Apple’s iOS is a slick and easy-to-use smartphone operating system – one that many people are familiar with, especially in the US, where Apple has about half the market share.
But while many users favor and even swear by iOS, it’s not a perfect piece of software. In fact, Apple is notorious for adopting software features that Android has had for years since launch.
So here are some iOS features we want to see on the iPhone in 2023.
1. Professional camera controls
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, manual camera controls are a crucial part of the art and science of photography. And if you’ve used an Android camera — whether it’s a Samsung, Google Pixel, or another brand — chances are the stock camera app lets you have manual control via Pro mode.
Unfortunately, iOS 16 still doesn’t give you manual camera controls in the Camera app. If you want to unlock professional controls for your iPhone, you need to choose from one of the best third-party camera apps for iPhones and Androids.
By letting the pros fine-tune the controls on the iPhone’s stock camera app, they can take full advantage of the excellent quality without spending extra on other apps.
2. More control over the home screen
While Apple has allowed you to add widgets and change app icons on the home screen since iOS 14 in 2020, Android phones have had greater customization controls since then. For example, you can freely place spaces between your icons, allowing you to divide them into sections without creating a new screen.
You can also change the icon layout and size, so if you like to see lots of apps on a single home page, you can set it to have the most rows and columns. But if you prefer larger icons, you can also set it so that your home screen maximizes them, so you can see your apps at a glance.
And if you’re unhappy with your phone’s stock launcher, you can easily download one of the best third-party Android all-purpose launchers on the Google Play Store to customize it to your style and personality.
3. Split screen functionality
The iPad got this functionality way back in 2015 with iOS 9. With the split screen functionality, you can run two apps side by side, taking advantage of the tablet’s huge screen. However, the last major iPhones during that time, namely the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 7 Plus, only had a 5.5-inch screen.
But by 2016, Android phones gained multi-window support with Android Nougat. That means phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 can display two apps at the same time, even though it has the same screen size as the larger iPhones.
In 2022, Apple launched the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus, giving users a gigantic 6.7-inch screen. Due to the extended screen property, it only makes sense for Apple to allow the use of multiple windows, allowing users to multitask, such as watching a YouTube video while browsing through Facebook.
4. Apple Pencil Support
Another criticism that many users have is the iPhone’s lack of Apple Pencil support. While the Apple Pencil (both first and second generation) won’t work with the iPhone because it requires a specifically designed touchscreen, there are several third-party options.
These Apple Pencil alternatives work with both iPhone and iPad, making drawing across your Apple devices easier and more convenient.
Still, we hope that Apple will release a stylus that will work on both devices. After all, the larger screen of the Plus and Pro Max models makes it easier for artists to draw on the go.
5. Better integration with non-Apple devices
While this may be wishful thinking, we still hope that Apple will loosen its grip on its ecosystem. After all, not everyone can afford or want a MacBook with an iPhone. Although it’s easy to transfer files to your Mac from iPhone via AirDrop, it’s more time-consuming and complicated if you want to do the same on your Windows PC.
However, Android has had Microsoft’s Phone Link (formerly Your Phone) since 2018. Windows Phone Link lets you get the most out of your Android and PC by keeping them connected. With these apps, you can read and reply to text messages, make and receive calls, copy and paste across your devices, control your phone from your computer, and more.
We will also see Apple integrate RCS into iMessage. Google wants Apple to ditch iMessage for RCS, so everyone gets a seamless messaging experience, regardless of device. However, this is unlikely to happen, as Apple knows the power of iMessage to attract and retain users within its ecosystem.
6. App cloning (dual apps)
While smartphones are typically personal devices, meaning that only one person typically uses them, some users have many roles in their lives, thus requiring multiple app instances.
For example, a person may have a personal and a business Facebook account and, as a result, want to use two accounts at the same time. Some Android devices, such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus, support this feature, and it’s buried in the phone’s advanced settings.
But on the iPhone, you have no choice but to get another device if you want to access both of your accounts at the same time.
7. Built-in call recording
Call recording is a bit of a problem, as the law varies from state to state. For most of the United States, you must be part of the conversation you are recording or it could be considered illegal wiretapping. In some selected states, however, all parties to the conversation must consent to the recording.
Many smartphones running Android 9 and above have the call recording feature. However, this still varies from place to place, as not all regions support this. Still, it’s available for Android devices in select areas, but iPhones don’t have this feature at all — you’ll need to get a third-party app to record your calls.
Android solves this problem by informing all parties in the conversation that it is being recorded. So we hope Apple implements this for the iPhone as well, as it can help people protect themselves, especially as fraud abounds in our digitally connected world.
More iOS improvements please!
It’s undeniable that the iPhone is one of the best smartphones we’ve ever had, and this is helped by the well-crafted and highly optimized iOS. However, despite all the features and improvements to iOS over the years, it is far from perfect.
So, as Apple continually releases future versions of iOS, we hope it will deliver some, if not all, of the features we’ve listed above. Until then, we have no other option but to wait patiently.