The weeks leading up to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) are always full of rumors and speculation. But so far this year, leaks have been few and far between and most of those that have been made public have been inaccurate.
For example, Mark Gurman of Bloombergwho is usually very well informed, said last week (without elaborating) that iOS 16 would arrive with some “refreshed Apple apps”.
Let’s assume, for a moment, that the company intends to release new and/or updated versions of some of its built-in apps on iOS. The thing promises and, as you can imagine, I have some ideas of what Apple could (or should) do.
It’s about time, Apple. After 12 years, the iPad deserves a Weather app. I know it’s not the most exciting development, but come on: you already offer widgets for the Home screen with updated interfaces that are practically apps themselves.
And I find it hard to believe that Apple has spent any money on Dark Sky to not take advantage of it on all its platforms. While we’re at it, some integration with macOS wouldn’t hurt either, especially in the form of, say, a widget similar to the Mac menu bar.
It has always surprised the absence of the Weather app in the tablets. Does Apple think that people who use the iPad don’t care about the weather because they usually use the device inside their house?
In any case, the latest version of Weather for iPhone shows that the company can compete with the best that other companies have to offer, so Apple should bring the iPad into the modern age now. Just in time for summer.
In recent years, Apple has immersed itself fully in the world of payment systems with Apple Pay and the Apple Card. Even the recent minor iOS 15.5 update made the interesting change of adding send and payment request buttons to the Wallet app, functionality that was previously buried in Messages.
But there is one topic in the world of finance that we continue to miss: analysis and budgeting tools.
Yes, if you have an Apple Card, you can see that section that tells you in which areas you are spending your money or export your transactions as documents to import into some other tool. But it would be helpful if the company also provided more substantial tools for your financial health, helping consumers understand exactly where their money is going.
It would be, then, not so much a portfolio but rather an accounting book. Apps like Mint and Personal Capital are big names in this regard, but Apple should get serious about expanding the ways it offers to work with money.
It has already announced that it will open up Tap to Pay access in the coming months. By expanding the functionality, it can be positive that Apple offers a more holistic view that helps consumers manage their money responsibly.
Mail, Phone, Messages, Calendar
The virtue of the iPhone’s built-in apps is that they meet the needs of most people. The email? You got it. Telephone? Checked. Messages? 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 makes balance tricky, because you don’t want to change them just for the sake of change, but you also don’t want to let them stagnate to the point where they feel archaic.
Mail and Calendar are examples of those apps that have hardly changed in recent years and, as a result, are about to become old. While third-party email apps have been revamped with features like smart filtering, nap reminders, and more, Mail has finally added multi-color flags.
Likewise, Calendar, which is the most basic app that can be found on the platform, has finally added the ability to recognize video calls (two years after the pandemic), but it could improve, for example, the way it shows the events in multiple calendars, improve natural language processing, or add support for scheduling events between multiple users.
Finally, Messages, one of Apple’s most popular apps, should improve its cross-platform compatibility with Android (instead of punishing iOS users themselves with a barrage of messages every time someone “likes” a message), implement a better spam filter for unwanted texts (either SMS or iMessage) and expand the tapbacks to include any emoji.
These things may not be very attractive, but they can improve the quality of life for users who use these built-in apps, which is probably the majority of iOS users, since many do not bother using third-party apps.
Original article published on Macworld.