Five Enhancements for Future Apple Operating Systems

I would welcome

  • proper conversation mode with Siri.
  • a gesture to fling windows / files to other screens and devices on my network
  • smooth, quick, effortless Time Machine with a proper interface permitting multiple varying restores
  • solving this pain in the proverbial that passwords and two-factor authentication has become.
  • the capacity to designate default applications on every OS.
  • a revamp on the whole CUPS/print engine
  • The ability to extend family storage on Apple One to more than 2Tb
  • Various apps, Books comes to mind, can become important repositories which share badly or not at all.

I’d like a Finder window mode that basically splits your standard column view window into two halves, with the right half being a mirrored image of the standard LHS. Now you can use RHS favorites to choose an area for the RHS columns (or just navigate there by hand). Makes drag and drop between two areas on the file system or comparing contents of two folders much simpler than as presently through tabs or multiple windows. Plus, it would be a an actually usable interface for Finder in single-window/single-app “Full Screen” mode. Basically, Finder gets an mc makeover.

But honestly, I’d give up on getting even a single new feature in macOS 13 (and probably even 14) in a heartbeat if in turn Apple promised to just fixed all the stuff that’s broken, ugly, or outright unusable. TV app, I’m looking at you. And while we’re at it, drop this silly annual update obsession. Update when things are actually ready (LOL @ Universal Control‌), fix what’s necessary as soon as it’s required, don’t screw around with stuff that works just because marketing needs a splash for their upcoming annual dog and pony show. I guess this is more for the ‘never going to happen’ category. But we can always dream. :wink:

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Does Messages even have a concept of read/unread for the reader (I know I can turn on read receipts so the sender knows when I’ve read their messages)? For me, I’m just always at the bottom, so I have to scroll up to find the first unread message, and I have to do it from memory, there’s no indicator of which messages I’ve seen and which I haven’t, or where I left off reading.

Having something more like Slack (or, literally, hundreds of other messaging systems), where there’s a clear demarcation between read and new, and where I’m at the last read so as I scroll down I’m reading from oldest to newest would definitely be on my Apple wishlist.

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They should. When you open the messages app, a conversation thread for an individual or groups has a blue dot when there is an unread message. All I need is the ability to mark a conversation unread, so I remember to go back to it later.

I know I’m not alone in wanting a feature like this. I often get messages that I cannot answer right away but sometimes forget to answer them.

I just checked the messaging app Signal - it allows me to mark a conversation unread. That would be perfect for the iOS Messages app. I don’t need to mark individual messages unread - just signal that there is something unread at a glance at the unread badge on the messages icon, and then the blue dot within the app itself.

Ah, ok, I was thinking individual messages within a conversation. I do see the dot when a conversation has unread messages, and yes, I’d definitely like to be able to mark a conversation unread (particularly since when I delete a conversation, the next one in the list is automatically marked read).

But also, when I tap a conversation, it drops me at the bottom. I’d much prefer it drop me at the last message in that conversation I saw, instead of having to scroll up, trying to remember when the last message I saw was sent (if I even noticed) or its content.

I’d like Spotlight to ‘just work’ like it used to.
I find searching my drive for simple files/content to be a frustrating mess. Instead of returning a nice, short list of matches on my drive I get an endless list of web pages, Siri ‘suggestions’, Search Web, Siri Knowledge etc. Why is it so hard to prioritise the local drive and forget trying to search the planet?
Thank goodness for FindAnyFile. For me, Spotlight it totally useless in its current form. I’m reluctant to turn it off completely in case it then hoses the ability to search in specific apps (Mail etc). I often work on older machines and the Spotlight implementation is so much faster, better and more accurate.

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Excellent point. If I want to search the web or WP, I’ll open a browser and do it from there. Spotlight should focus on local search.

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You can turn off web searches in Spotlight: System Preferences > Spotlight; deselect “Siri Suggestions”. Then Spotlight searches only the contents of your Mac.

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:+1: That has always been deselected here. But I still get my results cluttered with a whole bunch of garbage. Worst of all that garbage, web search is the very first item.

But then even simple things like Asteri*k or filename ends with lloWorld don’t work. :roll_eyes:

I’d go one further and suggest they release features at any time, only when they’re ready, rather than on any pre-determined schedule.

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I like the suggestion to go to a two-year schedule for operating system upgrades instead of one year.

The thing I want most is for Apple to focus on fixing things that don’t work so well (Preview markup, Dictation) rather than adding more bells and whistles.

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I’m sure Apple is heading in this direction, but…

When I attach a keyboard and touchpad/mouse to my iPad, it’s no longer a touch user interface. It is now a pointing device interface. When I have a keyboard and touchpad or mouse attached to my iPad, programs should run as if I’m running them on the Mac — with menus and context menus. Run the Mac version of the program.

There are things I can easily do with Pages on my Mac (like insert a new page) that I am not sure exactly how to do on my iPad because of the limits in the touch interface. I find myself running help constantly to see exactly how to do something that is easily done on my Mac due to the menuing systems.

