WWDC 2020 Wishlist

WWDC is about a month away! You know what that means – wishlist time!

Becky Hansmeyer has a great breakdown of her WWDC wishlist.  David Smith’s WatchOS 7 list has a ton of great nuggets too.

So, in that spirit I thought I’d throw in my WWDC wishlist for iOS/iPadOS/MacOS updates. If I get even a low double digit percentage of these it’ll be a good year.

Mac updates

  • Make Catalyst apps just decent. The text still renders in a way that seems blurry, keyboard shortcuts I expect to work won’t work, and it all just feels half baked. I think that Catalyst apps can be a solution for cross platform games and such but most productivity style apps just don’t work well (yet?).
  • Make Messages on par with the iOS counterpart
  • Continue to invest in breaking Music apart from other apps on the Mac. Fix some of the nitpicks I have from a previous post.

iOS updates

  • Vidoeconferencing fixes (side/side still uses video, same for switching video). You would imagine the pandemic has raised this as a huge blocker for iPads in particular.
  • Apple Music should have the ability to make smart playlists, edit metadata etc.
  • Better privacy settings around photos and location. I’d love to give weather apps city-level GPS data but not specific location data. Additionally, I would love to allow to grant photo upload permission but not to view my entire library.
  • Homescreen customization. Doesn’t have to be full-on Android style but it’s time to make managing and organizing apps less of a pain.
  • Connecting multiple Google Drive accounts to the Files app should be possible. I have a personal and work account, but can’t access both buckets in Files.
  • Fix the selection cursor! The new way without the magnification was a mistake and they should either go back or enhance what they have now.
  • Open up the system to set some default apps. I’d love to be able to set a default music service (I switched back to Apple Music recently but would love the option to have more future flexibility), reminders app (for use with Siri), email and web browser.
  • Allow users to do more with ‘now playing’ screen for media. Let me love tracks, add them to my library, etc. Oddly, a form of this used to exist for Apple Music and was dropped. Even more oddly, some apps still have a form of this (Pocket Casts, Spotify) but it seems very limited.
  • Devtools for Safari
  • Revamp the Siri interface and put more of it on device, like Google announced last year. Siri shouldn’t take over the entire screen, nor should basic requests require the cloud.
  • “Smart unlock” style features – when paired to a watch, don’t require touch / face ID. Same goes for when you’re on a WiFi network or at a geofenced area. Make this optional but would be another great selling point for the Apple Watch.
  • Make a smarter dialer – use data about frequent calls to auto populate a favorites list. Allow users to select a standard notification for incoming calls instead of a full-screen takeover.
  • Better management of caches etc. Sometimes apps get so bloated and there’s little we can do to fix it other than delete the app and reinstall.
  • Offline Maps mode

iPadOS specific updates

  • Better tab persistence in Safari. One of the biggest differences between using a Mac and the iPad Pro is how quickly tabs get dropped from memory and I expect better.
  • Control center on iPads needs a rethink.  It currently looks and acts just like the tiny iPhone version. 
  • Make better use of the status bar. I get it on the iPhone, real estate is limited. But on the 11” and 12.9” iPad Pros in particular, there’s tons of wasted space up there.
  • More keyboard shortcuts. I currently use an older external Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad and if I ever went the Magic Keyboard route I’d really miss the function row for brightness and media playback. I’d love shortcuts to show slideover apps as well.
  • While in Split View, allow me to change which app I’m focused on so that I can use keyboard shortcuts for that app.
  • When performing a spotlight search, let me choose from the application list instead of just the first result.
  • More advanced keyboard & trackpad settings. I want to adjust key repeat rate, tracking speed, etc.
  • Some sort of way to invoke widgets quickly. The scenario I’m thinking of is being able to quickly add a task in Things. Maybe allow a keyboard shortcut to invoke a widget or all widgets. Dashboard 2.0!
  • True external monitor support for the iPad. I’d love to be able to plug a monitor in, have the monitor be the “app” UI and maybe leave the iPad as a second screen with the home screen showing by default?
  • Use Apple Watch to unlock the iPad as well as FaceID

Other updates

  • 3rd party Siri integrations. Music is the obvious first step here.
  • Allow for multiple queries to Siri like the other guys allow. Queries like “turn off the lights AND play Rick Astley” should be possible. Same goes for Siri listening for your next command after finishing the current one.
  • Kill the paper texture on Notes.
  • Collaborative playlists on Apple Music. DO IT.
  • Invest in Apple Mail on all platforms. Better priority/VIP notification settings, snoozing emails etc would go a long way to making the default ‘good enough’ for most folks.

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