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Ten things I'm happy Apple is fixing in iOS 7

Serenity Caldwell | June 17, 2013
Associate editor Serenity Caldwell loves her current iPhone and iOS 6, but features can always be improved. As such, here are ten things she's thrilled to see coming in iOS 7.

The AirDrop icon is all over iOS 7, and its settings even appear in Control Center, where you can choose to allow anyone to send you files, just your contacts, and no one. And according to this post from the Bluetooth blog, AirDrop may use the latest iteration of Bluetooth Smart technology.

Welcome back, keychain sync
Once upon a time, users of Apple's MobileMe service (now known as iCloud) had an option called Keychain Sync, which would store passwords from OS X's Keychain Access and let you access those on all of your Macs. It didn't always work reliably—which was probably why it disappeared during the iCloud transition—but I'm really excited to see its partial return in the form of iCloud Keychain.

Granted, Apple hasn't said how iCloud Keychain performs its magic, but the end result is similar: Enter a password in Safari on your Mac, and iCloud will remember that password for you on your other Macs or iOS devices. You can also store account information, credit card numbers, and your Wi-Fi networks and passwords.

All I know is I'll certainly be overjoyed if I never have to manually enter in a credit card number on my phone again.

Searching in Siri
My colleague Lex Friedman uses Siri for search and all sorts of everyday tasks. But I haven't been able to stomach it: I hate getting kicked out to Safari whenever I ask Apple's virtual assistant something it can't source Wolfram Alpha or its own servers for—and unfortunately, that happens pretty often.

So Siri's new inline search options sounds pretty promising to me. I'm not quite as sure how I feel about Apple's partnership with Bing search, having been a Google searcher since I dropped Alta Vista, but I'm willing to give it a shot. (And hey—currently, you can force Siri to search Wolfram Alpha by prefacing all queries with "search Wolfram Alpha," so it's possible you might be able to force Siri to search Google by doing something similar.)

No more manual downloads
There's just something about those awful red update badges that tweak my OCD something fierce. I've turned them off in every app I can, but the App Store app has ever remained, mocking me silently with its "2 app updates" reminder. So when Apple announced during its keynote that John McCain would be getting his wish and automatic updates would indeed come to iOS, I cheered.

I do hope Apple does this sensibly: The company hasn't publicly mentioned whether you can limit automatic downloads while on cellular data, or if you can disable automatic updates at all. That said, Apple's been pretty good about letting users monitor and turn off cellular data for things like automatic music, books, and app downloads, so there's a pretty good chance we might see a similar switch for updates in iOS 7.

 

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