iOS 7 Thoughts and Predictions

IOS_6_Home_Screen.png

It is that time of year again.  Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, aka WWDC is  Monday.  This is when we'll hear about the next evolution of software that will power our iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch's, and Apple computers.  While most people won't get to use the software until fall, it is always an interesting event. Mobile is the future of computing and watching the likes of Google and Apple battle it out to have the best features on their devices in hopes to win customers is just awesome.  iOS, the software that runs on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is what is most interesting to me and here's what I hope and expect to see announced next week when we first hear about iOS 7.  

Device file sharing/transfer improvements: 

You'e seen it on all the commercials for Android phones; they have a feature called NFC (near field communication), which allows you to transfer files between devices just by getting them closer to each other.  This has been something rumored to come to Apple devices for a long time but it has never happened.  I'm not so sure the style of file transfer we see on Android is something we need .  All I know is that I am constantly wanting to transfer files between my iPhone, iPad and Mac wirelessly and it is never an easy process.  Recent rumors have suggested we might see this feature coming in iOS 7.  

Voice integration in Messages:

As smartphones and texting become more popular, it seems that people use these devices less and less as a phone and more to send messages like texts and pictures.  Recently I wrote about apps like Voxer which allows you to send short audio messages which I enjoy more than sending texts.  I think it is only logical that Apple builds this ability into it's messaging app.  Will we see it in iOS 7? I am guessing no but I am crossing my fingers.  I would much rather send a quick audio message than a text.  

More control over the camera:

Exposure and focus control in Camera+

Exposure and focus control in Camera+

One of the main reasons I try to buy a new iPhone each year one comes out (if I can afford it at the time), is because I am a picture taking fiend. The camera technology on these devices gets so much better with each iteration that we are seeing the lines between actual photography with a nice DSLR camera and mobile device cameras start to blend.  This is why I want Apple to give us more control over the camera.  Android does this and has for a long time.  The reason Apple has not is because they treasure simplicity but I don't think it would be that hard to have an "advanced mode" that you could turn on with a button that would allow us more control over things like exposure, focus, and shutter.  Either that or allow me to make an app like Camera+, which already has these features, the default camera app.  

Fantastical for iPhone

Fantastical for iPhone

Better calendar management - These days our lives are filled with events and it feels like more things need to go on our calendar all the time.  Combine my personal life and work and I get a calendar that looks like this.  Yikes!  While Apple's calendar app is good, it needs to be better.  It needs to be much easier to enter events as well as manage them.  An app that does this very well is Fantastical and I hope we see some changes to the iOS calendar that take some cues from this app.  

Easy access to settings:

Quick settings mockup

Quick settings mockup

People have been asking for this forever.  Apple made it a little easier to access the bluetooth options in the last update of iOS but it should be even easier to access bluetooth and many other settings.  People are using wifi and bluetooth more and more every day and it is freaking 2013.  We shouldn't have to dig deep into menus to turn simple features on and off anymore.   

Make Siri work better:

I'm not sure this will ever be possible.  The main problem with Siri is that it needs a connection to do anything at all.  When you're on good strong working wifi Siri can actually do some things.  When you are on cellular you are screwed, even if you are on a fast LTE connection.  I've wasted more time using Siri than I should and plenty of others have too.  I am not sure if they will ever get it to work extremely well.  Google Now for Android destroys Siri.  

Reminders.png

Better Reminders:

I don't see a ton of people using Apple's built in "Reminders" app but I use it daily for managing things to do and lists and it is one of the few things I use Siri for.  I'd really like to see Apple make this app look a little better and it could certainly be a little easier for me to make entries to my lists.  

I could go on and on about other things I'd like to see but to me right now these are the most important.  I'm pretty confident we'll see a good amount of these items in iOS 7 and I'm sure there will be a few new things that no one saw coming.  Apple has to push the limits to keep pace with Android which has really been improving things by leaps and bounds lately.

We'll know more Monday at 1pm EDT.  Exciting stuff!