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iOS 14 Wishlist: 10 ways Apple can take the iPhone to the next level

Final 12 months, after the debut of iOS 12, I put collectively a listing of options I hoped to see in iOS 13. And Apple listened!

Okay, it’s unlikely that anyone at Apple learn my article and altered a single plan based mostly on it, however the firm did give a number of of the issues I’ve been asking for.

There’s nonetheless quite a bit left on the desk, although. So many extra options and important adjustments that appear straightforward to establish (if not straightforward to develop) that may make iPhones extra helpful.

I need about 1,000,000 issues for iOS 14 (a number of timers, for instance) however many are small tweaks not value getting labored up about. Right here’s a listing of the ten greatest and most far-reaching options I hope to see in iOS 14.

Word: Now that iOS and iPadOS have technically break up, this record doesn’t embrace iPad-specific options—that’s one other record! Additionally, there are options I’d like to see that require new iPhone {hardware}, which aren’t included right here. These are options I’d prefer to see for all iPhone fashions that would run iOS 14.

Prioritize reliability

After a surprisingly trouble-free iOS 12 launch, iOS 13 has been stuffed with issues. The discharge schedule was staggered and disjointed, and Apple’s nonetheless squashing important bugs.

There are experiences that Apple has as soon as once more altered its improvement course of to enhance reliability, and it might’t come quickly sufficient. The buzzwords for iOS 14 needs to be “stability” and “efficiency.”

[ Further reading: Everything you need to know about iOS 13 ]

Greater than any new characteristic, ensuring that the first launch of iOS 14 is quick, fluid, and trouble-free for the a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of units upon which it’ll run needs to be precedence primary.

And don’t promise options at WWDC solely to have them come weeks or months after launch (and in a shoddy state, at that). It’s in all probability an excessive amount of to anticipate all the most important iOS options to launch directly, however be trustworthy concerning the staggered launch. Tell us which options are coming in a future iOS point-release replace so we will handle expectations (as so Apple’s builders aren’t dashing to satisfy an unrealistic ship date).

A wiser Siri (once more)

Apple improves Siri yearly. In iOS 13, it gave Siri a smoother and extra natural-sounding voice. It additionally added assist for music, podcast, and different audio apps to the SiriKit framework. Each are good (particularly that second one) however not almost what we take note of after we want yearly, fingers-crossed, for a dramatically upgraded Siri.

Final 12 months, I wrote this about Siri in describing my hopes for iOS 13:

Siri nonetheless lags means behind Google Assistant and Alexa in its skill to reply normal questions and gracefully carry out actions with third-party {hardware} and companies. There are such a lot of apparent shortfalls; you are able to do a Highlight seek for a flight quantity and get detailed flight information, however ask Siri and also you simply get an online search.

Siri wants higher voice recognition, quicker response occasions, and extra “enjoyable” actions like trivia and video games. It wants to provide extra correct solutions to a wider set of questions.

All of that’s nonetheless true. Siri nonetheless wants extra domains for issues like Purchasing, and each Siri and HomeKit want higher assist for extra sensible residence devices and kinds (why can’t I arm my alarm with Siri?).

siri fail reddit consumer orangenormal

Simply one other instance from the /r/SiriFails subreddit, whose very existence ought to embarrass Apple each day.

Greater than the rest, I need Apple execs to get on stage at WWDC with an enormous Siri 2.zero brand behind them and discuss concerning the “all new Siri” that takes all the things the corporate has realized over the past 9 years and constructed an entire new digital assistant for the following decade. One that’s smarter, quicker, works offline (it’s stunning how typically Siri doesn’t!), higher understands each your phrases and your intent, and is extra proactive about doing issues in your behalf if you’d like it to.

I might additionally like Apple to make customers select a Male or Feminine Siri voice throughout cellphone setup (or once they first improve to iOS 14), with out defaulting to the feminine voice.

Improved dictation

When Google demonstrated its new Recorder app on the Pixel 4, we couldn’t assist however really feel jealous. The cellphone was doing exceptionally correct text-to-speech trascription, reside, and completely on-device. It was even sensible sufficient to place in intervals between sentences.

