Apple's iOS 8, the so-far-theoretical major upgrade to Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system, ought to show more diagnostics information and maybe take a lesson from iOS 6 in visual style, say iOS application builders looking at the future of Apple's popular platform.
Developers have very strong feelings about where Apple should take the OS. The company released iOS 7 for its iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet in September, and it was considered a departure from previous versions, with a different look, but its HTML5 capabilities were buggy.
With iOS 8, Apple could look at "little things," such as spatial awareness capabilities, says Peter Nowell, a designer at Peter Nowell Design. "When people opened up an iOS 6 app, they were able to pretty quickly understand what they were looking at and where things were. Often in iOS 7, it takes five or 10 more seconds. That's unnecessary, and it might just be an indication that the visual style won't hold up over time."
Apple should consider offering diagnostic information, stresses Alex Doub, a software enginer at Web and mobile apps builder Rocketmade. "It would be cool if there was some way to see information about running apps, like how much CPU time or power is being used for this app. Apple added that to [OS X] Mavericks -- in Activity Monitor, you can see energy usage by application." Doub also suggests improvements in navigation and archiving for messages and a quick way to kill all apps. "When you're switching apps, there's a ton of free space on the top or bottom for something like this. Or even a button that you can tap that will show you the CPU and power usage for that particular app, so you can kill apps that are killing your battery."
Better privacy controls are needed on iOS, says developer Brandon Roth, also a software engineer at Rocketmade. "For example, apps use analytics to send all kinds of data, and I have no idea what they are doing, and I feel sort of helpless that I don't know nor can I control this," he says. "Apple took a big step on their crackdown of using unique devices identifiers in iOS 7, and I'd like them to go further in iOS 8." It would also help if Apple allowed different user accounts on the same device, he adds.