iOS 10 Thoughts

A few rumours and a few signs are out there that iOS 10 is already being tested. Nothing unrealistic. Why wouldn’t they? And there are some rumours out there about iPhone 7 for a 2016 release. Also not unrealistic. But, nothing is set in stone until Apple actually announces it. And while I dislike rumours, I do like to think about what would be cool or not, and share my opinion. And maybe later this year look back at this blog post and compare reality, because… why not!

tl;dr With iOS 10 and iPhone 7 as a possibility for 2016, it’s fun to think about what I would like to see in (mainly) the software and hardware upgrades. What are your thoughts?

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The most important point up front is to mention that I am biased, I love Apple products, their operating systems and devices. There’s no sign yet for me to jump ship and move to Android. Moving that off the table as a discussion point right now. Sorry (I am not sorry).

With the rumours about ‘stuff’ being in testing phases already it’s a strange thought that some sort of iPhone update will be here before the summer to go along with the iOS 10 release. It’s also quite likely this will happen during the Worldwide Developers Conference event period. And then near the end of the summer, but before the holiday season we will probably see the iPhone 7 on the market.

It doesn’t really matter to me right now, iOS 10 is more interesting than the hardware. Even if I would love to get new hardware, I can’t buy the phone outright, nor can I upgrade yet as I have a 24 months contract with T-mobile which ends in 2017, not 2016. It just means that the 7s will be a worthy upgrade by then. Woot.

iOS 10

Profiles.

Since the introduction of the iOS platform I’ve had a huge desire for improved privacy, especially support for profiles. I want to use the device for professional (hobby) stuff, as well as private (personal) stuff. Not to mention share it with others - as a guest - who want to play a game, google something, or whatever. Without in any circumstance having to worry about notes, emails, dropbox, 1password, iCloud, or any sensitive details to be shared with the guest, or the other accounts. But, so far, no separate profiles.

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iOS 9.3 introduced us to special profiles for classes / education. A device can be shared with multiple students who just login to their profile and have access to only their work. A great first step. Can iOS 10 please elaborate on this with the devices having at least a guest account? Maybe an option to set up something like ‘create a profile for work’?

Compatibility.

I think iOS 10 should be all about performance, optimised code, better support again for older devices, while improving on security. These personal devices hold more and more data and give access to more and more data in the cloud. Basic Touch-ID support for every program like Email and such is a must if you ask me. If any proper 64bit iPhone would support iOS 10, it will hopefully run smoothly on anything say iPhone 5 and up. That it’s time to drop support for anything below 5 is understandable. But it shouldn’t be the iOS 8 experience for 4, on the 5. It’s something I wish for, because a modern iOS on somewhat older devices would mean convenience for the older generation that doesn’t upgrade too fast and are uncomfortable with change, while giving access to awesome new usability features.

Siri.

Take the dumb out of Siri, as well as the arrogance. Talking back with a sneaky tone is fine, once in awhile. But being unable to even listen to “Stop listening”, “Siri, turn off”, or “Go back to where I was, leave me alone”, is just kind of silly. Especially when you’re jogging, biking, etc. You ‘have’ to stop for Siri to go away by physically taking action. As smart as she looks on tvOS, that’s how smart she should be. Give me a real personal assistant, as real as it gets. Alexis from Amazon is going to be the solution for a lot of people, which Siri could have been. I am honestly hoping for a real improvement in iOS 10.

3D Touch (or Force Touch).

First of all, the iPad Air 3 should start supporting vibrate, it’s a long time coming, and when you’re so used to taptic feedback on the iPhone, not having it on the iPad makes it feel like it’s broken. It’s improvement on productivity feels like it’s limiting on the iPad, which.. is used for productivity a lot more than the iPhone is.

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Secondly, I hope that more and more apps and the iOS 10 interface will adapt to 3D Touch. The control centre is the perfect spot to dig deeper. Switching wi-fi, or going to settings, selecting a VPN profile, etc. It seems to be missing. It feels like it’s missing. Especially when you’re on the go.

And I will touch on the Touch-ID button in a second.

Audio Channels (Volume Control).

It’s all or nothing, and that’s a shame. I love how certain things quiet down just to hear a notification. Which I hate during podcasts by the way, or watching any media for that matter. But, what I dislike more is that you have to fumble around to get the volume of a FaceTime call at a mixed down level while having Music or YouTube open. It’s almost impossible to have a difference between the two. A second and separate channel for audio per app, would be really nice. Each app could store your last used, or preferred, I guess. Interface feedback audio, call audio, and media audio are all different things for different purposes, why should I risk going deaf? I am hoping iOS 10 after nearly ten years of development is finally addressing this. Something I am looking forward to.