In fact, there’s no magic {hardware} within the Pixel Four to allow this feat. It’s simply software program, and it’s even coming to older Pixel telephones.

google transcribe Google

Google’s reside transcription is spectacular, however there’s no purpose Apple couldn’t do that on most trendy iPhones.

Apple’s dictation characteristic (faucet the microphone on the keyboard) is a helpful approach to enter textual content nearly wherever, however it’s sluggish and inaccurate sufficient that most individuals don’t hassle. To Apple’s credit score, it does work and not using a community connection. However it might’t sustain with a traditional speaking tempo, and it doesn’t do an excellent job of constructing a sentence (with correct punctuation) out of your string of phrases.

Apple ought to step up its sport right here. Make the dictation dramatically quicker and extra correct (particularly with accents), and use some intelligence to enhance phrase decisions. If I say, “you will have a humorous accent” and the dictation thinks I mentioned, “you will have a runny axe meant,” it ought to acknowledge that its interpretation produces a nonsense phrase and that different similar-sounding phrases produce an inexpensive sentence.

The beefed-up speech-to-text engine needs to be used throughout iOS, from Siri to voice mail transcriptions (that are terrible) to the Voice Memos app.

A greater Digital camera for all iPhones

With the iPhone 11, Apple made just a few wise enhancements to the Digital camera app interface. The graceful-scrolling zoom wheel, for instance, is a pleasant expertise that makes controlling zoom degree simpler than pinch-to-zoom.

Then, after all, there’s Evening Mode, the place a number of seconds of publicity are mixed to provide beautiful pictures in darkish environments.

ios13 2 video IDG

iOS 13.2 added video body price and determination adjustment within the Digital camera app. However why just for iPhone 11?

And in iOS 13.2, Apple added the flexibility to vary video decision and body price proper within the Digital camera app as a substitute of leaping into Settings—however solely on the iPhone 11.

There’s actually no want for any of those enhancements to be restricted to Apple’s newest cellphone. Evening Mode will not be doable on the oldest iPhone {hardware}, however it’s definitely one thing an iPhone XS and XR can pull off. And the interface adjustments don’t have any enterprise being restricted to only the brand new telephones.

I’d like to see iOS 14 brings these and different digicam enhancements to older telephones. Unify the interface and limit options solely to what’s technically unattainable on older {hardware}. And whereas I wouldn’t need Apple to make the Digital camera app interface too busy, I feel a “Professional” mode that lets customers modify shade temperature, shutter velocity, and ISO, could be welcome. Put it proper in keeping with the Pano, Time-lapse, Portrait, and different modes, and provides pictures nerds as a lot guide management as doable.

A brand new residence display

The iPhone’s residence display bought a little bit of an overhaul again in iOS 7, however hasn’t actually modified quite a bit since then. We will now long-press on app icons to get context menus, however the residence display remains to be an enormous grid of icons which you could’t even freely transfer round, solely reorder.

The grid of icons in all probability gained’t go away, and that’s not essentially a nasty factor. However there are many methods to vary issues with out fully upending the paradigm.

I’d love Apple to introduce a dynamic icon API in order that, for instance, a climate app might change its icon to match the forecast, or an e mail icon might present what number of unread messages you will have. On the very least, Apple ought to let builders outline separate app icons for Mild and Darkish mode.

In the event you drag down on the house display, you enter Highlight search. Earlier than you start looking out, Siri suggests a row of app icons based mostly in your widespread use on the present time of day and placement. Possibly this could (optionally) reside on our residence screens, now that iPhones are a lot taller?

And even when Apple will not be going to allow us to cover apps in an app drawer à la Android, it might at the least allow us to place app icons and folders wherever we would like. At present, you possibly can reorder them, however they at all times fill the display from the higher left—there’s no approach to depart a clean area.

