better iPhone/iPad integration


iCloud has already done a great job of integrating data across iOS and the Mac. Featureslike Photostream make it easy to interact with data on whichever device you’re currently using. However I’d love to see more integration around phone functionality.

Things like being able to text from my iPad. No, iMessage doesn’t count, although it’s a good start. Even better, making and receiving calls. If I’m already on my iPad, why do I have to reach for my iPhone, when my tablet is perfectly capable of performing the same task? Palm was already going down this path with the TouchPad and Pre 3, before its sad demise. I’d love to see Apple (or Google) bring it to the masses.

Sharing

To put it bluntly, Android wee wees over iOS all day long when it comes to sharing. No matter which app you’re in, just hit the share button and then pick from a huge list of apps and services that can interact with the data you’re currently browsing.

It’s incredibly powerful, and the iOS equivalent is limited to pretty much (Apple) Mail, Twitter and Facebook. Apple loves its APIs, and this would be one to rule them all.  

Less skeumorphism

For a long time now, Apple have been under fire for the use of skeumorphism in iOS. The most notorious examples are probably the Calendar and Address Book apps, along with the green felt in Game Centre. There’s no need for these apps to try to imitate their real life counterparts. It can actually lead to reduced functionality, increased confusion and just look plain ugly. Windows Phone’s People app looks nothing like an address book, and is by far the best contact management system on any OS.

I genuinely feel like Android (since 4.0) and Windows Phone (from the start) have been leading the way with great design for a while now. Windows Phone’s text heavy design looks great (IMHO), but can be inefficient at using screen estate. When done right, Holo themed Android apps can look downright gorgeous, but are too few and far between.

With Johnny Ive now head of all design at Apple, and (skepmorphism cheerleader) Scott Forstall out the door, there’s no reason why Apple can’t once again take the lead and show everyone how it’s done. I’m not expecting a complete iOS overhaul, but a nice refresh would be welcome.  

Mutli user accounts

A feature that Google launched with Android 4.2, and which the iPad is absolutely crying out for. Tablets, unlike phones, are made for sharing, and having recently got married, I’m starting to yearn for this even more.

I know that Apple would prefer us to buy multiple iPads, but I’m hoping that the increased competition will push them into action.

Gestures

Microsoft and RIM have both made heavy use of gestures on Windows 8/RT and the Surface. While Apple already introduced a limited set of gestures with iOS 5, I’d love to see them expand on this. Four finger swiping between Apps, and pinching with four fingers to access the homescreen are two that I use all the time. I’d love to have two finger swiping to go back and forward in Safari, but I’m sure they could come up with much more imaginative uses too.

Intents

We’re getting into dream territory here. Android’s Intents system basically lets you choose the default apps for particular tasks. I.e. Gmail for email, Chrome for browsing, Messages for SMS.

With so many great apps on iOS, it would be nice not to have to always resort to Apple’s default choices when you want to do something. I really can’t see Apple allowing it, but iOS would be the better for it.

Widgets

Most widgets, like most Apps, are completely useless and a waste of time. That said, the great ones can provide incredible utility. I’d love to see Apple implement at least limited widget functionality in iOS 7.

At a minimum, quick toggles for things like WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS would be very welcome. Having to go into Settings to turn on and off WiFi was laborious when the iPhone launched, 6 years later it’s farcical. And how about showing the real temperature on the Weather app icon!!!

I can’t be the only one wanting to make better use of all that screen estate on my iPad. Can I?

 

Flash

Just kidding!

 

We’d love to hear about your iOS wishlists in the comments.

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