Six Things We Want To See In iOS 6

Apple's likely to show off the newest version of iOS this Monday at WWDC, their annual developer conference, and it's got us thinking about the features we'd like to see in iOS 6. We also asked you to share what's on your iOS wish list, and we got some interesting responses. Here are six of the best.

Turn-By-Turn Navigation

We already know a revamped Maps app is on the way, but what we really want is not 3D maps and crazy satellite images — we want turn-by-turn navigation! Our current turn-by-turn choice, Waze, isn't bad, but we'd love to see something like what Google has on Android. In fact, we wouldn't mind if Google just brought their own navigation to Android either. Reader Bisnicks had some interesting thoughts on the subject:

Let's put it this way. Maps on iOS sucks. Something that is used so heavily by users and it's been pretty much neglected save for a few new features along the way. Let's hope Apple puts their acquisitions of several mapping companies to use. The anonymous traffic data they've collected may also prove to be an extraordinary feature. The addition of a turn by turn navigation is needed.

I've used it on Android and it's the one thing I actually envy Android users for. I think Apple should still rely on some of Google's mapping data, but implement some of their own for different layers. I'd like to see terrain view and interior room view added as well. Small but really annoying thing I've noticed is when you double tap the location arrow to see which way you're facing on a map is that as soon as you move the map around, it switches out of that mode.

Likelihood: Good. We know a new Maps app is on the way, and we can't imagine Apple would have spent this long working on it if it didn't have turn-by-turn navigation, one of the most requested features on iOS. And if Apple fails us, at least Google has said they're committed to bringing navigation to iOS.

Facebook Integration

iOS already has Twitter integration, but a lot of people don't use Twitter (or they use both Twitter and Facebook), so many of you are hoping for the world's biggest social network to get a little bit more love from Apple. This could be a "be careful what you wish for" situation, though — we all know how Facebook likes to rudely inject itself into everything and track you everywhere you go. Hopefully this is one area where Apple's control-freak tendencies pay off.

Likelihood: Not bad. We've heard rumblings that Apple may more tightly integrate Facebook into iOS, so this seems like a pretty good bet.

An Improved Siri, Available On All Devices

It seems a lot of you are pretty into Siri, and want to see it:

  1. Improved, with better reliability, more features, and an API so other apps could use it
  2. Available on all devices, not just the iPhone 4S and newest iPad
  3. Available in other countries

We've never been too addicted to Siri, but we do agree that in its current form, Siri really does feel like a beta product (which is so unlike Apple). Some Siri improvements certainly wouldn't go unappreciated.

Likelihood: Half likely. Rumour has it that Siri will come to the new iPad, but we don't really expect to see it on older iOS devices, unfortunately. We do expect that Apple will bring a number of improvements to Siri in the realm of voice recognition and reliability, but we're a bit more sceptical on the other stuff.

Dropbox Integration

This was a surprising one that we hadn't really thought of: a lot of you would like to see better Dropbox integration in iOS. We're not really sure what this would look like (perhaps the ability to view photos from Dropbox in the photos app, and other similar things), but sadly this is one we're not expecting to see. Apple has thumbed its nose at Dropbox on more than one occasion after Dropbox didn't want to sell their service, and Apple already has their own cloud storage service: iCloud. Whether it's as good as Dropbox is still up for debate (okay, no it's not), but we'll probably see Apple push iCloud a lot more before we see them add Dropbox integration to iOS.

Likelihood: Over Apple's dead body. Apple already has iCloud and a grudge against Dropbox. I don't think we'll be seeing this anytime soon.

Quick Access To Setting Toggles

One of our favourite jailbreak tweaks is still SBSettings, which puts quick toggles for things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and others in the Notification centre. In iOS 5, it seems to take forever just to change a tiny setting — and we'd really like to see this made easier in iOS 6. Most of you recommended something similar to SBSettings (or just want Apple to buy SBSettings and call it a day), though reader TDoonanII001 had an interesting alternative:

Quick access to the settings you use the most. This could be done with a drop down / pop out drawer like the one that Notifications uses.

And don't just put the settings in the Notifications drawer. Give it its own spot. They could put the Notifications pull down on the right side of the top of the screen and put the Settings pull down on the left side. I would include aeroplane Mode, Wifi, Bluetooth, Notifications, Locations, Brightness, and if they do actually give us Do Not Disturb by all means include it here too.

I rather like the idea of having them in the Notification centre, but the centre is already a little vertically cluttered what with the weather and stocks widget. Obviously you can tweak these things, but it is interesting to think about other places Apple might put these things — like perhaps the multitasking drawer. Either way, we want it.

Likelihood: Not holding our breath. This doesn't seem like it would be that hard to add to iOS, but you'd think we would have heard a rumour or two by now if this were going to happen. Most people are saying that iOS 6 is going to be mostly overhauling the built-in apps, rather than the OS itself. We aren't counting it out, but we aren't getting our hopes up either.

The Ability To Change The Default Apps

Probably the least likely on this list to happen, and yet it's one of our top choices for something we want to see in iOS: the ability to change our default mail app to something like Sparrow, our default browser to something like Dolphin, or our default dialer to something like Google Voice. Apple still doesn't make it easy to switch away from their default apps, even though a lot of third-party options are significantly better.

Likelihood: Yeah, right. I'll eat my hat when this happens.

These are far from the only changes we'd like to see in iOS, but they're certainly the biggest ones. Note that even if they don't show up in iOS 6, you can still get quite a few of them by jailbreaking and installing one of these fantastic tweaks. Got a hope for iOS 6 we didn't mention? Share it with us in the comments below.


