iOS 10 Wishes and Concept Video

Killer article from Federico Viticci at MacStories: a comprehensive wish list of features we’d love to see on iOS 10 – complete with mockup pictures and video!

Seriously, I’m not even going to excerpt my favorites here. Read the whole article, it’s great.

I’d add a few feature requests of my own to the pile:

Selection that actually works. This is a longstanding issue I have. When I try to select text on a webpage, iOS pretty much makes up its own rules for what is getting selected. These rules change arbitrarily depending on how zoomed the page is. It’s been 10 years, this needs to be fixed.

Mac-style Spotlight Search. The search interface called “Spotlight” in iOS is vastly inferior to the Mac version – it only works from the home screen, it doesn’t search the same amount of content, and it only has a limited degree of quick actions.

We’re seeing progress on this front – iOS 9.2 added keyboard navigation to Spotlight results, and allowed you to launch the top result by hitting the Enter key. We have further to go. There’s no reason Command+Space search on iPad should be worse than Mac.

Safari Technology Preview. I’m convinced this is coming. Apple recently released a special version of Safari for Mac that acts like a snapshot of work-in-progress features. This app would actually make even more sense on iOS, since it would have the side benefit of allowing two versions of Safari to run side-by-side in split-screen multitasking.

Expanded Hardware Keyboard Support. There is still much low-hanging fruit to harvest before the iPad can be taken seriously as a full Mac replacement – this falls under that category. Hardware keyboards can’t be remapped in iOS right now – if you’re using a PC keyboard, the Command and Option keys are reversed. If you like setting Undo+Cut+Copy+Paste to F1+F2+F3+F4, you can’t. Forget about more advanced macros. This is easy to fix – Apple can bury these settings under Accessibility, but they should be there.

Better Command+Tab App Switching. The iPad throws up a Mac-style app switching overlay when you press command+tab on a hardware keyboard. This makes no sense – iOS already has a superior native app switching interface. Allow keyboard navigation of this interface instead of remaking the Mac version.

Trackpad Support. This is a big one. I know it has been heavily debated inside of Apple. The ground work is already in place – you can already use the virtual keyboard as a rudimentary trackpad on iPads and 3D-Touch-capable iPhones. It’s time to throw the switch on this one. Get trackpad support out there, let developers and users figure out the use case and iron out the bugs. This doesn’t come at the expense of a touchscreen, of course, but it should be there.

Full-quality HDMI Out. I don’t believe there is a technical limitation to why the iPad Pro can’t output a full, uncompressed HDMI signal from the HDMI adapter. Previous devices had to compress the video via H264 and output it to a special computer buried in the adapter. That computer then decompressed the video and output it over the HDMI connection. This was done to work around bandwidth limitations in Lightning.

The iPad Pro probably doesn’t have these limitations. At USB 3 speeds, it should be more than capable of outputting native video. This is probably a very low priority, but it should be there.

Local Backup Via Time Capsule. Apple sells a wireless base station with a built-in backup drive. The Mac can wirelessly back up to this drive, but iOS cannot. With all the horror stories about privacy and government intrusion in the news these days, a lot of people would probably pay for a good quality, transparent, local backup.

Fix Copying. Seriously Apple, this is a bad bug. When you copy something, it should copy. Always. Somewhere in the past few months, that stopped working some of the time. Fix that.