Notifications want an overhaul

Notifications have improved in iOS, however they’re nonetheless a little bit of a large number. If you dig into the Settings app to vary how apps notify you, you’re bombarded with choices. The place do you get alerts? What sort of banner fashion? Would you like sounds? Previews? How concerning the little purple dot on app icons?

ios notifications settings Apple

All these choices, which most customers by no means contact, and nonetheless no approach to differentiate vital notifications from all the remaining.

The typical consumer doesn’t ever go right here, and suffers default settings for all their apps. Those that do change issues have too many choices to select from, they usually’re the unsuitable form of choices. I’d prefer to see Apple cut back the alternatives for the numerous methods wherein notifications are displayed, and as a substitute work on a systemic technique of separating notifications into two teams: vital alerts that require fast motion and informal stuff that may wait.

What the notification system on the iPhone actually wants is to acknowledge that notifications are recurrently abused by builders and are a significant purpose why all of us use our telephones an excessive amount of. Apple ought to take the identical systemic strategy to lowering notification influence in iOS 14 because it did with location monitoring in iOS 13. Make notifications silent and non-interrupting by default (no banners, they only seem within the notification shade). Let apps outline particular “excessive precedence” notifications, and should request that customers allow them, whereas telling customers precisely what is going to produce them.

For instance, Twitter’s notifications for likes, retweets, and follows would silently ship to Notification Middle, however the app would immediate you to permit direct messages to be “excessive precedence” the place they’d produce alerts and sounds. The Ring app would have silent notifications for detected movement, however might request permitting excessive precedence notifications for when your doorbell is rung or your alarm triggered.

And let’s eliminate notification badges completely. The little purple dot on app icons is ineffective vestige of an previous cellular world. It’s excessive visible influence however low data density—all it might do is present a quantity, which might imply something relying on the app. Worse, it doesn’t inform you if any actions are wanted or what they need to be. Their existence owes extra to inertia than to really enhancing our cellphone expertise.

At all times-on show with issues

The Apple Watch has an always-on show. OLED Android telephones have had always-on shows for years. There’s no purpose why the OLED iPhone fashions can’t have them as properly.

The always-on “sleep” display for the iPhone needs to be just like the lock display, with just a few changes. It ought to show time, date, and battery life on a black background (to save lots of battery life), however no notifications. Maybe new notifications might briefly seem and go away, however we’d like fewer causes to select up our cellphone, no more.

pixel 2 xl always on display Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

And always-on show and issues. In the event that they’re adequate Android, and adequate for Apple Watch, they’re adequate for iPhone.

To that finish, I’d like to see Apple take the thought of issues from the Apple Watch and add them to the lock display and always-on sleep display. Maybe 4 of them, flanking the clock, with standardized codecs. Builders might produce issues for his or her apps and what they’d show, and customers might select which 4 they need to see.

This may be an effective way to get easy data with out choosing up our telephones and diving into apps. A few of what we’d like we might get with out even unlocking our telephones. It might make the iPhone much more helpful, even when at relaxation, whereas offering an vital characteristic to advertise digital well being and wellbeing.

Name recording

I do know recording cellphone calls is a little bit of a tough authorized problem, however it’s simply so helpful that I need Apple to at the least try and deal with it. The disclosure that one must make to legally file a cellphone name varies from nation to nation and state to state, however it appears that evidently essentially the most stringent requirement is for each events to be told {that a} recording is going on, and that requirement can normally be met by enjoying an everyday audible tone (like a “beep” each 15 seconds).

Ideally, when one allows name recording we might merely hear “name recording enabled” adopted by common unobtrusive beeps, neither of which might really be captured as a part of the recording. Recordings can go into Voice Memos the place they’d be designated with a cellphone icon, and could possibly be auto-transcribed (see improved dictation, above).

Totally combine Shazam

Apple purchased Shazam in 2018 however hasn’t completed an entire lot with it in addition to take away adverts. Technically, you’re utilizing Shazam expertise whenever you ask Siri to establish a track, however Apple might go quite a bit additional.

First, construct Shazam proper into Apple Music. Make an easy-to-hit “establish this track” button each within the iPhone/iPad and Apple Watch interface. Hold a customized default playlist for recognized songs that makes a word of the date, time, and placement.

About Jason Cross

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