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iOS 11 features wishlist

WWDC 2017 will be the place where we get the first look at the operating system that will be powering iPhones and iPads over the coming year -- iOS 11. Here's our features wishlist for the next release.

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Topic: iOS
Redesigned Control Panel
1 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Redesigned Control Panel

iOS used to be beautifully simple, but over the years Apple has kludged it up with more and more features, and it has become so bad that a search feature was added -- a nice touch if you know the name of the feature you're looking for, but in my experience most people don't.

The Control Panel is in desperate need of a redesign to stop it going the same way as the Windows Control Panel. Maybe an icon-based system would be better than the current text hyperlinks -- similar to that found in macOS and Windows -- or maybe it needs a total rethink. But ether way, the current layout is a mess.

Customizable lock screen
2 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Customizable lock screen

Beyond allowing notifications to build up on the iOS lock screen, that real estate space doesn't really get used that much. A mechanism to allow users to customize it to add useful information that fits in with their lifestyle, as opposed to whatever notifications apps want to throw out, would make it a lot more useful.

Maybe this could be a mechanism similar to the complications on an Apple Watch display.

Customizable Control Center
3 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Customizable Control Center

That Control Center panel that you slide up from the bottom of the display is awful. Not only is information spread across multiple panels, but there's no way to customize the panels so you can get access to the features you want on the first panel.

Improved Phone and FaceTime screens
4 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Improved Phone and FaceTime screens

I find it surprising how badly thought out the Call and FaceTime screens are. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Neither allows you to multitask easily.
  • I'm not entirely sure why I need to see my face gawking into the camera during a FaceTime call, and I don't know why I can't make the caller's face small so I can interact with other apps.
  • Most of the Phone and FaceTime controls could be pushed into a Control Center type panel that you could slide out of the way.
  • It seems restrictive not being able to FaceTime with more than one person.
  • Why can I not screen-share over FaceTime?
iPhone "Plus" multitasking
5 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iPhone "Plus" multitasking

There's plenty of screen real-estate on the "Plus" iPhones to allow for iPad features such as Split View and picture-in-picture to work.

Siri improvements
6 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Siri improvements

There's no doubt that Siri has improved over the year, but there's plenty of room for improvement. For example:

  • Offline Siri that can process basic requests on the device.
  • A way to teach Siri new skills, maybe in the form of simple commands or instructions.
  • A text-based chatbot method of interacting with Siri.
Multi-user support
7 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Multi-user support

I know Apple has a "one user per device" policy, but there are times when setting up multiple users would be very handy, especially for the iPad, which is less of a personal device than the iPhone.

Touch ID to lock apps
8 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Touch ID to lock apps

Some apps -- such as banking apps -- already use Touch ID to verify the user, but developers have to add this feature. I'd like to see a way in the operating system to choose which apps to lock, and they would then require the user to be verified before the app was launched.

More robust AirDrop
9 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

More robust AirDrop

AirDrop is one of those features that's great when it works, but when it doesn't it's next to impossible to know why it's not working. And this unreliability means that I'm using the feature less and resorting to old-school methods of file sharing such as email or Dropbox.

File management
10 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

File management

I know that Apple chose to not have a file manager in iOS because that sort of thing scares some people, but it's 2017 now and I think it's odd that there's no way to get an overview of the data that's on a device, and that the only method of moving data is via the very limited "Share" interface or you have to use iTunes (gahhhhhh!).

Trying to do something as basic as email a document or open a photo in a photo editing app is needlessly painful and long-winded.

Better way to work with notifications
11 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Better way to work with notifications

iOS notifications are a mess, so much so that I either ignore them, or just delete them. There really needs to be more options available than "view" and "delete."

C'mon Apple, you can do better.

Change default apps
12 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Change default apps

Why does Apple continue to force apps such as Safari and Maps on me when I don't want to use them? This seems highly user-unfriendly.

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