iOS 8 wish-list scorecard: How many came true?

iOS 8 wish-list scorecard: How many came true?

Back before WWDC 2014 I wrote a series of posts detailing some of the things I wished very much to see from Apple in iOS 8. Some of them I'd been wishing for for years. Others I'd only just begun to think about. After the keynote I'd meant to go through and see just how many of my wishes had, coincidentally, come true. In all the excitement, however, it slipped my mind. Today, in light of some extra news, several people reminded me about it. So, here it is: Everything I asked for prior to WWDC 2014, what came true, and what I'm still waiting for!

  1. Pervasive inter-app communications: We got Extensibility, which in some ways isn't as all-encompassing but in other ways is even smarter.
  2. Interactive notifications: We got interactive notifications
  3. Spotlight hooked up to Siri: We got an all-new Spotlight that's not natural language or sequential inference, but is far more powerful than ever before.
  4. and DocumentPicker: We got iCloud Drive and DocumentPicker!
  5. Customizable Control Center: Not yet.
  6. Unified AirDrop: We got not only unified AirDrop, but Continuity.
  7. Privacy Sheets: We got per-app unified Settings, including permissions.
  8. Battery shaming: We got per-app battery usage, including low cell signal!
  9. iTunes for iCloud: Not yet.
  10. Comics mode in iBooks: Not yet.
  11. iTunes Extras for Apple TV: Today!
  12. Print to PDF: Not yet.

So, 8 out of 12 or roughly 66%. While I can't claim any special knowledge or foresight informed my list, I do think a lot of that was medium-hanging fruit and things many people, including those who work at Apple, wanted on their own iPhones and iPads.

Still, I'm delighted to see how much utility is coming to iPhone and iPad with iOS 8, and in a way that sacrifices none of the incredible security and usability we've come to expect.

How many of your iOS 8 wishes came true?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iOS 8 wish-list scorecard: How many came true?


My wish was low level optimisations to boost battery and performance, something like Mavericks or Android L.

Unfortunately, iOS is getting heavier while Android is getting lighter and this scares me. I hope in the next version they focus on performance and battery.

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Lolwut? The android users I know are still running custom roms to try and eek out what little battery life they can. iOS is still more battery conscious than android and there is not a way to overcome physical battery or screen limitations with software.

iOS is getting heavier on the battery with each iteration. A nice proof is the Anandtech battery tests. First lets look iPhone 5 review from 2012 (iOS 6). The iPhone 5 gets 10.27 hours on the Wifi test. Next lets look at the iPhone 5S review (iOS 7). It only manages 8.9 hours. A 12% reduction in battery life.

An hour drop in battery for some fancy parallax crap? No thanks!


If you look at a comparison with the latest Android phones, iPhone is falling behind.

Meanwhile, Android L adds 2 hours to the Nexus 5 runtime:

You know what else changed between the 5 and the 5s? The CPU. The memory pressure added by the A7 going 64 bit did no favors for power consumption. I'm not saying iOS isn't consuming more power as it advances but it's also doing a lot more with each iteration. It's not just parallax... (which you can turn off btw)

I don't see how comparing the 5s against handsets with drastically larger batteries has any bearing on the software efficiency between android and iOS. Nice try though.

No argument that android L is a good step for google and I'm sure it will be great for the sub 5% of android devices that get it in the next 2 years. Meanwhile I don't expect Apple will stand still and Google will have to continue playing catch-up considering iOS has had half of the features of project Volta since iOS 6.

Incorrect. The LG G2 & G3, HTC One M7 and M8, Motorola X, G, and Verizon Droids (Maxx, Ultra, Mini, etc.), Samsung Galaxy S4/5 and Galaxy Note 3, and Sony's Current and Last Generation Flagships will all get it. That's not counting the variants that will get it as well.

A metric ton of people are going to get Android L. Even the Galaxy S3 is now on Android 4.4.2, and it launched with Android 4.0.4, so that gives you an idea of how well those devices are actually supported these days.

You may or may not have an issue with the speed at which the updates are rolled out, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to say only 5% will get it within the next year when basically every Android phone worth caring about is getting 2+ years of support these days.

I didn't find the iPhone 5S to be good in the battery department, which is one of the reasons I returned it and got the Note 3. Happily on 4.4, which is the latest major version of Android - an Official/Supported version, not a Custom ROM (something I've never done on any of my devices regardless of what platform they ran).

Fair enough. Although if you see the iPhone 5C (same SoC), you can see a drop in battery life too. I never claimed that Android has better battery efficient, but it is catching up and getting better while iOS is getting worse. The same can be said in terms of performance.

But Parallax, I meant the fancy 3D animations and transparency that puts a load on the GPU. It cannot be turned off. iOS 6 definitely had better efficiency. However, I welcome the iOS 8 battery shaming feature. Atleast it will let users know that Facebook and Google is killing their iPhone battery.


