It’s time to take my turn in the armchair product manager seat. The big new features coming in iOS and iPadOS 15 look appetizing, though I’m waiting until public betas to try them.

I’m also interested in all the little features on the way—swiping through stacks of shared photos in Messages; browsing an album or artist from a track playing in Music; the new ‘Assigned to Me’ section in Reminders.

Naturally, I have a growing list of little features that I hope Apple will add to iOS someday. Since WWDC 2021 was not that day, I’ll share them here.

Widgets default on Today sheet

Know when you pull down the Today sheet to see notifications, and you can swipe right to see widgets? I wish we had the option to swap the two—pull down for widgets, swipe right for notifications.

Set any photo as wallpaper

Since day one of iPhone OS, the only way to set a wallpaper is to first save the image to Photos. This means my actual photos have always been cluttered with wallpapers of fictional landscapes, abstract art, and game fandom. It’s tedious on multiple levels.

Since nearly day one of iPhone OS, I’ve wished we could set a wallpaper from any photo laying around on the web, in an app, and now Files. The Mac has been able to do this for… decades?

Related feature: Rotate wallpapers automatically from a folder. I’ve used this feature in macOS.

Auto-pause for outdoor walks

Please allow watchOS a brief cameo. I thoroughly enjoy walking, and it’s good for us. While the built-in Workout app can automatically pause for runs and outdoor cycling, it can’t pause when tracking a walk. Why is Apple prejudice against walkers.

Quickly define words

One of the littlest of little features, I use the macOS dictionary popup surprisingly often. Mouse over a word, then press Command + Control + D for a popover with a definition, thesaurus, and sometimes other info from sources like Wikipedia. I’d love to have this option on iPadOS.

Settings in Split View on iPad

Does it seem weird to anyone else that Settings has never support Split View or Slide Over? Seems weird to me.

Avatars in Mail

This is one of the little features I appreciate in Airmail, the client I’ve used for years. I don’t know which directories it checks to power this, but it’s a nice way to bring a little humanity into email.

Interactive widgets

I want to complete tasks, save my clipboard to apps, and toggle (third-party) switches without having to open their entire corresponding app.

Require apps to support Files

Photos hasn’t been the only tool we can use to save and upload images for four years. I think it’s long overdue for Apple to require apps to support it as an option.

Sort songs in playlists

We’ve been able to sort songs in iTunes Music for decades. How has iOS never inherited this basic feature of organizing our music?

You May Also Like

📱💻 Safari can translate webpages without a plugin

Basic translation tools are built right into Safari on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

iOS 14: How to create your own widget stacks

Apple’s widget stack is cool. Know what’s cooler? Creating your own stacks from any apps.

What if Messages in iCloud didn’t need the cloud?

Messages in iCloud is a clever, though flawed feature. What if our devices could handle these features directly on their own?