iOS 13 is just around the corner. At WWDC, Apple will finally release the 13th version of its popular iPhone and iPhone operating system. As iOS starts to mature, what we hope most from it are smaller changes. Small features that put an end to little frustrations of using an iPhone and iPad. As bigger features like Dark Mode have already leaked, in this list we are focussing on smaller features in our iOS 13 wishlist.
iOS 13 Wishlist: Smaller Features We Want to See
1. Customize Lock Screen Buttons
With the new iPhone design, Apple finally added two shortcuts to the Lock screen: Flashlight and Camera. While the Flashlight shortcut is immensely useful, the Camera shortcut is kind of redundant. A left swipe on the Lock screen opens the Camera instantly. It would be great if Apple would let us customize these buttons. If we could replace them shortcuts to a note, or your favorite app. Apple can also update these suggested icons dynamically using Siri Suggestions (it’s actually a feature that Apple used to have back in iOS 9 days).
2. Automatically Unlock Device with Face ID
Android phones with face unlock work differently from the iPhone. Once authenticated, they automatically unlock the device, skipping over the Lock screen. On the iPhone, you still need to swipe up to Unlock the phone. It makes sense why Apple has done this – so that you don’t miss out on notifications. But Apple should have a setting where if there are no notifications, just scanning the face with Face ID would take the user straight to the Home screen.
3. Speed up Animations
The iPhone XS and XS Max are mighty fast. And you can feel that when you’re gaming. But not so much when you’re actually using the phone. Some jailbreak tweaks let iPhone users speed up animations. And even you can go to Accessibility and disable animations altogether to see just how fast the iPhone is. I think Apple should speed up some animations now that we are all familiar with the new user interface.
4. Custom Home Screen Interface for XS Max
The iPhone XS Max screen is huge. If Apple doesn’t want to bring in Split View for the iPhone, it should at least have a custom Home screen interface for it. With a denser grid and maybe widget support as well.
5. Smaller Volume HUD
The big volume HUD has been the butt of jokes for many years now. It’s getting ridiculous now. Apple desperately needs to change the Volume and Ringer HUD to be small and unintrusive to video watching and for the UI.
6. An Alternative Control Center Gesture
Accessing the Control Center on the XS Max is too damn hard. Apple should have an alternative gesture, even if its an Accessibility option. Maybe a swipe up option from the far right corner of the bottom. In fact, swiping down on the Home bar (which is currently the Reachability gesture) can do wonders for usability as well.
7. Control Center Toggles Actually Turn off Features
Apple started to play fast and loose with the Control Center toggles for radios. When you turn off Bluetooth, it still enables connections for Apple Watch and AirPods. And when you disconnect from Wi-Fi, it will automatically connect again the next morning. Apple needs three different states for toggles now: On, Disabled and Off.
8. Real Music EQ in Music App
While you do get access to genre-based EQ presets, there is no real EQ in the Music app. You can’t go in and manually change the treble or bass. For audiophiles, this is a necessity.
9. A Redesigned Apple Music App
The Apple Music app is too bloated. Especially if you’re an Apple Music subscriber. Things are so bad that there are third-party music players now that work with Apple Music (Like Soor or Marvis Pro). A simpler, redesigned Apple Music app, with a dark theme, would go a long way.
10. Battery Percentage for The Notch
If Apple wants, it can easily replace the battery icon in the Notch with a percentage text. Come on Apple, it’s about time.
11. Camera Settings in Camera App
Most iPhone users don’t even know that the Camera app has its own Settings page. How would they? It’s not in the app! You need to go to Settings to find out the shortcut to enable the Grid, or to switch to 4K recording. Just add a button the Camera app Apple!
12. Lock Apps using Face ID
Face ID system is right there. And some apps like WhatsApp have even started using it inside the app. But what if Apple let users create an app lock using Face ID?
13. DND Icon in Status Bar
The DND feature is now too easy to miss on the newer iPhones. While the Lock screen notification is helpful, a real icon can go a long way. Apple can put in a small icon, or a different colored pill on the left side of the notch to make things easier.
14. Emoji Bar Below Keyboard
There’s a lot of wasted space on the new iPhone keyboards. Apple can easily put in shortcuts for frequently used emojis or actions below the space bar.
15. Interactive Controls in Control Center
Apple needs to add an extra layer of interaction for Controls in Control Center. It already works for some toggles like Screen Recording. What would be great is it applied to controls like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well.
16. Dynamic Wallpaper
macOS Mojave’s dynamic wallpaper is breathtaking. While the iPhone Lock screen has Live Wallpaper support, the Home screen is usually a dull affair. A dynamic wallpaper that shifts slowly and subtly over periods of time would be quite striking.
17. Offline Apple Maps
One of the best things about Google Maps, after the robust navigation feature, is its ability to store areas for offline use. It works for multiple areas as well. Something like this for Apple Maps is sorely needed.
18. Calculator for iPad
Even after more than 8 years of the iPad, there’s no official calculator app for iPad. And it’s high time Apple adds one with scientific calculator support.
19. Pause Video While Recording
There are now movies made using just the iPhone camera. But still, the feature set in the iPhone camera app is quite basic. A simple feature that lets users pause the iPhone recording would go a long way.
20. Apple Pencil Support for XS Max
Apple has finally added Apple Pencil support to the iPad mini and the new iPad Air. The iPhone XS Max is quite close to the size of the iPad mini. Apple should add software support for the iPhone XS Max. For designers, it would make for a great mobile design studio. Apps like Procreate Go already let designers draw on the iPhone using their fingers. Added precision of the first generation Apple Pencil would go a long way.
21. Guest Mode and Multiple Profiles for iPad
The iPad is a social computer. It’s used by multiple members of the family. It should have different profiles so that it’s easier for 2-3 people to use it. An iPad with multiple profiles would let your kids have their own silos of apps and data.
When authenticated using their face or fingerprint, they wouldn’t be able to access apps like Netflix which are installed only on your profile. With a 256GB iPad version, it’s not like there’s a scarcity of storage space.
A dedicated Guest Mode would go a long way too. It would have basic apps and access to Safari. But it wouldn’t have any of your account logins, apps or your personal data. So when your family member asks for access to your iPad, you can give it to them without worrying about the security of your private data.
22. Notification UI for Phone Calls
The Phone app takes over the whole screen whenever you get a call. In 2019 that’s downright archaic. You’re basically locked out of your iPhone for 60 seconds, or until the caller hangs up. On Android, a call just shows up as a notification banner. And that’s how it should be on iOS as well.
23. Two Instances of The Same App for iPad
The iPad Split View feature is incredibly powerful. But Apple should take it one step further. You should be able to open two instances of the same app, or at least two documents from the same app side by side. Safari can already do this. Why can’t it extend to apps like Pages or even Microsoft Word?
24. Record Calls
While it’s not legal to record calls without consent in western countries, it’s not the case in the eastern part of the world. In Asia, many Android phones ship with a call recorder built-in. In fact, there’s a feature in Xiaomi phones that automatically records all phone calls. A simple recoding button in the Phone app and the FaceTime app would be hugely helpful.
25. Better Text Selection
Text selection on the iPhone and iPad is atrocious. Apple is trying to fix it using gestures and 3D Touch but there’s an issue with discoverability and reliability. First of all, the gestures are not easy to discover on their own. And when users do discover the gesture, it doesn’t work reliably.
Apple can give a dedicated cursor button, like the small pointer in ThinkPad laptops. And the button can change the icon based on the state. One state can be just cursor movement, one can be the selection of text itself.
Your iOS 13 Wishlist?
What are some of the little features in iOS 13 that you’re looking forward to? Share with us in the comments below.