I agree with less frequent updates. I want either bug fixes, or an update that means something.

Dictation!!! I used to use that often, but it won’t work anymore. Am I blaming this on Sierra or has it become flakey?

Diane

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I should have said Spotlight instead of search above. I did manage to stop it from searching the web, but otherwise I’ve found it immensely frustrating. There seem to be some hidden commands that let you specify searching certain apps, but they are hidden, and Spotlight seems unable to search everything that I want to search. Which is why something simpler and more predictable like EasyFind.

What bugs me is change for the sake of change, which gives us fiascos like Spotlight that are far more complex and confusing than necessary or useful. Marketing wants new features to sell more Macs, but it has reached the point where many of us avoid updating until we have to.

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I would be very happy if Apple introduced an API for interacting with the data online. I have a NAS running 24/7 on a 300/300 fiber internet connection, but backing up Apple data is just a pain.

The biggest pain is maintaining a backup of all the photos on the household devices (two adults and two teens). In order to maintain a local backup I have to have separate profiles on the two macs running, and remember to have all the accounts logged in…

Just give me an API that enables me to pull photos in full quality. I could then have a Docker service running on my nas pulling all photos down (I would just have to provide credentials for the iCLoud accounts) and then creating an extra backup on AWS, B2 or C2 (Arq could also use that API and skip a step for me).

I have just “upgraded” from an iPhone SE to a iPhone 13 and this is the first iPhone I have had with FaceID. I think it largely sucks in terms of usability as implemented. I also have a couple of issues with MacOS that I think could be improved.

  1. Why do I have to swipe up to open the phone after I have unlocked? On the SE I could press the home “button” and unlock in one single action, now I seem to need two hands. How about include a press of the glass or something like a finger print scanner under the glass?

  2. Fix Apple Pay with FaceID UX. On the iPhone SE I used to be able to pay really simply by moving the phone near a card reader (the default card pops up when a NFC is detected) and simply resting my thumb on the home button. I could do that one hand in a simple smooth motion. Now I have to double click (why double?) the power button and get my face in front of the screen before moving the phone over the counter to the card reader. Really clumsy experience so far.

  3. Why do I need to unlock the phone for directions? I have my phone in a phone mount, but sometimes I need directions to a location only after I have started driving. “Hey Siri, take me home!” “You need to unlock your phone first” but my face is too far away from the phone so it asks me to enter the pin which would break the law in the UK. On the SE, I dont remember it ever asking to unlock first and even if it did all I had to do was reach over and put my thumb on the home button.

  4. Fix Apple Music/iTunes cloud sync. I have been through the loops with Apple support on this and they couldn’t fix it. It seems if you have the same track on different albums, iCloud Music only wants to keep one copy of it and this makes all the other albums incomplete with the song marked as unavailable but still in the list. It also marks the versions you used in a playlist as unavailable if they are replicated elsewhere. It means I am still manually syncing my phone music library to my master iTunes on my Mac to get all tracks and all playlists complete because if I use Apple Music, a fair selection of tracks are not available on the phone. Eg. I have Parklife single by Blur on the original Blur Parklife album, but also on several 90’s compilations. The one Music chose to keep was one on one of the compilations, so now the Blur Parklife album is incomplete because the track is labelled as “unavailable” if I have cloud sync on.

  5. Bring back HFS support and Intel 32 bit support. I still use Intel Macs (iMac and MBP) and have a purchased (not rented) Adobe CS with Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects etc which has 32bit components, so Im still on Mojave and can never upgrade unless I want to loose the use of my Adobe software and have to buy a sub to CC. I appreciate this is probably a niche case, but its a lot of money for new software if I upgrade the MacOS.

The need to unlock is nothing new. On my old iPhone 6, I had to do the same thing, but with Touch ID, it was trivially simple to put a finger on the touch sensor, even while driving.

With FaceID, I find that the real issue is that it won’t read my face when the phone is in landscape orientation (typical when it’s on my dashboard, when navigating). If the phone is in portrait orientation (typically when I’m using a vent-mount), then it has no problem reading my face even when I’m seated behind the wheel - so all I need to do is swipe-up.

Hmm… in Settings / Face ID & Passcode, do you have Siri turned on in the section “allow access when locked”? Because what you’re asking works for me (with the caveat that sometimes, as we all know, sometimes Siri doesn’t work when it should.) I just tried it while I was holding my phone unlocked and pointing away from me, and it worked fine.

It appears that the problem here isn’t navigation, but the request to go “home”.

I just tested it on my phone (pointed away and locked).

If I say something like “Hey Siri, navigate to …”, followed by the name of a local shopping center, navigation begins immediately. But if I say “Hey Siri, navigate home”, it asks me to unlock the phone.

Clearly, the restricted data is my home address, which is as it should be.

The voice command that annoys me most while driving is asking Siri to read a text message that just arrived. That’s another command that requires the device to be unlocked (again, as it should be). But it was easier to unlock the phone while driving using Touch ID than with Face ID in landscape orientation.

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