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ios 8 wants

iOS 8 wish-list: What we'd love to see at WWDC 2014!

The WWDC 2014 opening keynote is only a few short days away and that means, if Apple sticks to pattern, we should see the first preview of iOS 8. Since the big redesign was already done last year, that should mean polish and rounding out the feature set is what we get this year. Granted, getting OS X 10.10's big update out the door might mean some iOS 8 features become iOS 8.1 or even iOS 9 features. That can always happen. However, outside the walls of Cupertino we here have the luxury of just wishing for stuff. Just wanting it. And that's what this is — a list of some of the things, big, small, and in-between we'd love to see in iOS 8.

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iOS 8 wants: Pervasive inter-app communications

Android has intents as a way to request an action from another app. Windows Phone has contracts and extensions to declare supported interactions. Apple added inter-app communication in iOS 7, but only for audio. That's why more pervasive inter-app communications remains one of the most requested features for iOS 8. So what is it and why is it taking so long?

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iOS 8 wants: Comic book reading mode for iBooks

Okay, technically this is an iBooks wish rather than an iOS 8 wish but what better time to ask for something as amazing demonstrable as a comic book reading mode than when Apple's about to kick off their first Keynote of the year? And given the recent sale of comiXology to Amazon and the subsequent removal of IAP from the Comics app, when better for Apple to give their own comic book reading experience some attention?

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iOS 8 wants: Battery shaming

Battery life is one of the most important elements of a modern mobile device. That's why iMore's battery life tips are some of our most popular articles, and why our comments, social feeds, and forums are filled with battery life questions, boasts, and complaints. Apple prioritizes battery life above almost everything else, even making the iPad 3 and Retina iPad mini ever-so-slightly thicker and heavier just to maintain 10 hours of battery life. Yet some apps, especially those that use VoIP like Skype, that use GPS like Google Maps, or those that have rogue processes or other glitches can still chew through power at an alarming rate. That's where battery shaming comes in. Battery shaming was introduced on the Mac with OS X Mavericks and I'd love to see something like it on the iPhone and iPad in iOS 8.

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iOS 8 wants: Interactive notifications and push interface redux

Another of my longstanding desires for iOS is interactive (what some call actionable) notifications, which takes interface from being pull — I have to go find what I want to do — to push —the system brings what I want to do right to me. Home screens, widgets, apps are all pull interface. I have to go to switch out of what I'm doing in order to go do something else. Interactive notifications are push interface. No matter what I'm doing, they come right to me. Depending on implementation and settings, that can be convenient or annoying, but it's inarguably powerful. OS X Mavericks got it last year. It'd be great of iOS 8 got interactive notifications this year.

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iOS 8 wants: Customizable Control Center

iOS 8 wants: Privacy Sheets to make permissions manageable

Back in February 2012 I wrote about, in part, the need for more granular privacy controls for the iPhone and iPad. Later that year we got them in the form of iOS 6 Privacy Settings. Apps had to ask you for permission to use each and every one of them, but they'd ask one after the other. "[App] would like to use your current location", tap, "[App] would like to access your Twitter account", tap, "[App] would like to send you push notifications", tap, "[App] would like to—" You know the modal pain to which I'm referring. That's why I also wrote about the need for a saner, simpler management system — a Privacy Sheet. And that's why, on the eve of iOS 8, I'm writing about it again.

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iOS 8 wants: Unified AirDrop

AirDrop, as it is currently implemented on iPhone and iPad in iOS 7 isn't compatible with the service of the same name as it's currently implemented on the Mac in OS X Mavericks. In other words, you can't AirDrop between iOS devices and Macs, and that's both frustrating and confusing. Apple certainly knows and appreciates that. So, with the upcoming iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, it would be great if Apple could unify their AirDrop services, to keep the power of the old Mac version, keep the simplicity and security of the iPhone and iPad version, but make them work together in harmony. The only question is — how?

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iOS 8 wants: A smarter, contextually aware Spotlight search

Imagine if, in iOS 8 or some future version of Apple's mobile operating system, Spotlight became a secondary, text-based point of access to Siri, able to parse the same type of natural language queries and commands, and retrieve the same kinds of responses, and perform the same kinds of actions? Back in June of 2012 I hoped for a Spotlight that could access Siri, and I'm still hoping for it today. Why?

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iOS 8 wants: Better file attachment handling

Almost 8 years after it was introduced, you still can't attach files to emails in iOS. While iOS 6 has introduced a method to attach photos and videos to in-progress emails, it suffers from poor discoverability, and only works with content from the Photos app. If you want to attach any other file to an email, it's a usability disaster. That's because iOS has an ImagePicker but no broader DocumentsPicker, so it can't handle a broader range of attachments. So why is that such a bad thing?

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