wwdc18

For weeks I’ve been thinking about what I would like to see in iOS 12. I’m a details person, so many of the things on my wishlist are tweaks or improvements to more minor aspects of iOS. If Apple really is delaying big iOS features and focusing on smaller improvements for iOS 12, these things on my wishlist would fit right in.

Here’s my list in no particular order:

  • Dark mode all the things! (I feel like this has been on my iOS wishlist for years now.) Developers can then tie in to the system determining if dark mode should be on or not. Also, dark mode should be toggled manually (perhaps by something in Control Center (though I would be sad to ditch the two-finger swipe up/down gesture in Partly Sunny, Tweetbot, and others)) or toggled automatically either by screen brightness or by daylight time (which could be scheduled like Night Shift or could use the device location’s sunrise and sunset times).
  • Unify the swipe-up gesture on iPhone and iPad. This means iPhone X Control Center isn’t in the top-right corner (hooray!). Perhaps the current implementations of Control Center and App Switcher on iPad and iPhone X could be combined: the new system would look like iPad with Control Center to the right of App Switcher, and it would work like iPhone X. Swiping up would go to the home screen, and swiping up and holding would bring up Control Center and App Switcher. And like how iPhone X works currently, swiping up and to the right at the same time would bring up App Switcher in one action, and swiping up and to the left at the same time would bring up Control Center in one action.
  • Replace the incoming call screen that takes over my iPhone and iPad with a less-intrusive notification banner or something similar
  • Replace the volume display that covers what I’m watching when I change the volume with a display in the Status Bar like Apollo and Instagram
  • An easier way to change the apps in Slide Over and Split View (like how prior to iOS 11 there was an app picker to select an app for multitasking). The Slide Over app and one app in Split View currently have a drag indicator at the top that allows the app to slide left or right or off the screen and allows dragging down to enter or leave Split View. Perhaps if the indicator were dragged down slightly, it would keep the current enter/leave Split View action, but if it were dragged down further, it would expose another panel with a grid of recently used apps that support multitasking. And perhaps apps could be favorited for quick access in a separate section. (I‘ll mock this up, but I’ll see what WWDC brings first.)
  • PIP on iPhone
  • Group FaceTime calls
  • Use iPhone 8 size for iPhone apps running on iPad instead of iPhone 4 size
  • Better ways to dismiss modal form sheets
  • Improvements and modernizations in Mail
  • Ability to create smart playlists in Music
  • Bring back the network activity indicator for iPhone X
  • A keyboard shortcut to dismiss Safari View Controller (unless this already exists and I don’t know about it?)
  • Bring back the URL schemes that launched Settings submenus (for example launching into Settings > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Privacy > Location Services)
  • If not those then allow customizing the 3D Touch shortcuts for Settings
  • 3D Touch on app icons working as soon as iPhone is unlocked (currently there’s a couple second delay while the apps animate into position where a 3D Touch press on an icon activates jiggly mode to rearrange instead of activating 3D Touch shortcuts and widgets; the same press a second later works as expected.)
  • On iPhone X, 3D Touch shortcuts on the lock screen when navigating or on a call (curiously they disappear from the lock screen now, so to take a photo, the phone has to be unlocked)
  • Messages recognizing a contact sent a message from another address (from email instead of phone number for example) and keeping the message in a single thread from the contact instead of a separate one. macOS does this. iOS should too.
  • Ability to restore a single app or a selection of Camera Roll photos from a backup rather than having to restore the entire device. (Seriously, why is this still a thing?) Imagine in iCloud settings being able to browse the contents of iCloud backups and selectively and directly restore things from them.
  • Make Apple Watch notifications opt-in instead of opt-out. Currently, if on iPhone I allow an app to send notifications, I automatically get notifications on my Watch too. Nine times out of ten, I don’t want notifications on my Watch too, so I have to manually turn them off every time. I would like either a setting in Watch app to make notifications opt-in (meaning if I wanted Watch notifications too I would have to manually turn them on) OR on the iPhone app’s modal asking for permission to send notifications another choice that deals with Watch notifications. For example: “This app would like to send you notifications” with the choices of “Don’t Allow”, “Allow on iPhone”, and “Allow on iPhone and Apple Watch”.

So, just a few things on my wishlist! Hah! What did I miss? No doubt as soon as I hit the publish button on this, I’ll think of something else. I hope at least a few of these are addressed in iOS 12—especially if it’s focused on polishing what’s already in iOS. We’ll find out on Monday!