by Jim Lynch

Which new features should be in iOS 9?

Apr 03, 201516 mins
iOSOperating SystemsSmartwatches

In today's Apple roundup: What new features does iOS 9 need to s쳮d? Plus: Does iOS 8 still stink? And is it too soon to think about the Apple Watch 2?

What features should be in iOS 9?

iOS 8 has been out for a while now, and it has proven to be an important step forward for Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPods. But it’s never too soon to look ahead to the next version of iOS. Which features should Apple add to iOS 9?

Some folks in the MacRumors Forum shared their thoughts in a long thread about iOS 9:

Kslingo: 1. Cross Fade Music 2. Customizable Control Center 3. Ability to delete application caches 4. Ability to delete iTunes Match cache without having to sign out of iTunes Match 5. Redesigned Music Application 6. Ability to delete stock apps (How many years have we all wished for this?) 7. iPad split screen 8. Less space requirement to install 9. Widgets on Lock Screen 10. Post to Twitter/Facebook from Notification Center again

Armen: “My biggest wishlist item would be iOS “Modes.” When you setup iOS on your device for the first time it should prompt you for “regular user” or “advanced user” and install options accordingly.

This will keep the geeks happy with all the options they want in advanced mode but keep grandparents safe and less confused with less options in normal mode.

Furthermore, I’d like to see more optimizations. Like how Windows Vista sucked and Windows 7 was great.”

Abazigal: “More granular options for Do Not Disturb. It allows calls from my favorites, but what about texts and messages from them? Something like a checklist which I can toggle on and off (would help for 3rd party chat apps, mostly).

Document picker for Mail, so I can least attack files from dropbox and icloud drive.

I would like the placement of the edit button in the photos gallery app to be revised. Right now, it is in a very unwieldy top right corner (and the 3 dots which brings up the photo-editing extensions then switches to the top left corner), which can make it cumbersome on larger phones. Either standardize the button placement, and / or move it to the bottom. Perhaps remove the trash icon and replace it with a swipe up to delete action? While we are at it, maybe swipe down to share or something?

More stability for airplay mirroring. My iPad mirrors okay, but my macbook air barely chugs along before crashing the connection over peer-to-peer?”

XTheLancerX: “All I want is the removal of UI lag on the at the moment ONE YEAR OLD iPads. Removal of the much more abundant UI artifacts and glitches on iPad as well. Finally, general bugs fixed across the board, iPhone and iPad. New and old.”

Kevo1011: “GPS, time scheduled, Wi-Fi setting based profiles. Would like my phone to think for itself and go to a preset configuration based on one of the above. Sms/iMessage auto reply. Hate to say it, but it’s android features that I wish we had.”

Alms: “I want to have multiple users like on OS X, so I can have one user set up with my e-mail, address book, etc, and another user set up with games for my kids that doesn’t have access to my e-mail etc.”

T’hain Esh Kelch: “1. Speed. 2. Bug fixes. 3. More space in the music player. Pre-iOS7 was perfect. Who on Earth thought 6 different controls in the space of 2 cm was sensible with a finger controlled device? 4. Make the Settings app overviews more logical. Right now it is a mess to find what you need, unless you go in there daily. 5. Put Siri back to where she was pre-iOS8. I dont need useless catchy remarks and i want proper feedback back as it was. Also, make her more accurate as she was before, as she oftent fails after iOS8 was released, and I am even on iOS7. 6. Add data to Maps. It is severely lacking and has multiple errors which still arent being fixed despite feedback, compared to Google Maps. 7. Let me delete stock apps. 8. Let me set default apps. 9. Stop random song skipping in the Music app. Make it better at remembering which song I was listening to before (RAM issue?). 10. Modes that are location or time sensitive, ie. “Work” that turns off sound between 8-16, “Home” that turns on BT when I reach my home adress. 11. Add a software NFC chip and Touch ID to my 4S. :P”

iRoRo: “1. Would be nice to have the option for a Dark system theme alongside the existing. 2. No introduction to new software technology updates midway thru the life-cycle of iOS9 (ie iWatch on iOS8) , leaving valuable time to fix all the bugs before moving onto iOSX and introducing future tech. 3. Better functional stock music player.”

