WWDC 2013: iOS 7 and Mavericks' missing features

WWDC 2013: iOS 7 and Mavericks' missing features

Summary: While the developer previews of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks showed some evolutionary new features, there are several new features that are still lacking in Apple's new operating systems.

WWDC 2013: Features missing in iOS 7 and Mavericks - Jason O'Grady

The developer previews of Apple's iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks that were announced yesterday at WWDC are packed with new features -- and an entirely new user experience in the case of iOS 7 -- but I was disappointed that several needed features didn't appear to make the cut.

There are a number of features that are noticeably absent from the first developer build of iOS 7 (11A4372q). These should be taken with a grain of salt however, as a lot can change (and hopefully will!) before iOS 7 is released in the fall.

Default apps – There's no way to change default apps, so we're stuck with Safari, Email and Calendar, for the time being. 

Lower case keyboard – Although there are some nice UI tweaks to the new keyboard, lower-case keys are still represented by capital letters. Something I'll never understand.

Alternative keyboards – I'm not holding my breath for this one. Apple's previously said that third party keyboards are a security risk because they can contain key loggers. 

Landscape springboard – I still find it amazing that the iPad home screen can be displayed in landscape mode, but the iPhone's can't. Curiously the new iOS 7 Multitasking Switcher and Control Center both work in landscape (as do most apps, including Mail, Messages and Safari) yet the springboard doesn't. 

Upside-down springboard – When Jony Ive finally realizes that landscape mode is useful on an iPhone, I hope he allows the Springboard (and apps) to be used fully upside-down too (like the iPad does). Since the iPhone 5's ports on the bottom of device, it's almost impossible to use when plugged into power and sitting upside-down in the cup holder of a car. 

Public transit directions – The updated Apple Maps app while improved, still refers you to other apps and the App Store when you touch the link for "transit directions"

Widgets – Although we got similar functionality in Control Center and Notification Center, there's no substitution for real, live widgets. But Jony Ivy continues to tease us with his animated iOS icons! First it was the updating date on the Calendar app, now the Clock icon is live, right down to the sweeping second hand.

Lock screen widgets – While the new Today screen in Notification Center is an improvement over iOS 6, I'd still prefer to have real widget that I can customize.

Menubarlets – Apple tweaked the menu bar in iOS 7 with carrier dots and a new charging icon, but there's still no way to add icons for things like the current temperature, like you can in Android.

Multiple user accounts – While Apple hasn't released a version of iOS 7 for the iPad yet, there's no signs of multiple user support in the current developer build of iO7, so it's looking unlikely this go around. 

Better/more printing options – While the new Share Sheet and AirDrop functionality are welcome additions, they don't change the fact that there are only a small amount of printers that support AirPrint. 

OS X Mavericks is missing one major feature that was rumored to be coming: full Siri integration. The first developer build of Mavericks ships with the same Dictation and Speech Control Panel that debuted in Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), but no Siri. Which is a shame. Hopefully Siri will arrive in a subsequent build of Mavericks.

I'm sure more missing features will come to mind, and I'll update this post when then do. In the mean time, what's missing in iOS 7 and Mavericks for you?

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Default apps

    While it's true what you say, that a person cannot change the default app on an iPhone, I have noticed that Google is making every attempt to keep a person in their universe when using an iPhone. Click a link in YouTube and it doesn't open in Safari. It opens in Chrome. They are definitely trying to make as much change as they can.
    • Re: I have noticed that Google is making every attempt

      What are they supposed to do? IOS doesn't provide Android-style user control, so the decision has to be made somewhere in every app.
  • Some good points

    1. Default apps - alternatives are available for all 3, but I do agree that a little switch to make another browser default would maybe work. However, the defaults are pretty damn powerful anyway, and I've always found myself going back to them.

    2. Keyboards - I don't think this is that much of an issue. You can tell if caps lock is on by what you're typing on screen!

    3. Springboard rotation - on the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5 the screen is long and narrow, which would make landscape look daft to be honest. Upside down? I totally agree with you there!

    4. Public transport directions - yep.

    5. Widgets - I've never been a fan. I didn't like the dashboard in OS X, I don't like widgets in Android, I never used the Sidebar in Vista or Widgets in Win7, I dislike the Live Tiles in Metro (always shifting and bouncing for attention, ugh...) - heck, I don't even icons on my PC or Mac desktops as it is clutter! Personal preference I guess.

    6. Menubarlets - there's not a lot of space up there! And with the slightly wider signal icons, there is even less.

    7. Multiple user accounts - this is an interesting one - it is desirable, but it butts right up against the idea of the iPhone or iPad being a personal device, and it would have hardware implications in terms of storage etc.

    8. Printing - agreed, printing is hit and miss in terms of how it is formatted when spat out of the print anyway. A print to PDF option would be most welcome.

