We have touched on our wishes for the 8 things we want in iOS 8 early this year. With the impending release of next-generation iOS/OS X info at WWDC in June, this post is a timely follow-up with more wishes and improvements we hope to see in iOS 8 and the next version of OS X 10.10.
Download folder for iOS or iDrive
iOS is build upon the same foundation as OS X. One notable difference is the lack of a Finder app. iOS app manages its files and documents within the app’s sandboxed container, it can store its documents in iCloud, but is has no access to other local files/folders.
iOS wants you to think not of files and folders but documents. Documents are managed by the app that is used to create them. This creates a tedious situation if you want to manage your files across document types, for example grouping of Pages and Keynote documents by project.
The idea of a world without files and folders is just an ideal situation. The current implementation by iOS does not give the comfort that it is the right direction. It is also hard to convert the world out of its over 30 years of computing habits. We’re just so used to files and folders. This is evidenced by the popularity of Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive etc, all are services that provide files and folders over the Internet.
It is uncertain if Apple is still in its strategic direction to continue to push us a world of mobile computing without the notion of files and folders. Or it is in the midst of introducing its own iDrive and Finder app for iOS.
Irregardless, we’re hoping Apple could at least introduce a Download folder in iOS 8. This folder could be managed by Safari app and will be one unified place for our files downloaded from the Internet or imported from other apps.
Shift key in iOS
iOS 7.1 brings an annoying changes to how the Shift key works in the grey/white version of the keyboard. In normal mode, the color of the Shift key is darken while the rest of the keys is in white. In Shift mode, the color of the Shift key is in white, same as the other keys. It should be the reverse. The dark color version of the keyboard however is behaving correctly. This Shift key changes has been criticised by many as a design mistake. It is likely to be corrected in iOS 8 if Apple is still listening to its users.
PDF support in iOS
Creating a PDF file is second nature in OS X as it is baked into the base of the operating system. PDF support however is totally missing in iOS as a system feature. A “Save as PDF” function in iOS 8 stock apps such as Safari and Mail will be a great start. Ideally Apple could just add a system wide PDF soft printer driver in AirPrint. This will allow user to create PDF document from any app by printing to this PDF printer.
Not sure if Apple is positioning FaceTime as just a bare video chat app. These are some feature requests:
- Group video chat
- Share app screen
- Recording of video chat
- Photo Booth effect integration
It would be awesome if we can send voice recording and location map directly from within Messages app. Would be useful too if there is a quick toggle button on the main screen to switch between iMessage and SMS text message.
Smarter smart folder in OS X
Smart folder in OS X allows you to create a view of a folder based on filters that you setup. For example you can create a smart folder for files in a folder that are PNG images greater than 4MB size. Smart folder however is useless as the folder content is a snapshot at the time of creation. There is no auto refresh of the view when content changes.
It appears that the current implementation of smart folder is half-cooked and there is a chance that it will be genuinely smart in OS X 10.10.
More location dependent features in iOS
With location spotting getting ever more accurate, iOS could make use of more location dependent features and settings:
- Switch the phone to silent mode base on location or “Busy” calendar schedule. For example when entering office, a hospital, a theatre etc.
- Turn on Do Not Disturb mode base on location such as when you’re home in the evening.
- Turn off passcode base on location or base on connected Wi-Fi spot. Some people do find passcode lock annoying when at home.
Offline support for iOS
The fact is Internet is not yet everywhere. This is especially true when you’re travelling and do not wish to pay the roaming charges. Lets hope we see offline mode support in Maps and dictation in iOS 8.
It is about time Apple introduces language translation as a system feature. It could be a standalone translate app or as part of dictation. It can also appear as a translation service in Siri.
App Store search should be integrated into Spotlight so that we can search for apps directly from within Spotlight without launching App Store app first.
In addition to “Search Web” and “Search Wikipedia” in Spotlight for iOS, there should be a quick access to dictionary directly from Spotlight.
Data roaming in iOS
There is a “Data Roaming” switch in iOS settings that allows you to turn off data roaming when travelling. This is an all-or-nothing settings. This could be enhanced so that we can selectively allow certain apps to use data roaming. For example, disabling all apps but allow Messages app and Siri to use data roaming.
Guest mode for iOS
Since we can’t create user accounts in iOS, the least Apple could do is to build Guest Mode into iOS to allow us to easily and safely share our iOS devices. This is especially useful for parents wanting to share their iPad with young kids. We should be able to create one or more guest mode. With each mode, we can select allowable apps and restrictions to content such as Camera Rolls.
Music for iOS
Music app for iOS should support adding of music files directly. This is to allow import of music files from third party apps or downloaded from the web.
One feature missing in Reminders for iOS is the ability to manage shared list from within the app. Currently you have to manage shared lists using Reminders for OS X or via iCloud.com.
And URL links in Reminders should be clickable.
Notes for OS X allows attachment of picture and file. Attachment however is not supported in iOS. And in iOS you can’t view the content of files you attached using Notes on your Mac.
Hide stock apps in iOS
I guess it is not too much to ask for settings to selectively hide Apple stock apps from appearing on home screen in iOS.
Wallpaper auto changer in iOS
Wallpaper auto changer is available on OS X, so why not in iOS? This will be a welcomed feature by many iOS users.
Low battery alert in iOS
The low battery alert in iOS is a prompt that requires your attention. It is annoying especially when you are in the midst of a heated game. Instead it could be just a banner with striking color on top, similar to how notifications work.
Podcasts for iOS
Podcasts for iOS is probably the buggiest app by Apple. Can we expect some love from Apple?