Roadkill401: “Some semblance of text editing. Right now it’s a pain to edit text written in imessage or and of the default apps. How about putting in some arrow keys on the virtual keyboard so you can move your cursor around and edit without needing to resort to simply re-typing everything out again as you can’t simply back up and change or edit some letters.”

Sand_man: “1. Custom icon packs bought through the AppStore and enabled via settings. 2. True multi-tasking with functioning side-by-side windows IE as seen with Quasar jailbreak app (iPad’s only) 3. Customizable control centre toggles IE as seen with CCsettings jailbreak app 4. Fixed icon placement IE as seen with Gridlock jailbreak app 5. Single key press to clear notification centre notifications IE as seen with Always clear jailbreak app 6. Custom font packs bought through the AppStore and enabled via settings IE as seen with BytaFont jailbreak app 7. Ability to either uninstall unused system apps or at least hide icons of unused system apps. 8. Push integration with Gmail – Although this feature was disabled from Google’s side 9. FLAC support 10. File transfer via bluetooth, of all file types and across platform 11. Equalizer built into music app similar to the one built into iTunes 12. Screen color and temp calibration tool IE as seen with Color Profiles jailbreak app 13. As already suggested in an earlier post, black mode – so white/blue text on a black background vs current white/blue on white background.”

More at MacRumors Forum

Michael Grothaus over at Know Your Mobile had his own iOS 9 wishlist:

Apple will detail its next version of iOS this year at the WWDC expo. WWDC usually takes place in June, meaning we have around five months to wait before we get our first glimpse of iOS 9. Ahead of that date, though, we’ve put together a selection of updates and features we’d like to see Apple add inside iOS 9.

1.) Better Maps 2.) Passcode-Protect Any App 3.) The Ability To Merge Apple IDs 4.) Default 3rd-party Apps 5.) Hide Pre-installed Apps 6.) Make Sharing NOT Suck 7.) An iCloud Drive App 8.) Weather App for iPad 9.) Multi-user support 10.) Customisable Control Center

More at Know Your Mobile

There was also an iOS 9 thread over on the Apple subreddit and redditors weren’t shy about sharing their wishlists for iOS 9:

ThisIsTakenAlready: 1. System wide dark mode 2. Siri API 3. Ability to set default apps 4. Music player that allows queuing of songs similar to the way iTunes does now”

Tescocola: “Wallpaper that will automatically rotate through images in a predefined folder.”

Alemonta: “The freaking ability to edit control center toggles.”

Theli0nheart: “A better shift key.”

Heavecloud: “F.lux compatibility…”

Spykeman1528: The ability to hide Apple Native apps better, not necessarily delete them since I know Apple ain’t about that life but just a hide option other than sticking them in a folder in a page you don’t use.

Dark mode- which everyone seems to want

The ability to toggle into landscape mode for the home screen across all devices

Better process for reactivating iCloud activation locked devices- half the time no one knows their passwords and had to call apple support.

Roglesby: “I’d like the music app to function in horizontal mode. I can’t stand the album art slider thing, it’s completely useless.”

Itistimbo: “Translucent volume up/down screen.”

Lordmycal: “Parental controls that give you control over what time of day features can be used.”

Kickedtripod: “Let me Wake up to iTunes Radio and unlock my Mac with my iPhone.”

More at Reddit

Does iOS 8 still stink?

Meanwhile, back on iOS 8, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols recently sounded off on what he sees as continuing problems with the current version of iOS.

SJVN reports for CIO:

Enough is enough. Apple’s iOS 8 mobile operating system came out in mid-September. Since then, the company has delivered seven — count ’em, seven — patch releases, and iOS 8 still doesn’t work that well. Argh!

