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iOS 10: Ten features iOS X desperately needs

Our full features wish list for iOS 10 (a.k.a. iOS X), including improved 3D Touch, an overhauled Siri and proper hands-free control.

Apple’s iOS is gradually improving with each update, adding much-needed features to our iPhones and iPads, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. This is what iOS 10 (or iOS X) needs to get right to make it the best mobile OS out there.

Read next: Everything you need to know about iOS 10

1. Better use of 3D Touch

Apple introduced 3D Touch in iOS 9, specifically for the pressure-sensitive displays on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. This allows users to perform different actions with a soft or hard poke of the screen, but there’s one very significant problem with 3D Touch right now. Basically, it’s crap.

Tap hard on an app shortcut and you’ll merely be presented with a short list of shortcut options. What we really want in iOS 10 is a widget to pop up instead; for instance, 3D Touch your calendar app and you get a quick glance at today’s schedule, with the ability to add a new entry at a specific point. And why isn’t 3D Touch used more in Apple’s apps? Why can’t we 3D Touch in the camera app to zoom, for instance?

2. Less horrifying file management

Seriously, after all these years, why is it so bloody complicated to manage your music and other media on an iPhone or iPad? You practically need a degree in software engineering just to stick the new Justin Bieber album on. Actually, that’s probably a good thing.

In iOS 10 we want the ability to bypass iTunes entirely and use drag-and-drop, just like with Android, Windows and every other mobile OS. It’s not going to happen of course, but we can still dream, right?

3. Greater customisation

One of our major complaints with iOS since its early days has been the inflexible nature. Why do we still have to have all of our apps on display on the desktops? Why can’t we hide away lesser-used efforts, especially those from Apple that come pre-installed and can’t be removed?

We’d also like to tweak the Spotlight search page which you access by swiping right from your home screen. At the moment, the structure and content is far too rigid, with no option to add your own streams or shortcuts.

4. Make Siri genuinely useful, at last, with proper hands-free operation

Siri improves a little bit with each new version of iOS, but we still never bother to use her and can’t remember the last time we saw her in action in real life.

One way Apple could make Siri the ultimate assistant is by implementing proper voice control in iOS 10. Sony’s Xperia Ear concept shows a proper hands-free mobile experience using an ear-piece, where for instance you can ask for your waiting messages to be read out to you and then immediately respond, or get real-time information on whatever you need without yanking out your phone. Here’s hoping Apple could produce something similar, and prevent the masses from having their faces constantly buried in their smartphones.

5. Support for multiple Apple profiles

Quite a few iOS users with kids will share our annoyance at only having one Apple ID set up on an iPhone or iPad at one time. Handing your iOS device to a nipper so they can stream  a show or play a game is always slightly worrying. Turn your back and they’ve suddenly spent a grand on the App Store, or emailed your dodgy pics to your mum.

So, here’s hoping iOS 10 allows us to add extra profiles, including parental controls as a bonus.

6. Keychain chagrin

If you’ve read our Philips Hue Bridge with HomeKit review, you’ll know that we’ve had a lot of issues with Apple’s Keychain feature. Kill it, kill it with fire – and make something that works, please, Apple.

7. A Control Center that doesn’t suck

The Control Center is one step towards Android’s fully-featured notifications bar, but we still can’t specify which quick toggles appear in there (does anyone actually use the torch or timer, ever?) and it’s still quite ugly. Here’s hoping we can personalise the Control Center in iOS 10.

8. Improved route feature in Maps

We’ve long since given up using Apple Maps, mostly because the route suggestions aren’t as good as some rivals’. For example, the quickest suggested route from Recombu Towers to Battersea Park is a 38-minute bus journey, while Google Maps correctly suggests a tube-train combo that takes just 25 minutes, or a tube and bus effort that’s 29 minutes.

Here’s hoping Maps gets a boost in iOS 10.

9. A cloud solution that’s easy to manage for everyone

Most iPhone and iPad users we speak with don’t use iCloud, or aren’t even aware that they’re using it, because Apple for some reason has buried it away in the settings menu. What would be better is a dedicated app that helps users to understand iCloud and quickly and easily configure what gets backed up from their device.

From here you could also share your files with other Apple users, giving a complete solution for saving and dishing out your important stuff online.

10. A fresh new lock screen

Finally, we’d love the chance to make the iPhone’s lock screen our own creation. Adding in widgets so we can see our next appointment, favoured RSS streams and so on would be a good start.

Got your own iOS 10 feature wishlist, or disagree with ours? Let us know in the comments below.

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