The Worldwide Developers Conference — our favorite time of the year — is inching closer! For many of us, it’s more exciting than the actual iPhone event. Apple will be holding the main WWDC22 keynote on June 6. There’s plenty to expect from this event and even more to wish for. The company will most likely be revealing iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13, followed by releasing the first developer betas of these operating systems. Last year, iOS 15 and macOS Monterey introduced some notable features, including Focus, SharePlay, Safari improvements, and more. This year, we haven’t heard many rumors when it comes to iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13. So there’s much to hope for when it comes to these major releases. Here’s our WWDC22 wishlist for iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13 — including over 25 features!
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Feature Wishlist for iPadOS 16
Freestyle widget placement on Home Screen
iPadOS 15 finally added support for Home Screen widgets. However, we still can’t place them in random order and leave gaps in between. It still hasn’t evolved into a desktop-like space where you can place shortcuts and folders in any empty space. Being able to do so in iPadOS 16 would be a welcome change. Additionally, it would be ideal if we receive the same treatment on iOS 16.
Pro app support
So, the iPad Pro and iPad Air are now powered by the Apple M1 chip — which was initially designed for the Mac. iPadOS really limits what this powerful SoC can do, though. Without Pro app support, the iPad will never really be a PC replacement — as the Cupertino tech giant wants it to be. Apple should start by bringing support to some of its Pro editing apps, like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. While they might not pack all of the features available on macOS, the company could at least support the features the iPad is capable of handling.
3-app Split View
The iPad screen is large enough to support three apps side by side. Think of it as the three apps being in Slide Over mode, except that they’re not floating and it’s just regular Split View. iPadOS currently limits users to two apps in Split View. Being able to interact with three apps simultaneously would take the OS to the next level.
iPads aren’t as personal as iPhones. Some families share an iPad for light gaming, watching series, and other forms of entertainment. Apple should bring multi-user support to iPadOS 16 to make it easier for several people to use the same device. Ideally, each user would sign in with their own Apple ID, have their own settings and layout, and install their apps independently. To save on local space, when several people download the same app to their separate user accounts, Apple could create one copy of its common files, with separate data folders for each of the unique users.
macOS Monterey allows users to mirror their iDevices to the Mac’s screen through AirPlay. The feature has long been implemented through third-party solutions, but none of them work as reliably as native support. Considering Apple allows users to mirror the Mac’s screen to an iPad through Sidecar, there’s no denying that iPads have decent-sized displays. It would be useful to bring AirPlay support to iPadOS 16 — allowing iPhone users to mirror their screens to the slightly bigger one.
iPhone-only apps in Slide Over
Right now, if you download an iPhone-only app to an iPad, it loads the iOS version of the app. So you get a stretched-out UI that has been designed for a small screen while maintaining the iPhone’s aspect ratio. Apple still limits users from using iPhone-only apps in Split View and Slide Over modes. Considering Slide Over loads an iPhone-like version of an iPad app, it would be interesting to be able to launch iPhone-only apps in Slide Over on iPadOS 16.
Mac-like photo editor
The Photos app on macOS includes additional editing features, such as a re-touching tool and advanced filter controls. Considering the iPad has a large touch screen and is (in some cases) powered by a Mac processor, we want to see some (or all) of these tools on iPadOS 16. The iPad is already many artists’ canvas — powerful default photo editing tools would be ideal.
Calculator, Weather, and Chess apps
It’s 2022, and I can’t believe we’re still asking Apple to add Weather and Calculator apps to the iPad. And since we’re more demanding now, might as well ask for the Chess app that comes preinstalled on macOS. Seriously, there’s literally no logical justification as to why we can’t have these essential apps on a platform that is over a decade old. Please, Apple.
Feature Wishlist for watchOS 9
QWERTY keyboard on all models
When the Cupertino tech giant revealed the Apple Watch Series 7, it highlighted a software exclusivity — QWERTY keyboard support. The company has only made it available on the Series 7 seemingly because it has a larger display. Except that the 44mm Series 6 has a bigger screen than the smaller 41mm Series 7 model. So the company could easily make QWERTY available on older models.
Additionally, a third-party developer has already released a similar solution that works on older models just fine — which Apple eventually took down from the App Store. We only hope that the tech overlord repents in watchOS 9 and supports QWERTY on older watch models.
