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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

And this one is admittedly less important, but wouldn't it be great if you could say, "Siri, what song is this?" and have Siri reply, "DF, this is Chocolate' by The 1975"? Of course, a third-party API would let Siri hand such requests off to the SoundHound or Shazaam app — assuming, of course, their developers added Siri integration — but having this feature built into Siri would be, well, cool. And with iTunes Match, Apple already has most of the technology and data in place.

AirDrop with OS X

AirDrop in iOS is a cool feature. AirDrop in OS X can be convenient. But for those of us with both an iOS device and a Mac, being able to use AirDrop to quickly transfer files from our iPhone or iPad to our Mac, or vice versa, would make the feature many times more useful. AirDrop has been an iOS feature since iOS 7 debuted last year, and it's been a part of OS X for nearly three years now. Let's get them working together, Apple.

Multiple user accounts

Apple would love it if every member of your household had his or her own iPad, but that's not something every family budget allows. So most of us are left trying to figure out how to best share an iPad. Maybe you use Mail while your spouse uses the Mailbox app, to keep your email separate. Or you use Safari and your kids use Chrome, so you each have your own bookmarks. You may use the Restrictions feature to prevent the little ones from accessing — or purchasing — things they shouldn't, though enabling restrictions means more hassle for the adults to use the iPad. And letting a friend or coworker borrow your tablet, even if just for a few minutes, means making your email and other personal info easily accessible to them.

The obvious solution here is for Apple to add some sort of mechanism for multiple user accounts or profiles: When you unlock your iPad, a quick tap shows you a list of users; tap your name and then provide your passcode, and you're presented with your personalized iOS environment, complete with your own email, bookmarks, documents, and the like.

This feature could be as simple as each account having its own user-level settings and app access — sort of like a different set of parental-control restrictions for each account. Or it could be as complex as each person getting his or her own iOS environment, with different users seeing different apps and getting different privileges. Maybe Apple could even integrate iTunes allowances, so your daughter's account would automatically get $5 of App Store or iTunes Store credit each week.


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