5 ways Apple could improve iOS 8 before the official release

iOS 8 at WWDC

Craig Federighi took the stage at WWDC on Monday to announce iOS 8, the next major version of Apple’s mobile operating system. To much surprise, there were quite a few improvements made this time around with features like Interactive Notifications and 3rd party keyboard support. I’ve spent the week running iOS 8 full-time, and there are quite a few nice new features. However, there’s always more room for improvement. Some of the items on this “wish list” are more likely to happen than others, but without further ado, here are 5 improvements I’m hoping to see before iOS 8 drops in the fall, or at least in future software updates.

1. Dark Mode

Eclipse Jailbreak tweak

Before the release of the iOS 8 beta, I was rocking a Jailbroken iPhone on iOS 7.0.6. One of my favorite tweaks (screenshots above) was Eclipse, which is a system-wide night mode for iOS. Since the inception of iOS 7, I wasn’t a huge fan of the bright white interface, and still feel the same way to this day. During its unveiling of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Apple introduced a Dark Mode, which got me excited and hoping we’d see the same for iOS. Unfortunately, I was let down. I’d love to see this implemented before iOS 8 drops in the fall.

2. Lock Screen Widgets

iOS hasn't added much functionality to the lock screen

As is evident from the screenshots above, the lock screen hasn’t ever undergone any major improvements in terms of functionality. We’ve seen the introduction of the Camera grabber as well as access to Notification Center and Control Center, but that’s about it. With iOS 8, Apple finally brought widgets to the Today view in Notification Center. I believe many would find it very useful to have widgets directly on the lock screen as well. Although it’s highly unlikely, I’d love to see Apple allow the same widgets from Notification Center to be displayed on the lock screen.

3. Access To Photos within Interactive Notifications

With iOS 8 we finally got quick reply for Messages built-in to the OS in the form of Interactive Notifications. At this point in time, you have the option to send either text or a quick audio recording via the Interactive Notifications, but there’s no possible way to attach an image. Jailbreak tweaks such as BiteSMS and Auki have this functionality, and it has proven very useful. It’d also be a nice addition for use with 3rd party apps such as Facebook, when you may want to attach an image to a comment. This is a minor enhancement that we may likely see before iOS 8 is released to the public.

4. Better Siri/ Shazam Integration

Shazam Siri

Siri got some nice upgrades this year with iOS 8, such as the ability to identify currently playing songs via Shazam. While this is a nice feature and it works great, your only option upon receiving a match is to buy the song in iTunes. Songs identified through Siri will not be saved to your tags within the Shazam app, which many users may find to be a bit of an annoyance. Luckily, this is probably something that could be easily implemented, and perhaps Shazam will just need to push an update to the App Store to bring this deeper integration.

5. Customizable Control Center Toggles

Another Jailbreak tweak I find very useful is FlipControlCenter. Basically, this allows you to fully customize the toggles and quick launch icons found within Control Center. Jailbreak developers even have the ability to add their own toggles for further customization. This is one Jailbreak tweak I didn’t think I’d miss too much, but after using iOS 8 for a few days I’ve realized how much I relied on this simple tweak. Unfortunately, I don’t see Apple adding functionality like this to Control Center any time soon.

What do you think of iOS 8’s new features? Is there anything else you feel could use improvement? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • zerilos

    You can already access widgets from the lock screen.

    • Darren

      You can by accessing Notification Center. What I meant is I’d like the ability to place them right on the lockscreen.

  • coolie

    One thing Apple needs to put is the ability to password protect a folder on the homescreen.

  • Dakota

    I always keep thinking about getting an iPhone since I already have a Mac…but whenever I read stories like these, it makes me fear the whole walled garden approach. You’re mentioning some very simple tweaks that many would find useful (you don’t miss what you don’t know sometimes) and yet you are stuck doing it one way…it starts feeling like a dictatorship and I fear that might get very frustrating coming from Android where you can tweak and get the phone to work the way you want it to work

    • RedGeminiPA

      Most iOS owners just want the device to get things done. A few tweaks and the “lack of customization” isn’t a deal breaker for millions of owners.

      As for your feelings of being in a “dictatorship” ecosystem, that’s pushing it a bit much. iOS is gradually breaking out with enhancements and options as it matures. I’ll take Apple’s “locked down” approach with the side effect of more security, more frequent and reliable updates, apps that work across devices, and a simplified user experience, not to mention very reliable hardware.

      I do own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and the overall experience is horrid compared to iOS devices. My Tab 3 may never even get 4.4.2 KitKat that’s been out since early last year. That’s pretty pathetic.

  • Ed Chase

    With you on the dark mode. I’d also like the ability to move pictures out of the main camera roll into a different folder (move, not copy).

    • Ed Chase

      Looks like Apple has created a hidden function for photos (according to MacRumors):

      ‘Holding a finger on a photo will bring up an options menu and selecting “Hide” will keep it from being visible in those sections. Hidden photos are still visible in the albums view, however, in new “Hidden” album.’

      Guess I’ll be able to hide those dodgy pics after all! ;)