My iOS 7 wishlist

My iOS 7 wishlist

Summary: While I can say with no doubt that iOS 6 is the best version of iOS released by Apple so far, I can still see a lot of room for improvement.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

With iOS 6 having only been out for less than two months, it might seem like the wrong time to be thinking about features that I'd like to see in the next incarnation of iOS. But I've been using iOS 6 for long enough to have a good idea of what I don't like, and what would benefit me.

This wishlist comprises of tweaks and changes that would make my iOS experience more productive. I'm not going to be spending time criticizing colors and the minutia of user interface design. I'm focusing on concrete changes that would boost productivity.

So, without further preamble, here's my iOS 7 wishlist.

#1 - Lock screen widgets

The iOS 6 lock screen looks -- and feels -- awfully bland, conveying very little information. It's wasted space that could be used to do a lot more. For example, the most obvious use for it is to display information in a quick, concise way without the user having to unlock the handset.

The easiest way to make use of this space would be through the use of widgets -- apps that could be installed into the lock screen with the sole purpose of making it more usable.

While I wouldn't want sensitive information or apps available from the lock screen -- like the contents of emails or text massages -- there's information I would like at my fingertips without having to unlock the handset. Timezone data, news headlines, stocks, and simple to-do list data spring to mind.

#2 - Automatic App update and rollback

App updates are a lot easier under iOS 6, especially now that Apple has removed the requirement to type in a password, but there's room to make them easier.

First, it would make a lot of sense to allow apps to update automatically in the background when the iPhone or iPad is on charge and in range of Wi-Fi coverage. If there's a new app, chances are that I want it installed.

In the event that an automatic app update caused problems, another feature that would really be handy would be the ability to rollback to the previous versions. This would offer added piece of mind that if an automatic update end up causing grief, users could choose to go back to the version that worked for them.

This mechanism would offer users the best of both worlds -- quick access to new apps and the ability to roll back if things go wrong.

#3 - Live tiles

I like the live tiles paradigm that Microsoft has in its Windows Phone platform. By comparison, Apple's notifications are primitive and clumsy, and the icons boring and useless. Now that Apple has moved from a 3.5-inch screen to a 4-inch screen, and adopted the retina display, there's more space to lay out information in a way that's easier on the eye.

Live tiles would also remove the need to fire up the app just to see what's changed. A clock icon that acts like a real clock, or a news icon that shows me the latest headlines is a lot better than a static icon that I have to click on.

For jailbroken iOS devices, there are themes that do a reasonable job of bringing live tiles to the iPhone.


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
  • Multiuser?

    Did you for get or do you never share your tablet with anyone?
    • Yes.

      This is the most glaring omission in iOS, in my opinion. The ability to have multiple users who all can set their own preferences, homescreen layouts, etc. is sorely needed.
      • Yes + child mode

        I think so too, as a parent what I would really like would be a kid mode where they can access allowed apps under their profile but cannot delete anything or change any settings. For that matter, is there an app anywhere for that?
        • Like win phone 8?

          win phon 8 has a special child mode, you choose the apps you want... Love it, can hand phone to kid and he/she wont call your boss etc
          • Is it in Win 8?

            Is this functionality available on the Surface or other Win 8 tablets? Tight now my two year old uses my wife's iPad more than my wife does, since I am thinking about a Surface this might help me decide.
          • Yes.... Windows RT, like Windows always has, have multi-user support....

            I have Windows 8 setup on my home laptop with a profile for my wife and me (both password protected through our Microsoft accounts), and one for my 4-year old daughter so she can go on and play games and not mess with my stuff. She was able to get on my Linkedin on my iPhone once and posted to the site!

          • Surface supports...

            Surface supports multiple users just like a Windows PC does. You could set up an account with limits and provide it to your child.
          • Just get Surface, you will love it

            Simply said it is much more than any of the current tablets, just a tad bit less than a full PC.

            Don't read any reviews, just get one and try it out. You will not return it, once you get hang of the UI and features.

            Its a desktop OS running on tablet, and not a Phone OS running on tablet
          • Don't get RT

            I sure hope nobody here gets a Surface RT. It looks like windows, but it only runs apps meant for it. you can not install any REAL programs on it. To replace a computer, and not be "a tad less" than a real computer, get the surface pro. The Surface Pro is a REAL computer, just built into one. It has the same processor and parts used in real computers.
            Avery Kucan
          • Multi-user support is included in Android 4.2

            Jellybean 4.2 is being pushed out as we speak to existing devices and comes preloaded on the Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 10 tablet.
          • Try the New Kurio Tablet

            Its Android 4.2,
            Has Parent and Child accounts,
            Allows each account there own home screen with their apps.
            Has a new App store geared for families.
            Has a wish list that the child account can add to or remove.
            Auto updates the store every time the tablet is on wifi or at a predefined time (set by the parent)
            Allows for Parents to have complete control over what apps the child uses but gives the child account the ability to buy apps via a Piggy bank function.
          • Limited

            It is a stupid feature. Designed only for "Owner > Kid".

            Open Handset Alliance made multi-user functionality correctly in Android by allowing a device owner to create new accounts and limit their access to settings, applications and so on.

            What people really want, is to have a one tablet at house what all family members can use. Not just 10 year or under old kids and single parent.
          • Your a tad confused.

            Windows phone 8: Kids Corner. Limited. There are apps on android phones that provide similar functionality - but, on phones android is not multi-user any more than WP8 is.

            Surface RT (well, any Windows RT device): Fully multi-user. With parental controls, various account access levels, etc.
        • Guided Access


          Settings>General>Accessibility>Guided Access

          Guided access is cool. You open an app, triple tap home button, and it locks it to that app, disables the home button, and disables any sections of the screen you choose. You triple tap home and type a password to exit.
          Avery Kucan
      • There is a reason for not doing it.......

        The only reason Apple is not adding this feature is because Nokia have patent for Multi User functionality. Nexus 10 adds this feature,and Nokia is suing it because it clearly violates that patent.. That's why Apple is not doing it....
        Anything else? :P
        • sony tablet s

          Is an android device that has a guest mode. It also has "small apps" that float above the main app. Calculator, TV remote (yes it has ir) or any widget can be one. Of course android already has all the features in this article. Apple needs to get moving. Even the retina display is not up to the HD display on the tablet s.
          • Agreed. This article is describing the lastest Android 4.2 feature set.

            Just use Android and move away from iOS. You can do that by buying the new Nexus 4 or Nexus 10. No jailbreaking required. :)
        • Yes, something else

          Windows (and Linux I presume; I do not know about OSX) has had multiuser functionality for a LONG time and has not been sued by Nokia. Clearly, the ability to share HW through separate log-in screens is not fully covered by patents.

          Google is not totally stupid and would presumably not willfully and blatantly violate Nokia's patents. Apple does not back down from a fight if it really matters to them and they can afford to license.

          Apple has lost its smartphone dominance. It is starting to lose its tablet dominance. Without multiuser functionality, I think Apple will become a niche player in tablets.
        • And this isn't true, anyway...

        • Anything else?

          Where did you get your info?
          Little Old Man