Apple is expected to unveil iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 along with the next major versions of macOS, watchOS, and tvOS during its first all-digital WWDC event on June 22. Developers and users are pretty excited to see what Apple has been cooking over the past year and what it has in store for us. We have our own expectations from iOS 14, and we’ve listed a few features that we expect Apple to implement in the next major version of iOS.
While a few iOS 14 features have been leaked already, we can only know the complete list of new features during WWDC 2020, which is slated to happen next month. However, that didn’t stop us from creating our own wishlist of features that we expect to see with iOS 14.
iOS 14 Features Wishlist
1. Completely Revamped Notifications
It is a well-known fact that the notification system on iOS isn’t the best in its class. Android has always had the upper hand in this regard, and Google keeps improving it even further every year. This year, we expect Apple to take charge and address the shortcomings. For starters, the reliability of the notifications system should improve. Sometimes when I click a notification, the related app doesn’t open at all. Apple needs to make sure that its notifications system isn’t buggy.
Apple should also offer a feature that lets snooze notifications so that we can attend to them later. Coming to notifications customization, there are currently too many notification options in the Settings app, and most of them are wrong. Notifications should be allowed to be divided into essential and unimportant.
The next major feature should be an option to classify among types of notifications from an app. Some app developers abuse users with too many notifications. What if I want an e-commerce app to show me delivery-related information but not recommendations and review requests? With iOS 13, you either get it all, or you get nothing. Android 10, on the other hand, offers a feature called ‘Notification Channels’ that lets an app developer distinguish between separate ‘channels’ of notification. So, there are different channels for product delivery, recommended products, offers, and reviews, and you can choose to turn any channel on or off, depending on your preference.
Speaking of notification preferences, they should be easier to access. Using an app icon’s Haptic Touch menu to navigate to its notification preferences could be a more straightforward solution. This would be way faster than navigating to the Settings app, finding the app’s notification settings, and then adjusting its notification preferences.
2. Ability To Change Default Apps
Apple has opened up a lot over the past few years. It gave us a file manager, third-party keyboards, password management APIs for third-party apps, and more. However, iOS still feels a bit limiting because users are forced to use stock apps for essential tasks such as calling, messaging, and browsing the web. With iOS 14, users should be able to choose their preferred web browser, phone dialer, contacts manager, email app, and maybe even the messaging app.
I like Apple’s approach of steading cautiously while offering user data access to third parties. However, I think it has been more than a decade, and the company has had plenty of time to figure out ways and build APIs to let third parties responsibly access a user’s messages, call logs, and more. Users could potentially get access to a third-party dialer app that offers features like call recording (in countries where it is legal), call log export/import, spam detection (more on this later), smart dialing, and more. Also, the company needs to stop limiting third-party keyboards so that they can perform as well as the stock keyboard does.
It is being rumored that Apple is planning (or at least testing) an iOS 14 feature that lets users change their default email and web browser apps, so we’re hopeful that it might allow the same for other stock apps.
3. Better Spam Detection
The problem of robocalls and marketing calls has exploded, and I think we should have a solution to avoid them. There are apps like Truecaller for spam call detection, but they don’t work as well on iOS as they do on Android due to Apple’s limitations. Apple needs to address this with iOS 14 as the situation is bound to only become worse in the future.
Apple should either let users change their default dialer app to the ones that support auto spam detection or figure out a way to create its own crowdsourced database for detecting fraud and spam calls. If users get notified about potentially harmful calls, they can be careful while attending calls. The same could be done with spam message detection via third-party apps or an improved version of the stock Messages app.
4. App Lock For Improved Privacy
Even though Apple values privacy and security more than some other brands, it still doesn’t offer a feature that lets users lock apps via biometrics. This feature should not be tough to implement, right? What if I want to give my friends or kids access to my phone but don’t want them to access my Gallery or Messages apps? Apple should offer a universal option to lock an app (or a game) even if the developer hasn’t implemented it in the app.
The company should also think about offering a feature that lets users hide some apps from appearing on the home screen. This would help users who don’t want their friends or family to know that they play Candy Crush or use Tinder. Even better, Apple should implement a feature like Samsung’s Secure Folder, where users could hide apps, documents, images, and videos away from prying eyes. The secured section of the phone could only be accessed via registered biometrics.
