The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, has been getting a lot of attention. While many users are ecstatic over the new functionality offered by iOS 7, there could be a few more useful changes. When iOS 8 comes out sometime in 2014, it would be nice to see some of the following changes implemented.
Hide Those Pesky Default Apps
Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the iOS default apps for email, browsing and other activities, but it would be nice to be able to pick non-Apple apps for these kinds of things. It probably won’t happen, but would it really be so tough for Apple to let users hide those default apps? This is something that Apple enthusiasts have been less than enthused about since the first iPhone came out. Maybe iOS 8 will provide an option to hide the default apps, but don’t hold your breath.
Accounts for Guests or Kids
Yes, it would be nice if Apple’s dream of everyone owning their own device were somehow magically transformed into reality, but a lot of families just don’t have the financial wherewithal to get an iPhone for both parents and each of the kids. It would be peachy if Apple would figure out how to provide a guest/child account that doesn’t affect the principle settings and data on the device. Surely, it wouldn’t be that difficult to provide the structure for a single-tap account that does not save its own settings and data.
With the advent of iOS 7, apps can now be automatically updated, but this should not be the end of it. Developers have a tough time dealing with app data on iCloud when it should be fairly easy to save (or restore) the app’s associated data when an app is removed or reinstalled. It wouldn’t be too terribly difficult to offer app trials along with paid versions so that developers don’t have to do the in-app-purchase or replacement app shuffle, either.
Inter-App Communication Improvement
We’ve all been in the middle of using an app, only to be transferred to another app. When you get done with the secondary app, you don’t always get shunted back to the original app. The workflow between apps when making changes to documents presents its own nightmare landscape because the document won’t always update in the other relevant apps, leaving you with various stages of the document in several different apps. This shouldn’t be too difficult to correct; it just requires better inter-app communication.
Improved Management of Documents
All right, I’m just going to say it outright: Can we please get some type of centralized document access in iOS? Sure, you can employ Dropbox as a surrogate for a real file system, but iCloud could provide the service, if Apple would just take the time to integrate all the discrete parts of the current iCloud configuration. The lack of a serviceable workflow in iCloud is extremely disappointing.
This one isn’t specifically tied to iOS, but FaceTime got its beginnings on Apple’s mobile operating system, so that’s probably the best place to start trying to implement FaceTime conference calling. Wouldn’t it be great to make a FaceTime call that included several devices, rather than having a whole crowd of people trying to share a single device? FaceTime is awesome, and this limitation just doesn’t make sense.
Do Not Disturb Upgrades
While iOS 7 does make some improvements to the Do Not Disturb function, it can still only handle a single schedule. Introducing separate schedules for weekend and weekday use would be a huge improvement to the current Do Not Disturb option.
Apple, We’re Giving You a Year
The new iOS 7 provides some pretty neat new features and functions, but it’s still missing some of the basic improvements listed above. Users are already talking about what they’d like to see in the next version, so Apple might do well to heed the rumblings coming from the masses that use their devices. Most of these changes wouldn’t be terribly hard to make into reality. Apple, we’re looking forward to iOS 8. Can we have some of these options, pretty please?