Yesterday I wrote about the hit and miss features of iOS 6, ahead of Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week. With this in mind, I’d like to list some of the things that I hope Apple will announce for iOS 7.
Remove unused apps
In the two and a half years I’ve owned an iPhone, I have never, ever opened the ‘Stocks’ app. I don’t own any stock, nor do I know anyone who does – it’s not very common here in the UK. But because the Stocks app ships with the iPhone, I can’t get rid of it. The same applies to other under-used apps like Passbook (which I wrote about last year) and Newsstand.
In iOS 7, I’d like to see some of these less important apps become like the Find My Friends and Podcasts apps, which can be installed from the App Store by those who want them. Those that don’t, can delete them.
Change default apps
I suppose this leads on from my first point. In a number of cases, I use a third-party app rather than the one Apple provides – Chrome, instead of Safari; Evernote, instead of Notes; Sunrise instead of Calendar and Sparrow instead of Mail. But if I’m using, say Facebook, and want to open a link in an external browser, Facebook will only allow me to open that link in Safari and not Chrome. It would be nice if iOS 7 would allow me to set my default browser to Chrome, like I can on a desktop computer (and, probably, on Android).
Some third-party apps, like TweetBot, will let you use Chrome or 1Password as the browser, but these are an exception, and it’s a workaround to the bigger problem of not being able to change the default apps.
Full data sync for Safari over iCloud
If I can’t have Chrome as my default browser, then I’ll settle for Safari being better. And one area it falls down on, compared to Chrome, is data synchronisation. Specifically, there isn’t a way to synchronise your passwords from Safari on OS X to iOS – only bookmarks and open tabs. Chrome does this and as such it’s much easier to use. I hope iOS 7 will therefore include password sync, and possibly history and other settings as well.
A visual refresh
I mentioned that I thought Mail and Safari look quite tired and dated at the moment. Neither app has changed substantially since 2007 and I think it’s time they were updated. Chrome and Sparrow achieve more with fewer on-screen UI elements and Apple would do well to mimic some of their features.
The App Store, iTunes and Music apps were all refreshed in iOS 6 and look much better for it.
Intents are something that Android does well – it allows apps, including third-party ones, to talk to each other. In iOS 6, if you open an image in Photos, you have a limited number of options – email it, share it on Facebook, Twitter or iMessage, copy it, print it, use it as a wallpaper or contact photo, or delete it.
You can’t easily share that photo on another social network – Google+ or Instagram for example. (Flickr integration is rumoured for iOS 7 though). You have to open the relevant app for that social network, find the photo, and then share it. It would be a lot smoother if, when the Instagram app is installed, it would be possible to open that picture in Instagram directly from Photos.
These are just some of the things that I’d like to see. Whilst a visual refresh is very likely, I’m not so sure that Apple will let us mess with the default apps – even if it would be great for users like me. I’m sure all will be revealed next week.