My patience has worn thin because I can’t see the reason for this months-long failure. I mean, it’s not as if Apple is in Microsoft’s position, having to make sure that every new operating system release supports decades-old hardware from hundreds of different vendors. All iOS has to do is support Apple’s own iPhones and iPads. And not all of those. Apple doesn’t even support 2009’s iPhone 3GS or 2010’s original iPad anymore.

Apple, I’m talking about your own operating system on your own hardware, mostly working with your own software. Get them to work together smoothly, and do it now. If you don’t, Samsung and all those Android companies will eventually eat your lunch.

More at CIO

Adam Mills at Gotta Be Mobile has an overview of some of the problems in iOS 8.2:

We’re now more than three weeks removed from the iOS 8.2 release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and we continue to hear, see, and get complaints about iOS 8.2 problems. With those in mind, we want to take an updated look at what iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users need to know about lingering iOS 8.2 problems, big and small.

While iOS 8.2 does fix some of the issues plaguing Apple’s current operating system, it’s clear that it has brought some iOS 8.2 problems of its own. In the past three weeks, we’ve heard from many iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users who have encountered issues with Apple’s latest update. We’ve also seen some iOS 8.2 problems of our own.

iPhone 6 users are complaining about app crashes, tons of complaints about Bluetooth on iOS 8.2, no sounds for incoming messages, iCloud backup issues, complaints about bad battery life, and more.

iPhone 6 Plus users are reporting iPhone 6 Plus freezing on iOS 8.2, a goofy bug that changes the user interface when using iOS 8.2 and a personal hotspot, iOS 8.2 battery life draining fast,Slow scrolling in iPhone app, performance hiccups on the iPhone 6 Plus, Group messaging problems,reception issues and Wi-Fi problems.

More at Gotta Be Mobile

Adam also has another article on Gotta Be Mobile from last month that shows how to fix some of the problems in iOS 8.2:

The iOS 8.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is now available and it offers a ton of bug fixes and enhancements to Apple’s mobile devices. It also has brought iOS 8.2 problems to owners making the jump from iOS 8.1.3 and below. With iOS 8.2 problems in mind, we want to outline some of the more common issues and offer fixes for those struggling.

1. How to fix iOS 8.2 install problems. 2. How to fix iOS 8.2 battery life problems. 3. How to fix iOS 8.2 Wi-Fi problems. 4. How to fix iOS 8.2 cellular data problems. 5. How to fix iOS 8.2 Bluetooth problems. 6. How to fix iOS 8.2 app issues. 7. How to improve iOS 8.2 performance. 8. How to fix iOS 8.2 iMessage problems. 9. How to fix iOS 8.2 problems if nothing else works.

More at Gotta Be Mobile

Too soon to think about the Apple Watch 2?

We’re just a week away from Apple Watch preorders, but one writer is already considering whether or not it’s worth it to get a premium version of the Apple Watch now, or wait for version 2 in a year or so.

Zac Hall reports for 9to5Mac:

A lot of my techie friends are saying that the entry priced-Apple Watch Sport will be their pick next month, and not because of the exterior look. The theory is that Sport is the cheapest way to experience Apple’s new product category in 2015, and since the second-gen Apple Watch will inevitably be upgraded, why pay a premium this year for nicer materials such as stainless steel and sapphire glass?

Personally, when I think about getting more perceived value out of a higher-priced stainless steel Apple Watch rather than testing the waters with the cheaper aluminum model, I’m more concerned with how soon the Apple Watch 2 will be announced rather than how much more functional the newer device could be. No matter what happens with the first-generation model, an Apple Watch 2 will come to market. How will Apple balance keeping the Apple Watch evolutionary momentum going with keeping the first-generation model “modern” for enough time to satisfy early adopters?