Touch-ID.

This feature is so solid, so fast, and a must. I’ve already mentioned it. If the default apps that have sensitive data could have a setting ‘use Touch-ID?’, even if it’s off by default, that would be great. I am so happy 1Password and Dropbox both support it. But Photos are personal, just like email. What if you’re in a corporate world and you’re dealing with trade secrets? Anyway, when personal, offer touch-id.

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The other lovely problem is how fast it is. Half a thumb, sideways, picking up the phone and you think ‘open’ and it is already unlocked because your finger was on the touch id, fantastic. But, it’s too fast. When I take it out of my pocket I unlock it, especially the Plus series. I guess I could remove that finger to fix that. What I would love to see with touch id for the home-screen is the full screen being 3D-touch sensitive. So when it’s locked and I touch it, and press through the screen, it wakes it up and shows me the notifications. My finger is much more likely to be on the screen, than it is on the side sleep button. Especially when it’s avoiding to be unlocked because it unlocks so fast. I don’t want it to be slower, I just want a comfortable way to see notifications without going to the home screen.

Rainbow versioning.

iOS 10 might be a great way to introduce what I believe is called rainbow versioning. Introduce over the air quick updates. Especially for devices that support auto updates. One of the things I loved about the OS X back in the day was that you could set it to auto update when no reboot was required. Small tweaks and security fixes to the system without shutting it down and restarting it. If I set my iPhone to auto update apps, etc. The updates for iOS could be applied automatically. Just like apps. And any big ones could be presented once in awhile like a 10.1 and 10.2 update. But it will still be iOS 10. I don’t really see the need for 11 or 12, unless the UI and experience is a drastic change.

I also want to mention that I love how there are three versions out there basically for consumers. Developer build, a public beta, and a stable release. And then updates and upgrades. I think if we set it in our Settings to get the latest (betas included) that it could flow more and updates could happen more often without being a real pain. Maybe I am just having a stupid moment here, but I think a lot can be automated. And people who don’t like it can just set apps to not auto update, and then every so often manually do it.

Dark Mode.

I think a lot of apps already support this (Looking at you Tweetbot). You swipe with two fingers over the screen and you get a dark mode. Personally I’d love to see this throughout the whole OS. A way to switch between Night Shift and dark mode. A subtle change to the whole OS, like OS X has. Hoping iOS 10 could introduce something along these lines.

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Default Third Party.

What would be pretty cool and what I am hoping for as well. Is the ability to tell the OS which 3rd-party app should replace my Calendar, Mail, Notes app, etc. I have no real interest in them, and use fantastic alternatives. But right now when I open a link it opens in who knows what custom browser, Safari or whatever might be installed. If I could just tell ‘let apps open links in Chrome’, that would be cool (btw, I really prefer Safari at the moment on iOS, this is just an example).

Default Apps.

Two things. One: Together with replacing default apps, how about the ability to hide default apps that we’re not using. They just need to be visually removed from the screens. A settings page could list them, explain why they’re there, and toggles to visually remove them while keeping them on the system. This way it’s also easy to restore. iOS 10 could be the perfect update to introduce this.

And two: Could we finally sync up the apps between the operating systems and devices? Some stuff is not on the iPad, but it’s on the iPhone and Apple TV, but not on the OS X. It is making on sense. This has bugged me since day one. And while it allows for third party apps to fill the gap, they are too expensive for their purpose, or free and riddled with bad performance or advertisements.

Mail.

When we’re in the inbox and we see an email we want to trash, can we just swipe for fuck sake and click trash this stupid email? Right now you have to move it outside of the inbox folder as it seems the only option is to archive it. Maybe I am just dumb, since I use other mail apps to handle my mail, but it’s a real frustration when I try to use the default mail app.

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Control Center Flexibility.

Some stuff I will never use, it would be nice if I could move those out of the way. And instead, use other short cuts that are more important to me, such as toggling the default VPN profile, or switch to a Guest account. Or turn on Guided Access, etc. A mixture between the 3rd-party Launcher app and control centre would almost be ideal.

Home (HomeKit).

A generic solution finally finished and ready to go mainstream. I want to properly get introduced into the world of the Internet of Everything - or whatever it is being called. I have 0 knowledge about this, 0 devices that support this, and I have no idea where this is even at on my iOS devices. But, please have iCloud support, open API, and a layer of security that makes abuse by snotty kids impossible. Is iOS 10 finally ready for Home?

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Voicemail 3.0.

