7 things I wish iOS 7 could do

7 things I wish iOS 7 could do

Summary: I'm looking forward to the day that Apple releases iOS 7. I really am. But despite my overall excitement regarding iOS 7, I know that it is missing a number of key features that I wish Apple would add.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

I'm looking forward to the day that Apple releases iOS 7. I really am. I've played with the betas and know what's coming, but it's still hard to shift that Christmas morning feeling when Apple finally pushes out the final product to all the good iPhone and iPads (and iPod touches) out there.

But despite my overall excitement regarding iOS 7, I know that it is missing a number of key features that I wish Apple would add.

Here's a list of 7 features I wish Apple would add to iOS.

Multi-user accounts

I don't often lend my iPhone or iPad to anyone, but when I do I wish there was a way to create a separate user account – like a guest account – where people would be prevented from snooping though stuff, deleting stuff, and causing various kinds of mayhem.

I understand apple's resistance to multi-user accounts – they stifle the need for each person to buy a separate device – but given sales and maturity of both iDevices and iOS, surely we can move beyond this now?

Turbo-boost WebKit

Native Apple apps have access to the Nitro JavaScript engine, which is much faster than the engine third-party apps that use. This gives Apple's apps an advantage over the competition.

If I wanted to jailbreak my stuff then there's a way around this – using an app called Nitrous – but I don't want to do this so I'm stuck waiting for Apple to change its policies.

Ability to change the default browser

The only time I use Safari on my iPhone or iPad is when I click on a link sent to me via email or iMessage. My preferred browser of choice – and the browser that is home to all my bookmarks – is Google Chrome.

Please Apple, give me the option to choose which browser I want to use as default. Isn't it enough that I've bought your devices? You let me choose on my Mac, so why not my iPhone and iPad?

Delete preinstalled junk apps

Stocks, Weather, Newsstand, Calculator, Clock, Game Center, Contacts – all apps I never use because I have better third-party replacements. And yet they all continue to clutter up my UI.

Sure, I can pop them into a folder, and brush that folder under the rug somewhere, but they're still there.


Pleas give me a way to delete the junk that I no longer need. All you need to do is offer them as a download for anyone who accidentally deleted something they later need. It's not rocket science.

Renaming/reassigning icons

I have three apps on my iPhone and iPad called Angry Birds. All three are different games, but the name is the same (Even Siri can't tell them apart). Other apps have names that are truncated, or goofy names that make then hard to spot.

Other apps have an icon that I can never seem to recognize, so I end up searching for it every time I need it.

Why not give users the ability to rename apps. And while you're at it, how about allowing devs to specify alternative icons that we can choose from?  


OK, I'll admit it. I like Android widgets. There, I said it.

I wish Apple would give third-party developers the ability to build widgets for iOS. That way we could have access to apps and features without having to run a separate app.

Come on Apple, you know it makes sense.

Custom skins and icon themes

Apple, if you are serious about coming out with a gold iPhone, then what about allowing users to customize their iPhones and iPads with themes and icon packs. Sure it would look gaudy – but no worse than a gold iPhone – and you could make 30 percent off every sale made.

Sounds like a winner to me.

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Well at least you're not banging on about Flash any more.

    As for the customisation, what rate of normal users want that:
    One in 100,000? One in 1,000,000? One in 10,000,000?
    How small a group should Apple cater to?
    • Or, viewed another way

      how many people want the customisation? Is it 25/250/250000 out of every million device owners? Just how big a group are apple ignoring here?
      Little Old Man
      • Not much thought here anyway

        Adrian says there are

        "...a number of key features that I wish Apple would add"

        Remember that. KEY features

        - Turbo-boost WebKit How many users would know what that means or care?

        - Delete preinstalled junk apps Skipping over calling things he personally dislikes "junk", lets focus on the issue. He says "...Sure, I can pop them into a folder, and brush that folder under the rug somewhere, but they're still there. Why?

        Given that he lists a workaround that just leaves him with a nagging "why?", it's pretty revealing that list is KEY issue 4 on his list. Looks like iOS is pretty complete and Adrian probably has OCD.

        - Renaming/reassigning icons & Widgets

        So the first is that you want to be able change the appearance of your icons, and the second is that you want the app designers to be able to change it back even when the app isn't running.

        I think the designers have expressed their view on the names and icons, and Occam's razor would suggest that there really is no difference between you not being able to change them, and you changing them but the app immediately changing them back. In which case neither problem exists.
        Henry 3 Dogg
      • Customization

        My first smartphone was customizable, in the extreme, and I went all the way with it. Of course when my wife needed to use it, she could get it powered on, and that was about as far as she could get. I guess that is a good thing for security, but it made my life much less pleasant. So, when it comes to my phone, I don't WANT much customization, and widgets suck, in my opinion. WHY would I want to dedicate a whole screen to only one or two things?
    • who wouldn't want to customize their phone

      I don't know anyone who doesn't want to customize their iphone or ipad. Me included.
      • You don't know many people...do you

        Most people (not all) just want the device they use to work. Oh, yea, the kids and the geek group like the idea of customization, but even they eventually just get around to using the device and not playing with it.
        • You are right

          "they eventually just get around to using the device and not playing with it."

