Blog Post

My iOS 7 wish list

Hopefully, we are soon approaching the time when Apple (s AAPL) will reveal its roadmap for iOS for 2013 — most likely sometime this summer when the company holds its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Since I’ve used other mobile operating systems over the last year, this year leading up to the reveal of iOS 7, I have a longer wish list for what I’d like to see in it than I have in the past.

While I may be wishing upon a star here, I’m hopeful that Apple beginning support for a third-party audio interface is a sign of change from Cupertino regarding features they may add to iOS. I’m  also hoping Jony Ive brings us some great changes to the user interface design iOS.

A homier home screen

My biggest complaint about iOS is how the home screen is really just the apps that I use the most and therefore place them on the first screen. I want my home screen to be much more than that, though. I want to see today’s weather, the traffic on the way to work, what meetings I have that day, and today’s hit list on my task manager. I don’t want this limited to information obtained from just Apple apps, either. I want it to be able to read my tasks from Things, or whatever task management app I’m pretending will help get me organized this month.

That’s why I think Panic is on to something with Status Board. I like the idea of a customizable widget screen that I see when I unlock my device. I’d rather see a dashboard than a grid of icons.


Because sharing is caring

One Android(s GOOG) feature I really like is the ability to share data between apps. If I have Instapaper installed and I’m in Chrome, I can send a page directly to Instapaper. Ditto for Evernote. Both of these are applications I use almost daily. While installing bookmarklets isn’t a gigantic hassle, it’s definitely not as good as a systemwide sharing tool.

I’d like to get an email I need to take action on, and “share” it with Things to create a task. It would be doubly nice if it could apply some intelligence and deduce the due date for the task, similar to how iOS creates calendar events based on a date and time in your email.


Preview on iOS

When Preview support for Documents in the Cloud was announced as part of Mountain Lion, I would have bet money on Preview making its way to iOS. Good thing I didn’t, or I would be out a fiver or more. So, here’s hoping Preview shows up in iOS 7 so I can sync my PDFs. While I do use programs like PDFPen, for simple PDF reading it seems overkill. PDFPen’s strengths are the ability to edit and e-sign documents, which may be more than most people need. Most of us probably just need an easy way to sync important PDFs. In my case, very few of the PDFs I want to sync are ones I want to edit; I mainly want them for reference.

Central document repository

Apple’s sandboxing, where apps can’t directly read another app’s data, is probably a good thing for security. However, when it comes to actually getting some work done, it’s a pain in the rear end. I may be wishing for unicorns, rainbows and a pretty pony here, but I really hope at some point Apple allows something like a Documents app, where I can keep PDFs, Office-type apps, text files and the like for any application to read and write too. This way, if a certain word processor app doesn’t handle a feature I need very well, I can easily open the file in that app. Using the Open With command, while a work-around, usually means I end up with multiple copies of a document strewn about several apps.

airprint_thumbPrinting to non-AirPrint devices

I have zero inclination to buy an AirPrint printer, given how infrequently I need to print from iOS. However, I wish Apple would put in a few generic drivers so people on the road with only an iPad might be able to print out items like documents, travel itineraries, boarding passes and directions.

Changing default apps

I want to be able to change default apps, especially browsers. I’ve had a few problems syncing bookmarks across multiple devices using Safari and iCloud, so I switched to Chrome as my browser. This has a secondary benefit of letting me access my bookmarks easily on my Android(s GOOG) and Windows(s MSFT) devices. I’d hope this would simply be something you set in Settings, where there would be an option for “Default Browser” and you can choose from the browsers you have installed.

Final thoughts

The only one of my wish list items I really expect to happen at some point is Preview. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple introduce a better home screen, especially with Jony Ive more involved with the design process. I doubt we will ever see an app like a Documents app, but a guy can dream.

How about you? What things would you like to see in iOS 7?

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user Yutaka Tsutano via Compfight cc

44 Responses to “My iOS 7 wish list”

  1. I would switch back to apple if they’d throw me just a few bones!

    +) enhanced desktop – silly, I know, but I love my cheesy carousel desktop on my note 2. I love the fact that I can pick my own non-square, transparent if I want, app icons.

    +) more robust security model – There are pictures in my photo album that I just don’t want my nephews or anyone to see lol! In Android, I can password protect my photos app, so I can pass my phone off to anyone I want without worrying. A must have!

    +) Enhanced navigation – This is android’s killer app imo. Esp when you can successfully launch a nav with voice

    These OS / Software improvements, and a phablet form factor, would get me back on Apple’s bandwagon. I #WANT# to come back lol! Beam me up!

  2. Jeff Breaux

    Homeier Homescreen with Weather and Traffic to work -> Google Now on Android
    Widgets on Homescreen -> Android
    Sharing information between apps -> Android
    Changing Default Apps -> Android

    Yup, like everyone else said. You described an Android phone.
    Apple could do all this, but then in their mind they wouldn’t be innovating, they would be copying, and for such a High End product, why would they want to copy features from a lesser phone.

    More or less, being on Android, it would help all of us if Apple were to bring NFC to iOS so that developers can allow same apps to deliver data between phones across platforms. Very handy feature. My friend shared 15 photos to me with no quirks. Imagine Facebook being able to said a friend request to someone you just met. NFC can do that. Dont want people bumping into you, switch off NFC. Its that EASY. Anyone think they should also add Wifi, Data, Bluetooth, Volume, ect switches to the iOS notification bar. I mean really, why do we keep having to go to settings for a little switch?

  3. David Ruvolo

    I would like to see better support for commercial or retail installations of an iOS device. Apple restricts the abilities for mobile device Managerment (MDM) too much. Retailers need to be able to better control iOS update notifications and force app updtes without user intervention. I manage over 2000 iOS devices and it is painstakingly difficult for no good reason in my mind which is leading to considering alternate devices instead.

