The run-up to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is always riddled with rumors and speculation. But so far this year, leaks have been few and far between and most of what has come to light has been vague. Take, for example, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who is usually very well-sourced, who said last week, without further explanation, that iOS 16 would contain some “new apps from Apple.”
Let’s assume for a moment that this isn’t simply a revival of 1990s jargon and that the apps in question aren’t “new” but that the company intends to release new or updated versions of some of its built-in apps. on iOS. That certainly sounds promising, and as you can imagine, I have a few ideas of what exactly that might (or should) entail.
It’s time, Apple. After 12 years, the iPad deserves a weather app. I know it’s not the most exciting development, but come on: it already provides home screen widgets with updated interfaces that are almost apps themselves. And I find it hard to believe that Apple spent all the money they spent on Dark Sky to not take advantage of it on all of their platforms. (While we’re at it, some integration on the macOS side, especially like, say, a Mac-like menubar widget, wouldn’t hurt either.)
The Weather app has always been a peculiar absence on the tablet. Did Apple think that people who use the iPad don’t care about the weather because they generally use the device inside their homes? Regardless, the latest version of Weather on the iPhone proved that the company could compete with the best that third-parties have to offer, so let’s finally bring the iPad into the modern age. Just in time for summer!
Apple has gotten more and more into payment systems in recent years with Apple Pay and Apple Card. Even the recent minor update to iOS 15.5 made the interesting change of adding Send and Request Payment buttons to the Wallet app, functionality that had previously been hidden in Messages. But one aspect of finance is still missing: budgeting and analysis tools.
Yes, if you have an Apple Card, you can see that wash of colors that tells you what areas you’re spending your money on, or export your transactions as documents to import into some other tool. But it would also be helpful if the company could provide more substantial tools for financial health, helping consumers understand exactly where their money is going.
Think less of a wallet and more of a ledger. Apps like Mint and Personal Capital have a lot of traction in this space, but if Apple is serious about expanding the ways it works with money, and has already announced that it will open up access to Tap to Pay in the coming months, so there may be value in Apple providing a more holistic view that helps consumers manage that money responsibly.
Email, Phone, Messages, Calendar
The virtue of the built-in applications on the iPhone is that they take care of the needs of most people. Email? I understand. Telephone? Check. Posts? Yes. Calendar? Of course. These apps and, for the most part, the tasks they perform are profoundly mundane. And yet, that worldliness also means that users trust them to get things done. They are essential. This strikes a tricky balance, because you don’t want to change them for change’s sake, but you also don’t want to let them stagnate to the point where they feel archaic.
Mail and Calendar are a great example of two apps that have barely budged in recent years, and are teetering on the brink of antiquity as a result. While third-party email apps have been pushing the envelope (if you’ll excuse the phrase) with features like smart filtering, repeat reminders, and more, Mail has finally decided to add multi-color flags.
Similarly, Calendar, which is about as basic an app as you can find on the platform, finally added the ability to recognize video calls (two years into the pandemic), but could revisit how it shows events across multiple calendars, or improve your natural language processing, or add support for scheduling events between multiple parties.
Finally, Messages, one of Apple’s most popular apps, should improve its cross-platform compatibility with Android (instead of punishing iOS users themselves by bombarding them with a flood of messages about people who “like” a message). , implement better spam filtering for unwanted messages. texts (either via SMS or iMessage), and expand useful tapbacks to include any emoji.
These things may not be glamorous, but they are potentially big quality-of-life improvements for the audience using these built-in apps, which is probably the majority of iOS users, given that many don’t bother to switch to third-parties. party apps