Apple released iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 in the fall of 2022. These annual updates to the company’s operating systems introduce a wide variety of convenient and long-awaited features that further enrich Apple’s device, including a customizable iPhone lock screen, a revamped System Settings Mac app, and a new set of Apple Watch faces. However, it is time to move on. WWDC23 may still be months away, but we’re already speculating and hoping for certain additions to iOS 17 and the rest of the Apple OS suite. Here are seven to start.
Apple discontinued Dashboard with the release of macOS Catalina, which allowed users to add widgets to Mac desktops. This feature makes a lot of sense on the company’s desktop line since people usually have plenty of free space to put this optional, handy data on the big screens.
With the iPhone and iPad’s recent operating systems adopting support for Home Screen widgets, it would make sense for Apple to finally implement this addition on macOS 14. Right now, users have to navigate to the Notification Center to see the widgets they’ve added. A simplified design will allow users to pin the notification center to the right side of their desktop for easy access to timely information.
iPhone and Mac are best of best friends. Copy on iOS, paste on macOS. Start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it as you cycle through your iPhone. Despite this, they still have unresolved issues, especially in the miscommunication department. When I’m working on my Mac, I usually have my iPhone right next to me, and notification mirroring would simplify my workflow immensely.
Right now, if someone sends me a text message through a third-party instant messaging (IM) app, I have to pick up the phone to respond. If the exact same notification can appear on my Mac as well, I can just type the response through macOS 14. My workflow is not interrupted and I can continue to ignore my phone.
This feature can be very useful for those who leave their phones charging in another room. This way, they can interact with their iPhones without having to get up and move. This feature is already compatible with select PCs and Android phones, so it would be a welcome change if Apple copies it in 2023.
Apple boasts that their devices work seamlessly with each other, something we can’t deny. The company has arguably the tightest ecosystem in mobile and computing. You can unlock your Mac with Apple Watch, use your iPhone as a webcam, sign Mac documents with iPad and Apple Pencil, and much more. However, one feature I would like to see on macOS 14 and the respective Apple operating systems is Party Mode.
Simply put, Party Mode will play the same sound through all of your device’s speakers in a synchronized manner. You can blast a playlist with minimal reliance on dedicated speakers – at least in a small home party context. You can already pair HomePods and have them play the same music at the same time, so a potential macOS 14 change would just extend that to cover Macs (and iPhones and iPads through their respective 2023 OS updates).
Alarms, but synchronized
With macOS Ventura, Apple finally introduced a Clock app on the Mac. Another ecosystem feature I’d like to see on macOS 14 is optional sync alarm support. Right now you can set different alarms on different iDevices, but you should be able to edit an iPhone’s alarm through the macOS 14 Clock app (and vice versa) and indicate which device(s) will actually ring. Right now I can control my HomePod Mini alarms via my iPhone, iPad or MacBook Air. Apple just needs to expand this feature to make it compatible with the rest of the devices.
Advanced Find min
Find My and its wide network is a powerful tool for Apple users. You can find, erase, ping and do more for your lost or stolen devices. In fact, users can even find their (compatible) iPhones even if they are turned off. This makes it more difficult for thieves to hide their tracks or go offline. Nevertheless, Find My – as a service – is far from perfect.
As of AirTags, for unknown reasons, you cannot pair a new AirTag or ping an existing one on macOS right now. A welcome addition would be proper support for the company’s trackers. More importantly, macOS 14 should allow us to better control our existing iDevices. Right now I can lock, ping, and locate my iPhone, as well as other basic commands. Apple could make Find My more useful by turning it into a control center for these devices. Allow us to turn settings on/off, such as Wi-Fi or airplane mode. An iPhone can already be used as an iPad remote control and vice versa. Bringing this feature forward and baking it into the Mac in a richer format would make Find My even more powerful.
Cumulative version numbers
One small detail that bothers me with Apple is the incorrect version numbers across operating systems. Right now we have three different numbers 16 for iOS/iPadOS, 13 for macOS and 9 for watchOS. In 2023, I hope Apple gives macOS and watchOS a larger version number to match iOS and iPadOS. This way we get iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS 17.
Apple unifying the user interfaces across these operating systems will make it easier to tell which year a certain release occurred. The company could also take this a step further and go for iOS/iPadOS/watchOS/macOS 23 (instead of 17) to match the year 2023. While large version bumps usually don’t make sense, this will be a one-time exception for streamlining.
Translation and viewing apps
With macOS Ventura, Apple finally brought the Clock and Weather apps to the Mac. Nevertheless, the company’s computers still miss out on certain apps, such as the Translation app, which recently came to iPadOS. The company still hasn’t introduced this handy tool to macOS. We’re crossing our fingers that this application will make a Mac debut with macOS 14.
Another iOS app I’d like to see on macOS 14 is Watch, which is the tool you use to pair and customize an Apple Watch. The Mac is already aware of the clock. This materializes in features such as Unlock Mac with Apple Watch. A welcome addition would be the ability to pair and adjust Apple Watch settings on a Mac. This way, Android users who depend on macOS can take advantage of the company’s high-end portable.
Unfortunately, macOS 14 is still many months away. At this point, Apple has likely decided what major features it will include in this release. After all, it takes many weeks of prior planning and development before new grants see the light of day. Until then, we can sit, wait and hope the Cupertino overlord listens to our feedback.
What features do you want Apple to introduce in macOS 14? Let us know in the comments section below.