A Wish For iOS 10 Stock App Improvements

7 March 2016

9to5Mac:

There are apps like iCloud Drive which I’d like to see become a whole lot more like Dropbox, and Game Center which I’d like to see become a setting and not just a standalone app. Then there’s always the dream of being able to remove some of the built-in apps … maybe one day.

The iPad Pro, in general, needs a lot of work on spacing with full-screen apps like Messages and Mail, which use way too much white space currently. And there’s the need for universal landscape support on the Plus-sized iPhones, Split View for every stock app on the latest iPads, and the other low-hanging fruit that I mentioned at the opening, but each of these relatively small updates would advance the platform greatly for me.

Both iPhone 6s 3D Touch and iPad Pro multitasking are under-utilised by Apple’s stock apps with current versions of iOS 9. My philosophy is that Apple’s apps should be the best iOS citizens possible. It doesn’t matter if they are used by a lot of people or not, they are the standard by which other apps should have to meet.

I mean, look at Compass. That app is a prime candidate for a third-party App Store offering, and yet Apple made its own app incredibly beautiful and surprisingly functional. The spirit level UI is one of my favourite parts of iOS and a signature design element of the flat aesthetic. Every Apple stock app should have Compass’ attention to detail and should show off the capabilities of the system wherever possible. Hence, the lack of 3D Touch shortcuts and incomplete support for iPad multitasking in iOS 9 was very disappointing.

I am sad that this is the case, but it is. iOS 9.3 takes some steps to rectify obvious holes in 3D Touch support with the addition of quick actions for many more stock apps. I hope iOS 10 focuses on iPad Pro as a real member of the iOS line, not some awkward half cousin. This means complete split screen multitasking support for all stock apps (Settings, come on!) as well as a pass over the entire OS to clean up rough edges, which were clearly not designed for a 12 inch canvas.

If Apple doesn’t want to commit engineers to continue developing these apps for every device type Apple sells, then fine. Delete them from the OS in that case. End of story.