For me, this is an exercise in determining the value of paying a premium for materials that deliver nearly the same utility — for $200 more, the sapphire front will be more protective by some factor than the Ion-X glass found on the Sport model. I would be more likely to upgrade from an Apple Watch to an Apple Watch 2 if I only paid the utility price for a Sport model, but investing in a stainless steel first-gen model would make me hold on to my purchase a little while longer than I might otherwise consider with a tech product.

More at 9to5Mac

9to5Mac readers shared their thoughts about the value of the first Apple Watch:

Jono Young: “I plan to get the Apple Watch Sport. I don’t care what it is made of, I just want the functionality and the ability to control my Appel TV from my watch soon. I will also need a few native Apps from Strava or Garmin to extend the life of the watch.

I am in the market for a good fitness watch. Most watches that I am looking at cost as much as the Apple Watch Sport, so to meet my functional fitness needs for a fitness watch and to get so much more from an Apple Watch – it just makes perfect sense.

I am not sure what the Apple Watch 2 will offer, but I am certain the Watch OS update that comes for the Apple Watch 2 will bring some new stuff, even to the first generation of Apple Watches too. I suspect I will have this watch for 4 or 5 years, I don’t need much – what has been proposed already exceeds my watch needs.”

PMZanetti : “People who view it as buying a super-cool iPhone accessory will buy the Sport, because it’s all you need. People who view it as buying a watch, or buying a fashion accessory, will buy what looks good. Neither is the wrong decision. And AppleWatch 2 factors in precisely nowhere.”

Beyondthetech: “I’m thinking that if Apple said they’re able to replace the battery of the Watch, who’s to say they can’t replace the logic board as well? Wear and tear will be more applicable to the Apple Watch than an iPhone or iPod, so it’s possible that they would open up a special “Watch Genius” division within the Genius Bar to gut out the chassis to replace its internals and let the user keep the rest of their Watch.

Having a customer invest hundreds to thousands of dollars on a piece of technology that could be made obsolete would not bode well, and since Apple is all about the customer experience, being able to minimize the impact of upgrading should be somewhere in their agenda.

That being said, I’ll remain cautious and just get two Watch Sport models for me and my wife. For only $15-$25 on Amazon, you can buy a TPU case from the first two known companies set to produce them – Luvvitt and Spigen. ActionProof on Indiegogo has committed to making The Bumper, which is another type of enclosure for the Apple Watch for only $20. All those are big savings from the next step up of $200 each to the next model.”

89p13: “Much as I would like to get the Stainless Steel model – I’m holding out for the (rumoured) Titanium model – and hoping it has additional sensors. As a diabetic, to be able to have the next gen Apple Watch continuously monitor my blood sugar would be worth so much more to me. I think that the early adopters will love their watch, but I’d rather wait and get what I’m hoping will be coming in a year or two.”

Robert : “This product will have a long user upgrade cycle. Apple have voiced this expectation in their own store training materials that envision customers saying ‘I’ll have this for a long time’.

I expect Apple are working on adding battery life to the hardware, getting the software ready for native apps, and adding new styles. We might see some new collections in 2016. I don’t think we’ll see a thinner form any time soon because of the battery life problem. I won’t upgrade until their are several significant advancements and I don’t think we’ll that for 3-4 years.”

More at 9to5Mac

Jordan Kahn, who also writes for 9to5Mac, has some interesting speculation on what future Apple Watches might offer:

If Apple follows the release cycles of its other products, the Apple Watch could see at least a minor refresh every year and perhaps even a larger overhaul every other year, much like we see with Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

What might Apple’s second and third-generation Apple Watch collections look like? And what will that mean for owners of the current collection?

With a lot of help from our friend Antonio De Rosa of ADR Studios, we’ve envisioned what future versions of Apple Watch might look like based on supply chain chatter, watch trends, and our own intel on what Apple has in the works.

1. New materials. 2. A new price. 3. New sensors/hardware. 4. More bands/Third-party accessories/Smart straps. 5. Camera/FaceTime. 6. Apps will improve.

More at 9to5Mac

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news about Apple.