It's a tradition that developers put together a wishlist of new features, APIs, and improvements they are hoping that Apple will announce during the week. This year we have asked the iOS Developers in Shape what they are hoping to see during the week and we have made the following wishlist with everything from new hardware to smaller API changes.
Let’s start out with the elephant in the room: theAR headset. Apple has long been rumored to announce an AR headset, and we’re hoping they’ll announce it soon. We can’t wait to start developing for the headset!
Staying on the topic of AR, we’re also hoping that Apple will bring Location Anchors to more parts of the world. Location Anchors were announced last year and enable developers to place AR experiences around the world but, as of writing this, the feature is only available in London and selected cities in the United States.
Our final AR-related wish is that ARKit will be able to recognize more objects like doors and windows.
Interactive widgets. With the redesign of widgets in 2020, Apple removed the option for widgets to be interactive. That is, widgets can no longer contain buttons that operate on the content within the widget. We’re hoping Apple will bring back this kind of interaction.
Speaking of widgets, we’re hoping to see support for more sizes of widgets. There are currently four sizes of widgets but we’d like support for smaller widgets. Imagine a widget of the size of an app icon — essentially a dynamic app icon like the icon for the Calendar app which changes each day or the icon for the Clock app which shows the current time.
Support for third-party automation triggers in the Shortcuts app. The app lets users run automations at a certain time of day, when they get a text message from someone, when they arrive at a certain location, and more. We’d like to see Apple open these triggers up to developers, so we can send events from apps that trigger an automation to be run. Imagine running a shortcut when you start a car wash, start listening to a podcast or buy movie tickets.
CarPlay is becoming increasingly popular, and we are integrating it into more and more apps. However, CarPlay is limited to certain use cases defined by Apple and a CarPlay app may only operate under one of these use cases. We’re hoping that Apple will enable a single CarPlay appto support multiple use cases, like parking and EV charging at the same time.
Apps for Apple’s platforms are built with the Xcode app for macOS. Unlike other popular code editors, Xcode cannot detect unused code, so we’re hoping that Apple will bring functionality for detecting unused code to Xcode, so we can easier clean up large codebases.
Third-party controls in Control Center. The Control Center on iPhone and iPad can be customized to provide easy access to often-used features on the iPhone, including the camera, flashlight, and interacting with smart home accessories. We’re hoping for an API that enables us to move features of our apps into the Control Center for easy access.
Text selection in Messages. Ever needed to copy part of a message you have received from a friend or family member in Apple’s Messages app? You can’t without any workarounds. The only option is to copy the entire message. That’s dumb, Apple. Let us copy just a part of the message.
Starting from iOS 14 users can select a default e-mail app or web browser. We’re hoping that with iOS 16, Apple will open up more categories of apps to become the default app, like a default calendar or camera app.
A secure and privacy-first analytics service provided by Apple. Developers can use Apple’s App Store Analytics to see the number of downloads an app has, retention, and much more. We’d like Apple to expand on their current analytics offerings to allow logging of custom events from apps in a way that preserves the users’ privacy.
A standalone password manager app for Apple’s iCloud Keychain. Apple have been improving password management with iCloud Keychain over the past years but their password manager still lives in a preference pane in System Preferences on the Mac and are buried in Settings on the iPhone and iPad. We would like to see Apple release a standalone app for managing passwords.
As iOS developers, we rely heavily on Apple’s documentation. Unfortunately, many of Apple’s APIs aren’t documented. We’d like Apple to expand on its documentation and ensure that all APIs are documented.
Serverless functions. We love writing iOS apps but sometimes it’s necessary to move an operation off of the device and run it in the cloud instead. We’re hoping that Apple will expand on its CloudKit offerings to enable developers to run serverless functions, similar to Amazon’s AWS Lambda service.
So that's it, guys! That’s our wishlist! We could have kept on going with new features that we would like to see but we also have to round up at some point.
If you’re as excited for WWDC as we are, then join us and more iOS developers when we watch the keynote on June 6th. You can find more details on Meetup.