Last Wednesday, I wrote a list of six features that I think Apple should include in iOS 8. The next version of the mobile operating system will probably be announced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, held in San Francisco on June 2-6. In the hopes that Apple is paying attention, here are six more features that we'd love to see included in the next release of iOS.
Touch ID Profiles
The iPhone 5s has a great feature in the Touch ID system. The capacitive ring and fingerprint scanner enable users to securely login to their device and purchase songs and apps without their Apple ID password. Rumor has it that the next iPad Air, presumably called the iPad Air 2, will also feature the Touch ID system, which means iOS 8 would be the perfect opportunity to launch profiles for iOS. Each user could have a separate profile on the device, meaning apps could be in unique locations and accounts could have separate logins, all associated with the user's fingerprint. While this is obviously more versatile for iPads, parents could set up unique profiles for young children on their iPhones as well.
The Touch ID system gives developers one more peripheral to utilize when designing apps. Perhaps Apple is waiting until the fingerprint scanner rolls out on all of its devices to fully support its functionality, but Touch ID should be something Apple expands with iOS 8.
Actually Fixed Shift Key
A lot has been said about the issues users face with the ambiguous shift key. Is it on? Is it off? Am I accidentally turning it off when I want to turn it on? Despite the most recent iOS 7.1 update, which sought to fix this problem by changing the color of the shift key when activated, it remains somewhat illusive. The fact is that it’s not actually clear whether the key is activated. When I tap the shift key, it turns the same monochromatic colors as the rest of the keyboard. But I can’t see the color change when my thumb hovers above the key. Instead, the really easy fix, as noted by Cult Of Mac, would be to enable a change from lower case letters to upper case letters when the shift or caps lock is activated.
While we're on the subject of keyboards and typing, Apple could benefit from the swipe-to-text feature found on most Android devices. There are a lot of things that Android did first and better than iOS. Drop-down menus and quick-access menus were both native on Android well before they were on iOS. But swipe-to-text support hasn’t really arrived. Apple could remove the need to download a clunky and inaccurate swiping keyboard, making stiff thumbs a problem of the past.
Most nights I like to curl up in bed with my iPad and read a book or surf the net. However, the screen is always set on the daytime brightness settings. While I have the auto brightness enabled, I would love to see iOS 8 incorporate a nighttime mode. Nighttime modes differ from regular modes in color schemes, which are usually darker. For example, Safari or Messages both have white backgrounds, which is tough on your eyes when used in the dark. The inclusion of a nighttime mode would save battery life (as bright screens use more energy) and your vision.
Clear All Notifications
Notifications are great, but sometimes they pile up in the drop-down list. Right now users have to clear out each applications notification, one at a time. While this is only a minor annoyance, introducing a "clear all" feature could save time and make it easier to see which notifications are new. Hopefully we will see this small improvement in the iOS 8.
Animated Weather As A Lock Screen
Apple introduced animated backgrounds in its Weather App at the launch of iOS 7. The next logical step is to take those animated backgrounds and port them to the lock screen or home screen background. How useful would it be to simply look down at your iPhone or iPad and see the weather without having to open up a dedicated app. While this might reduce battery life, current backgrounds are already animated so adding a current weather feature would be a helpful addition.
While I know that many of these features will take developers some know-how to implement, I don’t believe any of this is out of the norm. Recall that original iPhone users had to wait more than two years to get copy and paste!