    Actually, you miss one of the main things about Mavericks, outside of the use of a name that only has an emotional resonance inside the US. The OS itself looks old - either a future build or OS X 10.10is going to have to update to this new style debuted in iOS 7, especially in light of the icon changes, if nothing else. One of the great things about iOS and OS X was the parity across the systems in terms of style, which enabled iOS users to shift more easily to OS X and vice versa. Now that this has changed, it's will be somewhat jarring unless they debut a UI overhaul in the coming months.
    • Re: OS X 10.10is going to have to update to this new style debuted in iOS 7

      There won't be OSX 10.10. After 10.9, its 11. 10.10=10.1. I bet when OSX 11 comes, there'll be a funeral for OSX just like what Steve Jobs did to System 9. It'll be sad to know when Apple discontinues the future updates for our current Macs for OSX 11 would need modern and faster chips.
      • no...

        no, its not a decimal point, its a dot for versioning.

        10.10.0 , 10.30.98 ... all valid. If it was a decimal, how would you explain the current OS X latest version is 10.8.4 ... you cannot have 2 decimal points!

        This is pretty standard... even Mac OS X 10.4 had a 10.4.10 and 10.4.11
    • excuses & apologies

      2. keyboards - stop making excuses for the iOS keyboard. It makes it difficult when typing passwords containing upper and lowercase and numeric combos using the iOS keyboard when it doesn't show what case I'm about to tap. Non-intuitive for onscreen keyboard.

      5. widgets - I have one page just for all the information widgets I need. Weather, stocks, 4 time zones, notes/list, and calendar. To gather the same level of information with an iOS device I have to tap, tap, home, tap, tap, home, swipe, tap, tap, home, tap, home, tap, home, tap, swipe, tap, tap, home, tap. If I need to keep track of a sports score as well, the home button gets a workout on iOS. The fanboys always point out how iOS has no lag and scrolls smooth. but that's just control lag. iOS has functional lag and information lag because with widgets I don't have information lag. iOS lags this amount of information by about 30 seconds with the finger dancing.
      • You must really hate...

        you must really hate physical keyboards then that also only show Caps even if it doesn't type in them... and oh no.. playing a game and moving up with a W key? what? too confusing!!
        • Well, YES I DO!

          If physical keyboards could change their keycaps to reflect what case I'm typing in, I would be very happy. I'm retty sure I'm not the only one that types in passwords multiple times daily using a physical keyboard and often get it wrong because capslock was on and I didn't notice.
          Every other onscreen keyboard has done their best to solve this problem EXCEPT APPLE.

            Ever read about the Optimus Maximus and Optimus Popularis keyboards? Each Keytop has a built-in OLED display, so besides CAPS and lowercase, it can show images, each key can be customized to do anything you want. http://store.artlebedev.com/electronics/optimus-popularis/
  • Full Siri integration

    After about ten minutes with the device, nearly every user on the platform realizes that SIRI IS A GIMMICK and never uses it again (Aside from random demonstrations to their non-Apple friends who afterwards realize this fact also).
    • True

      I had the same with Microsoft Tellme on my Windows Phone, and the Speech Recognition program/app in Windows, people loved it at first, but go to the mouse and keyboard after a day.
      Agosto Nuñez
    • So

      You've used Siri with an iOS device running iOS 7? No? Then what was the point of your post? And BTW there are people who use Siri on a regular basis and it works well for them.
      • If you say so.

        I work at a telecom. we have lots of iPhones. Few use siri and even fewer get useful info from it. I use speech to text inside of apps, but I gave up on Siri being useful a year ago. Even Woz says it was better before Apple bought it (google it or search youtube).
        • Re: If you say so.

          So, you have no opinion of your own?
    • Not my experience

      I don't ask it stupid questions like who made William Shatner's toupee anymore... but I do ask it to set alarms and timers, ask it about the weather, and to show me movies, restaurants and driving routes.

      It is easier (not a lot, but somewhat) than flicking through apps, so why wouldn't I?
    • This is utterly untrue.

      You are speaking for yourself here, not for me and not for many other iPhone users I know. Siri is a quick way to set timers, alarms, schedule meetings, and get sports scores and game times. Siri will also tell you if you should pack an umbrella or don a jacket - just ask! Siri is a long way from AI, but it's a useful tool when your hands are busy doing something else and aren't available for the multiple taps and focus otherwise required to accomplish simple tasks.
      • @davidfoster

        So what you're telling us is that you need Siri to be your Mom and tell you when to put your jacket on and pack your umbrella.... how lame is that!!
        • Not the case

          I don't have this issue as I have a house but for those in a high rise I can see this being the case. You have NO clue what the weather is outside unless you look it up.
          Seth Schroeder
      • I still dont understand

        why people would ask Siri "do I need an umbrella today?" when I don't even ask any human that.
        If I want to know the weather and assess my decision to bring an umbrella or raincoat, I ask, "what's the weather today?"
        In the end, Siri doesn't even answer the umbrella question with a Yes or No so what's the point in asking the question like that?
    • Close but no

      Sorry but I use Siri for calling all the time. With 400+ phone numbers in my phone from work it makes it so much easier to reach people by just holding the phone up to my head and siri takes down the name and which number (work/cell/home) that I want to call.

      In the end you might not look up sports scores (yet) with siri but the more they develope the technology the closer we will get to using her for everything. I find the same with Kinect / Motion controls. They might be a gimmic to most because of how they are marketed right now but in the long run they will be fundemental to our devices.

      I mean look at calculator watches 20+ years ago. That was one of the first "smart phones".
      Seth Schroeder