Gurman: Apple to add several most requested features in iOS 17
Apple had originally planned on making iOS 17 a tuneup release, says Mark Gurman. According to the Bloomberg journalist the company is now planning on adding several most requested features in the upcoming version of the software.
iOS 16 had its fair share of bugs when it was released, I'd argue it still has various issues here and there. It would seem rather strange for a major operating system update to focus on bug fixes and patching performance issues, but it has happened in the past, at least when it concerned Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Gurman says that the strategy in the development of iOS 17 (codename Dawn) took a turn, and that it will have several "nice to have" features, even if it may lack a major feature such as the revamped lock screen that was introduced last year.
Unfortunately, that's all Gurman had to say about it. That's pretty vague. What highly requested features could Apple be working on for iOS 17?
I don't think the lock screen customization options in iOS 16 were a major improvement, and if Apple considered it as such, that was a huge mistake. It was the same with Stage Manager in macOS Ventura 13, the company touted it as one of the operating system's highlights, while in reality it is simply not as good as the tried and tested Mission Control and Spaces.
Limitations in iOS
Let's take a look at some of the flaws in iOS. For starters, iOS lacks a proper file manager, which makes downloading, sharing, and organizing files on an iPhone a very tedious task. The operating system is still to catch up on bitter rival Android's strengths, such as personalization of home screens. iOS doesn't let users customize their home screen properly with icon packs, but there is a way using which you may assign custom icons to apps.
Apple's voice assistant, Siri, has been woeful for years despite numerous complaints from users. Will the rise of the new A.I. make things any better? One of iOS' biggest annoyances are spam calls and text messages, there are ways to minimize the latter, but unwanted calls remain a problem.
While iPhones have a nifty little mute switch to silence notifications and calls, iOS needs to add a better volume control panel, to let users adjust the audio level for calls, media, etc., separately. Speaking of buttons, Apple has relied on an outdated design for going back from media or certain pages in apps, it places a button in the top left corner of the screen, and it has a rather small touch area, so it's quite difficult to hit it accurately.
Another area where iOS fails to shine is the keyboard, it cannot be resized, and often ends up taking half of the space on the screen, which makes chatting, writing mails, a tad cumbersome. You can dismiss the keyboard in some situations, but these are rare. Apple does not allow users to be signed in to more than one account (Apple ID) on a device at the same time, so you cannot use multiple accounts in the App Store. It is possible that Dynamic Island, that debuted on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, will support new software features. Those are just the things that I think are worth improving.
Apple to add several most requested features in iOS 17
In reality, what Apple could focus on are changes that were made mandatory by the EU's Digital Markets Act. This includes allowing the installation of apps from any source (sideloading) such as third-party app stores. It will also require users to choose the default browser and messaging apps of their choice. Browser makers will be allowed to use their custom engines, and will no longer be crippled by WebKit's limitations.
Of course, Apple will likely not admit that it was forced to make these changes, so I wouldn't be surprised if it tries to put a positive spin on it, and say we listened to users, and we think you'll love these new features.
Apple will host its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, to introduce iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17. We could see the debut of the company's first mixed-reality headset (AR/VR) during the WWDC 2023 event, a Mac Pro and likely an M3-powered iMac.Advertisement