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iOS 8 changes we'd like to see: FaceTime, Maps, Messages, Music

Dan Frakes | May 30, 2014
With iOS 8 likely coming later this year, it's time to talk about the changes and improvements we'd like to see in the next version of iOS. Today we cover Mail.

Even more worrisome is that this isn't just an issue of Apple licensing map data that's inferior to what other vendors are using, or using that data incorrectly. The Maps app provides a way to report incorrect map data, but users have found that map errors reported years ago--many of them multiple times--have never been corrected. We'd like to see Apple improve its map data, devote more attention to user-submitted corrections, and tweak Maps to use that data better.

Maps could use a visual makeover, as well, especially when it comes to map presentation. Although Apple has improved the readability of maps over the past year or so--most notably by adding a night mode--it can still be frustrating to use Maps in the car for anything other than listening to voice directions. For example, contrast is poor in both day and night modes--if it's bright outside, day mode makes it hard to even differentiate between streets and the surrounding areas. And street labels are either hidden or too small to read, even if you zoom in, at times making Maps nearly useless for on-the-fly navigation.

We'd also like to see better integration of traffic data with routes. If there's an accident or other issue that's slowing traffic on your route, many other map apps will tweak the route to get you around it, if possible. Until Maps includes such a feature, we often turn to "real" navigation apps, such as Navigon, for longer trips or when driving in unfamiliar areas.

Of course, like many people, we'd like Apple to add transit directions, rather than dumping us off to a third-party app. And though it's not a must-have, it would be nice to be able to see elevations in maps and routes.

Finally, a big frustration with Maps is that if you're out of Wi-Fi or mobile-data range, the app often doesn't work at all. Your iPhone (or GPS-equipped iPad) has the hardware to roughly determine your location without a data connection, but often can't. And even when it can, it can't actually obtain and display, well, a map without a data connection. A recent update to Google's Maps app brought downloadable maps for just such situations. We'd like to see Apple's offering do the same.

Messages

The biggest request we and our readers have for the Messages app is more of an issue with the underlying iMessage service: We just want it to work. Specifically, we want messages to go through every time, rather than some messages disappearing into the ether; we don't want to have to worry about the difference between iMessage and SMS; we want all messages to be synced across all devices; and we want to be able to follow any exchange, regardless of the device or protocol that initiated it. We're frustrated when we try to view, on our iPad, a conversation we had on our iPhone, only to find a bunch of the messages missing.

 

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