Some Ideas for iOS

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by Shocco, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Shocco macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    I recently bought an iPhone 5 after years of using Android. I much prefer the overall experience of the iPhone to my Galaxy but there are certain features found on Android I wish Apple would implement to improve the overall experience on iOS.

    Firstly I'd like the ability to personalise the look of my phone more. This means being able to change app icons, dock backgrounds, menu colours, message colours etc. The ability to customise the phone would go further than changing appearance. It would be nice if Apple let us choose different dialer apps, contact and messaging apps as they do with Camera apps/browser.

    The reason being is I find a few of the stock apps in iOS lacking in features. Specifically Messages and Contacts. Firstly both apps do not show a photo of my contacts in the list which makes it more difficult for anyone to identify their desired contact as the brain processes images faster than text. The only way contacts are displayed within the contact app is via list form, no grid, no large previews. Contacts also lacks the ability to sync with Facebook. I know 3rd party apps like offer this but they do not come with an in built dialer which means I have to switch between two apps to go from contacts to dialer. The lack of gesture commands is another strange absence as gesture commands are very Apple. On some contact apps swiping left on the selected contact instantly dials them whilst swiping right messages them. This is a very intuitive way of switching between messages, contacts and dialer without having to double tap the home button and switch.

    Speaking of the dialer I'd like to see a quicker way of calling my contacts. I was thinking that since the left page of the home screen is now empty as search box has been moved to the top of the home screen this would be an ideal place to put a speed dial i.e a list of contacts displayed in rows much like apps are but instead are a custom selection of your contacts. Tapping on a contact instantly calls them whilst holding down shows other options such as Message, FaceTime, Edit etc

    One thing I think would really improve the usability of iOS is a much more context sensitive home screen. App icons that display information the app holds on the icon itself. I'm not asking for widgets but it would be nice if for example the weather app icon instead of showing a generic picture actually showed you the weather in your current location much like the Calendar app icon shows you the current date. This would also work well with photos (which would show recent photos in a collage), Music (showing all your albums or a custom selection) and Contacts (showing a collage of all your photos, selected photos). This would then encourage developers to create their own ways of displaying information on the app to make it easier for users assimilate information from an app without having to open it.

    I know this is very similar to Microsoft's live tiles but regretfully as a long time Apple user I do think Microsoft have actually got it right with tiles. Tiles are a better UI design than icons are. They show you more information at a glance than icons do. Microsoft being Microsoft however clumsily implemented tiles but should Apple incorporate this I think they'd do a far better job than Microsoft and it would make iOS a better OS for it. But if Apple are going to persist with the icon format then at least allow us to have multiple docks so I can swipe between docks.

    One last strange absentee from iOS is the dashboard. Dashboard would be a great way of displaying widgets if users should so desire. In Yosemite widgets are part of the notifications bar but seeing as the notifications bar is purely designed to just show information it would not be a fitting place for widgets. Instead another layer above the home screen and notifications bar could display widgets. A two finger pinch at any time would activate the dashboard and from there users could add their favourite widgets. OSX has this and it seems a natural fit for iOS.

    So what do you think? I'd be really interested to hear what people think?
  2. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    You can sync contacts with Facebook information just from Settings and the Facebook section there, without the need of another app. You can also use another app to sync the information and then simply use the Contacts app where that information would already be present after the sync (basically no need to use that other app aside from doing a sync once in a while if you want).

    Easier access to favorite contacts and recent contacts is coming in iOS 8 where they will be present at the top of the multitasking/recent apps screen (the one you get to by double pressing the home button).

    Widget information is also already coming in iOS 8 in one of the sections in the Notification Center. Again, not quite in the same place that you might be describing, but the support is coming nonetheless.

    Apple isn't really into customizing things that aren't useful to functionality/productivity at least, and even then not always. So if customization is what you are after, Apple isn't really the place for it. That said, things are opening up somewhat more in respect of being able to choose more things in iOS 8 for example where extensions and widgets would be coming, so third party keyboards and other things of that nature will start making appearances.
  3. Shocco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    I wasn't aware of these changes in iOS8 I'll watch the keynote sounds promising.

    Just saw the Facebook integration in settings. Thanks but still wish I could see contact photos

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