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6 things Apple should fix in iOS 9

Susie Ochs | Feb. 12, 2015
An iOS update without a slew of new features? Sounds good. Let's start by fixing and improving what iOS 8 already has.

I think Notification Center itself should have a shortcut to those settings. I want to double-tap the app's name in the Notification Center list to jump right to that app's notification settings, so I can turn off notifications for that app, limit them to one, kill the sound, banish them from the lock screen, and so on.

A new Health app

The Health app is terrible. Besides its complete lack of period-tracking support (way to ignore something half the population goes through monthly, Apple), its graphs are the opposite of helpful, showing you a jagged line scrawled over unlabeled axes. Uh, thanks for nothing.

Now, I realize that Health is a database and it's not designed to give you insights and actionable advice. Apple does need to let us look inside this database, but right now it's kind of like looking at your medical chart--the info is yours, so of course you have the right to see it, but it's mostly gobbeldygook unless you're a trained medical professional who can parse it. Since Health knows which metrics you're tracking, it could at least suggest HealthKit-enabled apps to help you make sense of those metrics and decide on a course of action. If you track active minutes, Health could suggest Lark. If you're interested in tracking calories, it could suggest MyFitnessPal.

Right now, Health can offer to share data with HealthKit apps you already have installed, but I think in iOS 9, Health should suggest new apps that fill in the gaps and fit with your lifestyle, like how Passbook can suggest apps that work with it, and Maps can point you to transit apps for your area.

Transit directions in Maps

Speaking of, while Maps is more reliable than it was at its disastrous launch, it still doesn't have transit directions, which is just bad. I use Google Maps (for walking or transit) or Waze (for driving) pretty exclusively as a result--but with CarPlay and the Apple Watch tying into Maps and only Maps, that's about to change. Please, Apple, give Maps an overhaul to make it more useful.

Rumors are swirling that this camera-laden Dodge Caravan could be collecting street-level data to improve the Street-View-esque Flyover feature in Maps. I'd rather just know when the next bus is coming without having to go to this hideous website.

Siri everywhere

One big advantage of putting those transit directions into Maps is that Siri will be able to tell me when the bus is coming too, or that if I walk a few more blocks to the train station, I'd get home faster. Siri is branching out beyond our iPhones and iPads--it's coming to the Apple Watch, will be a huge part of HomeKit, and I gotta believe it's destined to hit OS X this year too (even Windows 10 has Cortana on the desktop, after all).

 

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