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Ten improvements we'd like to see in iOS

Macworld Staff | April 30, 2013
Like clockwork, Apple has released a new major version of its iOS mobile operating system every summer since 2008, and we expect 2013 to be no different. iOS 7 seems likely to take its bow at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be held June 10 through 14 in San Francisco.

Sounder sound options

The iOS options for audio alerts and other sound settings are relatively sparse compared to what's available on many other tablets and phones (both smart and dumb). And on top of that, they're confusing. If you mute your phone or iPad, some sounds are muted, but not all; similarly, if you instead turn the volume all the way down, that setting applies to some apps and some OS sounds and notifications, but not all. The result is that I never really know if my phone is completely muted or only partially muted. People have been complaining about this for years, and I'd like Apple to tidy it up.

On the other hand, when a Bluetooth headset is connected, if that headset supports A2DP, then all audio is directed through the headset. So if you take the headset off of your ear--and trust us, you should take it off of your ear when you're not actively on a call--you don't hear any of your phone's useful audio alerts. I'd like to see an option in the Sounds screen of the Settings app called something like 'Send audio alerts over Bluetooth' that can be toggled on or off.--Dan Frakes

Soup up Siri

Apple's virtual assistant was impressive when it debuted in 2011, but here in 2013, it's in need of some improvement. It's not just a matter of expanding the list of compatible services, to which Apple has added only slowly and irregularly, but also of bucking up Siri's performance. Though Google Search on iOS can't duplicate all of Siri's capabilities, it's impossible to deny that it's blazingly fast--Siri could use a similar dose of celerity. Moreover, it's time to address some of Siri's many shortcomings, like its inability to read you your mail or interact with your settings. We've grown used to having an intelligent assistant at our fingertips; now it's time for Siri to get a little more schooling.--Dan Moren

 

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