Seven things Apple needs to fix in iOS 6

iOS is a very robust, capable and well-thought-out platform, but as with every operating system there are those little annoyances that I wish were fixed.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

My iPhone and iPad are never far away from my reach, and because I use both devices regularly throughout the day -- every day -- I'm very familiar with the iOS platform. On the whole I think that the iOS platform is very robust, capable and well thought out, but as with every operating system there are those little annoyances that grind and that I wish were fixed.

Here are seven things that I hope Apple fixes in the next-generation of iOS.

Add date and time stamps to iMessage and text messages

Why isn't there an option to add a timestamp to each text or multimedia message, or iMessage communications that's been sent and received in the Messages app?

The current system of only adding a timestamp what seems like every 15 minutes or so sort of works, but an option to either display a timestamp for all messages, or at least be able to access the timestamp for individual messages would be useful.

I know all that information clutters up the otherwise sleek user interface, but some people find information useful.

When was that photo taken?

Why does iOS give me the ability to see where in the world a photo was taken, but not when? To me, the data that a photo was taken is much more important that where it was taken. But there doesn't seem to be any way to access this information under iOS.

If I export the photo to my PC or Mac then I can see the date and time it was taken -- along with a lot more information, including altitude -- in the EXIF data. It's all stored; it's just unavailable to me through the interface.

I'd be happy with a simple sort mechanism that allowed me to go back chronologically through my photos. Anything would be better than just having them all in one big pile.

Easier toggles for separate radios

If I want to put my handset into Airplane Mode, this takes one tap and a swipe from the Homescreen. If I want more granular control over which radios are on or off then I have to go digging in the settings for the right toggle switch. I find this particularly annoying when I want to use Bluetooth and then switch it off in a bid to save battery life.

AirDrop for iOS

Mac OS X 'Lion' 10.7 offers a feature called AirDrop that allows an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network to be created to share files with other Macs that have AirDrop installed. There is no such feature for iOS. In fact, if you want to share files with other iOS users you'll have to use email, a third-party application that creates ad-hoc networks, or sign up to a third-party service such as Dropbox.

Why? AirDrop for iOS makes sense and you know it.

Background app updating

Why do I have to update apps manually on my iPhone and iPad? Why isn't there an option for automatic updating?

I can understand that this wouldn't be for everyone, but the option to select certain apps to be updated automatically when the iOS device is on charge and doing nothing -- and particularly in a Wi-Fi zone -- would certainly give me one less thing to have to think about.

Scrolling Homescreen dock

Why do jailbreakers have to have all the fun?

This is such a no-brainer that I'm surprised Apple hasn't done it already. It would be a massive timesaver for launching those 'use-daily' apps.

6-digit simple passcode

How about an option to increase the length of the simple passcode from four-digits to six? It would dramatically increase device security without forcing people to use the full keyboard to enter a complex passcode, which is hard to do when using only one hand.

Again, not everyone would want this feature, but it would be a nice compromise for those who want a little more security.


Editorial standards