5. New Home Screen Layouts, Resizable Widgets
The home screen part of iOS has seen the least change in terms of UI and features. It is still a grid of icons that you can’t do much with. Apart from folders and app shortcuts, Apple hasn’t added any significant home screen-related features over the past decade. Apple is rumored to have implemented a list view for the home screen in iOS 14. We’ve also seen a few concepts of how it could look, and that’s a start, but I am not entirely impressed. I would love to see a scrolling grid option and dynamic placement of app icons.
There have also been rumors that Apple could liberate widgets from the widgets screen and allow users to place widgets with app icons on the home screen. However, some other reports have mentioned that Apple is just experimenting with the feature, but users shouldn’t expect it to make it to iOS 14 just yet. Apple is also reportedly thinking about letting third-party wallpaper apps deeper access to iOS 14, which should give users more control over home screen and lock screen customization. Another feature that the company should offer is a way to customize app shortcuts on the lock screen.
6. Always On Display Mode
People look at their phones dozens of times a day, and it’s not always because they want to use the phone. A lot of times, they just want to check the time or to see if they have important notifications. Lighting up the whole screen might not be the best choice every time. Now that most iPhones have OLED screens (or would have OLED screens with the iPhone 12 series), Apple could offer an always visible clock widget on the screen even when the phone is in the sleep mode. The clock widget could be accompanied by notification icons, calendar events, weather info, and other bits of information without sacrificing a lot of power.
Apple could even implement an Apple Watch-like Complications feature that could be used to customize the Always-On Display mode so that they could have instant access to the information they want. They could potentially place complications that display information such as activity rings, battery charge level, sports scores, to-do lists, unread message or email count, or weather. There’s already a system in place in watchOS, and Apple could migrate it to iOS.
7. Extended or Scrolling Screenshots
Apple improved the experience of capturing, editing and annotating screenshots with iOS 11. However, I think it is still missing an important feature: expanded screenshots. Although iOS 13 allows capturing full-page screenshots of webpages via Safari, other apps don’t support it. The iOS 14 update should bring the ability to capture extended screenshots in all the apps. It would be really useful for sharing things like a complete webpage, a conversation, an email thread, or a Twitter thread.
8. Smaller UI for Voice Calls
Right now, when you receive a call on an iPhone, the call UI takes up the whole screen. When you’re performing an important task such as drafting an email, the full-screen call UI could get annoying. A lot of people complain about this, and they’re right. It’s about time Apple had a smaller pop-up notification for calls, especially while people are using their iPhones.
There have been plenty of concepts as to how Apple could do it. The company could either display a small, pop-up notification with essential controls towards the top of the screen or have a floating window or a widget that can be moved around so that a user can use other apps while attending a call. It is already possible on jailbroken iPhones, but people should not need to jailbreak their devices for features as simple as this.
iOS 14 Wishlist: New Call Screen concept*
Here’s a clean image of how our concept looks like:
— 9TechEleven (@9techeleven) March 2, 2020
9. Picture-in-Picture Mode
When I want to keep watching a nail-biting cricket match while ordering food or browsing through Twitter, I can’t do it on my iPhone because iOS doesn’t support the picture-in-picture mode. This is quite easy to implement and useful for everyone. Apple already has the picture-in-picture feature in macOS, and it wouldn’t be hard for the company to offer a similar mode in iOS for video streaming and video player apps.
This would increase productivity and let users watch videos without breaking their workflow. A similar feature for video calls would be of great help as well so that you can continue using your phone while seeing your family or friends.
10. Multiple User Accounts for iPadOS
I know this is not really about iOS, but at least iPads should have multiple user profiles, just like macOS. A lot of families use an iPad as a shared device for browsing, video calls, playing games, and watching videos. It would be great if people can have individual profiles so that they can use their favorite apps without having to worry about their personal data being accessed by others in the family.
Now that Apple is marketing iPads as real computers, they should have real-computer like features, including multiple user profiles, improved text selection, and better multitasking window management.