2Some Back-End Improvements Would Be Welcome
Overall, iOS 8 provides a solid user experience, but some enhancements to its stability and reaction speed would be nice. According to reports, Apple is working on several behind-the-scenes enhancements that would make its operating system faster, more responsive when switching tasks and less likely to crash. Back-end improvements certainly aren’t flashy, but they are necessary to persuade iPhone owners to deploy the new software.
3Apple Maps Still Isn’t Perfect
Apple Maps still has a long way to go to match Google Maps. Apple’s mapping application has come a long way since its botched launch a couple of years ago, but its reliability has been called into question when put up against Google Maps. Plus, it lacks a Google Street View experience, which has proved extremely popular. Apple Maps is a solid mapping platform, but improvements are in order.
4Apple Must Recognize Siri Needs Improvement
Siri might have been first out of the gate, but one could make the argument that, in some respects, Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant Cortana is even better. Cortana comes with a more refined feel that doesn’t sound so robotic and has complex features, like awareness of a user’s activities and key dates so it can act unilaterally in a helpful way. For now, Siri is still a passive assistant that needs direction. Cortana is less so. That’s a problem that Apple must address in iOS 9.
5Multiuser Support Is a Must
Multiuser support was rumored in iOS 8 but never made its way to the platform. Now the time has come for Apple to finally allow iOS owners to have multiple user accounts. It’s unlikely that the feature will be used that often on an iPhone, which is typically used by an individual. But it’s easy to see the value of multiple user accounts on the family iPad. The time has come to catch up to Android and offer multiuser support.
6Implement Guest Mode for Added Security
As the enterprise knows all too well, people are often more than willing to hand over their iPhones and iPads to co-workers, family members or friends to use their devices. That’s why a Guest Mode would be a nice addition to iOS. With Guest Mode, users could create a firewall around their accounts and ensure data is not stolen. Guest Mode seems like a must-have security feature in iOS 9.
7Allow Separate Personal, Business Accounts on a Single Handset
This isn’t a new idea, but it would certainly appeal to Apple’s growing enterprise customer base: a bifurcated software experience between consumers and enterprise users. That capability is already offered with BlackBerry handsets. With many enterprises supporting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, it would be nice to see Apple allow iPhone users to set up separate personal and business accounts on the same phone. A firewall would run between the two sides ensuring data won’t mix. Chief security officers would likely love to see that built into iOS 9.
8Enhance FaceTime With Group Video Calls
FaceTime is a great way to stay connected via video conferencing, but having support for many more video feeds at one time would be a welcome addition. Like Skype, FaceTime could come with support for, say, 10 simultaneous video connections, allowing a large group of people to hold a single video call. Right now, family members may be huddled around a device so they can all be in on a single call. With support for group calls using multiple feeds, all that could change.
9iOS Could Use Split-Screen Multitasking to Improve Productivity
To its credit, Apple has done a solid job in recent years building out its multitasking and improving productivity. The next step, however, is to add a split-screen functionality that would allow users to see two apps open at the same time. The feature would likely make the most sense on an iPad, but it could also work well on the larger iPhone 6 Plus.
10Allow Some Flexibility on Default Applications
Apple has a tendency to push its own applications on users. Granted, Apple has a big App Store that supports all kinds of third-party map applications, browsers and much more, but trying to remove its default apps, like Phone, is impossible. Perhaps Apple should take a more laissez-faire approach and allow for more flexibility with default apps. The chances of that happening, of course, are slim, but it’s worth wishing for.
11iOS Needs a Real File Directory
Apple’s iOS still lacks a folder directory that would make it easy to save documents to different directories on the device for access later. That’s an issue because if the iPad is ever going to be a true replacement for notebooks or a reliable productivity-boosting device, it needs better file directory support. Reports have suggested the feature has been coming for years, but it has yet to appear. Let’s hope iOS 9 is different.