What we want to see from iOS 10
Happy days: it’s almost iOS refresh time again, with a brand new version of Apple’s mobile platform due to arrive in a couple of months at WWDC (if the schedule of previous years can be trusted). But what surprises has the Cupertino company got in store this time?
We’ve heard rumours about what’s coming down the pipe with iOS 10, but just in case Tim Cook and his team of engineers are in need of inspiration, we’ve pulled together a wishlist of ten features we’d definitely like to see in the next version of Apple’s mobile software.
1. Virtual reality
You can use Google Cardboard on an iPhone to create a VR experience of sorts, but a native app would be so much better – we’re ready Apple. Make it happen.
Some kind of extra headset accessory would be required for a fully immersive virtual reality feeling, but there’s no reason why Apple can’t create an iOS 10 app in advance.
2. Revamped home screens
Okay, okay, you don’t like the widgets idea – but even just a bit of flexibility with icon layouts would be welcome here, Apple, just to shake everything up a bit.
Let us put icons where we want and leave the wallpaper peeking through, or apply some approved Apple widgets, or even – gasp – install a third-party launcher program instead.
3. Improvements to Siri
Siri is fine as far as it goes, but Google Now is currently a lot more intuitive in terms of predicting your needs before you even have to run a search. Maybe Siri could follow suit.We saw some of this introduced last year at WWDC 2015 with a ‘proactive’ Siri update, but we’d like Apple to go further and introduce more features based on user activity.
4. A new look
Visual aesthetics are something of a subjective call, but for our money Android’s Material Design looks a lot fresher than the iOS interface, which was last overhauled in 2013.
Your mileage might vary, but we’d like to see the design of the iOS software be as modern and as gorgeous-looking as the hardware that Apple churns out year after year.
5. Embrace the web
Apple has made some half-hearted steps forward with iCloud, but we’d like to see iOS 10 a lot more cloud-savvy in terms of native apps and how Apple deals with data.
Syncing could be improved, especially for those using several iOS devices, and how about streaming iTunes content (music and movies) straight from the web Apple? Pretty please.
6. Hide native apps
This one is strongly rumoured to be on the way anyway, but just in case it isn’t we’d like to add our support: make it possible to uninstall or at least hide native apps that aren’t used.
Why should users who don’t own an Apple Watch have to look at the Apple Watch icon? Or those with no interest in finances have to scroll past the Stocks app? Yeah, exactly.
7. Better app integration
Apple has allowed customisations like third-party keyboards and photo extensions but we think it can go further: give other apps greater access to the mobile OS already.
Imagine being able to use Siri from inside Gmail or automation apps such as Tasker or IFTTT more fully on iOS – it would be a real benefit for developers and iPhone power users.
8. Guest mode
One more feature iOS might want to borrow from Android is Guest Mode – it comes in really handy when someone else wants to borrow (or just look at) your phone.
Apple has made small moves in this direction with multi-user support on the iPad for educational purposes, and it shouldn’t take too much in the way of extra coding.
9. More camera settings
iPhones excel at getting the best pictures with a point and a tap, but there are those who want to delve deeper into the photographic settings – how about some love here Apple?
Apps such as Manual have rushed in to fill the void left by Apple but it’s time some of these features were added as native options – they don’t have to be overly complicated.
10. Default apps
Come on Apple, we know you’ve got the whole walled garden approach going on, but we really would like something other than Safari to open up after tapping a link.
And while you’re at it, how about allowing other default apps for texting and messaging besides the rather wonky iMessage? It won’t happen, of course, but we can dream…