5 things I’d like to see in iOS 7

Image Credit: iOS 7

Image Credit: App Advice

iOS is not perfect. Not by any means. However much we love the iPhone’s operating system, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. And, with Jony Ive now in charge of the hardware and software design, there should be good things coming from 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino. Here are the 5 things I think need addressing in iOS 7:

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1. New User Interface – goodbye skeuomorphism, hello app drawer

iOS has looked virtually the same since 2007 when it first launched. Home Screen(s) full of apps. If you like things tidied away so you can see your wallpaper (like I do) you’ll have found ways around Apple’s arbitrary system. I personally have only two rows of apps on each screen. When you’re in a job that requires you to test a whole load of apps, managing them gets a little tricky. Most of my home screens now are just Folders, each divided in to category. But what I’d really love is to be able to hide them away completely in an app drawer of some kind. I wouldn’t care how you accessed the drawer as long as it was there. It can slide up from the bottom (like Android/BlackBerry) or slide in from the side. As long as I can see my beautiful wallpaper, I don’t care.

The other concern on many a blogger’s mind is the whole ‘skeuomorphic tendencies of Scott Forstall’ issue. When the iPhone first came out, it was necessary for iOS to make the transition from actual physical calendars, notepads and the like by making the replacement apps look like their old-school counterparts. In an age where smartphones are owned by millions of people, and used to complete most of our day-to-day tasks, it’s no longer necessary. Apple needs to step up in line with modern design, or come up with something completely fresh and starting setting the trend again. It’s 2013, and with Jelly Bean, BB10 and Windows Phone 8 on the market, iOS is now the old dinosaur.

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2. More useful lock screen

The lock screen shouldn’t just be something to use to tell the time. It needs more purpose, it needs shortcuts to vital options and/or apps. I love the inclusion of the notifications on there, and the quick access to the camera. But, what if it added toggle switches too? The iOS 7 concept from earlier in the week came up with a great solution for it, certainly worth checking out.

Picture this: you’re off to sleep and you’ve forgotten to switch Do Not Disturb on, or switch it to Airplane Mode (or whatever you do to ensure an undisturbed night’s rest). Instead of “hit home or power button>slide-to-unlock>Settings>Do Not Disturb/Airplane Mode “on”, what if the solution was: double tap the home key, hit onscreen Do Not Disturb/Airplane Mode “on”. You’ve halved the number of steps to achieve the same end. Considering Apple is supposedly all about making things simple, and removing unnecessary steps, you’d think it would be quicker to switch all connections and alerts off. I mean, the phone has a physical mute switch for super-fast sound control. Why not have an easier way to stop all notifications/connections?

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3. Better multitasking

I know, it’s the one feature that always makes it on to the wish list of iOS features. There’s good reason for that: iPhone multitasking sucks. iPad’s a different story, I love the multi-touch gestures to swipe between apps, or go home. It’s fantastic. I’d like to see a similar solution on iPhone (obviously requiring fewer digits to action). My ideal scenario is something like Windows Phone or – a more Apple-y example – Safari Tabs. If I “grab” on my MacBook’s trackpad when using Safari, I can flick between open tabs and have a full preview of the page that’s open. iPhone multitasking should show you a preview of the app’s last position instead of the tedious and endless sea of App icons that appears under the dock currently.

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4. Ability to delete default apps – set third party apps as default

I’ve replaced a huge number of Apple’s default app with other alternatives. I no longer use Weather, Mail, Safari, Contacts, Music, iTunes, Calendar or Compass. I’d love to be able to delete all of them and just use the third party alternatives, which I think are much better designed. Along the same theme, it’d be great to be able to set those third party replacements as default. For instance, it’d be great if my iPhone automatically opened Sparrow or Gmail when I wanted to share a photo by email. Or, when opening a webpage, opening Chrome. Or, when asking Siri to set a reminder, either placing it in Fantastical, Clear or Wunderlist.

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5. Notification Center and Status bar?