Third-party watch faces
One of the annoyances of using an Apple Watch is being limited to the company’s watch faces. watchOS indeed comes with dozens of options and supports third-party complications. However, the overall mold remains the same. If Apple adds third-party face support in watchOS 9, we could see developers getting creative in the way they execute them. Additionally, we might see “plain canvas” kinds of faces that allow users to customize them from scratch — similar to the Home Screen widgets. I don’t see the company adding support for this anytime soon, though, as then anyone can flex an Hermès face without paying the Hermès tax.
VoIP call support
I keep my iPhone silent at all times. Don’t ask why — some of us just despise the endless pinging and random noises. The Apple Watch vibrates on my wrist every time I get notified, so it’s really hard for me to miss a notification. However, there’s a major oversight (or intentional behavior, who knows?) when it comes to this department — VoIP call support.
You probably know that you can answer regular phone calls from your Apple Watch. That’s in addition to FaceTime audio calls. However, if FaceTime isn’t your VoIP calling app of choice, you might’ve noticed that third-party apps don’t ring on your wrist. There seemingly is no API in watchOS for developers to adopt. So now when someone calls me on Telegram or WhatsApp, I almost always miss the call if my phone isn’t in my pocket and I can’t feel it vibrating. Can we please have VoIP support in watchOS 9, Apple?
Proper sleep tracking
The Apple Watch already supports “sleep tracking,” but it’s not properly implemented. For the unfamiliar, you have to specify your typical sleep schedule, and the watch will just count the inactivity hours in this interval. So if you nap during the day, your Apple Watch is going to just pretend you didn’t. And if you pick up your iPhone during the night and then go back to sleep, the watch is going to panic, not knowing whether you are asleep again or have just decided to start your day at the early bird hour of 2 AM. The rest of the fitness tracker market implements proper sleep tracking, so maybe Apple can use some of their trillion dollars and add an automatic sleep tracking mechanism in watchOS 9.
Apple recently added support for setting up other family members’ (cellular) watches. This makes it easy for a person who doesn’t own an iPhone to take advantage of the wearable’s features. However, if none of your family members own an iPhone, you can’t set up an Apple Watch independently. Many Android users acknowledge how advanced the Apple Watch is, but they want to stick to their Android phones. By implementing complete independence in watchOS 9, Apple could appeal to a wider range of potential customers. The watch already can do most tasks on its own, including downloading apps, fetching software updates, and more.
iPadOS and macOS support
If Apple doesn’t want to give us complete independence on watchOS, it could at least add a Watch app on iPadOS and macOS. This allows Android phone users with an iPad or Mac to pair and use an Apple Watch. It would also allow iPhone users to customize their watches from any of their iDevices.
Additionally, we want to Apple to allow us to optionally mirror Mac and iPad notifications to the watch as well. This would make the watch the ultimate notification center for all of our Apple devices. Ideally, we also want the watch to unlock the iPad when we turn its screen on, the way it behaves with the Mac.
Better app layout
watchOS currently offers two different app layouts — a grid and an alphabetical list. I find both equally unintuitive to use. I’m not sure how Apple can execute a more practical layout on the tiny screen, but I trust it has the genius brains on board to figure this one out. Maybe a list that shows three app icons horizontally instead of just a labeled one? I’m unsure, but please Apple, spice things up in watchOS 9.
The Apple Translation app is currently available on iOS and iPadOS. However, it remains missing from watchOS — even though it makes sense to have it there. Apple could only implement the conversation/audio mode on the watch and allow users to take advantage of it when connected to Wi-Fi/iPhone or offline through downloading the files — as is the case on iOS.
Proper SMS sync
Apple sometimes forgets that not everyone is on iMessage and that sometimes we receive/send SMS for many reasons. I have Messages in iCloud enabled on ALL of my devices, and syncing works just fine — for the most part. When I delete an iMessage from one device, it disappears on all of them. However, when I delete an SMS from a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, it remains there on my Apple Watch. SMS deletion doesn’t sync on watchOS, and it’s a pain to delete a thread from the tiny screen. Maybe watchOS 9 will fix this, and maybe not. A man can dream.
Walkie-Talkie iOS support
The Walkie-Talkie app is a watchOS exclusive that allows two Apple Watch users to instantly communicate with each other through audio — similar to the way a walkie-talkie works, obviously. Literally no one I know uses this feature. One reason could be them being unaware of it. Another possible justification could be not having enough Apple Watch users in their circles. Ultimately, the iPhone is more popular than the Apple Watch. It would be nice to get Walkie-Talkie support on the iPhone in the upcoming watchOS 9 and iOS 16 releases. This way more people will be able to take advantage of it, and it’ll become more known through the obvious iPhone app.
