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iOS 8 changes we'd like to see: The OS and Home screen

Dan Frakes | June 2, 2014
WWDC is almost here, which means we're likely to see a preview of iOS 8, the next iteration of Apple's mobile OS. Over the past few weeks, we've been publishing lists--with a little help from our Twitter followers--of the features and changes we'd like to see in iOS 8, covering Notification Center, Mail, Calendar and Reminders, Photos and Camera, [<a

WWDC is almost here, which means we're likely to see a preview of iOS 8, the next iteration of Apple's mobile OS. Over the past few weeks, we've been publishing lists — with a little help from our Twitter followers — of the features and changes we'd like to see in iOS 8, covering Notification Center, Mail, Calendar and Reminders, Photos and Camera, accessibility, Safari, and other stock apps. In this final installment, we cover general features of the OS: the Home screen, Control Center, Siri, and more.

Customizable Control Center

Among those who are aware of it — which, in our experience, isn't everyone — Control Center is one of the most-popular features of iOS 7, because it gives you quick access to a good number of settings and several frequently used apps. But it's also among the features people most want to tweak, mainly because it has so much potential.

Easily the most frequent request is the capability to customize which apps and settings appear in Control Center. For example, if you use a third-party camera app, you'd probably prefer for that app to open when you tap the camera button in Control Center. Similarly, I use PCalc as my calculator of choice, so I'd rather it open than the stock iOS Calculator app when I tap the calculator button. Or maybe you'd like the timer button to open the Clock app's alarm feature instead of its timer.

Many people would also like to be able to choose exactly which settings appear in Control Center's toggle-switch row. For example, instead of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, what about cellular data, Personal Hotspot, or Location Services? Or maybe you miss the Twitter and Facebook buttons from iOS 6's Notification Center, and you'd like to be able to quickly post messages without having to open a dedicated app.

Another request we have is security related: Because a thief could use Control Center to put your phone into Airplane Mode, thus disabling all wireless connectivity and rendering the Find My iPhone and remote-wipe features ineffectual, the security conscious among us choose to disable Control Center on the lock screen. But that means we lose out on the other conveniences of Control Center, such as media-playback control and the Do Not Disturb toggle. So we'd like the option to disable, for example, the Airplane Mode button when Control Center is accessed from the lock screen, rather than having to forego Control Center's convenience altogether.

We also have one minor visual beef: Currently, accessing Control Center dims the rest of the screen to make Control Center easier to see. But if you're using Control Center to adjust your screen's brightness, this means that you can't really tell how bright the screen will be until you dismiss Control Center and the screen is undimmed. We frequently have to repeat the procedure two or three times to get the desired brightness level.

 

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