You have to love the evolution of technology. You can call it Moore’s Law, returns on investments, or simply progress … but the pace of consumer tech’s maturation is breathtaking.
iOS is a prime example. In 2007 it was essentially a slick, polished way to do about ten things. Today iOS – along with Android and Windows Phone – is narrowing the gap between mobile and the desktop.
Until recently, little had been known about iOS 7. That changed when John Gruber of Daring Fireball suggested that work on Apple’s next iOS version was behind schedule .Despite Gruber’s comments, no one is doubting that Apple will introduce the world to iOS 7 this summer, even if it means delaying the launch of OS X 10.9. One casualty of the delay, however, could also be a June launch of the so-called “iPhone 5S”
According to TNW, developers have started seeing traces of the iOS 7 operating system. iOS 6, as you may recall was announced last June but was made available this fall. Now the iOS 7 release date is expected to be in June as well, at Apple’s big WWDC conference.
It looks like the new operating system might be running a little behind schedule. John Gruber believes that iOS 7 is “running behind”, with engineers being pulled from OS X 10.9 to work on it.
A greater synergy between hardware and software design is something Apple is looking to achieve as it moves towards iOS 7. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal in late March 2013, which also suggests that Jonathan Ive is pushing for a starker and simpler design for iOS 7 – that reminds us a little of what Microsoft has done to the desktop in Windows 8.
But regardless of what Apple achieves, it’s never really enough. As soon as you’ve sat there playing with the latest iOS, ideas pop into your head regarding what you’d like to see next.
However, most changes will be “pretty conservative” according to the paper’s sources.
Now we will explore the features, we’re clamoring to see in iOS 7.
Pretty much everyone we know with an Apple device has a folder entitled ‘Apple’. This isn’t filled with must-have apps from the geniuses at Cupertino, but all the junk Apple installs that you can’t get rid of. To be fair, what each individual considers junk is different, and these apps—Compass, Stocks, Voice Memos, Passbook, and so on—have their fans; but is it too much to ask for a switch in Settings that will hide those we don’t use?
OS X is blessed with dozens of high-quality voices that Witter away to you in various dulcet tones. By contrast, Siri is Siri. In the US, you get a slightly robotic woman; in the UK, Siri’s that bloke who did The Weakest Link for a decade. It’d be great if you could choose the voice your device uses to speak.
Fed up of getting woken up in the middle of the night by the marketing efforts of [redacted, but quite possibly a well-known mobile network] or Game Center fanfares? Do Not Disturb is a great feature that enables you to time when your phone will quit bugging you. But you can define only a single schedule, and we want to see alternative options for weekends.
There’s something to be said for Apple’s minimalism regarding the iOS lock screen, and it’s mostly that it’s too minimal. We’re not sure we want to see Android-style widgets sprayed everywhere, but a little more functionality wouldn’t go amiss. For example, artwork from a currently playing song is displayed on the lock screen, but there are no controls for pausing or skipping to the next track, until you double-press Home, which isn’t hugely discoverable. And beyond notifications, nothing else shows up there at all.
We’re hesitant at arguing Apple’s home screen icons should be more like Windows 8 tiles, but there’s something to be said for dynamic updates when such things work well. With iOS, you get update badges and a live calendar. It’d be nice at the least if Apple made its own Clock and Weather icons dynamic.
Locking is a great thing on iOS devices, making it at least a little harder for some scallywag to get at your data if they pinch your shiny Apple joy. But it could be more intelligent, locking on a location-aware basis, and not when you’re, say, happily sitting at home on the sofa.
In recent years, Apple’s made great leaps away from iTunes and you can technically get away with never using the monstrous jukebox. However, there’s still no way to easily get neither your existing music collection nor your photographs on to your device, and there should be.
Apple has a lot riding on iOS 7, and they want to get it just right. If that means a delay to the iPhone 5S, so be it. If we were taking bets, we’d suggest that there won’t be a new iPhone until July or August.
There is still some buzz about a possible Apple media event in April, though evidence on that is still sketchy at best. Apple did not comment on the iOS 7 or 10.9 rumors as of this writing, but we’ll update if we receive anything.