Earlier this month we created a sort of wish list for iOS 7, the mobile OS Apple is expected to release in 2013. With iOS 6 being a rather lackluster update, there are many aspects of the OS that we’d like to see improved. So here are six aspects of iOS that Apple could improve in the next iteration of iOS.
Improved Lock Screen:
Since its debut in 2007, the lockscreen in iOS has remained much the same, with quick access to the camera and displaying of notifications the most notable additions.
A concept recently created by Brent Caswell showcases a new take on the iOS lockscreen, which adds functionality whilst still being visually appealing. The idea behind this concept is something called “Lockscreen Cards,” which according to Caswell, are “little information slates connected to an app.” These cards are located in the upper portion of the screen, where the time and date are traditionally displayed. Swiping the time and date card will reveal another application’s card. This may be anything from the local weather to Nike+ information. Double tapping the home button will bring up extra information relative to the app.
Furthermore, the concept also includes a rethinking of the camera slider in the bottom right of the screen. While quick access to the camera may be ideal for some users, others may find useless. However, if this quick access slider was opened up to other applications, both native and third-party, then it would become much more useful for those who don’t often use the camera application.
The lockscreen is already capable of giving basic notification information, but Apple can greatly extend its functionality while keeping its minimalistic design. Integrating these cards into already existing aspects of the lockscreen may be a beneficial idea.
Better App Switcher:
The multitasking interface in iOS has taken some harsh criticism in recent times, mainly for lacking certain functionalities, such as being able to kill all running apps. Apple could fix this through the implementation of something similar to jailbreak tweak Auxo.
Auxo is a redesigned app switcher which includes live app previews, as well as quick toggles for settings. Through the use of more screen real estate than Apple’s multitasking bar, Auxo is able to give a full preview of each open application. In addition to this, closing apps is a much more streamlined concept. Through the use of a simple swipe gesture, multiple applications can be closed at a time, making this a much easier method than Apple’s hold and tap method.
In addition to this, Auxo includes basic settings toggles, which eliminate the need to enter the settings app for quick adjustments. If Apple can extend the screen real estate of the app switcher, then they may be able to add much more functionality that is desperately needed. While the closing of apps is currently bearable, it is not up to the design standards of Apple, and could do with a major rethinking.
Redesigned Music Application:
Apple recently released iTunes 11, which was a major redesign of the horrid UI we’ve had to deal with over the past couple of years. iTunes 11 took an iOS-style layout in regards to edge-to-edge design, and the result is a beautiful application. Since OS X and iOS set design trends for each other, expect to see a much nicer music app in iOS 7.
We have already been given an indication to what the iOS 7 music app will look like thanks to the iPad’s remote app. It mimics the design of its Mac counterpart, complete with an album view that reflects the album’s color palate.
In addition to this visual refresh, Up Next should also be included in iOS 7. It was introduced in iTunes 11, and allows the user to add any number of songs to the queue, instead of waiting for them to turn up in normal playback. This is needed in iOS, especially since current playback cannot be resumed upon playing a different song.
Better Photo Stream:
Apple introduced Photo Stream alongside iCloud last year, and while it is an effective way of sharing photos, it has some major issues. Most notably, every image you save is instantly put into your photo stream. This can become very irritating, especially if you don’t want certain images you take or save pushed to every iCloud enabled device you own.
If Apple were to introduce a more selective method for Photo Stream, whereby the user selects which photos they want uploaded, then it would result in much less hassle. Although this has to be done in an streamlined manner, in order to avoid pestering users for every image that is saved to their device.
Hiding of Stock Apps:
iOS devices ship with a lot of apps. So many, in fact, that the iPhone comes with a folder already started on the second page for stock applications. While many of these apps are useful, some will rarely be opened. I have never used the Compass, Voice Memos or Passbook applications, but they still remain in a folder on my homescreen, simply because I cannot hide them.
With so many stock apps coming on their devices, there needs to be a more effective way to hide the apps than simply putting them in a folder. If Apple were to give users the option of hiding them completely from the home screen, then it would make for a less bloated home screen.
iOS is a very advanced mobile operating system, although Apple can do much more to ensure its relevance in the future. While we can’t be sure what iOS 7 will include and omit, we can be sure that the hype surrounding it will be massive, and that the expectations placed on Apple are extremely high.