Don’t get me wrong, having Notification Center and the Android-style drop-down drawer is much better than the horrible blue popups we used to have, but I’m not convinced that Apple’s made the most of it yet. Even when you re-arrange it with your preference of order, it still ends up being a complete mess after a few days of not checking your Game Center or Mail alerts. I’d like to see the ability to respond to messages within Notification Center without exiting to Messages/Mail. I’d love to see toggle switches for Airplane Mode/Cellular Data/Bluetooth in there. It’d also be great to have the option for 3rd party app widgets, giving us a preview of our Facebook feed or something similar. It could be so useful and yet – in my life – it ends up being a horrible cluttered space full of unimportant notifications.

What do you think? What would you like to see in iOS 7? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet me: @TiP_Cam

 

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  • jcharley

    I really like the iOS 7 icon, but I highly doubt Apple would create an app drawer and the ability to delete default apps, even though most would favor such features.

  • KVKdragon

    I agree with 2 and 4 but the rest I’m perfectly ok with. Besides the complaint of built up notifications in 5, I’d also happily welcome the widgets option

  • roboguy12

    I’m not about to start a flame war here and I’m not calling the author a “fanboy” or anything like that, but he really should try out Jelly Bean. It addresses every single one of his issues with iOS. This comment will undoubtedly spawn a fury of “stfu fandroid” or other various immature hate comments, but from a completely bipartisan standpoint, I think the author would like Android. It’s come a long way, and issues/upgrades with Android are more likely to come than with iOS at this point.

  • Stephie

    A few things I would like to see change are things I had used back when I had my iPhone 3G and it was jailbroken. I had a text messaging app that allowed you to reply from the little box that popped up on the screen rather then having to actually open the app (this way you could reply from the lock screen). Here is a link to the app (http://bitesms.com). I’d love to be able to customize my phone! Be able to change the color of my text message bubbles, the way my apps look. Basically I really want to be able to have my phone like a jailbroken one without having to jailbreak it.

  • RonaldEpstein

    I am not trying to start a flame war either but I left the iPhone after 6 years because I wanted all the things you just listed. Went with a Galaxy Note 2 and I love it so much that I will never go back to iOS. Try Android. I promise you will love it more than the iPhone

  • wilfreb

    Amazing how all that is missing on ios has been for so long on Android.

  • roboguy12

    @wilfreb While that may be true, it’s wordings like this that start flame wars.

  • Btn0626

    Most of your suggestions can already be done by Siri and iCloud. You just have to hold down the home button and say ‘do not disturb on’. For the app drawer just delete them and get them off iCloud when you need them.

  • BrandonChoquette

    Expandable memory and NFC and at least a 4.3″ display

  • dodge321

    One thing I would like to see in iOS7 would be text reflow every other phone I had back to android 2.3 has had this another would be some sort of notification light, my idea was to have a light behind the home button that pulsate letting you know there something that need your attention

  • theeta357

    To sum it up.. What you need is android

  • Pallavi

    I would like the os to be jailbreak friendly or should include lots of customisation options. Themes at least. Bored with the usual user interface and mainly include font options(include bold,italic fonts)..

  • Pallavi

    @theeta357 android needs a lot more fixes than iOS..

  • TomaszTomasito

    Multiple(!) files moving(!) between apps. “Share” API like in WP8 and Android. iCloud & iOs “Docs” or “Files” place with acces from every app. Themes like Dreamboard form Cydia. Only these would be sufficient.

  • Kangawu

    @Pallavi  @theeta357 I think it’s the other way around personally. Android has been going at a much faster rate at evolving compared to iOS. iOS needs to get itself together and become “modern” or else itll be what dinosaurs will use.

  • Kangawu

    @dodge321 Or get rid of the home burtton and replace it with a gesture area like the webOS days :/ one can wish.

  • dosdroid

    hmm add this and widgets and you have andorid….

