It's not a shock to learn that Apple is always hard at work on the next big thing. There will always be another iPhone, a lighter MacBook Air, a faster iMac, and new operating systems to run on them. 9to5Mac reported last week that, according to its unnamed sources, iOS 9 would focus not on new features, but rather on cleaning up iOS and making sure all the bells and whistles added in iOS 7 and iOS 8 work like they're supposed to, every time.
Think of it as the Snow Leopard of iOS. When Apple decided to slow the roll of feature creep in OS X 10.6, the result was an OS that didn't boast hundreds of new features, but turned out to be stable and reliable--and we loved it.
I can definitely live without a hundred new bells and whistles in iOS 9, but I do have some suggestions for Apple to shore up some existing features that could use a little polish.
Do Not Disturb can mute your ringer at certain times of day, and Reminders has geofencing support, so it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to build some of that set-it-and-forget-it functionality into other places in iOS 9's Settings app. For example, I'd love to have my passcode disabled when I'm connected to my home Wi-Fi network, and enabled again when I leave.
Even the Do Not Disturb feature could benefit from some geolocation support--it doesn't have to go on at 11pm on nights when I'm traveling, especially if my iPhone is still out moving around the city, being actively used.
Prioritized Notification Center
Right now, Notification Center is a good idea with only a so-so implementation. Right now my notifications show up in reverse chronological order, with the most recent on top. That works some of the time, but I'd appreciate being able to reorder the list, so important notifications such as VIP email and Messages always bubble up to the top, even if something more frivolous like Twitter or Facebook is a little more recent.
It'd be nice to set expiration dates for some apps' notifications too. That voicemail can stick around in Notification Center until I listen to it, but the nudge I just got from Peggle Blast should disappear by the next day. Oh, and here's something to steal from Android: One button to tap that clears the entire Notification Center.
Shortcuts to Notifications settings
Speaking of Notification Center, the process of tweaking its settings could really be streamlined. Right now, it's generally easier to delete the whole app when its notifications start to bug me, than it is to dig into that huge list in Settings > Notifications and make the tweaks.
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