The Volect WWDC List (2021)

2 Jun 2021, by Aadi

It’s that time of the year again – WWDC is near.

What follows is not a wishlist, nor is this a predictions list. It is a list of requirements (heck, demands) for Apple to fix in their various platforms. They are a list of vestiges, something that got left behind as each platform evolved.

  1. Once-only Stop Playing

    The iOS/iPadOS timer has an option to Stop Playing when the timer ends. It’s useful, with a horrible side-effect of missing timers! See, because it becomes the default, every subsequent timer set any way (Control Center, Siri) will not make a noise until that option is changed back to some sound. This should be implemented as a once-only feature. After I select this option, and that timer is done, the default should go back to whichever sound was selected before it.

  2. PDF Export through Print command

    It really isn’t obvious that by pinch-to-zoom-ing on the preview inside the print dialogue, you can make a PDF file out of almost anything. This is so useful, yet there is no better way to replicate this functionality. 1 It needs a button of its own. Why not a simple Print to PDF option in the share sheet?

  3. Swipe to dismiss alarms and timers

    Older versions of iOS used to present two options: a slider to dismiss, and a button to snooze. That was easy to remember and easy to do! Now we have two buttons, one small and dark, one bright, large and in the center. I still don't know which is which, does the big button stop the alarm, or snooze it? Does it stop the Timer, or repeat it? It's really confusing! Needless to say, bring the swipe back, Apple!
  4. Screen Security API

    Screen security in WhatsApp, Signal, and BHIM

    Screen security in WhatsApp, Signal, and BHIM

    Many apps have an option to enable what they more or less call screen security. That essentially block the OS from being able to show screenshots in the app-switcher UI. Unfortunately, the implementation looks crude and is roughly implemented. Invoking Control Center, Notification Center, or even just touching the Home Bar accidentally makes the app freak out. This is the sort of feature that should be a part of the OS. It will certainly look and feel smoother, and should work better as well, since the app won’t be having to fight with the system.

  5. Bedtime in iPadOS

    The Bedtime feature belongs on the iPad, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be there either. Why the heck did they remove it in the first place? I know, because they moved Bedtime to the Health app!

  6. Health app on iPad

Why the heck isn’t there a Health app on the iPad? I want to enter my data manually, maybe pair a tracker, or just view some graphs! Not to mention the Emergency features! The iPad is a portable device, people carry them around with them, so it will certainly benefit from having those.

  1. Clock on Mac

    Stopwatch and timer have been absent in macOS for so long now that I fear they’ve just forgotten. I would like to set timers and alarms on my laptop or desktop, is that too much to ask? Even the World Clock app (which looks amazing on the iPad) seems like something a Mac should have.
  1. Smart Orientation Lock

    I am only adding this because Apple seems to have figured out Auto Brightness perfectly, yet there’s never been any attention to the orientation lock. It’s time for reinvention, a rethink of how it works and how it needs to work. There doesn’t even need to be anything very advanced 2, at least allow me watch a fullscreen video in landscape without having to turn off the lock. Other cool features like Face ID integration, or some gesture (Shake to Rotate, anybody?) are fine too.

  2. Offline Siri

    In some situations Siri is the only way I can use my phone. I want to be able to send a text while driving, or skip a song while cooking, make a call while jogging. But at such times, a slow or flakey internet connection makes it really difficult. It isn’t too much to expect a limited set of commands that Siri is able to understand and execute offline – turning Wifi or Bluetooth on and off, setting timers, accepting/rejecting calls, sending text messages, and controlling audio playback come to mind.

It is important to note that I do not claim to have come up with every one of these points. There are too many podcasts and articles on the internet to point to for each one, I’ve just put it all into a single place.

  1. You could make a shortcut, but it’s not a better way. ↩︎

  2. By advanced, I mean super complex AI, ML ↩︎