When iOS 5 was released last October, it brought with it a sleuth of features big – iCloud, Siri, and iMessage most notably – and small, such as the ability to assign individual text tones to contacts, for one.
And now that the months are flying by and we’re beginning to approach the release date of first beta of the next major version of iOS – iOS 6 – now seems like the perfect time to pen a list of features that I hope Apple introduces to iOS.
More Useful Lock Screen
Currently, when you double-tap the home button while in the lock screen, iPod controls are retrieved. It would be nice if other apps could also access this area, like the calendar or clock (timer, stopwatch) apps, or even third-party apps. For apps where data can be edited (such as the calendar), it should be required that you enter in your passcode to make changes. But it would be nice to be able to skim through data or access the controls of certain apps should you configure it.
Read Receipts On A Per-Contact Basis
While there are important contacts and friends who I may reply to as soon as I can, there’s also that annoying type of texter who may consistently badger you for a response. And, like the people who question why you haven’t read their email minutes after you sent it, they’ll see your read receipt and question why you haven’t responded. I think that this could be a useful feature.
Providing users with the ability to send commands to built-in iOS apps with their voice, Siri is already quite useful. But it can be even more useful if third-party developers could integrate their apps with it. I’d love to have Siri read out tweets to me, or brief me on project tasks that are due in Trello.
Notification Center Widgets
On top of making the lock screen more useful, it would also be nice to see Apple make some functionality improvements to the Notification Center. Just as you can see, at a glance, stocks and weather information, it would be nice if third-party apps had the ability to offer a Notification Center widget as well.
Improved iPad Multitasking
Currently on the iPad, you cannot use two apps side-by-side; you can only switch between them. It could be useful to see multitasking implemented better, perhaps as it is in Windows 8 where you can pin a Metro app to the side and have it take up 30% of the screen area.
Revamped Home Screen
iOS’ home screen looks dated now. Currently it looks pretty much the same as it did in v1.0. It needs some sort of a visual refresh.
Twitter integration already exists within iOS, so why not add Facebook integration? Considering how terrible the Facebook for iPhone app is, it could be useful to allow people to post photos and maybe even tag friends and manage albums within Photos.app. You could also pull photos for contacts who may not be on Twitter; plenty of possibilities here.