WWDC 2013 iOS wish-list

WWDC 2013 wish-list: iMore's top iOS 7 wants!

From notifications to gestures, sharing to support, here are our number one iOS 7 wishes -- what are yours?

What do we want to see in iOS 7? That's a question I've been trying to answer since pretty much the moment after iOS 6 launched last year. But this being the final week before WWDC 2013 it's the last chance everyone here at iMore, staff and friends alike, have to stretch our imaginations and let our number one wishes for iOS 7 really fly.

So, up, up, and away!

Peter Cohen, managing editor of iMore

Notifications that I can actually do something with. I'd also like to see Apple loosen the reins on core apps like Mail and Safari so users can more easily install and use alternatives if they wish. One size should not fit all on iOS any more than it does on OS X.

Ally Kazmucha, how-to editor of iMore

My number one request in iOS 7 is a quick reply feature for Messaging.

My number one request in iOS 7 is a quick reply feature for Messaging. It's long overdue and has been on bucket lists of many, tech enthusiasts and normal folks. It's irritating that I have to leave what I'm doing in order to reply to a message. Seeing it implemented in a way that developers could use an API to integrate it into other kinds of apps would be even better.

Beyond that, a more refined Notification Center experience. I want more powerful options when it comes to editing Notification Center. I also have never liked how if I unlock my phone, all my lock screen notifications are gone. They should remain there unless I dismiss them.

My only other item would be better design through apps such as Game Center and other apps. Rich textures need to die already.

Richard Devine, senior editor of iMore

For me, one of the biggest things I'd love from iOS 7 is broader support for share sheets. One of my favorite parts of Android is that I can share anything to any app that supports the content I'm sharing. I spend a lot of time in Google+ for example, and sharing photos requires me to be inside the Google+ app. I'd much rather be able to send things there from whichever camera app I'm using, or even just the stock camera roll.

I'd also love to be able to swipe things away within the Notification Center tray. The two-tap method of hitting the cross, then clear doesn't please me. Partly because my fingers never hit the cross first time anyway, and partly because a single swipe to dismiss each individual notification would be a much preferential way of handling what's in there for me.

Marc Edwards, co-host of Iterate

Rather than suggesting likely features, I'm going to be selfish and list things I want, even if I don't think they'll happen.

I'd love to see better ways of locally sharing data between apps. Maybe that would look like Contracts and Extensions on Windows 8. iOS’ URL schemes work well for basic handovers, but not much more. Replicating every function you may want inside an app — like the mail and tweet controllers — isn't going to scale indefinitely as apps get more powerful. Keeping everything in silos ignores the benefits we've enjoyed since the days of pipes in Unix.

Introducing heavier use of gestures would be good.

I'd like developers to be able to remove apps from sale, but be able to provide updates for existing users. As it stands now, we can't do that, which makes discontinuing products and treating customers with respect very difficult. And while we're talking about the App Store rather than iOS itself, I think trials, or automatic refunds within 15 minutes, a la Google Play, would be a great idea.

I bet we'll see an interface refresh as well, but I don't think radical change is needed. Introducing heavier use of gestures would be good. I know it has received the most amount of speculation for iOS 7, but reskinning the system interface and in-built apps is the part I'm least interested in.

Seth Clifford, co-host of Iterate

Although an interface refresh would be most welcome, I want deeper inter-app communication to streamline the way we do things on our devices. It sounds like we're getting the look-and-feel nudge, so my wishing is squarely focused on removing the kludgy share sheet integrations and having a way for developers to sign apps together.

we're running up against functional walls now

I understand as well as anyone why iOS is partitioned off within itself, but we're running up against functional walls now and need to move the ball forward to allow the devices to grow with the user base.

I think you can accommodate the general users and give this to the power users without breaking anything, just like with fast app switching, Notification Center, et. al.

Chris Parsons, editor-at-large of Mobile Nations

I'd like to see a fresh new take when it comes to iOS 7. Sure, that seems inevitable, but I want to get it in there just in case. There are a lot of others things that need to be improved as well, most especially Notification Center. It needs to become more powerful and even more elegant. For example, let me swipe things out of the tray, item by item, instead of wiping it out entirely with that tiny little "x"...

