With everything going on [gestures wildly into the air] and with WWDC going virtual this year, I almost forgot to make an iOS/iPadOS 14 wish list. But I threw this together mostly so I could look back next year and see if anything actually made it into iOS or iPadOS like some of my wish list items did last year (like dark mode, Shortcuts input and output, and easier modal dismissing). Most of these items were also on my iOS 13 wish list last year, but of course there are some new things.

Here’s my list in no particular order:

  • Allow shortcuts saved to the Home screen to run directly on the Home screen and not launch Shortcuts. They would present their lists and menus and ask for input like they do when run from the My Shortcuts view in the app and like how some shortcuts do in the widget already.
  • In Shortcuts, allow copying and pasting actions both within the same shortcut or between shortcuts. Back in the Workflow days, I mocked up what both copying actions and running a workflow from another workflow might look like. Run Workflow (and then Run Shortcut) eventually came to the app. Hopefully copying actions will too!
  • Shortcuts actions to control Apple Watch things like starting and stoping workouts, setting Theater Mode, changing watch faces so automations could run at certain times of the day to change faces, etc.
  • Updated Reminders actions in Shortcuts. Right now, it’s not possible to add a reminder with a due date but NOT an alert. And it’s also not possible to add a URL to a reminder with Shortcuts. I would love to be able to do both!
  • Give developers filtering options in Shortcuts actions similar to the native filtering that Apple actions can do. For example, in the Find Calendar Events action, events can be filtered for specific dates (including today), between two dates, and in the last X days, months, etc. Third-party developers have to create their own filtering parameters that are far clunkier than what Apple actions can do.
  • Shortcuts for macOS (okay, this isn’t an iOS thing, but while I’m taking about Shortcuts…).
  • Oh, one more Shortcuts wish: Folders.
  • WeatherKit. This may be a 2021 thing, but with Apple’s purchase of Dark Sky, allow developers to access weather data for their apps.
  • A built-in way for developers to create cards/sheets like Maps and Find My.
  • A Keychain app to store passwords, credit card and bank info, notes, and more. Like 1Password but built in to iOS.
  • Replace the incoming call screen that takes over iPhone and iPad with a less-intrusive notification banner or something similar.
  • Smart media rotation: When iPhone is locked in portrait orientation, allow full screen, landscape photos and videos to rotate if iPhone is rotated. Like how Apollo now does it.
  • 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). Perhaps if the drag indicator at the top of Split View and Slide Over apps were dragged down slightly (similar to how dragging up from the Home indicator works to show multitasking) it could expose a panel with a grid of recently used apps that support multitasking (perhaps also with a search and the ability to favorite apps). If the drag indicator were dragged down further, perhaps then the current functionality of releasing the app from its Split View or Slide Over position would remain.
  • Some kind of indication what app has keyboard focus in Split View. And the ability to better Command-Tab between the two apps.
  • When dragging an app into Split View that has a window already paired with another app elsewhere, show the pairing in the view that shows all of the app’s windows so that the windows already paired can be differentiated from the ones not paired.
  • Allow three apps to be run side by side in Split View. Bonus: showing three at a time but allowing more to be added and then slid back and forth like in this mockup from Daniel Korpai.
  • Better Control Center placement. Perhaps it could live in the multitasking app switcher UI as an app card. On iPhone, it would be to the right of the active app. And like how you can swipe the Home indicator right as a shortcut to switch from the active app to the previously active app, perhaps swiping left on it could be a shortcut to show Control Center.
  • Allow third-party apps to add Control Center launcher buttons or controls.
  • Improvements and modernizations in Mail. Here are some basic ideas I had in 2018. If a big focus of Apple is privacy, don’t force people into using questionable third-party email apps. Make the native app better than “good enough”.
  • Sorting options in Reminders lists.
  • An option for the Reminders Today list to either group items by list or show a label with each item noting what list they belong to.
  • More SF Symbol options for Reminders lists.
  • Ability to create smart playlists in Music. Why do I need to use a Mac to do this?
  • Picture-In-Picture on iPhone.
  • Drag and drop from one app to another on iPhone.
  • Ability to selectively restore from an iCloud backup rather than having to restore the entire device. Imagine in iCloud settings being able to browse the contents of backups and selectively and directly restore things from them like a single app that went wonky.
  • Make Apple Watch notifications opt-in instead of opt-out.
  • Searchable emoji keyboard.
  • Keyboard navigation system (and API for developers) to navigate an app with an external keyboard.
  • Global keyboard shortcuts that can be customized to run apps, specific actions in apps (perhaps that would require developers to expose possible actions to a new API), and Shortcuts shortcuts.
  • More robust developer analytics. Apple should provide developers with a robust, privacy-focused analytics framework to use instead of questionable third-party frameworks.
  • Related, more immediate stats and sales info in App Store Connect even if they are a couple hours delayed. Like the above item, Apple should provide more robust reporting and analytics so developers aren’t pushed to using something that could possibly violate user privacy.

So, just a few things on my wish list again! Hah! Here’s hoping some of these things make it into iOS and iPadOS 14!