Gadgets are fun, but software is the star of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, and when it kicks off on Monday, iOS 11 will be on the agenda.
Last year, iOS 10 was heavy on improvements to Messages and notifications, from raise to wake to emoji-laden chats.
As with any new mobile OS, there were a number of things that irked users. But as of Feb. 20, 79 percent of iOS users were running iOS 10.
Developers will likely get their hands on a beta version of iOS 11 this week to test it out on their apps.
Everyone else should expect the final version in the fall, probably alongside the release of new iPhones.
But what features should Cupertino add? Rumors include FaceTime group chats, peer-to-peer mobile payments, and a smart power-saving mode.
But we asked the PCMag staff and the iOS faithful online what they want to see in iOS 11; things like the ability to clear all apps and screen recording were among their suggestions, but see the full wish list below.
Then tune in at 1 p.m. ET on Monday for the opening WWDC keynote; PCMag will be there to bring you all the news.
1. Better Siri Integration
Siri has been around since iOS 5, but her talents have been eclipsed lately by another voice assistant—Amazon's Alexa.
Together with the Echo lineup and a number of third-party devices, Alexa can turn on your music, turn off your lights, set alarms, and much more.
Siri, however, has stuck close to home. Last year, her reach expanded to apps within iOS 10 thanks to SiriKit, but Siri isn't much help on non-Apple gadgets.
As a result, Apple fans are clamoring for more robust Siri support and capabilities.
For now, we might just get an Echo-like device from Apple; rumor has it that a Siri speaker is on the agenda for WWDC.
2. Switch Users
Apple's iOS devices are locked to one Apple ID, and while you can wipe your iPhone and iPad and sign in with another account,
you can't easily switch back and forth between the two like you can on your Mac, unless you have an education-focused iPad.
But in an age when Apple is hoping business types will pick up its iPad Pro for work and parents share their iPad with kids,
the option to cordon off certain content for work and play would be a great addition to iOS. We can have separate accounts on Netflix, why not our iPads?
3. Better Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking finally arrived on iPad with iOS 9, but hasn't seen much of an upgrade since then.
If apps support it, you can slide a menu in from the right and have it overlay on top of the main screen, so you can scroll through Twitter while you watch something on Netflix, for example.
If both apps support multi-tasking you can do a split screen and use both at the same time; monitor Slack while writing an email.
But multi-tasking needs some work; how about drag and drop to start? Or the ability to open multiple apps at once?
And that slide-over app picker could be easier to navigate, especially as more apps add support.
4. Dark Mode
Apps like Twitter have been adding dark modes to soothe screen-addicted eyes, and there's one inside Safari if you know how to find it.
But there is not currently a system-wide iOS dark mode. You can turn on Night Shift, which reduces your screen's blue light, but sometimes you just want to go completely dark.
5. Bring Back Slide to Unlock
Among the more annoying updates to iOS 10 was the disappearance of Slide to Unlock. Now if you swipe right, you'll get the widgets screen.
Slide to Unlock was replaced with "Press home to open," meaning you have to physically press the home button to enter your passcode or activate Touch ID.
You can bypass that step to once again unlock your phone with only Touch ID, but Slide to Unlock is permanently gone, unless it returns in iOS 11.
6. Easier App Organization
Apple now offers a 256GB iPhone; that's a lot of apps. But to keep your apps in order, you still have to press, hold, and drag into place.
An option to organize by name, most used, or category with a tap—like you would on Windows—would making organizing your iPhone screens a breeze.
7. Unlimited iCloud Storage
Apple's iCloud currently provides 5GB of free storage, which applies to backups, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Drive, Mail, and more.
Anything more will cost you, starting at 50GB for $0.99 a month. Why so stingy? Google Photos, which has an iOS app,
offers unlimited storage space if you limit photo resolution to 16 megapixels and video resolution to 1080p. Surely, Apple could do something similar.
8. iMessage for Android
Chat apps are big business these days. Just ask Facebook, which bought WhatsApp for $16 billion while also building out its own Facebook Messenger.
With iMessage, however, it's still an Apple-only affair; Androids need not apply.
Apple has already proved willing to embrace Android somewhat; there's an Apple Music app for Android, after all. Why not spread the love to iMessage?
If it's slick enough, Apple might even convince a few Android faithful to make the leap to iOS.
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