The old way of Voicemail was to call a number, go through a terrible ordeal of figuring out how many you have, who called, when and what they just said, and then figuring out how to call back. Apple finally fixed this and I wouldn’t be with a telecom provider that wouldn’t support it. Voicemail 2.0, it’s like a list of audio mp3 files you have direct access to. You can tell who called when, click on whichever one you want from the list, and it’s easy to call back. Finally, a real solution.

What I hope ‘3.0’ would introduce with iOS 10 is iCloud support. Give me access on my iPad to my voicemails please. And what if someone left a FaceTime voicemail? That would be great. Thank you. Also, could Siri please dictate for me or transcribe a voicemail to text? That would be wonderful as well. It would make Siri (like I talked about before) a better virtual assistant.

Live Contacts.

Find my phone, find my friends, smarter maps, and online contacts. Merge it all into one thing please. Who of my recent callers on FaceTime are online right now? Where are they if they share their location? Could iOS 10 please introduce live contacts? A few settings could mean easy privacy/permissions, without the clutter it has in iOS 9 now.

Merge all these features from all these apps into something realistic and usable, making it something we’d use. Being able to set myself ‘away’ without putting the whole phone on Don’t Disturb and then having to manage my Favourites to make exceptions etc. That would just be so much more convenient. And since we can receive calls on the iPad for the phone as well, why not actually have the iPad support this as well as OSX?

Camera.

For some reason we have to go out of the Camera app (and miss the moment we’re about to catch) and go through the Settings app to change the resolution and settings for the Camera. 3D-Touch could force us to push through the visual setting on the screen to change it to something else. Even if this is somewhat limited, it is a solution that saves minutes, which saves moments. Literally.

Flexible Home screen.

No, I don’t want the Android interface, but it would be great if we could resize a couple of things like the Photos app or the weather app. A glance that’s bigger showing recent or current information is worth so much more. And takes us out of the app. 3D Touch is doing this already and like I said once: We’re setting ourselves up to live in a world beyond the app. So let’s go and do that. Hold to toggle for ‘delete app’ and ‘move it around’, could introduce 3D touch to grow it, push through to resize, push harder to pop back to default.

This could especially be interesting on the iPad, maybe even more so on their bigger Pro screen.

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Apple Pay

Can we please have Apple Pay in the Netherlands? After talking to many store owners about payments systems they’re either reluctant to use Apple Pay, because nobody else is using it. Or they say they can’t wait, because it will lower their costs and improves convenience. We’re waiting, when it’s too late: nobody cares anymore.

FaceTime

Make group calls for audio work for once. It’s just not possible. I haven’t been able to start a single one. They’re on Mac, they’re on iPod, I am on iPad. We all have FaceTime, let’s make this happen.

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Not to mention having a three-way conversation with video should be fairly easy to do now. Common. Give me a reason to uninstall Skype already.



Hardware.

In regards to hardware, I am hoping that the differences between the iPad and the iPhone become smaller. They have bigger screens, they are 64 bit and have a lot of memory. They offer 128GB storage and I am hoping for more. I really want to see 16 and 32 gb seen being dropped. And I would love to see an alternative bigger battery version, perhaps with a slim version powered by OLED screen. Instead of the same phone three versions. I rather see three different phones. For every day family member who needs a smartphone that’s just fucking awesome. To a fast slim light device as a fashion statement, to the pro phone with a bigger screen, industrial design and a bigger battery, quality creative features. The same could be for the iPad, why not.. they’re doing it for their laptops as well. Macbook (the fashion version) the Air (student and family), and the Pro (creative box).

But, since I have nothing realistic to say about the hardware, I think we will just see a few variations on what we have now. And the introduction of the iPad Air 3, hopefully with the iPhone 6s Plus features, and then some. And the iPhone 7 (and Plus) with perhaps a better photo camera (or even more than 1) and optimal support for iOS 10.

What Mac OS X is bringing in their next update, or their next iMac, is a worry and a thought for another day. My iMac is old and it’s showing signs of wear and tear. OSX 11 would cripple it, I really need an update first before I can even think about future stuff. Skipping it. My focus right now is on iOS 10 and what it could do better. And hopefully I’ve been able to share those thoughts in this blog article.

But, in a future blog post I will go through their hardware, and perhaps discuss what's out now, what I do or don't recommend, and what's upcoming and what we might wish for.

I am quite excited to see in a few months, or near the end of the year what has actually happened with iOS 10 though.

Also, in a future blog post I will go a bit more in-depth regarding beta testing their software, how you can participate, and why you should, and when you should not. Just in case you're all excited about iOS 10 now and want to play with it before release.

Next Article: Look-back at January 2016