9 frustrations I’d like to see Apple fix in iOS 9

Recently, 9-to-5 Mac reported that iOS 9 will likely be a stability release. If true, this is welcome news.

I’ve become very frustrated with that the pace Apple has been introducing new features has come at a stability cost. Snow Leopard is often lauded as a release where Apple focused on stability over new features, although this isn’t entirely true since under the hood changes like Grand Central Dispatch were introduced in Snow Leopard.

Still, I for one would be very happy if Apple took a step back on iOS 9 and fixed these nine issues that frustrate me on a daily basis.

The Top 10 … err, 9 List

1: Cover Flow in Music on the iPhone
I’m not sure why this still exists. Rotating my iPhone to landscape view causes the Music.app to switch to Cover Flow. This was less of a problem before I got my 6 Plus. The car mount I have only seems to safely hold my iPhone in landscape orientation. Therefore, when I try to change a playlist or artist in my car, I’ve got to deal with Cover Flow instead.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing, except Cover Flow never shows me the artist or album I’m actually listening to. Instead, it really seems insistent that I listen to a live AC/DC Album, or KISS’s Alive III. Both excellent albums; just not the albums I usually want to listen to.

What I’d love to see is Cover Flow adapt the iPad interface. At least that view is usable.

2: Mail handling attachments
I complained about this at length in my Hands on with Outlook piece, but it’s a feature I’d like to see Mail.app support. Attachment handling is such a basic component of email that Apple needs to beef this up. I’ll cover this later, but Apple also needs to step up iCloud support for attachments as well.

3: Keyboard bugs
The keyboard on my Plus seems extremely wonky. Sometimes I get half a keyboard, or a keyboard that’s unresponsive. It seems like iOS 8 can’t tell if the plus has been rotated or not. I also accidentally hit the 3rd-party keyboard button a lot, but that’s likely a user issue.

iOS 8 keyboard

Speaking of the Plus, I’m not thrilled with the landscape keyboard on it. I don’t use the extra buttons for cut and paste and would prefer larger tap targets.

4: System-wide share sheets
While the new share sheets introduced in iOS 8 are great, I wish Apple would take it one step further and make the share sheets a system wide interface like it is with Android. I hate that I can’t save an article from Facebook to Pocket. I want to swap the read-it-later service for a specific article in the Twitter app and not feel like adjusting the settings. While some Twitter apps like Twitterific they are few and far between. A native share sheet baked into the OS would be preferable.

5: Rotation issues:
My 6 Plus also is a little overactive on rotation. Frequently when I take it out of my pocket, the rotation is still upside down and doesn’t easily come back to normal. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the gyroscope or software, but it’s starting to drive me nuts.

6: Get rid of “puzzle game” method of App management
My biggest frustration with iOS is that getting an app in a specific part of the screen is like playing a tile game. Sometimes, I might just want an app sitting in the lower corner of my screen. This is another instance where I think Android handles a feature much better than iOS.

7: Better notifications
iOS handles notifications, especially on the pull-down menu, in a way that is hard to follow. Sometimes I will see I’ve gotten a notification, but miss what it says. And the way iOS groups notifications by app first, then by time, isn’t the way I’d prefer. I’d prefer to just see them in order they were received first.

8: Better support for cloud storage options
This is a mufti-faceted problem I have with iOS. The main problem is there isn’t a native way to simply download a file from the internet with iOS. You can use a program like Workflow to download some files, there needs to be a native way to just download a file in Safari and store it in a cloud service. Apple’s default answer will likely be to use iCloud. This goes back to my desire for a system-level share sheet, but I’d like to see Apple support within iOS Dropbox, Google Drive and One Drive. Also system level support would eliminate the curious choice for the Office apps only supporting Dropbox and OneDrive.

crump-icloud-drive1

I realize this an odd precedent. I’m asking Apple to both force apps to use a system-wide document picker, and for Apple to open this to third parties. That said, I didn’t expect Apple to allow for extensions and third-party keyboards so this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

9: Better Bluetooth controls
I use an external keyboard a lot with my iPad. It’s usually in my Origami Workstation case. However, I’ll often just take my iPad into the other room and forget to turn off the keyboard. Naturally, I find this out when I go to use the keyboard and the virtual keyboard won’t load. What I’d like to be able to do is selectively turn off paired devices without unpairing them. Usually just turning off Bluetooth solves the problem, but sometimes I might be downstairs in the music room with my IK Mulitmedia BlueBoard hooked up.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been very happy with iOS 8. I wasn’t expecting Apple to introduce as many changes as it did. While I’ve complained in the past about general stability issues, it seems to be getting better as of 8.1.3.

I do think Apple needs a release for iOS that slows down the user-facing features and instead focuses on under-the-hood improvements and shores up Apple’s foundations. It’s hard to believe we are only two years away from iOS 10. It seems like just last year we got to iOS 2.