iOS is a wonderful platform, we all know that. However, even the unprecedented level of polish cannot prevent Apple's mobile operating system from looking somewhat stale. And no wonder, after all, iOS hasn't seen a major overhaul since its first release in 2007. Sure, Apple has been perfecting the platform ever year, adding numerous new features and improvements, but its look and feel have remained largely the same, making it appear boring and static compared to its rival, Android.
But this isn't the only problem that iOS is facing today. If we go back in time, we'll find out that in 2007, smartphones weren't that mainstream. What this means is that when the iPhone came out, it seemed like a versatile and feature-packed powerhouse. In 2013, though, everyone has some kind of smartphone. People are much more knowledgeable about mobile tech, applications and the possibilities our favorite gadgets hide. With that, users demand greater control over their mobile experience. They want more advanced features, higher customizability, and a more open environment that allows their smartphones to be even more useful and reliable in their daily grind. In October last year, former iOS chief Scott Forstall was removed from his position, and replaced by Jonathan Ive - the person mainly responsible for the amazing design of your iPhone. Now, Mr. Ive is in charge of both hardware and software, and with that, speculation is circulating that iOS 7 is in for a drastic overhaul.
In what direction is Ive going to take iOS? Is he going to authorize the implementation of previously forbidden features, or is he simply going to replace some of the graphics here and there? We don't know just yet, but what we know is what we want to see in the next version of iOS. And here it is!
10 new features we'd like to see in iOS 7
10 new features we'd like to see in iOS 7
There, we said it! From all the things we'd love to see in iOS 7, widgets, or at least some form of live icons, is probably the most wanted. Sure you can do things pretty quickly with iOS right now, but this can never beat the comfort of getting info that updates in real-time by just glancing at your home screen. Widgets also unlock many new possibilities for app developers, who will be able to use them to complement their apps. Widgets for iOS do not necessarily need to take huge amounts of space, they can simply be live-updating icons, or something like that. Whatever it is, though, it's time for Apple to make that home screen a bit more dynamic.
2. USB mass storage and file browser
Apple will probably never allow USB mass storage mode and an open file system in iOS, but they can't take our dreams, can they? We're looking forward to the time when we'll be able to just plug our iPhones in and start transferring any type of files freely.
3. Animated and parallax wallpapers
Static wallpapers are cool, but how about something with a little bit more eye candy, like animated wallpapers or parallax ones? That's surely a leaf Apple can take from Google's book. Sure, those are going to be a bit more demanding on the system, but having a more appealing home screen will easily make up for it.
4. Vertical App Store lists
Do you remember the old App Store design? Well, we think it was actually better than the current one. The thing is that your phone screen, which has a portrait orientation, can show more items if they are listed vertically, instead of horizontally. We understand the need for a more contemporary look of the UI, but that could have been easily achieved while keeping the good old vertical orientation.
5. Quick settings in Notification Center
So, why do we have to go to the Settings app and then navigate the sub-menus each time we want to tweak the brightness or enable/disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? Every user nowadays would prefer to have those frequently used toggles in an easily accessible part of the interface, like the Notification Center, for example.
6. Flash Player support
Hehe, if there's one thing Apple could use to blow us away with iOS 7, that's Flash Player support! That's actually super-unlikely, considering that even Adobe and Google discontinued Flash support for Android, but c'mon, guys, there's still tons of Flash content out there in the web - content that's not really accessible on a mobile device. And by the looks of it, that whole HTML5 thing is moving at a very slow pace, so why don't these companies just do us a favor and bring Flash back to mobile?
7. Open access to Nitro Java Script engine
Safari is probably the fastest browser available for iOS devices, and that includes other notable offerings such as Google's Chrome. However, it's worth knowing that Apple has reserved the fast Nitro Java Script engine for itself, while it's forcing others to use a slower Java Script processing. Now, don't get us wrong, Safari is an absolutely wonderful browser, but we think that it's not very cool of Apple to force third-party browsers to be slower. All apps should be on an equal footing, because that would mean more competition and faster progress.
8. UI themes
When you want to make your device feel like new, the easiest way to do that is by applying a new UI theme. Let's face it - the stock UI of iOS is gorgeous, but even it can get a bit boring after a while. Here's what we suggest: if Apple could add a number of cool themes that drastically alter the looks of the interface, then maybe people won't complain so much about the stale appearance of the OS?
9. Changeable default applications
Once again, it's all about freedom, as some people may prefer having Opera, Chrome, or some other browser set as their default one, or Google Maps set as their default maps application. Yes, we can have those apps running now, but what happens when we click on an address somewhere? It takes us to Apple Maps, without any way to set Google Maps as the default choice. That probably won't happen, but we wanted to express our willingness to have this feature anyway.
10. Bigger folders
Folders is one feature that iOS customers use a lot, but why should iPhone folders be limited to just 16 apps for the iPhone 5 and just 12 apps for all previous iPhones? Why can't we just have an infinite amount of space inside a folder? While you can't have that now, unless you're jailbroken, that's actually a very good idea for Apple here - make folders infinitely big, and let users store as much apps inside a single folder as they can. Break those useless chains!