iOS 8 – My Wishlist

Next week’s WWDC.

We’ll be projecting the Keynote on the big screen at the Office with pizza and beer.

And afterwarts I’ll probably spend the night downloading all betas and cursing when the installation failed on my main device.

Either way, below you’ll find my list of wishes for iOS 8.

Awareness

Universal Dark Mode

Many apps switch to a dark mode when the sun sets, after dinner, when the display dims or any other arbitrary system based on time and location.
I’d love for a build-in dark mode toggle in the Control Center with an API that allows apps to automatically detect wither they should appear white, or black.

Do Not Disturb

  • Allow me to enable Do Not Disturb at 22h on weekdays, midnight during the weekend.

Notification Center

  • Kill the Missed toggle, replace it with a New and All toggle.
  • Allow apps to integrate with existing widgets. OmniFocus should be able to expose tasks the same way Reminders.app does now for example.
  • Use location info in my Calendar more intelligently. Warn me when I should leave in the today view. Let me pick wither I walk, drive or cycle to my next location

Photos

Photostream

Apple should move the local Camera Roll to Photostream in Photos.app. Every picture you take gets saved in an Inbox and is automatically uploaded to iCloud. Photos.app now has three tabs. Photos (or all pictures in iCloud), Shared, or Photostreams people shared with your, and Albums. And all three of them are synced via iCloud. Nothing is only local.

Albums created on the iPhone shouldn’t contain a subset of the Camera Roll, but a subset of Photostream Photos.
A toggle would allow you to share these albums (the current Shared Photostream feature) and every device on the same AppleID contains those same albums.
It’s comparable to IMAP/Mail but for photos and creates ubiquity across devices.

For this to work Apple should throw away the 1000photos/30days limit, and drastically increase storage options.
And this shouldn’t be free. They could create a system where every iOS devices gives you 5GB of storage. Got an iPad, iPhone and Mac? Nice, now you have 15Gb of iCloud storage.

On your Mac iPhoto now contains two clear sections: iCloud and On my Mac. Again, comparable to how Mail works.
Now, imagine you’ve reached your 15GB limit. Yet again, just as in Mail you either move some albums/photos to your Mac, or you purchase more storage from Apple. (Hopefully at prices similar to Dropbox or Google Drive).

Albums

Photos.app should have four default Albums when you first launch your device. And, as described above, each of them is synced via iCloud.

  • Camera Roll, new unsorted photos taken or saved.
  • Screenshots, all screenshots taken
  • Messages, all photos received via iMessage, solving the giant sized iMessage storage issue.

Backups

I’ve got a 16GB phone, but only 5GB of free storage in iCloud. I solve this hurdle by paying for a 20GB iCloud account.

My iPhone backup is currently 9GB in size, my iPad’s 10GB. That is, if you include photos in the Camera Roll. But if the Camera Roll merges with Photostream there’s no need to backup photos to iCloud. They’re already there. So an iCloud backup now only contains settings and local documents. Which take a lot less space. (for my iPhone it’s now 4GB, and the iPad around 8GB).

Apps

XPC and in-app integration

Plenty has been written about it, but Apple should allow third-party developers to integrate with the OS the same way Twitter and Facebook do now.
Allow apps like Pocket to expose their API so you can Save to Pocket system wide the same way you do now with Reading List.
This would also allow OmniFocus to create a Quick Entry window, or Fantastical to grab dates the same way iCal does now.

But this integration is a double edged sword. If all apps start exposing their integrations, the Share Sheet turns into a giant list with as many icons as the home screen.
To solve this…

Default Applications

OS X allows me to set the default text editor or email app. Why doesn’t iOS? I hope iOS 8 has a Settings screen to pick Default Apps for specific actions.

Since Apple works gradually, I’d imagine them giving us the option to only change the current Default Set of Apps (think: a freshly installed iPhone) to third party apps at first.
Dispatch instead of Mail, Fantastical instead of iCal, Pocket instead of Reading List.
But e.g. not choosing iBooks above Kindle or Tweetbot instead of Twitter.app. Only default apps this time around.

This way, the Sharing Sheet would either contain Apple apps, or third party apps you swapped in, but only those apps that replace Apple default Apps (for now..).

Install It Later

Allow me to buy an iPad app on the iPhone and have it automatically install on my iPad.

File Storage

Downloads

  • Give Safari an iCloud repository for downloads so files can be downloaded to an iOS device and stay somewhere before we start working with them.
  • Ideally this folder would be synced over iCloud between devices. Imagine ~/Downloads as a folder that’s synced over iCloud between Mac, iPad and iPhone.
  • Allow for AirDrop between OS X and iOS.

File Management

Let’s say we download a file to the downloads folder in Safari. In iOS if we wanted to open that file in Pages, we would end up with a copy in the Pages sandbox, and the original still in the Downloads folder of Safari.
What if, instead of copying the file, Safari could move the downloaded file to Pages, instead of copying it. Apps are still sandboxed, but files can move from editor to editor without leaving multiple copies around.

In this scenario a file would be scanned with Scanner Pro, edited in PDF Expert, and uploaded do Dropbox with the file that’s uploaded being the only copy of that file that exist.

Simplify

What should go

  • Delete the Camera app, it’s reachable via the Control Center, Home screen and, if deleted, a button in the Photo’s app?
  • Delete Newsstand, all apps should behave the same way.
  • Delete Game Center as an app, make it a service like Twitter of Facebook

What should change

  • Settings – Notification Center: make the settings for each app easier. Less is More.
  • Force apps to either use Settings.app, or their own Settings menu. Not both (as we have now).