    • Alexander Cardosa

      iOS update notifications and force app updtes without user intervention. I manage over 2000 iOS devices and it is painstakingly difficult for no good reason in my mind which is leading to considering alternate devices instead.

      Oh that would be a great way to kill security.

  4. Srinath

    What I love on Blackberry & is STILL not possible on Android /iPhone (attn: flamers — I’ve them all :), is my ability to long press a key to call multiple people..

    If I’m on the move, I absolutely hate it that:
    1. I’ve to Unlock the phone (even worse if i’ve to enter code / swipe pattern)
    2. I’ve to open Phone App
    3. Go to “My Favorites”
    4. Find the one I want to Dial & then press that..

    That’s shit compared to Blackberry..

  5. writingonanipad

    I’m really hoping that, at last, Apple offers a handwriting recognition function to iOS users. They’ve had handwriting recognition for Chinese speakers for years–and doubled that feature’s capability in iOS 6–but have done nothing for those of us who don’t speak Chinese.

    I know Steve Jobs didn’t like handwriting recognition (though apparently he liked handwriting recognition in Chinese?), but it’s time to move on and let users have just a bit more flexibility in how they express themselves. Samsung is taking this on with it’s Note range of phones/tablets and they’re on the verge of gaining a new customer from a now frustrated iPad 2 user…

  6. Our Wish List are Siri Scripts like when we say “Instacast workflow” Siri opens Instacast and starts playing a certain playlist of podcasts, Smarter AutoCorrect, Kill All button for multitasking bar, Ability to add photos to Photo Stream, ability to add photos to notes, and many more.

  7. Akshay Shankar

    on iphone, the option to add other people’s contact details when I am SMS’ing someone (my android 2.1 had this). the option to send an sms to recent phone nos.

    longer history in all my logs.

    why can’t i see details of sms messages (time of delivery, delivery reports etc)

    comprehensive communication logs against contacts


    these seem to be all very basic features for any business user.

    p.s. i am a new iphone user and hence may not have found the above features.

  8. Don Arturo

    Here’s my iPhone wish list:

    – Bigger screen (5 & 6 inches)
    – Better keyboard (with cursor mover buttons)
    – Finder-type app for saving all files in one place (file & folders manager)
    – Quick access to widgets & functions like buttons for Wifi, Bluetooth, Cellular, etc.
    – Offline Siri. With ability to do system functions like command to turn on/off Bluetooth.
    – Wireless charging (magnetic resonance)
    – Super batteries
    – MS Office for iOS
    – Close all open apps in one go
    – Plastic lower-cost versions, with color, for my kids

    • Stephen Minton

      Not sure we need MS Office for iOS, to be honest. Better for everyone if we all stop using MS Office as soon as possible, on all platforms (even Windows) and then its only advantage (that “everyone is using it”) will go away and we can get on with our work using whatever app/device works best for us.

    • donsmith21

      I like your list. Although I do wonder if it’s Microsoft that doesn’t make MS Office for iOS or if Apple won’t approve them. As long as we’re on MS, I would also like to see better integration with Outlook, or a native Outlook. For plain old email Apple Mail works fine, but using more advance (corporate-centric) features just aren’t there.

      • Don Arturo

        I think MS Office for iOS has been made, & Apple is ready to approve it. I think the quibble is over the revenue cut – MS does not want to pay the standard revenue commission that other apps on the AppStore pay to Apple.

      • Don Arturo

        I think MS Office for iOS has been made, & Apple is ready to approve it. I think the quibble is over the revenue cut – MS does not want to pay the standard revenue commission that other apps on the AppStore pay to Apple.

  9. I just want AFP access. It’s hard to believe that you cannot log into a Mac server from an iOS device and work on documents. Apple’s software and services need a lot of work.

  10. Michael

    Mark, I agree with your suggested features and reasons they are desirable. My concern is that Apple fears iOS being “hijacked” like FB Home is potentially doing to Android. The challenge is how to provide user defined home screens and custom replacement apps without Apple loosing the common UX. Would new power options also make it harder to support novice users (that are maybe easily confused with more complicated power user options).

    I have hope but also low real expectations of significant architectural improvements in iOS 7…

  11. Mcbeese

    Give voice dictation the ability to learn. Let me select a word and record the pronunciation of it locally. When I enter some voice dictation, iOS checks my local day before going to the cloud for master processing.

    I work with a Turkish company and there are about a dozen words that are always a hassle.

  12. Mcbeese

    How about fixing sync between iOS/iCloud and iTunes so that content Apps like Podcast will stay in sync across iOS devices, Macs, and ATVs. It’s a confused mess right now.

    • Stephen Minton

      @Mcbeese – this is a good one. Podcasts would be much more useful if there was syncing between Mac, Apple TV and iOS. But these are probably updates to iTunes for Mac and Apple TV, not updates to iOS.

  13. Sam Taha

    Would like to see a more complete wallet solution. They need to run further with Passbook and other potential technologies. Social and local ecommerce apps like ShopZooky will benefit from this.

    • donsmith21

      Patrick. Maybe you can explain what you mean. At the OS level, none of these features exits as far as I can tell. There are workarounds, but none of these are out of box iOS supported features.

    • Stephen Minton

      @drumrobot – because Preview would sync via iCloud. Really, putting PDFs in iBooks is not a serious solution because you have to sync via iTunes from your computer, which is a pain (or open the PDF directly in iOS, which means going back to the email or website where you received the PDF in the first place, which again is a pain compared to having the PDF magically sync to your iOS device over the cloud).

  14. Carlos Spicey W

    I would love it if they allowed you to split the screen of your ipad so you could run two apps at the same time….it is possible to do so and would be a great improvement