Here's the thing. You cannot base your opinions about battery life on betas. Those kind of things are usually the last things to go in. Every single beta I have run over the last 3-4 years have had dreadful battery usage, but when the GM comes out they always seem to fix it.

Your parallex comments seem to be based on an early build of iOS 7. Since a few updates ago and in iOS 8 betas. Go to accessibility and turn on "reduce motion", your "problem" solved.

If you want to troll a board, you should go and find some facts to support your argument rather than relying on old, completely fixed, problems.

Reduced Motion does not turn off Windows Aero effects. Also I was referring to the full version of iOS7. Not once did I refer to iOS8 beta.

hey buddy, just wanted to slap your wrist and remind you that there IS a setting for everything on iOS, unlike on Android. 1) iOS users know exactly what 'permission' they've granted to every app they install and they can turn off the once they don't want to give the developer access to. 2) under settings, there's an option to reduce 'transparency' that eliminates transparency. AND reduce motion DOES turn off parallax effect completely.

It's either on the list and they just haven't had time to implement it yet, or it's a political/philosophical issue and we shan't see it. I guess we'll find out in the next couple years.

I suspect the reason can be summed up in two words:

Google Maps.

As long as Apple Maps quality lags behind Google Maps (or is perceived to) Apple will not open up default applications, as they will not devote engineering resources to something that might cause defections from their app and/or benefit their rival. Others want defaults for mail or camera, but Apple can't allow user settable defaults there unless/until they think Apple Maps can survive even competition with Google Maps, so they will keep it all closed, no matter how much opening it up might benefit many iOS users.

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There are a substantial amount of users who choose alternative apps even though they are not able to set them as their default. While contempt for their rivals may have been a factor in the past I feel like it will not be long before the Apple of today opens up this functionality. Just look at 3rd party keyboards.

Third party keyboards are a bit different than the choice on maps, (or email or web browsing). Most third party keyboards have only a tiny number of users and most of them don't actually work as well overall as the built in one. They are more of a gimmick than a real alternative and there are lots and lots to choose from. We will probably see HelloKitty keyboards and "MuricanFlag" keyboards etc. before too long.

On the other hand, with Maps, there are only two choices and alternative one is clearly much better than the built in one. Not for that reason, but for reasons of user confusion, I don't think we will see Apple allow this ever.

Allowing user-selectable default apps is several orders of magnitude simpler than the 3rd party keyboards or the Extensions framework; technically speaking, it could be added in a long weekend. That they ignored it in favor of much higher hanging fruit suggests that they had other reasons, and my admittedly armchair speculation is that fear of defections to Google Maps is a primary one.

Of course, look what happened when they handed the keys to Google with the original Google Maps app, they guaranteed their own customers got a second rate experience. Google only stepped up with the iOS Maps version once Apple produced & defaulted to their own version. If users want enough rope to hang themselves - switch Android.

Errr....not really. When the initial partnership was inked, these features did not exist - GApple Maps (Apple's UI/Google's Data) was a first rate experience - though Nokia fans may disagree, IMHO by far the best one on any mobile platform. By iOS 5/6 it had started to fall behind, because Apple and Google could not play nice together. Apple demanded these new and better features, but Google's price included one of its location aware products getting position in the Maps app (if memory serves).

Each side set too high of a price to grant the other access to their crown jewels (Apple's app position/Google's data sets), so they went their separate ways. Essentially, both Apple and Google played hardball, were unable to negotiate common ground, and in the end we as users lost.

Apple wanted vector tiles and turn by turn navigation. Google wanted direct access to iOS user location data and the ability to show ads in Maps.

They couldn't reach an agreement so if Apple renewed, they'd be renewing a crippled product. They decided to go elsewhere for Map data. Unfortunately, interpersonal problems, data aggregation, cleansing, and sanitizing problems, and other issues resulted in the launch of Apple Maps in iOS 6.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Yes, Latitude, which actually would likely have been ripped out of maps by now, since it's been ripped out and shuttled to Google+ on Android. Which is quite an ironic turn of events in hindsight.

even though i cannot set to default.. i still take the extra seconds to select google maps.. so much easier to use and far superior overall.. Apple wont let you set default because it hurts there humongous EGO

You will never see that happen, the lock and key is very tite on default apps. Apple will never allow Google to be one of their default apps. Chrome, Maps----------------------

Interactive notifications is the most useful one in my opinion. All I want now is icon skins (probably never going to happen). Excited to see the 4.7" coming up!

Posted from my TARDIS!

No, dark mode. Wow...

We can record voice memo in Interactive notification (in the lock screen) but we can't send a photo/film from there? Do even people use voice memos?

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Probably reserved in case they go with OLED at some point, then it'll have to be the default as with Android.

Doesn't the black (Space Grey) iPhone come with the "black theme"? Pretty sure my mate's White iPhone has a different look and feel to my space grey one.

