What’s Your Favorite iOS Feature?


iOS 10 Release Notes

A new version of iOS will be debuted in June, and while Apple is sure to add plenty of noteworthy features, there’s also the possibility that some current favorites may get the boot.

The iPhone 8 is doing everything it can to take up the news cycle, with rumor after rumor trying to detail just what Apple has in store for customers later this year. Which, of course, makes sense. While iOS is the show that makes the iPhone what it is, the hardware is typically the more attractive part of it all. After all, if the iPhone was a dud in the hardware department, the impressive features baked into the software really wouldn’t matter.

(And, let’s face it, the other side of this coin is why Apple’s iOS, which has suffered from missing features in the past, managed to be such a hit over the years: The hardware sold it.)

First, I should confess something: Before the end of last year, there was a brief window where I was able to get a Google Pixel XL without having to put an order in and wait weeks. So I did it. I sold the iPhone 7 I had at the time and went with the “Phone by Google.” I thought that, maybe, this would “finally” be the phone that could convince I could live away from the iOS ecosystem. I was still holding onto my iPad Pro, though, so I wasn’t really giving it up entirely.

The Pixel XL lasted about a week or so. I went back to the iPhone 7, and, just like every time before, it felt good to be back. Android is a solid operating system, it has been for a long while, and I wasn’t missing any apps on Google’s mobile platform. Ultimately, it was just a variety of little things. Software features that I was missing in iOS that are integral to my day-to-day routine, so opting away from them just didn’t make any sense to me.

A friend of mine and I were talking recently. He just started a new gig as a developer, and he bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro (I honestly don’t know if this is a late-2016 model or not), telling me that, while he knew some developers that had Windows machines, he didn’t plan on leaving Apple’s hardware anytime soon. He extended that conversation into iOS, when he started talking about a few of his coworkers raving about the Pixel XL. He told me that some of them kept telling him, “This is the end of Apple!” and they seemed excited about, which seemed strange at the time.

Of course, anyone who has been watching people bash Apple for any length of time knows this is all too common. But, it did get me thinking. I had spent time with the Pixel, and I can attest to the fact that it is a solid phone. The display is great, the camera is ridiculously good, and while I wasn’t a fan of the glass on the bak, it’s still an eye-catching design. There’s a lot to like about the Pixel phones, and I wholeheartedly believe that if it weren’t for my preference of iOS, I wouldn’t have left.

And now that iOS 10 is going to be replaced with something new, I’m left wondering what your favorite feature of the mobile operating system is. Partly I’m wondering because I’m curious if it’s a feature you think might get tweaked, replaced, or just removed altogether in the upcoming version of the software. (Anyone remember sharing to social networks from Notification Center?)

ios 10 control center 1

My favorite feature in iOS is the only reason I stick around with the platform anymore: Control Center. I think Control Center is one of the best ideas Apple has come up with in a long time. It makes using a smartphone with a big screen more tolerable, and being able to quickly access the most important toggles, and especially music playback controls (because AirPods lack this feature), means I’m sticking around with iOS for the time being.

That is until Apple either removes it, or mangles it so much that it’s eventually unusable. I bet one of those things happens eventually.

I want to hear from you, though. With the next version of iOS on the way, what’s your favorite feature of the mobile operating system? And if you think it needs some tweaks or improvements, how do you hope Apple changes it?

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