Ben Dodson

Freelance iOS, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Developer

iOS 10 Wishlist

I was recently interviewed by Fast Company for an article they wrote about iOS features they’d like to see at WWDC this year. A couple of my suggestions were featured in the article but I thought I’d publish my full iOS 10 wishlist.

System Defaults

One of the things that I feel has been long missing from iOS is the ability to choose a default app for certain tasks such as email, web browser, phone, or notes. I would love to see a way for developers to make their app conform to some set of standards that would allow them to be selected as a default app. For example, Skype could conform to the “phone app” standard so when you tap a phone number in your mail app it’ll launch Skype and dial the number rather than using the Phone app. Similarly, email links could go to Polymail and web links to Chrome.

Siri API

I’ve long wanted a full API for Siri but so far there hasn’t even been a stepping stone. I imagine the first phase would go hand in hand with the System Defaults plan I outlined and that apps that adopt a certain standard would be able to show up in Siri. For example, if Spotify conformed to being a “music app” then saying “Hey Siri, Play C’est La Via by B*Witched” would start that track playing in Spotify rather than Music.

Control Center Buttons

When you swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iOS, you get Control Center which gives you quick access to certain features (like WiFi), controls (for music / video), and apps (Torch, Timer, etc). I’d like the ability to a) use 3D touch to get more options when using the features section (so I can choose a new WiFi network) and b) be able to choose the apps and features that show up in that area. I never need quick access to the calculator.

CarPlay

I’ve been using CarPlay for around a year now (via an after market Alpine iLX-700) and I absolutely love it. However, 3rd party apps are limited to a few selected audio apps like Spotify and Overcast which use a simple template that doesn’t work very well. I’d like to see support for any 3rd party app to use CarPlay and for it to use UIKit so that any interface can be displayed. I noticed in March that iOS 9.3 added a UIUserInterfaceIdiom for CarPlay so hopefully this is coming.

AirPlay

I have a number of AirPlay devices around the house and one of the things that frustrates me most is that I can’t use Siri to control them. I’d like to be able to say “Hey Siri, play my cooking playlist in the kitchen” and have it just work. I’ve been able to hack this functionality together via some Applescript and a fake HomeKit setup on my Mac called Homebridge but it’d be nice to have it built in natively. Also, iTunes on the Mac can AirPlay to multiple speakers at once whereas iOS can’t.

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