No. I'm talking about more than the background. I mean the whole OS. Essentially, like the music player wouldn't be white, mail, etc. The top menus wouldn't be white. Backgrounds that aren't bright white but something less, well, bright. I'd take a classic ios 6 style theme.

honestly, my wish list isn't like Rene's. The things that bother me in ios 7 aren't mostly mentioned above. There's all kinds of smaller things i'd be changing. Like i turn on bluetooth on the toggles but i still have to go into settings to make it connect sometimes? That's annoying. If it detects my devices why not allow me to choose to connect from the quick launch. After it connects it shows an icon to disconnect. Why not have it there all the time. Because sometimes it automatically connect but most of the time it doesn't if you don't turn devices on in a certain order.

We got a fairly good chunk of my accessibility wist list granted too -

They aren't really organised by number but third party keyboards, third party voices, expansions in touch id and the organisation of the accessibility settings section have been granted, I believe from what I've read. That's a very good hit rate!

Well, Apple should implement a dark mode + dark keyboard option due to the white-point white no matter the white-point reduce option!

Especially Apples native apps such as: mail, iTunes, AppStore, music, maps (not just in turn-by-turn mode!) and iMessages! I'd want the UI from FaceTime!
All the apps mentioned above are dominated by white and so many are getting sore eyes! Wow! Just give is a f*cking option so we can enjoy these new features more.

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Isn't iTunes for iCloud what iTunes Match is minus the browser access?

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I love my iPhone, however there is ONE thing that repeatedly makes me what to throw it against the wall......SIRI requiring internet for offline tasks.

Need to change music ?- "sorry, i can't connect to the internet right now"
Need to set a reminder ?- "sorry, i can't take any requests right now, try again in a bit"
Timer 3 minutes - "sorry, no can do matey boy, even though you're connected to a strong wifi I just can't be fecked, loser."

Ok so Siri doesn't say the last one but she might as well ! Please please please give me some form of SIRI offline - it's especially UNUSABLE in the car....UNUSABLE.

why wasn't on your list Rene ????....why ?!?!?!?!?!? - I'm sure apple read imore -( who wouldn't) - make it happen !!! :)

there....rant over.

Love my iPhone though....looooovvveeee iitttt !

Pet Peeve with Timer. Sometime in early iOS 6 days around the same time they introduced Apple Maps, they removed the ability to set International Clocks except for a small handful of built-in (mostly American) locations. That really pissed me off and I don't see why they still haven't brought it back.

I'm in British Columbia right now and I am not allowed to set a clock for the provincial capital? Most folks I know that use this functionality, want to set a clock for where a relative is living or vacationing, so they can know "what time it is for them." For years now, you can't do this. In Europe, you have a choice of a dozen or so capitals and that's it. In North America, if there is a large (or even small) American city in the same time zone, you are supposed to use that.

It's not only stupid, it's downright insulting. There are whole countries that are completely ignored, whilst there are at least a hundred or more towns in the USA that are on the list.

Totally agree with OdysseyDFX on local Siri. I hope we get full size caller ID picture back. Cant wait for iOS8 though tonnes of great things!

I wanted a update to maps!!! Battery life yes I would like to see it be a bit longer but I can understand if in using my phone and apps running the back ground how it can take alway from it. But I would say maps is the biggest disappointment

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It might sound picky, but my biggest "want" is still not realised which is giving us a way to hide apps that we don't use.

There has to be a more elegant way than creating that " crap" folder that every user seems to have on their last home screen. Mine currently has "Calculator," "Passbook," "Game Center" (sic), "Newstand," and "Voice Memos" in it at the moment and will have Apple Maps in it soon if it doesn't get better in iOS 8. Calculator is particularly irritating to me as I used it almost every day and all I need is very basic calculator functionality. in iOS 7, they took that away for apparently no reason at all.

In regards mapping, I absolutely hate Google and try to keep all their stuff of off all my devices, but it's coming up on three years without functional Map services from Apple. iOS 8 is kind of "the wall" for me on mapping. If they can't make it at least baseline useable by mid 2015 or so I'm actually going to reinstall Google Maps and chuck Apple's solution back into " crap."

I would like nothi9ng more than something very simple, the ability to use a mouse with my ipad without jailbreaking. There are some great bluetooth keyboards that make the ipad a great netbook, with the ability of a mouse it would make the ipad so much more faster and effective, not to mention keeping the screen clean. The only reason I think Apple wont allow the use of the mouse is IMO they are afraid it would hurt sales of their Mac Books. Why Else?? I will probably jailbreak my ipad mini after IOS 8 if Apple hasn't closed up the door. PS I know Im not alone, there are many who want to use the mouse with the ipad, come on Apple, bend a little.

The lack of cursor support is what is keeping all developers honest and continuing to ensure their apps remain optimized for a touchscreen user interface (and only a touchscreen).

It won't fit the user pattern at all. Think of the times users are on a tablet. Lying in bed. Standing in a train. All those scenarios preclude the use of a mouse. It simply won't be convenient or viable!

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