I bought iPhone X back near the end of November, 2017. Officially, that’s five months ago so what better time than now– perhaps seven months from the next iPhone launch– to talk about what I want in iPhone XI? Or, iPhone 11. Or, iPhone X (as in ‘ex’). Whatever Apple decides to name their new iPhones, that won’t change the fact that improvements are coming.
This is my list for iPhone XI.
CarPlay – this is one of my biggest disappointments in Apple and iPhone the past two years. iPhone on CarPlay is anemic at best. Worse, it requires a Lightning cable connected to the car (and a specific kind of car, though that is less of an issue these days). Hello? Wireless, Apple.
Safari – Alright, I can’t complain much about Safari but most iPhone users don’t know is that Chrome, and Firefox, and whatever other browser shows up on iPhone and iPad is really just Safari. Uh huh. Even Microsoft’s new Edge browser for iOS. Under the hood it’s all just Safari. Maybe Apple’s default browser could use some competition. Firefox on the Mac is a screamer. Not on iPhone.
Defaults – The default email app on Mac is Mail. Default browser? Safari. Default calendar? Calendar. And so on and so on. But on the Mac we can change the default application to use, say, Spark or Airmail, Firefox or Chrome, or even Fantastical. On iOS? No. Can. Do.
iTunes – Yes, I know it is difficult to change something that a billion people use. But iTunes needs to be better everywhere. Not just on the Mac. iPhone and iPad, too. It’s the single most bloated, cumbersome, and convoluted app Apple makes. And it’s everywhere. Even the Windows App Store.
Crashes – No, a crash is not a feature, but as often as crashes occur on iOS 11.x, you’d think Apple built them in so we would be humbled by the experience. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re pruning Photos on your iPhone and have a thousand to delete. It’s not easy. You can select a few dozen at a time, but deleting hundreds is a pain in the neck. Or, finger. You choose. And if you manage to select a few hundred photos then the app crashes. It’s as if Photos feels better if it has photos you can’t delete.
3D Touch – I love it. I use it. There is no 3D Touch on iPad. There is a kind of push-finger-hard touch which sometimes opens up an extra menu, but there is no way to know which apps or functions have a 3D Touch option. Make it visible, Apple.
Search – OK, search isn’t difficult. “Siri, open blah blah” and Siri opens whatever app blah blah is. Where’s the app? Siri doesn’t know. What about Settings? No. Can. Do. To find a lost application you have to open every folder until you find where it is. On the Mac all I have to do is use Spotlight or right-click on the app icon in the Dock.
There is much to like in iOS 11.x and iPhone X, but iterative improvements are the name of the game. Disruptive revolutions are nice– thank you, Apple, for Face ID and Touch ID, et al– but iOS 11 has been a bit buggier than I remember from iOS 10, so– tick tock– time for more stability in iPhone XI and iOS.