Marty’s Holiday Wish List Letter to Apple

IMG_0472.JPG

At this time of year it’s not uncommon to see letters from children to Santa expressing wishes for some gifts they would like to receive. I thought this year I would pen a letter to Apple with a list of my holiday wishes and some things I would like to see under the iOS tree.

I use Apple products heavily, but not exclusively. I mostly use the cloud services of Google, especially the Photos service. I use an Android phone and tablet as well as an iPhone, two iPads and an Apple Watch. I have a PC and Mac sitting next to each other, and have a Windows 10 tablet as well. In using all these other products, I’ve come to wish that iOS had some features offered by other platforms. I still think iOS is by far the best mobile platform for numerous reasons but in the following “letter” to Apple, I would like to present my Christmas wishlist.

 

Dear Apple,

The time of year has come for me to express some gift wishes for the upcoming holiday season. Although I find iOS far superior to alternative mobile platforms, I have a short list of some things I would like for you to consider adding to iOS as you see fit.

More customization. I don’t expect complete customization and I think the “sameness” of iOS from device to device makes it easier to help friends and family, especially when doing troubleshooting over the phone. But I would like more customization in the Control Center. There are a few options I never use, and being able to replace or reorder options would greatly enhance usability.

A more granular “Do Not Disturb”. I have Do Not Disturb turned on from 10:30 PM to 6:00 AM. This works great during the night, but there are other consistently occurring events where I need Do Not Disturb enabled, such as during classes and church services.

With my Android phone, I can put in as many schedules as I like and have the phone muted with a choice of total silence or allowing contacts or favorites to break the Do Not Disturb settings. I can even have the Android phone enable Do Not Disturb according to events in my calendar.

I do want to thank Apple for adding the feature where texts from “favorites” come through even when Do Not Disturb is enabled.

 Use “Hey Siri” when audio is playing. At one time I could say “Hey Siri” while playing audio and the iPhone would stop playing audio and listen for my commands.  Now, “Hey Siri” doesn’t respond when audio is playing. This is very inconvenient when driving and listening to audio, since this is when I want “Hey Siri” most often. I know that sometimes “Hey Siri” will activate due to the audio that’s playing, but at least I would like the option to enable it.

A few more active icons. I love how the clock icon shows the time with a real time moving second hand. It would be nice to have the weather icon show the current temperature and maybe the graphic change according to local conditions. Although too small to show maps, the map icon could show colors to indicate traffic conditions at a glance. The message icon could show the picture or first letter of the last name of who last texted you. There are many opportunities to use this otherwise static space. Yes, it would be somewhat of a battery hit, but many people are able to charge throughout the day and Apple could offer a new Settings section called “live icons” where you could toggle each one on or off, similar to Notifications now.

Apple Watch-like complications on the Lock Screen. I love being able to touch the Home button to light the device screen and see the date and time at a glance. There is a lot of unused space on the Lock Screen where local weather conditions, sunrise/sunset times, and other small complications could be displayed. Along with this, add Tap To Wake anywhere on the screen.

A dark mode. I really love the dark mode of the Clock app. This would be a great addition to any screen where white is so dominant. I feel you might wait and give this to us next year along with OLED displays...

Split View or Side-by-Side for iPhone. Even if you have to limit it to the Plus model, I would greatly enjoy split screen views like Split View or Side-by-Side for the iPhone. Sometimes I just want to casually watch a video while typing a text.

I hope my list this year isn’t too long. I’m fine with the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. I miss it sometimes, but I do manage. The things I want this year are software-related and won’t make next year’s phone thicker or take up physical space. I’ll really appreciate it if you can deliver any of these requests this year and will leave milk and browser cookies under the tree.