          Yes, once they've customized it, they just get around to using it. Do you rearrange the furniture in your living room every day or do you customize it once and then leave it? Now, imagine if this were apple and they came in and forced you to use THEIR layout where the couch was upside down, the TV faced the wall, and your bookshelves were 12" tall. Would you say that customizing your living room wasn't a big deal because:
          "even they eventually just get around to using the living room and not playing with it"
          • Matt

            Steve needs his "Lumia" polished, now run along,little troll.
            "Our mission is to establish Microsoft's platforms as the de facto standards throughout the computer industry Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog."
            Microsoft MVP Matt Miller, a.k.a toddbottom3
            Troll Hunter J
          • Don't hate on WP8

            If you have not spent any amount of time with that Lumia you speak of, don't talk about it. WP8 happens to be a very nice platform, stable as a rock, and slick as a banana peel in its operation. You should give it a shot.
          • Too True

            In any case, he's too late.

            Microsoft is irrelevant in mobile.

            The company increases in value by $16 Billion when Ballmer says he's leaving...

            ...and drops in value by a $15 Billion when he announces that he's paying $5 Billion to by Nokia.

            Think about that one.

            If the value of Microsoft had dropped by $5 Billion then it would have indicated that the market considers Nokia's hander business to be worthless.

            But the people who invest in Microsoft (and generally know it pretty well) wrote down the company's value by $15 Billion in direct response to Microsoft's increasing their commitment in the mobile market by securing the source of their only significant client phone.

            I wonder how much the value of Microsoft would have INCREASED if Ballmer had simply announced that they were getting out of the mobile market.

            Todd, make sure you get your invoices in on time.

            Microsoft is a zombie.
            Henry 3 Dogg
          • Ohhh you silly Devil

            Don't you know if Apple were to design the living room, it would be magical!! And don't we all want some magic in our lives?!
          • As "locked down" as WP8 is

            At least there is an app in the store that allows you to create your own (custom) live tiles. If you haven't seen it, search for "Skinery Themes" in the marketplace. Apple users can't customize Anything it seems except a wallpaper. They can hate on WP8 but it is far ahead of Apple's Android 2.3... er... iOS7
          • Apples (ahem) and Oranges

            But we're talking about phones, not upside-down couches, TV facing the wall, and 12" tall bookcases.

            Question: For decades, nobody was upset with Ma Bell for having the same layout first for phone dials and then for push button numbers. In fact, they chose that arrangement for the push buttons so they'd be the opposite of a 10-key adding machine, making it more difficult for people to use two different machines with two different GUIs. But nobody complained. You certainly didn't. So why didn't anybody complain? Perhaps it was because it just worked.
        • they would if they could but they can't

          I want to put an icon at the bottom of my ios screen so it's easier to tap from tapping home button.
          wait, I can't even do that without filling up the rest of the screen with icons first!
          just works my bum!
          • Well then get another damn phone!

            If you have your panties in a bunch because you can't stick an icon somewhere, buy a phone where you can. For tens of millions of people the phone works just fine. For you it doesn't. So get another phone. Just stop whining.
        • I know lots of people...

          And I was an iPhone user. The lack of customization and other features, eventually turned me off Apple. Now I am a very happy Galaxy Note2 user, and many of my friends and relatives who have been iPhone users are now jumping ship as well. Frankly, IMHO, iPhones are boring, too small, and too locked in. But hey, if Apple works for you, then be happy! Many, many, people want choice and a little customization. That's why Android is ruling the smartphone world atm. Hey, I even have a skin that makes my phone look and feel like a Windows 8 phone! I have an iOS skin as well. Rarely use it though. It's too boring. But I do have a live iPhone drop wallpaper background which I quite liked from my iphone days. I can change the look of my phone to my hearts content. And I love it! If you love your iPhone then good for you too! Everyone is different and has different needs and requirements. That's the issue that Apple has neglected.
          Spiros Lambrinidis
          • The question was numbers

            There are people who will leave or avoid Apple because of lack of customization but the purposed question was about numbers. We all went through times when we tweaked our computer OS's, hell Apple even supported a plugin theme system back in the day and there were dozens of add ons for mac and windows but eventually most people discarded them and went back to using a more standard look. There is evidence that this is true for even more people on phones and tablets.
          • Hate skins

            Apple will never stoop so low as to allow skinning. It's all about branding and skins can make a UI unrecognizable. Skins simply look cheap and most customizing features are not necessary. I like the simplicity of Apple products...
      • I wish I could customize my iTouch more than I can

        but my wife, non-geek, probably wishes she could customize her iPhone 4S LESS. (i.e. no accidental pocket launches of the Settings app.)
        • That's what customizing means

          Customizing doesn't necessarily mean more flexibility. It could also mean less. The issue is that it should be up to the user to decide how they want to customize their device. In your wife's case, she should be able to customize her device so it's super streamlined with very few icons or widgets. She could even keep it to one home screen page if she wants. Keep it super simple.