Almost every year, I post a list of things I hope that Apple announces this year from the software side. Here is last year’s list, and I’ll be porting over a ton of the wishes from last year once again with the knowledge that they’re likely not going to happen this time, either. Without further delay, my top 40 requests:
iOS / iPadOS
- Improve notifications by adding a notification history, easier actions and smarter prioritization. Clearing a notification should clear the badge.
- Allow users to have more control over blocking images in email. For example, people in my contacts should be exempt.
- Allow 3rd party rendering engines for web browsers. I want to see Chrome and Firefox push Apple to make Safari better. Barring that, what about extensions in 3rd party browsers?
- Find a way to manage spam texts and calls. They mostly fixed calls with the “Silence Unknown Callers”, but texts are still a big issue. It’s become really bad in the past year and I feel like Apple isn’t even trying here.
- Allow apps to integrate with control center. Could you imagine all of the amazing Shortcuts and app actions you could see there if Apple provided an API for it?
- “Tracker blocker” API similar to content blockers. We should have something like little snitch for iOS.
- Better grouping options for Airplay2 devices. I have a ton of speakers & TVs and scrolling through that list is unwieldy.
- Allow me to set more defaults for reminders, maps, notes, etc.
- Photos widget: I hate the change to the music-driven slideshow. I’ve replaced the widget with a Google Photos one.
- External monitor support on iPadOS. Like, REAL external support. Maybe you could run more than just 2 apps at a time in this setup?
- Make use of the “status bar” on iPadOS. Notification icons? Menubar options?
- Global keyboard shortcuts – preferably user-configurable. I’d love to wire up Shortcuts to keyboard commands.
- Make a better Lock Screen that rolls in notification updates as well as possibly widgets.
- Key repeat settings for iPadOS. I hate how long it takes to backspace through things.
- Better multitasking on iPadOS. What they did last year was an improvement to be sure, but I hope to see further refinements in this area to make it easier to jump between apps.
- Improve the Siri watch face. I like the idea of cards popping up but I wonder if it’d make more sense to just have a type of complication you can show on ANY face to be a Siri suggestion?
- It’s time for a stand-alone watch with apps to match. Expand on the family setup mode from a few years ago.
- SPEED. Make everything from search to loading to scrolling on the Mac faster. It’s by far my biggest complaint about the service.
- Collaborative playlists
- Allow widgets to do some simple actions like play/pause of audio.
- Better play count sync between devices. This seems to be super inconsistent and makes smart playlists hard to rely on
- Allow users to create smart playlists on iOS devices
- Genius playlists. I love the “daily mix” feature that Spotify has, and the radio station Apple provides is very good. However, I’d love to see it segmented out to multiple genres based on my history/taste.
- Fix UX issues (better playlist grouping options, more condensed playlist list view, fewer items behind swipes/3 dots)
- Auto mark as read after finishing bookmarked News article
- Improve the queue for audio stories so that it’s easier to bulk manage and triage the list of audio stories.
- Siri should handle more commands without an internet connection when possible. Last year was a huge improvement but there’s a long way to go.
- More robust Shortcuts actions for media playback at home. I’d love a shortcut that could adjust my home speakers volume to a set level and play a playlist on all of the speakers.
- Siri needs “continued conversations” on all platforms like Alexa and Assistant.
- Similarly, Siri needs to be able to combine commands “turn on the lights AND set a timer for 30 minutes”.
- A redesigned Home app that’s a bit more useful. Better automations, easier to navigate and more information dense.
- Timers set on one HomePod should be controllable from any HomePod as well as notify all HomePods if the timer isn’t turned off at the source.
- Allow me to create “named groups” of speakers to start music to. Currently it’s limited to floors or rooms, which can be a bit tedious to invoke via Siri.
- Rethink the tab groups. Make them all viewable from the main tab bar similar to how Chrome handles theirs. Currently it’s tucked away in the sidebar or in the dropdown and harder to get to.
- Allow content blockers to work across any webview.
- Better tab persistence, especially on iPadOS. So much RAM, and tabs just feel flimsy.
- PWA improvements to allow people to create PWAs for certain types of apps that don’t really need to go into the App Store. Would be great for the web community but also for their antitrust case.
- Extension updates shouldn’t force me to restart my browser.
- Selective sync. I don’t want to sync all of my personal documents to my work computer, but do want to stay logged into iCloud and leverage the cloud sync functionality.