With WWDC just around the corner I wanted to talk about some of the things I hope to see. With that said, I am not necessarily expecting to see any of these things. Some of them are wild and probably not going to happen, but I can hope right?
Honestly my expectations for this WWDC is very low because I don't foresee anything coming from this years keynote that will blow me away, and that's okay. With low expectations I can be easily surprised and delighted, and I also think that for Apple to continue improving iOS, the Mac, and their software they could use a buffer to make sure their foundation of current apps, hardware, and software are up to snuff.
However, I do have a list of things I want to come in WWDC.
The current climate for notifications for me is abysmal. I never use the Notification Center or really anything other than badges and a few banner notifications. I rarely have anything pop up, and it is all because it doesn't make things easy for the user. When I have Twitter notifications on, for instance, when someone tweets it removes all of them as soon as I open the app. So if I get a few notifications when people I want to see tweet, I open the official Twitter client. Then all of those other notifications, including the ones I never tapped on, are no longer in my list. So I end up having to either keep a mental list in my head of all the people who were in my notifications or, more likely, decide which one seems the most interesting and dismiss all the rest. This frustrating experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth and this incessant need to immediately tap on any new notifications I get because I fear if I don't I won't be able to later once I get more down the pipe.
This isn't an intuitive system and I would rather have these notifications be more granular with the abilities it can do. Things like grouping by app, selecting more specific functions of what notifications I can get, and how they are removed. These are all things I desperately want to see Apple implement come iOS 12.
This has been on my list for a long time and I think it is time with iOS to allow for people to decide things like their default mail app, browser, and default task manager. Instead of having to either deal with the extra taps every time you want to share something, or conform to the stock Mail app as I have. I want people to be free from these chains and use whatever app they want.
I want people to be able to tap on a button like "Open in Browser" and have that link open in iCab Mobile or Chrome for iOS. I hate having to take the extra unnecessary steps to use the share sheet and scroll to iCab Mobile every time I want to open a link. It doesn't seem like much once in a while but if it is a default app those few taps add up exponentially.
New Smart Keyboard
It is time to make the Smart Keyboard a Pro keyboard.
I love the practicality and portability of the Smart Keyboard but I think it is missing a few things that are needed for Pro users. Things like backlit keys, or an added function row come to mind when I think of the things I want improved with the keyboard.
In a perfect world I would also like Apple to use key switches like that on the Magic Keyboard. Both the current Mac butterfly switches and whatever switches are in the Smart Keyboard don't provide enough travel to my liking and I think most Keyboard enthusiasts will agree that key travel is one of those things that, if not done right, is a deal breaker.
More Keyboard Friendly shortcuts in iOS
If Appel doesn't make a better keyboard, I would at least like to have better shortcuts. Things like multi-tasking is still touch-only. This was something CGP Grey brought up in the iOS 11 betas where you can use spotlight, search for an app and when highlighted you can use a shortcut like Shift+Command+→ to move that app in the right position of split screen. The same could be done for the left side, and if you want it full screen just use the down arrow.
An app like Things 3 touts the ability to make their application "Desktop-Class" and allows for nearly everything to be done in that iOS application right from a keyboard. No more zombie-arm when you have to reach out and interact with the screen anymore. Instead, you have the ability to do everything right from a keyboard. This is what I want with iOS. I want Apple to really make the iPad Pro a piece of hardware where professionals can take this with the instead of a laptop without compromise, and until a keyboard-only ecosystem is embraced I don't think that can be done.
Better Audio Functionality for Podcasting on iOS
I have spoken about podcasting on the iPad before. While it is possible to record and edit a podcast on iOS, you need two devices to do it. I would love Apple to go all-in on podcasting on iOS and make it possible for developers to easily allow for both a Skype or FaceTime call to be in progress and use an audio interface to record the mic plugged in to the iPad. If I am able to record a podcast with only an iPad I would find myself on the "Best I love you" side of happiness from the Ticci Leak Scale.
More Automation in iOS
It has been a little over a year since Apple acquired Workflow and the staff behind this automation app. Outside of a few updates, which are pleasant surprises, there hasn't been much else to indicate what Apple is doing with either Workflow or that team. I would like to see something to point towards automation on the iPad to know that Apple is making good on their acquisition and allowing that amazing team continue to push the platform forward and make iOS an even more powerful system.
In a perfect world I would like to see automation baked into iOS 12 and allow for people who want more automation be able to do so in a simple and powerful way. More than likely though it will be a slow roll for automation to come to the iPad and iOS, chipping away bit by bit to get automation for iOS to be less nerdy and complicated.
WWDC is set to have their keynote Monday, June 4th, at 10am PT (1pm ET). Most of the speculation is for it to be a snooze but I am looking forward to an event that has no leaks. It's like going into a critically acclaimed movie without having heard a hint of spoilers. It is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.
I also plan to write a few things about iOS 12 and anything else that seems interesting here. So make sure you add this to your RSS feeds so you don't miss a thing!