WWDC 2023 Wishlist
2023 is an interesting year for Apple, as the company is facing a lot of pressure from lawmakers to open up their platforms. After the European Union passed legislation requiring all devices to use USB-C, Apple implied that they would replace their Lightning connector with USB-C. Later, the EU passed the Digital Markets Act, which will force “gatekeeper” companies — like Apple — to allow sideloading and third-party app stores.
I’m interested to see how Apple will address these new regulations while trying to keep a tight grip on it’s ecosystem. Apple is set to hold their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5th, where they announce new updates for iOS, macOS, and other platforms. Here’s a few things I hope they’ll announce, why I think it’s makes sense, and why they probably won’t.
A stable iOS update
Over the past few years, I’ve seen way more people complaining about bugs and crashes on iOS. It used to be the gold standard for mobile OS stability, but that’s no longer the case. I realize the irony of saying this on a blog post about wanting new iOS features, but I still think Apple should focus on stability and performance improvements this year.
Texting between iOS and Android sucks. SMS is slow, unreliable, and is missing a lot of features we’ve come to expect from modern messaging apps. Images and videos send at a low resolution, there are no read receipts or typing indicators, and the whole thing isn’t end-to-end encrypted. I could go on, but the point is that these problems could be easily solved by switching to RCS, a protocol that Google has been pushing a lot lately.
RCS is far from perfect, and Google has a less than ideal record when it comes to chat apps, but it’s still far better than SMS. Adding support for it would improve the experience for everyone. At the same time, I don’t expect Apple to do so, because hurting communication with Android users is a deliberate decision they’ve made to keep their market dominance intact.
Custom app icons
You can technically set custom app icons on iOS, but it’s a workaround at best. You can create a shortcut to an app, then set a custom icon for that shortcut, but it’s tedious to do this for every app you want to customize, and the method has a few other issues too. It’d be great to see Apple introduce official support for custom app icons. Imagine being able to download an entire pack at once, and apply it with a single tap. It also opens up more monetization opportunities, because Apple could allow selling packs of icons in the App Store.
iOS 14 introduced the shortcut method which, along with widgets, spawned a trend of home screen customization. I think it’s safe to say that this is a feature that people want, and Apple should deliver.
I’m excited to see what Apple ends up showing at WWDC this year. I’m sure they’ll have some surprises up their sleeve, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they are. There are a few more minor things I’d like to see, but I think those three are the most important.