I'd also like a real file browser. I know Apple is against it, but for power users like me, it's irreplaceable.

Anthony, videographer

I'd kill for bluetooth controls that are easy to get to on home screen. And to have Bluetooth proximity lowered so that if I am more than 6 feet away from connected device it will disconnect.

Nick Arnott, security columnist

An updated Home Screen. The layout and appearance of the Home Screen has remained largely the same since the iPhone first came out. Android and Windows phones both have the ability to give users information right on their home screens without the need to launch an app. With Notification Center came the ability to get some information at a glance, but so far this has been limited to push notifications, with no API for apps to push live data to the screen.

The trouble with content that updates in realtime on the Home Screen is the toll it can take on a device’s battery life. Apple has always prioritized battery life on their devices, especially in mobile, and simply won’t add the features if it means a huge sacrifice to the battery life users have come to expect. I’m hoping that Apple has had enough time to figure out how to make this possible without requiring users to constantly be recharging their phone.

Georgia, senior editor, iMore

I would love to have active icons that show me the information I want to see, so I don't have to tap into an app unless I want more details or information. Being able to look at my iPhone and see the local weather on the icon, or the current time, wouldn't only save me taps, but let me be discreet. I could get what I need with glance, and without obvious distraction.

That, and BiteSMS-like active notifications. When I'm playing Candy Crush, and I have to switch to Messages and back to reply to a text, it makes me want to crush a lot more than candy. I'd like a ton of jailbreak functionality, to be honest, including folders in folders, themes, and quick access to settings.

I'd like to be able to do all that. I'd like Siri to be able to do all that as well.

Rene Ritchie, editor-in-chief of iMore

I want something I won't get, at least not for a while. I want what's next. I've talked about it ad nauseam already, so I'll keep it brief, but the gist is this: iOS was the last major leap forward in terms of human interface. It was the Mac to the resistive-touch screen Treo's Lisa.

I'm ready for some special blend of Siri, Google Now, active notifications, and dynamic interface.

That was 2007. This is 2013. I'm ready for whatever comes from natural language, advanced gestures, a push interface. I'm ready for data to come to me, wherever I am on a device, not only when I ask for it, but when the device knows I need it. I'm ready for some special blend of Siri, Google Now, active notifications, and dynamic interface. I know it'll take time, and be messy, but I'm ready for those first awkward steps. I'm ready for that Lisa.

What's your number one iOS 7 wish?

So that's what everyone here at iMore wants to see! Well, almost everyone. You're the most important part of the site, so your opinion matters to us the most! Tell me, what's your number one wish come iOS 7 and WWDC?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 59 comments. Add yours.

bbmark says:

Number one wish for me is a file management system, as Rene as often talked about. The ability to add a file from an email dialogue is a must. Other os's, including bb10 have excelled at this. Even the ability to add a file from the current email from dropbox would be enough, but something along those lines is a must!!

markbook says:

I want improvements to the things I use everyday, like email, contacts, and messages. I want to be able to go into my contacts app, choose one of my groups, and text, email, or even group FaceTime everyone in the group.

arturgrigor says:

It's not my #1 wish for iOS 7 but I think that they should bring Core Data Spotlight Integration to iOS and also improve Spotlight's UI/UX.

a_kdas says:

Improved notifications, quick access to settings, better Do Not Disturb (make it work with apps) and enhancements to the Mail app to support more gesture based functionality.

jschwartz73#IM says:

My #1 wish for iOS 7 is improvements to the keyboard for faster typing / editing of typos.

Dev from tipb says:

Default apps - not just for choosing handlers, but access to the same extended capabilities. Sparrow, for example, would have been perfect for me if it could have prefetched content, but that 3-5 sec delay kept me going back to the otherwise inferior (IMHO). Mail.app. Perhaps Apple could introduce an increased level of App Store approval scrutiny for apps that want to take such responsibilities. On a related note, an iOS equivalent to (improvement upon?) Android intents would be nice.