Comments

    The problem with all these rumours is the fact that apple will do something else, every iOS version so far has had something that was far beyond what we expected.

    -iOS 2 had the App Store and a bunch of tweaks and improvements for the iPhone
    -iOS 3 had Cut and Paste, Landscape Keyboard, iTunes Store, Parental Controls, as well as bug fixes
    -iOS 4 had multitasking, folders, unified inbox, as well as a bunch of developer features such as iAD's
    -iOS 5 had iCloud, notification centre, iMessage and getting away from the PC

    iOS 6 will have some features that we know like New Maps, Facebook and Improvements on existing features but I think it will have something much more. My predictions is on coping windows phone and the live tiles and widgets.

    -

    A few months ago I got my hands on a Windows 7 tablet - and whilst Windows gave me its usual share of frustrations - I did discover Microsoft OneNote and the great experience it offers on tablet device. With Windows 8 coming soon with such a strong tablet focus, OneNote will become even more of a jewel in the Microsoft crown.

    Whilst Steve Jobs famously decried styli, and that makes sense for the iPhone, I think the iPad is a totally different use case. How many times I have tried different styli and note taking apps and remain frustrated because I have to try and hover my hand over the screen and the end result looks like the writing of a five year old.

    I believe that next week Apple will launch the Smart Pen that was patented in 2011. I think it will be Bluetooth 4 for enhanced battery life and capability, pressure sensitivity and overall will offer an experience similar to using the Wacom digitiser on the Galaxy Note or a Windows tablet.

    If Apple also turn the attention of their software teams to this and create either a separate notes app or extend the capability of Pages - they will be on a winner. iWork on the desktop is terribly long in the tooth now and this could be updated at the same time with iCloud syncing of notes between iPad and desktop, handwriting recognition and Spotlight integration.

    Drawing a really long bow Apple might like to get ahead of the coming onslaught of Windows touchscreen devices and create a convertible (swivel screen) 11 inch MacBook Air with Retina Display that also works perfectly with the Smart Pen. I would buy one in a heartbeat.

    This would only strengthen Apple's growing position with the iPad in the Enterprise - and kill one of the major selling points of Windows 8.

    So anyway - I have no evidence for any of this - but it seems like a fine idea to me and something Apple SHOULD be doing...

    A fantastic list of things that have (mostly)been available since Android 1.6

    ooooo changing default apps. How revolutionary that would be for you, Apple! I do my best to not sound like the plethora of Android fanboys out there, but seriously.....this is basic stuff.

      Mmmm ... putting up with all the Android bugs, problems, version issues, etc. just for the sake of being able to change default apps. Yep, that would be a really good decision.

        That is one way to put it
        The other way is that I've never had a bug or version issue. I've had one random restart in 2 years. If you don't get a cheap android you have 0 issues. Whether you want an android phone is up to you, but for non tight asses (ie those willing to pay close to iPhone prices) you don't have such issues that get touted so often by iPhone lovers

          Seriously. Who cares if Android can do X? I want to here about IOS. Why do I have to keep hearing about Android every time I open an article on IOS? Insecure about your purchase much?

    Aside from siri this is all available on android without Amy tweaking/ jail breaking. It is worth considering if you're not fully invested in iOS

      Look, I really get that you love your 'Droid. But why are 'Droid users so fanatical that they feel statements like this are helpful?

      I mean... Do you really expect someone to look at what you just wrote and go "Oh, you know... it is much more important to me to have the ability to change my default apps, than it is to have a greater app market place that may suit my needs, low product failure rates with superior after-market support".

      This Android fanaticism is getting really... Old. I came here to read an article about what would be good to see in IOS. Not, 'What what some Android fanboy tells me Android already has over IOS'.

        Mate who is the fanboi... look in the mirror. I make very basic points with no spin. Furthermore I don't even make a negative point about iOS. Furthermore I even concede that android is an option to be considered rather than pushing it as the BEST OS. So get off your high horse and grow up

    This is a slightly better written article than yesterdays droll 'Droidfest. But honestly, these really do aim pretty low. I can see a bit of android fanaticism coming out in the comments, which really just furthers the impression that all we're looking at - outside the Turn by turn navigation - are a few novelty additions.

    And oddly enough, the 'Droid fanboys have come out in force again. But I digress.

    I do feel you guys need to aim - bigger - For the most part we're looking at products here that exist elsewhere. There's nothing earth shattering here. We're looking at the company that trades on innovation, and the best we can ask for is being able to change defaults? eeerm.

      I am with you Scott K.

      I just dont get why someone that does not use or like iOS feels the need to go to the trouble of not only reading the article, but posting about it too. Immature....

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    What both iOS and Android really need to offer (as a core feature of the OS that's accessible to programmers and not a tacked-on app) are better enterprise management tools. Software deployment, remote assistance and disaster recovery are laughable on both.
    Local storage is another contentious issue for us. I issued a bunch of iPads on a 12 month trial to staff a year ago and most are handing them back, preferring a smartphone/laptop combo. The slow boot time of our corporate Win7 laptops is a major frustration, but that is the only significant issue and one that can be addressed. The biggest issue [with the iPad] was that it did a few things very, very well but didn't do everything that they needed to do to do their job, principally staff couldn't easily copy to and from USB drives. Whilst I understand Apple's reasoning for shunning USB-attached storage, it's one thing that would significantly help broaden its appeal to me... and perhaps a few others too?

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