iOS 12 Wish List: 15 Features We're Crossing Our Fingers For

What iOS improvements is Apple cooking up for us behind closed doors? This is the question on our minds in the months leading up to the Worldwide Developers Conference 2018, or WWDC, where each June, Apple demonstrates the most exciting new software features it will roll out to our iPhones and iPads in the fall. Last year with iOS 11, Apple delivered productivity enhancements for the iPad, translation skills for Siri, and the ability to turn Live photos into GIFs. This year, according to the latest rumors, we’ll be getting *drum roll* devices that work better. Are you excited yet? Don’t worry, along with the much-needed yet uninspiring performance improvements Apple is rumored to be focusing on, we’re confident the tech giant will also have some show-stopping features waiting for us in the wings. Let's discuss our wish list for iOS 12, from improved iCloud photo sharing, to more versatile Settings and Parental Controls, to some long-awaited assistance in dealing with robo-callers, and more; let's jump in now! 

Related: 2018 iPhone Release Rumors: iPhone 9, iPhone XI & iPhone X Plus

iOS 12: What You Need to Know

What is iOS 12? This year’s free software update for your iPhone and iPad.

When can I get it? You’ll be able to upgrade to iOS 12 over Wi-Fi beginning September 2018 (If you’d like to test it early, you can enroll in a public beta program in late June 2018.)

Fewer Bugs Please!

While we’ve come to expect some instability with fledgling software updates, iOS 11 has been particularly notorious for its bugs. Upon release, the Messages app wouldn't stop crashing and included an autocorrect glitch that swapped out the letter “I” with the letter “A” followed by a box. It seems that the yearly deadline to produce a brand-spanking new operating system may have allowed for less quality control than Apple has been known for in the past. With iOS 12, Apple is expected to get back to basics and focus on delivering rock-solid performance.

Can Siri Get a Bit More Capable?

I'm sorry, Siri, and I don't mean to hurt your feelings but... if you were my personal assistant I'd fire you. Siri misunderstands my requests and gives me the wrong answers and results so often that I've come to expect glitches rather than assistance. Everyone I know who attempts to use Siri has at least one bizarre story of her inability to interact and serve properly, as well. While most Apple users are willing to forgive these flaws with the understanding that there will be improvements in the future, can the future finally be now? One of my top iOS 12 wishes is Siri functioning properly at least 80% of the time. 

Improved Parental Controls

Apple already offers a variety of options for screening content from younger users, but experts and parents alike have been asking for more this year. It's been rumored that Apple may include a feature in iOS 12 that will allow parents to monitor the amount of time kids have spent on their devices each day, and that would be welcomed by parents concerned that their child's waking hours are being consumed by screen time. In particular, more nuanced and granular controls for Guided Access would help parents enormously. Right now, Guided Access limits devices to a single app and controls which features within that app are available. But what if kids need three different applications for homework? Come on, Apple, help us out, here! 

iCloud Photo Sharing That Works

During a company trip to Mexico last year, I used Facebook’s Moments app to instantaneously share travel photos with coworkers after experiencing lag time and delays with iCloud Photo Library. With iOS 12, I hope Apple can recreate the experience that Facebook has created with the Moments app to make photo sharing painless and finding friends intuitive.

Support for Multiple User Accounts

When Apple’s new MacBook Pro line came out with support for multiple user accounts and Touch ID login capabilities, we were certain the iPad, and maybe even the iPhone would be next. We were wrong and are still mad about it! If Apple wants to promote the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, the ability to log in as different users is a must.

Improved Lighting Effects

At iPhone Life, our managing editor Rheanne has been enjoying using the native Camera app’s Lighting Effects while in Portrait mode. But as she’s pointed out, the lighting effects can be harsh. With the next update, we’d like it if Apple could give this feature some love and make the effects more natural looking.

More Versatile Do Not Disturb Settings

Do Not Disturb can be a lifesaver when you’re in a meeting or at the movies and don’t want to bother others with your personal notifications. And while you can put Do Not Disturb on a schedule based on time of day, we’d like to see Apple expand its customization settings to include locations. That way, when you’re at places like work, your child’s school, church, or the movie theater, you won’t be interrupted by embarrassing text notifications or calls when they’re not wanted. In addition to location-based settings, how about the ability to create a more flexible Do Not Disturb schedule? I can't for the life of me understand why there isn't already the ability to at least set different Do Not Disturb times for weekdays and weekends. Hopefully iOS 12 be the operating system to finally deliver more versatile Do Not Disturb settings.  