Jcoop9 says:

I'm with you on this 100%

scatteredthings says:

The ability to install apps from the web a la Google Play.

digitalhomeboy says:

Skipping past the UI refresh, I would like the ability to remove core apps. As mentioned above, Newsstand, Stocks, Apple Maps etc. I still find it cumbersome to select radios. This needs a 2-step process, swipe-down and select. Applications like Phone, iMessage and Settings shouldn't be treated as applications as like other applications. By this I mean that launching the phone app for the example shouldn't mean it needs to closed as it should be baked into the OS. Another swipe up function from the dock would be great. Maybe it could be the window to multi-tasking apps.

metllicamilitia says:

Actionable notifications! That and more gestures, I love gestures because they make touch interface fun and interactive and it's almost like Stark technology. All the more fun. From the supposed leaks of iOS7 interface, I like the cosmetic change. But I agree with Ally, I wish unlocking the phone didn't wipe your lock screen notifications, I've forgotten to reply to many a people for sometimes a day or more because of that. And if they don't remove that tiny x in notification center to delete notifications they could at least make it bigger. I have small hands and miss....a lot, usually opening the app for a notification I've already looked at and then in forced to exit the app again and try to delete the notification....again. I'd also like to see more lock screen app shortcuts, we have camera now, but I'd also like to see at least messages pop up there for quick access to writing texts. We can all talk about what we want for as long as we want, but it really boils down to whatever Apple wants to do. I can guarantee Apple doesn't frequent iMore to anywhere near the level Thorsten Heins and Blackberry frequent Crackberry, therefore we left to what Apple wants and not what we, and the general public, want.

Irelandjnr says:

What I want Apple to announce at WWDC is cross platform iMessage, and a more reliable iCloud to power it all.

ccostel says:

I want live icons so I can get info without opening the application. I also want something to allow me to kill all background apps with just a click, much like the JB functionality of Kill Background.

Denton Heinrichs says:

I would like note.app to become more of a text editor that could be called to by apps the way camera apps do with photo.app or music apps do with music.app

I would also like to see quick toggles in Notification shade or fast app switcher and the lock screen

Actionable notifications would be nice but I can live without them

kilcher says:

Improved notification center, quick reply for incoming texts and emails. A refreshed UI and lockscreen could be nice (but it could also NOT be nice). That's about all I can (realistically) hope for.

Beyond that all I want from my iPhone (or any future iPhone) is something that could truly replace my wallet - whether that be hardware or software based. Unfortunately that probably won't happen anytime soon, Apple is going to want a propriatary system and IMO that's setting the whole industry back.

scofa says:

When using Siri with my headphones and my phone is in my pocket, the Siri lock screen will stay on once the request is done. Reading or sending SMS / iMessage. Asking to play a band or a song. Or when making a phone call. The screen to change to speaker phone etc stays on. And switching the call to speaker while the phone is in your pocket because you are using your headphones is kinda annoying. Also Screen stays on. Until you hit the top button on the phone. Don't know that. Battery dies fast.

Apple please fix that.

ullal says:

Siri is a joke. Time to spend more money on it and get it out of beta or get rid of it.

arin.failing says:

Here is my list, in order of priority:
1. Quick reply options for Messages.app (I'm more partial to Messages+ style, as opposed to BiteSMS, now). To piggyback off of quick reply, add an option to quick compose in NC.
2. Add system toggles to NC.
3. Allow access to NC from the lockscreen.
4. Allow widgets on the Spotlight screen (this is mainly to silence the widget-craving crowd). Spotlight serves me no purpose, whatsoever. I feel that if Apple were to incorporate widgets on this screen (much in the same way OS X does with dashboard), I would use it more frequently. I would put battery percentage on there, and maybe an iTunes widget. It would draw nearly no power, at all, because it would act like the rest of Apple's take on multitasking (kept in a paused state which can be recalled, then updated).

If you haven't noticed, my wishes are basically limited to the functionality which IntelliScreen X provides. At this point, that is my only reason to jailbreak. I have other tweaks installed, but it's only because I have the option to do so; I really couldn't care less about the other tweaks provided in Cydia, personally. If Apple integrated all of the functionality of ISX into iOS, I would be stoked. Then I wouldn't have a need to jailbreak.

arin.failing says:

... and on an aesthetic level, make the NC animation appear as it should (i.e. if they keep the linen look, make it appear as though you are dropping the current screen to reveal NC underneath what you're doing; or change the linen look to a blurry background to make it appear as though NC is an overlay). I thought it was always a weird oversight.

