WWDC is right around the corner, so I thought I would make a list of the software features I want to come to Apple devices. Generally, I just want Apple to become more open and improve what they already have. I am in the camp that iOS, and to a lesser extent OS X, have become buggy messes and they need to make them rock solid again.
This list isn’t what I think they will do, it is what I want them to do. (And the chance that they actually will.) Let’s get started.
I love the idea of Siri and want to see Apple fulfill the vision of giving everyone a virtual assistant. This what I want them to do with Siri:
Siri Understands Me Better
Apple just released some info that they were changing Siri’s back end. Their hopes are that it will scale better and understand users better.
3rd Party Siri Integration
Apple was a lot more open last year, but I question if this would be technologically possible. Every new command increases complexity and overlapping commands might make it a UX nightmare. I have some ideas for how this could work though, you can read them here.
Siri On The Mac
I don’t know why they wouldn’t.
Siri Doesn’t Go Full Screen
Probability: OS X - 100%, iOS - 5%
Using the current version of Siri takes a user out of what they were doing and puts them in the Siri view. It could be so much better.
Siri Knows Everything About Your Device And Apple
I think this could be an amazing way for Apple to simplify its devices for the un-technologically inclined. You just ask Siri how to do something and she shows you. More on that here.
Home Screen Widgets
Apple allows widgets in Notification Center but they are practically hidden. To be truly useful, they need to be on the home screen. I have some thoughts on how to do this here.
Change The Default Apps
It’s getting ridiculous that we can’t change the default apps.
iCloud Drive File System
The original iCloud was a mess. iCloud Drive is better but is still limited on iOS. The iOS iCloud Drive file system doesn’t have to be Finder, but it has to exist.
Take Your Bloatware Off My Device
Apple once had a significant advantage over other phone/tablet manufacturers. It didn’t fill the device with un-deletable bloatware. That is no longer the case. The ‘Apple Watch’ app, the ‘Tips’ app, and more, now clog up our devices.
Split Screen Apps
Probability: 60% iPad split screen, 10% what I am
We saw that there was the ability to run two apps at once on an iPad last year. (Which people found out by digging through the code.) I’d much rather Apple take an intelligent stance on split screen multi tasking and require developers to build split screen modes for their apps. (To run on both iPhone and iPad) iPhone would be severely limited to what you could do but there would be use cases.
Smart Music Controls
It’s so annoying to watch a video that pauses your music and go to Control Center only to see that it would play the video, not your music again.
3rd Party Control Center Buttons
This could be incredibly useful. Click here to read more on this.
Put Some Serious Work Into Differentiating The iPads Software
Please stop ignoring the iPhones big brother. I understand it doesn’t make as much money but you could create something really special. Click here to see what I mean.
Allow Extensions/Actions To Be Triggered In Apps (Not just in the Share Menu.)
Doing this could drastically improve iOS’s capabilities.
A Better Way To Multitask
Mobile is quickly becoming peoples main computers. We need to figure out a way to increase productivity on them. This is how I would do it.
Advanced User Mode
Advanced user mode would allow users to download a more open version of iOS. This would allow iOS to be a powerful, advanced platform while keeping it relatively simple for the average user. Think of it like a legitimate jailbreak version that is a testing ground for future features.
Both OS X and iOS
Natural Language Search
Imagine if a user could use their natural language, via talking or a search bar, to do things on their Apple devices. For example and average user asks, “Hey Siri, how can I make my device more secure.” It then walks them through the steps to secure their device and teaches them some basic security measures. Or “How can I back up my device?”
Refine Your Design
Probability: Minor tweaks - 80%, What I want - 10%
Androids Material Design is absolutely beautiful and while Apples current design language isn’t ugly, it just lacks soul.
Improve All Of Your Services
Apple trails Google in this regard and will no doubt improve their services this year. I just doubt it will be enough to bring them up to snuff.
Track My Every Move
Track everything I do on an Apple device and use that data to benefit my life. (Just don’t sell it.) More on that here.
2015 The Year Of Curation
Go all in with human curation. Show me the apps, music, videos I will love. Make this a cornerstone of Apple.
Apple TV Is Your Connected Hub
This is going to happen. If it doesn’t I’ll edit this post so it look like I gave it longer odds.
Be More Open And Friendly With Developers
For the most part Apple is good with developers but they obfuscate the App Store rules, making it hard for developers to know what is and isn’t allowed. It gives Apple more power in App Review but garners serious ill will.
Get Rid Of The App Store Review (Or Make It Way More Stringent)
Probability: 0% I would argue the App Review hurts the whole platform by not allowing useful apps through the process. My thoughts are you can have app review but you disallow all shoddily made apps. Or you don’t have app review and only scan for malware and the like. Stop straddling the fence.
It’s not going to happen but it would be nice.
Open Source Swift
The creator of Swift says they have plans to do it some day, but I have a feeling it will be in a couple more years. That being said, open sourcing it could bring developers to the platform.
Xcode For iPad
I don't want a full Xcode experience but a way to add little bits of code on the go, would be great. It would have to be really limited though, my 15" MacBook’s screen feels too small sometimes.
Like I said above, this isn’t what I am expecting, this is what I want. I am eager to see what Apple does because I am very close to jumping the iOS ship. Both Microsoft and Android are building platforms more in tune with what I want. There have been a variety of reasons for me to stay with iOS but they grow less everyday. Even on the desktop side, I am starting to like what Microsoft is doing better. I don’t want to switch platforms but I am starting to feel like Apples going the wrong direction. (For me)