In just a few hours, Apple will kick off WWDC 2018 with a keynote address that will see Tim Cook and other Apple executives provide us with our first look at all of the new software updates Apple has been working on over the past 12 months. While updates to macOS and watchOS may be intriguing, there’s no question that most eyes will be laser-focused on the latest updates to iOS.
Typically, WWDC is when Apple introduces bold new software features. This year, though, may be a little bit different. From what we’ve gathered so far, iOS 12 will primarily focus on under-the-hood improvements designed to improve system performance and reliability. So while Apple has reportedly pushed back some of its more ambitious iOS updates to iOS 13, that’s not to say that iOS 12 will be a completely boring update. On the contrary, there are a number of small and modest updates Apple could incorporate into iOS 12 that would go a long ways towards improving the overall user experience.
With that said, below is a iOS 12 wishlist of features that I hope Apple introduces later today.
A Siri assistant that actually works
When Apple first released Siri back on the iPhone 4s, it was a game-changer. Though the original iteration of Siri was somewhat limited, it gave us a glimpse into a future where intelligent personal assistants could actually make our lives easier. In short, Siri was brimming with potential. Nearly seven years later, Siri has since been lapped by personal assistants from the likes of Google and Amazon. I’ve been using Siri since its inception and, to be honest, I seem to use it less and less with each passing year as it has become somewhat frustrating to use. Even something basic — such as dictation — could stand to see some huge strides in performance. Hopefully with iOS 12, we’ll see Siri finally manage to make up some ground that it’s ceded to rivals like Google.
FaceTime is great, but it’d be nice to see Apple take it to the next level by implementing a feature that would finally introduce support for group video calls. Notably, rumors regarding a group FaceTime feature have been around for a few years and seem to pop up around WWDC every single year. Last year, for example, a rumor claimed that iOS 11 would allow users to make FaceTime calls with up to 5 separate users. That prediction obviously didn’t come to pass but hopefully with iOS 12 Apple will finally make FaceTime all the more useful.
Face ID in landscape mode
Face ID works great most of the time and, to Apple’s credit, has made Touch ID seem like a distant memory at this point. Still, Face ID really only works when used in portrait mode, which is to say trying to unlock your iPhone X when lying down can often be an exercise in frustration. Ideally, Apple with iOS 12 will introduce a feature that would let Face ID work just as seamlessly in landscape mode as it does in portrait.
Apple completely overhauled Notification Center with iOS 11 but the update still didn’t manage to address all of the gripes users have with the feature. Indeed, with iOS and Android copying many of one another’s features at this point, many users are of the mind that Apple should take a few ideas from Android’s own implementation such as allowing the grouping of notifications by app.
Camera Settings from the Camera app
This one seems like a no-brainer. Frustratingly, if you want to adjust your iPhone’s camera settings — such as switching between 720p and 4K recording — you have to rifle through the Settings app. If Apple made it possible to toggle between various camera settings from within the Camera app, it would certainly make the user experience much more enjoyable.
Give us more iCloud storage
Storage is incredibly cheap these days but Apple is still pretty stingy when it comes to free iCloud storage. A free 5GB of storage may have been great a few years ago, but Apple can certainly afford to do better. The upside is that Apple has made some nice improvements to iCloud over the last few years and there’s a good chance we’ll see some further enhancements later today.
An iOS wish list simply wouldn’t be complete without a reference to Dark Mode! While most people can use their iPhone just fine without a dedicated Dark Mode, there remains a small but incredibly vocal contingent of users who have been demanding an official Dark Mode option in iOS for many years now.