Feature Wishlist for macOS 13
Widgets on desktop
Do you remember macOS Dashboard widgets from olden times? Don’t you miss ’em? Well, maybe we don’t miss their ancient style, but I certainly miss being able to place widgets on my desktop. The new ones only support sitting in the right widget panel (aka Notification Center). We want to be able to see widgets without needing to access that dedicated area. It’s a Mac — it’s supposed to be more forgiving than iOS and iPadOS. If on the mobile platforms we can do it just fine, it should also be the case on macOS. I’ve assigned the top right hot corner for the Notification Center to access them by just swiping to the top, but it’s not ideal. macOS 13, maybe?
Functional Music app
I can’t believe I’m typing this, but the Apple Music app on macOS randomly crashes from time to time. It still isn’t the smoothest software to use. While it’s faster when compared to its iTunes days, it still can be frustrating sometimes. For example, I often type in the search field, only to get no results. I have to delete the entire keyword(s) and retype them. In addition to building a more solid Music app, we want to see the additional features mentioned in the iOS 16 wishlist on macOS 13.
Refreshed System Preferences
The System Preferences app on the Mac has received some icon overhauls in recent years. However, it still remains not as clean as the Settings app on iOS and iPadOS. A similar vertical arrangement with more uniform icons (size-wise) would be cool to have in macOS 13. The vertical list could expand horizontally when you click on a section — as is the case on iPadOS.
Considering all Apple products are aware of and compatible with each other, the company could easily mirror notifications across all operating systems as an optional setting. Being able to read iPhone notifications and reply to them from the Mac would make life so much easier. You can already do so on the Apple Watch — now we want to see it on the Mac with macOS 13.
Anghami — a MENA-based music streaming service — offers an innovative feature that I would like to see baked into Apple operating systems. Multiple people within close proximity can play the same song at the same time. This turns each of their devices into a speaker, and the tunes remain in sync. It would be amazing if we could play audio (from any app, on any Apple device) and have all of our nearby, connected iDevices blast out the same output. This is a continuity feature I doubt we’ll see, but I very much need it. It would be ideal for an immersive movie or music night when independent speakers aren’t easily accessible.
Clock, Weather, and Translation apps
macOS still lacks a Clock app. If you ask Siri to set a timer, it’ll just create a reminder in the Reminders app — which is arguably a big fail. There’s no way to set an alarm by default, either. Additionally, Apple still hasn’t blessed us with a Weather app on the Mac, as is the case on iPadOS. Ideally, we would also like to see the Translation app of the iPad brought to macOS 13 as a Universal app.
I understand some people use different Apple devices for different alarms — depending on their use cases. However, assuming Apple adds a Clock app to macOS 13, we also want an optional toggle under iCloud Sync for alarms. Some of us want to be able to edit their iPhone alarms from their Macs and dismiss their Mac alarms from their iPads. There’s no harm in asking for it, even though it might never become part of our sad reality.
Find My 2.0
Find My already allows users to erase, view the battery level of, ping, and locate their Apple devices. Considering Find My already ties them all tightly, it would be useful if the upcoming Apple operating systems introduce Find My 2.0. This significant upgrade would allow users to manage Control Center toggles and other relevant settings of any device, from any device. Rather than revolving around finding lost devices, Find My would become a hub where users can control and communicate with the rest of their devices in a more powerful manner.
Streamlining the version numbers
I’m sure it’s not just me — Apple should streamline the version numbers across iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS. It would be much, much easier to pinpoint the release years and feature compatibility across different devices through the identical numbering. We’re not asking the company to jump to iOS 22 and sync it with the year of its release, too. Just give watchOS and macOS a big bump this one time to sync them with the version numbers of iOS and iPadOS. Can we please have that in this year’s macOS 16 release, Apple?
With WWDC22 being around a month or so away, the hype is further building. There’s not much we can do — apart from sitting still, keeping an eye open for last-minute leaks, and hoping Apple doesn’t put us down with a bug fixing release this year. We know most of our wishlist items probably won’t make it through this year, but we can only cross our fingers. Don’t forget to check our iOS 16 feature wishlist, too!
What’s your personal wishlist for Apple’s operating systems? Let us know in the comments section below.
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