Feature Request: How Apple could improve its built-in apps with iOS 10 – 9 to 5 Mac

Since Steven Troughton-Smith’s WWDC wish list guest article last week, I’ve been thinking regarding my own hopes for iOS 10 later this summer. iOS 9.3 is almost here and includes loads of brand-new system features and even enhancements to stock apps, yet as ever there’s still reduced hanging fruit that Apple could get to improve iPhones and iPads. Specifically, I’d enjoy to see at least one brand-new feature added to each built-in app.

In general, I’d like to see every built-in app support landscape mode on the Plus-sized iPhones, 3D Touch on the latest iPhones, Split View for multitasking on the latest iPads, and take advantage of Apple’s share sheet for extensions. yet beyond features that all apps must have, I’d likewise enjoy to see each stock app gain at least one brand-new and unique feature. Here are a few of my ideas:


I believe Messages could learn a lot from Facebook’s Messenger app — stickers are great, group read receipts are a no-brainer, and stuff Messages can easily do enjoy sending photos and location is simply much easier on Messenger — yet I’d truly enjoy Apple to select up the Digital Touch features from Apple Watch and bring them to Messages.

Digital Touch

I understand that they’re novelty features meant to be unique to Apple Watch, yet these notifications are the easiest to miss out on as quickly as mixed in along with a list of various other alerts and you can’t see the alerts or content on iPhone. Messages would certainly be a terrific place to view (otherwise send!) sketches and taps. The Taptic Engine included starting along with iPhone 6s even makes deciphering heart beats sent possible; you’d simply requirement an Apple Watch to send one back.


I truly want three points from my calendar app: solid natural language input for adding appointments, a streamlined list view for browsing appointments, and occasionally a good year view for looking at dates far away, all points third-party apps currently do much much better compared to Apple. Apple’s Calendar app gets the year-view right and has actually the benefit of displaying the current date on the app icon, yet it misses the mark on terrific language parsing and an easy-to-use list view.

Fantastical iPad Split View

For those reasons (and more), I’m all in on Fantastical for iPhone and Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, yet aside from sherlocking the competition, I can’t see why Apple hasn’t devoted much more attention to its Calendar app already.


As a dad, I spend a ton of time using my iPhone as an always-with-me camera, organizing photos in albums, and turning them in to postcards, calendars, and screen savers. For me, iCloud Photo Library does exactly just what it’s supposed to do: keeps my library in sync across all my devices including edits and albums, and frees up space on low-capacity drives.

iCloud Photo Library

But not even iCloud Photo Library gets family libraries right yet, and the Shared Photo Stream produced by Family Sharing is so not the answer. Google Photos makes progress here along with Shared Albums. Pretty compared to making a dedicated album intended to be shared, you simply develop an album as you would certainly normally, then have actually the option to share that album along with family and friends. It’s still a bit of job and doesn’t totally solve the family photos problem, yet it’s a step in the right direction.

While you’re at it, Apple, could you throw iCloud storage upgrades in along with Family Sharing? We don’t all requirement paid 200GB accounts along with 75GB free. :) An additional thing: Projects from Photos on OS X would certainly be killer on the iPad Pro.


As stated above, I spend a lot of time in the Camera app capturing and sharing snapshots of my daughter rapidly growing up. I’m mostly content along with the Camera app, yet I rarely (if ever) use filters or the square cropped camera. Filters can easily be removed throughout editing, yet a square-shot image is forever.

I’d like to have the ability to optionally have various other actions and cameras in place of filters and square. A 16:9 cropped camera may be useful, yet I’d truly enjoy to see a camera that automatically puts photos and videos shot in a dedicated album. Assume we stick along with the Shared Photo Streams model for families: this would certainly be made much more valuable if the Camera app had a dedicated camera for this Photo Stream. Make the ‘families camera’ default throughout a vacation; save the square camera for … nope, I can’t believe of a good reason. Upthere’s Camera app takes a similar approach.



That’s a nice-looking Weather app there. Even has actually a unique layout in landscape on Plus-sied iPhones. Fewer stock apps is generally much better compared to more, yet in this case I’ll make an exception for the Weather app. I’d like to have actually this exact app on iPad. Sometimes-9to5Mac-police-sketch-artist Michael Steeber even proposed a concept on Dribbble … over two years ago.



Did you know you could set a song as your alarm in the Clock app? It’s a nice feature if you wish to wake up to something much more pleasant compared to the sound of someone’s iPhone ringing, yet if you wake up at 6 a.m. to your beloved song too numerous times, that may not be your beloved song anymore. just what would certainly be even much better would certainly be setting a playlist as your alarm so the song is somewhat random. wish to go full-blown clock radio? Let Apple Music subscribers set stations as alarms. “Siri, wake me up to Taylor Swift Radio at 6 am.”


I use Apple Maps often devoid of much issue, yet I still miss out on Street View as quickly as looking up a brand-new location for the very first time. Luckily, Google Maps is available on the iPhone as a backup, and maybe someday Apple will certainly have their own version of Street View. In the meantime, I’ll request a few things a little much easier compared to photographing the whole world: actual lane guidance, smart toll advisories, and multi-stop routes.

