iOS 17 could be a huge update – here’s what it could change

Earlier this year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that iOS 17 might not be a big update and would instead focus on fixing bugs and improving overall performance, as the company has most of the gears toward releasing its augmented reality headset instead moves. Now, however, Gurman seems to have backed down, saying in a recent Power On newsletter that iOS 17 could indeed bring some of the “most requested features” to iOS.

That is a very vague and general statement. But what might these high-demand features be? Here’s what we think could be added based on feature requests over the years from the community.

Multiple timers Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Have you ever used the Timer feature in the Clock app on your iPhone? Chances are, you may also have noticed that you can literally only have one timer on iPhone at a time.

In watchOS 8, one of the biggest and most surprising features was the support for multiple timers. With that, you could have one timer for five minutes and another for 30 minutes, or whatever you need. However, even with iOS 16, you can only have one timer on the iPhone.

This limitation on iOS makes no sense, especially since even the Apple Watch supports multiple timers. Users have been asking for multiple timers for years, so if Apple is really going to add some of the “most requested features” then this better be one of them.

Individual Volume Control Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Since trying Android phones here at Digital Trends, I’ve learned that Android does a lot of things better than iOS, including volume control. For example, if you turn on the volume rocker on a device like the Samsung Galaxy S23, you can tap the volume rocker to expand it into individual sliders for System, Alerts, Bixby Voice, Ringtone, and Media.

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However, on iOS, pressing the volume buttons basically just adjusts the overall volume. You can change the ringtone and alarm volume independently, but only by going to Sound & Haptics in the Settings app. But the volume buttons change the overall volume when there’s no active audio – if there’s some audio playing, the volume buttons change that specific audio, like Media or Siri. It’s confusing and, frankly, stupid.

At this point, Apple should just copy Android and show a button when adjusting the volume to expand into individual volume controls. It would make every iOS user’s life much easier since the current method is cumbersome crap.

Better Notification Management Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Another thing I’ve learned since dipping my toe into Android is how much better it handles notifications compared to iOS.

On iOS, it’s pretty much an all-or-nothing approach. Basically, if you allow notifications on iOS, you’ll get notifications for everything in an app, unless the app has settings for the kind of notifications you get. But that depends on the developer. On Android, you get much finer control over the types of notifications you receive from an app.

Apple’s notification method includes banners, banners, and more banners. Sure, you can group all notification banners together on the lock screen and Notification Center, which is a “stack,” but when you expand it, all of those banners take up space. If you have a ton of notifications, that’s an annoyingly long list of banners to go through.

Again, Android does this better by displaying each app’s notifications in an agenda-like list view, which is to the point and saves space. It’s also much easier to clear notifications on Android while iOS takes several taps. And if you dismiss a notification, you cannot view it again while Android has a notification history feature.

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While notifications have gotten a bit better on iOS, it’s still a mess compared to Android. Hopefully Apple will give notifications a major overhaul to be more efficient and streamlined in iOS 17.

Sideload apps outside of the App Store

I’m not sure if this is personal to me, but it’s been a common request from a lot of people. And since Apple is in hot water with European antitrust laws, iOS 17 could be if Apple allows sideloading of apps from other digital storefronts alongside its own App Store.

With Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) coming into effect soon, companies have until 2024 to comply with new regulations. Essentially, big tech companies need to allow alternative app stores on their platforms to give users more choices.

There have been rumors that the iPhone 15 will finally move to USB-C based on EU regulations requiring a common charger for all electronics. The DMA is another law Apple must comply with, and it could mean that for the first time we can get apps on the iPhone through alternative app stores and not just Apple’s.

If developers choose to go this route, they would not have to pay Apple a 15% to 30% fee for in-app purchases, and users could also have an alternative payment method without going through Apple. For many it would be a win-win situation.

Allow app icons to be placed anywhere Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Apple made some strides in iOS 14 by allowing users to customize their home screens without jailbreaking. However, we still can’t place app icons anywhere on the home screen. Sure, you could use one of those widget apps that puts in a transparent area, but that’s a workaround that shouldn’t be there.

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On Android, you can place your apps anywhere in the grid, e.g. B. Below, where access with one hand is easier. However, when creating a home screen on iOS, the first app you place on a new page needs to be in the top left corner, which is one of the most unreachable spots for me.

It’s about time Apple just allowed us to place our apps anywhere on the home screen without forcing us to go left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Give us home screen freedom!

We’re excited to see what iOS 17 has in store

This is all speculation, but I believe these have all been some of the top user requests for iOS features in recent years. Again, Gurman made it pretty vague and even went back to what he said a few months ago. Still, we’re excited to see what iOS 17 will bring to our iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro this year.

With WWDC right around the corner, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

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