Dynamic Keyboard for iPad

Typing on the iPad’s on-screen keyboard requires so much effort that I simply don’t use my tablet unless it’s connected to a third-party keyboard. There’s evidence that Apple may be coming out with a solution that would track the placement of your fingers, so you don’t have to look down as you type. After acquiring keyboard app maker Typesoft Technologies in 2014, Apple has since filed a patent on “finger hover detection for improved typing” in 2016. If Apple could pull off incorporating this feature successfully into iOS, our touchscreen typing experience could be forever changed. 

Improved FaceTime

FaceTime is a wonderful, useful feature, but Apple hasn't made any significant upgrades to the video-chat app in a long time. The most important upgrade that needs to happen for FaceTime is the ability to have group chats. It seems like this would be an easy and popular feature to add, so can we finally have it this year? As well, how about the ability to leave video messages? It stands to reason that if you were trying to have a face-to-face call with someone, you'd want to leave them a visual rather than simple voice message, right? Finally, it would be lovely if FaceTime could include screen sharing with iOS 12. Whether you're FaceTiming a colleague for some tech advice, or walking a less tech-savvy relative through the process of downloading pictures or upgrading software, screen sharing would be an enormous help.

Make Low Power Mode Work with Hey, Siri

Whenever our feature writer Conner’s battery is low, she stretches its lifespan by flipping on Low Power Mode. The only problem is, she also likes to use her virtual assistant hands free and Hey Siri is one of the features Apple disables to conserve energy. With iOS 12, we hope Apple makes Hey Siri more energy efficient so we can use Apple’s AI while enjoying the benefits of Low Power Mode.

Add Crowdsourcing to Apple Maps

Apple Maps gets better every year, but it has still sent me down a few dead-end roads only to announce that I’ve reached my destination. I’d feel a lot more understanding if Apple made it easier to send feedback when it gets locations or streets wrong in order to improve its mapping for next time.

Customizable Photo Management

With Apple’s photo management system, when you take photos on your phone, they instantly appear on all your other devices logged into your iCloud account. However, when you go to delete photos from your iPhone to free up space, your only option is to delete the pictures from iCloud as well. With iOS 12, I hope Apple gives us the option to manage photos on a device-by-device basis, so we can store all our photos to iCloud, but only keep a selection of our choosing on each iOS device.

Clear All Apps in the App Switcher

When you enter the app switcher and see all your recently used apps on standby, you can close out each app individually or even a few at a time when you swipe up. However, there’s no way to close them all out at once. For those times when my phone is acting up, I’d personally love to have one button that lets me close out all my apps so I can start fresh.

Share and Lock Entire Folders in Notes

In recent years, Apple has added the ability to share individual notes with contacts and has also added the ability to lock notes so you can keep sensitive information private. It’s easy to forget these features exist because they feel half-baked. If Apple added the ability to lock and share entire folders instead of just individual notes, I’d be a lot more likely to take advantage of the app’s sharing and locking capabilities.

Ability to See When Someone Is Using a Fake Call Number

Robocalls have become so common in recent years that I pretty much avoid all calls from unknown numbers. I’ve missed some important calls this way though! It would be nice if Apple could alert you to fake numbers, so you know not to pick up when one of these automated callers preys on you.

What features are you hoping for? Email to let us know or add a comment below.

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      Author Details

      Donna Schill's picture

      Author Details

      Donna Schill

      Donna Schill is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine and is a journalist specializing in producing multimedia content. Aside from managing the editorial team at iPhone Life, Donna co-hosts the iPhone Life Podcast, teaches online iPhone educational courses, and enjoys reporting on live Apple events. Donna began her career as a newspaper reporter before joining the iPhone Life team, where she pairs her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. 

      Donna holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication and earned her undergraduate degree in Media & Communications from Maharishi International University. Her writing has appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Little Village Magazine, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, the Fairfield Ledger, and the Iowa Source, and she was a researcher for American journalist Claire Hoffman's memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park. She is also the host and executive producer of a feminist podcast, Thread the Needle (