Google Maps Lane Guidance

Google Maps simply aces lane guidance, which was previously only available on medium- to high-end dedicated GPS units. Apple Maps rather pulls out lines enjoy “sustain right ahead” in the middle of a 100 mile stretch along with a slight fork in the road. Referencing the map on-screen is great along with CarPlay, yet the much more audio cues, the better.

Maps likewise includes toll advisories as quickly as getting directions and usually offers alternative routes as quickly as possible, yet pulling data that could offer you a general tip of simply exactly how much that toll may be would certainly be useful.

Apple Maps

Finally, allowing for an extra step or two (or more!) as quickly as mapping out your trip would certainly be great. I wish to drive from Mississippi to Florida yet undoubtedly stop at Shake Shack on the way. Or seeing the full, round trip along with fuel cost estimates. There’s still plenty of room for improvement here.


Person-to-person payments over Apple Pay is rumored for 2016, and that’s exactly just what I wish to see added to the Wallet app. The feature is rumored to job over iMessage, which is encrypted, to securely send messages, yet the Wallet app is naturally where I’d start this process (and include a button to Messages). I’ve often used Square’s Your hard earned cash app to do just what Wallet will certainly hopefully have the ability to do later this year.

Apple Pay Lead

Another thought: I’d like to sustain a front and spine photo of my driver’s license and insurance card in the Wallet app hidden behind Touch ID. Starting along with iOS 9.3, you can easily do that along with Notes, and I already do this along with 1Password, yet Wallet appears enjoy the natural place along with this information. Apple might not wish to mix the bodily and digital globe with each other so much along with Wallet though, until our driver’s licenses and insurance cards are actually stored in Wallet enjoy our bank credit cards and boarding passes (or somewhere in our Apple Car?).


iOS 9.3 includes a generous update to the already much-improved Notes app thanks to Touch ID and password-protected Notes. Going further, I’d like to have the ability to share Personal notes along with my wife. We already share a shopping list using Reminders; similarly, being able to share personal notes along with family would certainly be useful.

3D Touch Notes

Since Notes gained a share extension, I’ve been using it in Safari to save URLs to home listings and points I wish to buy for about the house. Being able to include my wife to the note as a contributor would certainly be terrific.


iOS 9 and Proactive made the Phone app a bit smarter as quickly as it involves handling unknown numbers. If a phone number calls you that isn’t saved in your contacts yet is found in your local iCloud email, the Phone app will certainly try to sometimes suggest an identity for the person calling. I’ve seen it in action maybe once, yet I usually end up Googling an unknown number as quickly as I’m filtering calls and the caller doesn’t leave a voicemail.

iPhone who is calling

How terrific were the days of Caller ID? Scraping the Internet for the identity of a Personal phone number might not be easy, yet an option to search the web for an unknown number would certainly be much better compared to the copy and paste (and remove location description) way that I’m using now.


With the demise of Mailbox we saw rise to plenty of competing email apps enjoy Airmail and Spark gain snooze features. I’m sure plenty of people would certainly be happy to see similar snooze features on emails in Mail too.

Do Not Disturb

For me, I’d truly like to see Mail-Personal Do Not Disturb. You can easily currently filter alerts by VIP contacts or set system-wide Do Not Disturb, yet I’d like to tell Mail that I’m in front of my Mac from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday through Friday and don’t wish to see most email on the weekend.


Okay, the Music app still has actually plenty of room for improvement — especially anything Apple Music-related — yet there’s one small feature related to 3D Touch that I’d like to see: Shazam integration. Siri already integrates Shazam for recognizing music (despite the fact that it was much better as quickly as it was automatic and didn’t require asking Siri to identify a song), and placing a nice Shazam button in the 3D Touch quick actions list would certainly make the service much more accessible.


Of road the Shazam app itself has actually a nice 3D Touch shortcut for recognizing content, yet that’s too much of a feature and not enough of an app to belong on my Residence screen or dock. There’s even room for An additional thing on Music’s 3D Touch quick actions list. :) And Music on iPad could use a much better video gamer that works along with picture-in-picture.



Finally, I’ll send you off along with one last request: FaceTime Video Messages. This feature is technically already available, yet it’s presented in a method that doesn’t job pretty enjoy I would certainly like. as quickly as you FaceTime call a person and they don’t select up, you’re presented along with an option to leave a message using the Messages app. This is great as you can easily send an iMessage text, photo, or even video recording, yet the alert and message content tie to iMessage, not FaceTime, which can easily remove the context and be confusing. The various other person does see that they missed a FaceTime call, and that you sent an iMessage, yet encouraging the caller to tape-record a short video message and letting the recipient know that it was explicitly a FaceTime Video Message would certainly feel enjoy a much more mature system and most likely encourage use.

There are apps enjoy iCloud Drive which I’d enjoy to see become a whole lot much more enjoy Dropbox, and Game Focus which I’d enjoy to see become a setting and not simply a standalone app. Then there’s constantly the dream of being able to remove some of the built-in apps … maybe one day.

The iPad Pro, in general, calls for a lot of job on spacing along with full-screen apps enjoy Messages and Mail, which use method too much white space currently. And there’s the requirement for universal landscape support on the Plus-sized iPhones, Split View for each stock app on the latest iPads, and the various other low-hanging fruit that I stated at the opening, yet each of these relatively small updates would certainly get there the platform greatly for me.

What features would certainly you enjoy to see added to Apple’s built-in apps in iOS 10? Let us know in the comments.

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