Plazmic Flame says:

iOS 7 should allowing the saving of app data in the cloud. After two years with my iPhone 4S, I've come to realize that without an SD card you run out of storage fast.

Richard 7769 says:

I want someone to Finally fix the contact pictures on IOS The ones I had before were nice and small now they take up the whole screen. There is no consistency

APBTX says:

Hey, and what about letting us record what we want to call a contact rather than Siri decide how the name must be pronounced? At least that can be work around until they can get Siri adaptive enough!

killthepig says:

Better battery life. Please!!!!!

andrew202 says:

iOS 7 wants:

Makeover of iOS and the apps. Redo all of the interfaces of the apps, home screen, lock screen to have a nicer and sleeker look.

Add quick settings to notification center.

Add more features to the camera app.

Add either widgets or live icons.

Trappiste says:

I would like to be able to give voice commands to my phone and use dictation, a ala Android. I would also like Passbook support in Europe. Too, I would like to get Apple Maps that work in Europe. I would like to see those fly-overs as well.

I guess it is no surprise iPhone is losing market share fast in Europe. We are, in practice, still at iOS 4 here even if the version number has been bumped up regularly. Every new feature since has been North America exclusive or oriented -- even 4G bands! Customers and media are reacting to Apple's arrogance. That's good and important. Though the brand of course is taking a beating, but... that's Cook's choice.

graysonip says:

1. The ability to use Google Maps as the default instead of Apple Maps (which continues to be useless, in my experience).
2. Improve Siri, so it works at least as well (and as reliably) as Google Now.
3. Kill All Background Apps ability.
4. More iCloud storage for free.
5. Ability to reply/take action directly from Notification Center, and to discretely swipe to erase single notifications.

.... Please and Thank You.

RogerL says:

Passcode entry disabled if connected to home Wi-Fi

Chetan Takyar says:

Would be such an obvious but awesome feature, Android already does this.

Murphy5156 says:

Email distribution lists. Still can't believe it's 2013 and I still can't create a group of contacts and send an email to the entire group without crazy workarounds.

brentb says:

the photos app needs to be revamped. it should have the ability to display photo info with a tap, stuff like exposure settings, dates, sizes, etc for photos taken with the iphone, or imported. There needs to be a way to title, and tag photos as well, and a search and filter option to find specific photos or videos as I have way too many photos in my camera roll, and have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find them.

akhonesavanh says:

I agree! Or even sort by date.

APBTX says:

Agreed. There should be better maintenance options for photos available. I would love to add comments to my photos!

grangerfx says:

A real file system. If I have two apps that both edit text files, why can't I see all the text files in both apps (or any number of apps that support text files)? Why do we have to resort to non-standard ways to transfer documents from one app to another, from our mac to our i devices, or to and from the cloud? Why can't all of this be one single file system available to all like on real computers? At least make iCloud work more like DropBox and visible to all apps. That would be a nice start.

Sam Bandwith says:

Right now all I want is apple to stop limiting what I can do with the data I am paying for. I have an iPhone 5 and pay $65 a month for a 6 go data plan I don't think apple should be legally aloud to restrict me from downloading apps over 50mb I understand the kind warning but I should be aloud to use my own data the way I want!

eniigma90 says:

one thing that i would probably put on the TOP-5 is the ability to customize the inner-messenger app....i get tired of the all white background with the green and white bubble format....its time for something new!!

SPHart says:

sometimes the notifications are quite annoying.

BJWanlund says:

My top 5 feature requests for iOS are:

5) Fix the little niggles in iOS. But they are going to debut that new iOS look for iOS 7, which better have fixed a few of the issues we all have with iOS (including maybe making the stocks and weather apps hideable widgets, which might actually quell the screaming about how those apps just take up screen real estate.

4) Better App Store. The "redesign" truly did nothing for app discoverability and it is actually almost HARDER now to discover new apps that just came out.

3) Figure out how to be more upfront about Passbook support and what it does, and which companies offer full Passbook support (i.e. Starbucks) vis a vis which companies only offer token Passbook support (*cough* US Airways *cough*).