  • TomaszTomasito

    @wilfreb and in the same time Android lacks a lot of pros of iOS. Including large collection of iOS only apps. Any OS is just a terminal for apps, and still apps are better on iOS. After a month with Android device I sold it due to inferior apps comparing to iOS. So even if such small issues exists in iOS like these mentioned above, android OS has much bigger problem which are apps not that polished an not that useful.

  • TomaszTomasito

    @RonaldEpstein I’m iOS user too. I tried android and it was inferior in every aspect. Worse UI (in my PoV), worse apps, worse appstore, no good book reader (ibooks is still the best one), no integrated book store, movies and music (in Poland), worse OS updates, worse access to apps (drawer is really awful idea) … For me it was something incredible to see how bad it is in every aspect. So, in my case android was a very disappointing experience and lack of good apps was the last and main reason I sold my HTC phone. So, no more.

  • TomaszTomasito

    @theeta357 but iOS is still better in apps area, so how would you like to compensate this? OS is only a terminal for apps, and if apps are inferior all OS is inferior too.

  • RonaldEpstein

    @TomaszTomasito  @RonaldEpstein 
    Tomasz, you present an interesting and truthful point.  
     
    The downside and upside of Android is indeed its apps.  They are certainly not as polished on Android as they are on iOS.  The reason being that the developer tools for Android are not as complex as they are for iOS.  On the plus side, it seems that the Android apps are much less expensive than they are on the App Store (probably due to Apple getting a bigger cut of developer cut) and there are far more free programs available.  
     
    Truth be, neither phone is perfect.  Most people switch to Android due to a wider variety of phones and screen sizes.   Those who stick with iPhone do so because it’s easy to use right out of the box and everything integrates incredibly well with each other.  iOS is a remarkable platform, no doubt, but is also highly restrictive to anyone that wants to customize it to their liking.
     
    I don’t think anyone here is totally trashing the iPhone.  It still stands as a awe-inspiring device.  It’s just that many of us that were blown away by the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, are wondering why the device still remains mostly the same 6 years later.  It’s still a very tiny phone with an operating system that really hasn’t advanced itself in all that time.  The reason why many of us moved to Android is because we were tired of squinting at the tiny display screen.  
     
    I suppose, in the end, it’s still great to have a choice between both phones and as you correctly pointed out, there are plusses and minuses to each.

  • wilfreb

    @TomaszTomasito the apps things may be true, but it all depends on which apps do you use, the top apps looks awesome if not better on Android, also you got the best Google apps which are the most used by most people, the apps on android is getting fixed very fast, faster than ios is getting better, so is only a quiet in of time

  • dodge321

    @theeta357 I have android in the past and it might have the things I would like to see in iOS but every android phone OS is the same and quite frankly boring once you’ve used one you’ve used them all, iOS isn’t perfect and won’t please everyone but as it says up top it’s asking what you would like to see in iOS7 and not compare to android.

  • MrNonFiction

    All the features you want are clearly ANDROID FEATURES.  Apple has a recent history of copying Android features because they are simply running out of ideas and lacking innovation.  Let you Apple bandwagoners tell it, iOS is the best thing since slice bread. That sure is not the case

  • Aida Allen

    I can’t but agree on the point #4. Apple is so sure its users like all their apps it makes me tired. I wouldn’t jailbreak my iPhone if I had the possibility to use third-party soft more freely. And surely you should have the option to use third party apps by default. For exa,ple, I’d likek to use this app http://www.newtechstory.com/social-media/chaton-a-messenger-with-social-functions/ as my messenger by default. But now there’s now way to do this (at least none I’m aware of).

  • Edder_1224

    These sound great and definitely agree with most. I, for one, always forget what date it is and wish the date appeared up in the black bar along with the time and battery meter. I really hate the fact that the date completely disappears from the lock screen when playing music. Come on Apple, listen to our needs instead of just implementing features and options you “THINK” we might like.

  • TaimurAhmed

    hmmm…nice and interesting article ..ive seen an inspiring and awesomearticle about ios 7 ..on http://www.iphone6updates.com/concept-ios-7-features-redesigns-existing-features/ ..so everyone must visit ..i bet you will like it