Tomorrow’s WWDC keynote has been an event I’ve been looking forward to for almost two years, with hints of what iOS could do to the iPad, with the rumours from last Feb, right up until Gui’s 9to5Mac post six weeks ago.
Throughout the podcasting, social media, chats, and wherever else I’ve been wondering just what I want to see from the iPad in iOS 13.
I’ve said this before on an episode of Outpost Show, but I feel that the iPhone is at a point where the low-hanging fruit only remains there now. And even then, it’s very few and difficult as to what these are now. Many people, myself included are wanting to see improvements to the hardware more than the software with the iPhone, whereas it’s the total opposite for iPad.
Apple Watch is still a product I’m curious to see on how it can be improved. I’ve had the Series 0 for four years now, so to have a Series 5 with watchOS 6 in October would be great to have as a second model.
But with iPad and the Apple Watch, I’d like to see some improvements tomorrow that I hope improves my workflow on both devices, while showing me new ideas and experiences I hadn’t thought of before.
Before I start with my wishlist, Dark Mode is something I’ve been hoping to see on iOS for a long while, and now it looks almost certain to appear, so that wish will be missing from the below.
There have been many rumours on the home screen having a ‘redesign’, but I’ve been struggling as to what this would entail. Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that it could be an amalgamation of small changes, and these are the small changes I’d like to see occur for the iPad home screen.
- Widgets – Bring back the two-column view, and have a three-column view for us 12.9′ iPad owners.
- Dynamic Wallpaper – I love the option to select a folder on macOS for it to randomly switch between photos for a wallpaper. To have this option on iOS would be great, where the wallpaper changes every time I lock and unlock the iPad for instance.
- More Icons at once – Self-explanatory, I’d like more icons on a page on my 12.9′ iPad than just the four rows, it’s comical at this point.
- Folders – I’ve never liked the way you tap a folder and it covers the whole screen. To have it similar to pre-iOS 7 where it opened up *in* the home screen would be great.
- Dynamic Icons – Widgets as icons, so for example, ‘Fantastical’ shows the latest date and the number of events for that day in the icon. There’s enough space on iPad for this to show, so why not.
All of these would result in a different home screen; one that would differentiate it from the iPhone, and also help towards a lot of workflows out there already established.
Picture-in-Picture improvements. – Timeline scrubber, and much better control to place the video on any part of the screen.
Siri UI – Stop. Making. This. Full. Screen. It’s understandable for iPhone, it’s downright ridiculous on iPad. It’s time for the Siri UI to be a notification on the top right, and to be an assistant to not interrupt your workflow. It’s an assistant, it shouldn’t be made to look like a bumbling butler who’s about to fail his probation. Alongside this, I’d like to talk to Siri in Messages, much like the bots in Facebook Messenger. It would work well for the app, and for accessibility, a great way of accessing it easily.
Better Keyboard Support – I’ve been saying this many times on Outpost Show of wanting better support for the keyboard in certain games, and I want it to happen for iOS 13. With Apple Arcade having a good chance of being shown off in the keynote, it would be great for them to announce that you could control games on the iPad with the keyboard. It would open up so many games to be added to the App Store, and realistically, not all games are best controlled on a touch screen.
Better Multitasking – iPad multitasking has had just a few refinements over the years, and this has been present since iOS 11, with the dock and split-view being the norm. But it could be so much more. It’s been rumoured and detailed already thanks to Gui of multiple instances of the app being enabled, alongside having a kind of ‘overlay‘ of an app you can freely drag around. This would be a great improvement, and I wonder if widgets are going to play a part in this. I don’t see widgets appearing alongside icons on the home screen, but I can see them being more of an overlay when you have two or three apps on your iPad at once in multitasking view.
Better Apple Watch Support – A few people have shouted this down, but I feel that independence on the Apple Watch is an inevitability. There’s a mindset that the iPhone & Apple Watch only working with each other for the foreseeable is certain, and I don’t think that’s correct. The watch will be something that you will be able to set up, use and manage on its own very soon. There’s a reason why it has cellular, a reason why you can use Apple Music on its own; it’s already beginning.
But when it comes to the iPad & Apple Watch, they’re pretty much invisible to one another! All I’d like is to see the battery widget acknowledge the watch I have on my wrist, centimetres away, alongside another widget of my activity rings progress.
Finally, an iPad version of the Watch.app so I can design a custom face on that screen, and just because; I can create a watch face by using the Apple Pencil.
Podcast Creation App – A final curveball, but I’ve simply had enough of using macOS to create and edit a podcast. I use Ferrite and it’s a great app, but I’d love to bring my recording workflow to the iPad, so I can do a whole episode from one device and finally abandon the MacBook Air.
I haven’t mentioned an iPadOS here, just because I feel that this will be next year at the earliest. ‘Marzipan/Universal 2‘ will be the start of it and will encourage developers to start changing their mindset for how they see the iPad in a Marzipan world, and in turn, iPadOS will occur, but not yet.
Without sounding overly-dramatic, I feel that this year will be very important to the iPad, and I’m very curious as to just how Apple have listened to the cries and requests of iPad owners over the last few years.
It’s time for iPad to ascend to Super Saiyan 3.