2) The ability to hide system apps that I plainly do not use and am FORCED to hide in a folder, like Stocks, Weather, etc. AND be able to set the default replacement app. I have FAR better apps for weather especially and would like to set my weather to go to my Weather Channel or Wunderground apps.

1) Have some way to set major settings features without ever opening up Settings, like Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb if I truly want to not be disturbed, etc.

APBTX says:

Oh yeah.. it will be so nice to "archive unused" applications.. automatically. With a notification to let me know its been done of course!

takata says:

The ONLY reason I would jailbreak is for the iPad-like gestures. I hate spoiling my home button and hate using a non-jailbroken phone with a broken home button. Zephyr!!!

CORYK333 says:

Consigned, this x1000.....a 1 finger swipe up from the right or left side of the home button to access the "app switcher" like the iPad should have been there from the start of gesture implementation

akhonesavanh says:

I think the quick camera launcher is awesome, but how about a way that instead of the normal camera app automatically opens.. That it is a quick launch for all camera type apps. For example to load Instagram or even Vine.

Maybe even the ability to double click and not only open up iPod or music options but to show allusive playing apps like pandora or even to Shazam a song without having to actually fully unlock the phone.

So I guess a shortcut for frequently used apps without having to completely unlock your phone.

abazigal says:

I like the idea of being able to do more from the notifications bar. When my friend sends a short reply and I have read it from my notifications, do I really need to go into the app to dismiss the badge if I don't intend to reply? The ability to erase the notification, or even quick-reply from it would be very helpful.

Ipheuria says:

I want the full music player app from the lock screen, Up Next in the music app and playlists in iCloud. Why do I have to unlock the device, launch the music player just to switch to a different playlist, to a specific song in the playlist, etc. The screen is one of the big draws of battery life so the less time it's on the more battery will be saved. It is much quicker to double tap the home button, the full player comes up and I can do what I need and lock the screen. Up Next would be awesome because with a large playlist and even having it on shuffle sometimes you just want to hear a specific song. This way you set it to play next and others after it and there is no need for shuffle the user already has the songs set just the way they want to hear it. Playlists in the cloud is just awesome with 4 devices I want to just change the playlist on one and then have it propogate to all the others saving me time and effort.

CORYK333 says:

Never even crossed my mind, but having "Up Next" on mobile would be great.....nice 1

quamdar says:

More notification center widgets and an improved weather app. Why no radar?!?!?!?!

The ability to get rid of Newsstand, compass, contacts (this is so pointless since it is in the phone app), etc. would be nice too but don't see that happening though.

Eddie Custodio says:

The number one feature I would like to see is a self picture capture timer and also spice up the camera app throw some filters in there!

DetroitCityRed says:

The number 1 thing ios 7 needs is cydia and all of its functions

C4Rlo says:

DESIGN wish: Rather than replacing the UI, I'd like the option to choose between different themes/styles – classic rounded, flat rounded, squares, oragami, etc.

FEATURE wish: Nothing exciting, but I hate that Messages doesn't provide a timestamp for every message bubble, but only certain chunks of messages.

redgular says:

Simply to have both the archive and delete buttons simultaneously available in the mail app. That's it.

APBTX says:

I would really like to see following:
1. voice commands for Siri - not just when I explicitly call on Siri, but when I use key words to command Siri
2. choice to send instant replies to text messages without having to unlock
3. Respond to hand gestures
4. Scheduled sign-in/out features for apps
5. Definitely a new home screen
6. Ability to record my own voice as my alarm clock tune or reminder tune.
7. Ability to assign any song on my iPod as ringtone or alarm or reminder notifications.. Every other smart phone in market is capable of this, why not my iPhone?
8. Ability to record my calls while I am on phone.

Well the list is very long, but these are really important for me.

Aguirre Veracruz says:

1. Definitely a System-wide Equalizer, but not the crappy presets,
An at least 5 band parametric or so.

2. A call timer that be able to cut the call at X time, for cell plans that include free 5 min calls,or whatever.

bradcin says:

I would like to be able to categorize my contacts into groups on my iPhone. Currently this has to be done from the contacts app on my Mac. When I create a calendar event on my iPhone I can select which calendar it belongs to. Why not something similar for contacts?

I also think the revamped calendar app is a bit non-intuitive. In order to see my calendar in list view I have to touch the search icon?