If you’re a long time iPhone user who has developed a sort of love–hate relationship with iOS, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even though iOS is widely hailed as a smoother, easier-to-use, and more secure experience than Android, it’s still not perfect. And there are lots more features we’d love to see Apple introduce.
At this point, waiting for features that have been staples on Android smartphones for years seems like it’s just part of the iPhone experience. Here are the top seven features we’re still waiting to see on iOS.
7. An Always-On Display
Unlike a traditional smartphone screen, which is either turned completely on or off, an always-on display keeps some parts of the display running all the time. That means you can see the time and keep track of important notifications without even touching your phone. Although keeping parts of the display on will end up using some extra juice, power-efficient OLED screens are able to activate only the pixels in use, making an always-on display a convenient feature that won’t compromise your battery life too much.
Always-on display tech has been around for a while, and we’ve seen this feature on flagships from Samsung, Google, and OnePlus for years now. Unfortunately, we still have to see it on the iPhone. Even the Apple Watch has had an always on display since 2018, so it’s a shame that we’re still waiting for it to come to the iPhone. Fingers crossed we’ll see it in the near future as an iOS feature that brings it to older iPhone models as well as new ones.
6. Split Screen Multitasking
Unlike on iPadOS and most Android phones, the iPhone still doesn’t have split-screen multitasking. That means you’re forced to use individual apps, one at a time. Even though we’re thrilled that picture-in-picture video finally made its way to iOS in 2020, that’s a great feature for watching, not for doing.
Not having split screen functionality on iOS might have made sense when the iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen. But with the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro packing 6.1-inch screens, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max featuring a huge 6.7-inch screen, no split-screen functionality on iOS is a sore spot for a lot of power users.
5. A Smarter Siri
Siri turned heads when it debuted in 2011 on the iPhone 4S, but times have changed since then. Although Apple seemed ahead of the pack for years, other voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant have made their own splashes in the market. Alexa in particular has great integration with not only Amazon services, but with many third-party apps, while Siri’s third-party support is very limited in comparison.
And even though Siri is great for short, simple commands, like scheduling reminders or sending text messages, when it comes to more complicated tasks, it’s easy to confuse the assistant. Ask Siri to do too much, and it’ll often send you some Google search results and call it a day.
In recent years we’ve seen Apple update Siri with new voices and even regional accents. But while Siri has more style than ever, it still needs to get smarter.
4.Horizontal Face ID
Although Face ID had its skeptics when it originally debuted on the iPhone X, it quickly proved itself to be safe, reliable, and fast. Continued updates have made Face ID even quicker and better at recognizing faces. If you’ve got an iPhone 12 or newer, you can even use Face ID with a mask.
Face ID works well, as long as you hold your iPhone in just the right way. Even on Apple’s latest devices, Face ID still needs an almost direct view of your face to work, and it won’t work at all if your iPhone is tilted horizontally. That can lead to some awkward fumbling around if you’re using your device while laying down.
3. Apple Pencil Support
Since the Apple Pencil originally released back in 2015, we’ve seen it grow into a versatile and capable tool for digital artists, illustrators, and other creatives. A ton of Apple’s marketing for iPads even has the Apple Pencil front and center, showing the many ways it can boost creativity and productivity in the right hands. That being said, we still haven’t got any Apple Pencil support for the iPhone.
When it comes to phones, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a big one. In fact, its 6.7-inch screen makes almost as big as the 8.3-inch iPad mini. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to use the Apple Pencil on it. The Apple Pencil is one of the iPad’s best accessories, but unfortunately, we’ve been left scratching our heads as to why we can’t use it on the iPhone.
2. iMessage Scheduling
Whether it’s easy integration with other iOS devices, being able to play iMessage games, or using Animojis, there are a ton of reasons to love iMessage. However, one of the biggest features missing from iMessage is message scheduling. Being able to write and schedule messages ahead of time would make planning events, sending reminders, and a bunch of other things much easier.
For the time being, if you want to schedule a message from an iPhone, you’ll be left using some awkward workarounds. Even though Apple has been great about continuing to add functionality and features to iMessage, message scheduling is one thing that’s still missing from iOS.
1. More Home Screen Customization Options
iOS has come a long way from the days of iOS 1.0, but a lot has still remained the same. One of the biggest aspects that still hasn’t changed is the way apps are arranged on the Home Screen.
Instead of giving you the freedom to place apps wherever you want to, you’re still stuck with organizing all your apps in a simple list. If you decide you want to move an app at the top of the screen, everything after it shifts, apps, widgets and all. That can turn a simple task like organizing your Home Screen into a big headache.
While there are tons of ways to customize Samsung devices, and other manufacturers offer the same, we still don’t have that same functionality built into iOS, meaning most people’s Home Screens end up looking pretty much the same. We’d also love to see even simple changes like the battery percentage meter return to the Home Screen. Apple, we’re grown-ups; please let us make our own choices.
iOS Still Has a Long Way to Go
Whether it’s iMessage, FaceTime, or Siri, there’s a reason why so many people continue to choose iPhones, and iOS. Although Apple has been stubborn in the past, we’ve seen it start listening to more user feedback and finally start incorporating long-awaited features into iOS, like widgets and Lock Screen customization, so there is hope for the future.
That being said, there’s still a ton of features we’re still waiting for on iOS.