iOS 16 Wishlist: The Top Features We Want to See

BY Parth Shah

Published 9 Apr 2022

iOS 16 Wishlist

Apple has officially announced online-only WWDC 2022 from June 6-10. The company will showcase this year’s iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS updates to developers and users. Last year’s iOS 15 update focused on privacy and security features, and with iOS 16, we expect to see some new features to enhance the usability of the iPhone and tackle some regular annoyances with the OS. Here’s our iOS 16 wishlist.

1. Better Notification Management

If you have been using an iPhone all your life, you might be okay with the current notification management in iOS 15. However, those coming from the Android world might carry a different opinion. There is no way to prioritize notifications from specific apps, and you can’t snooze notifications as well. Worse, you can either have notifications enabled or disabled from an app — there’s no midway here where you can prevent them from sending spam notifications.

We look forward to better notification management to handle all-day alerts like a pro. Apple does offer a scheduled summary on iPhone starting with iOS 15, but the overall implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

notifications on iPhone

2. Interactive Widgets

Apple has nailed the widget implementation in terms of aesthetics. iOS widgets do look better than those on Android and Windows 11. However, it comes with one glaring omission. Users can’t trigger actions using them. These home screen widgets are simply meant for information only.

For example, you can’t complete a to-do list from the Reminders widget or even open a specific email directly. We hope Apple adds more functionality to widgets with the iOS 16 update.

iOS 16 widgets

3. Always-On Display

Now that the entire iPhone lineup (except for the cheaper iPhone SE models) comes with an AMOLED display, it’s about time for the company to integrate AOD (Always-On Display) add-on to check essential information such as notifications, time, and battery percentage right on the lock screen.

We won’t hold our breath for Samsung-level AOD implementation in iOS 16. But any progress in this direction should be a welcome change.

iOS 14 Always On Display Mode Concept

4. Split Screen

With the iPhone screen size nearing seven inches, it’s getting difficult to reach certain parts of the UI. iOS offers a neat trick to bring down the interface at the bottom temporarily, but it’s no match for the split-screen function present in the rival platform.

Now that we are nearing a potential foldable iPhone in the future, Apple should introduce a native split-screen function to use two apps at a time. Something similar to multi-window on Galaxy phones would be a cherry on the cake.

5. Dedicated iCloud App

Apple has integrated iCloud right into the Files app on iPhone, and for the storage breakdown, you need to use the Settings menu. Besides, the Photos app doesn’t correctly show all the uploaded media in one place.

It would be great to see a dedicated iCloud app like Google Drive or OneDrive on iPhone, where you can check all the stored content and other account details.

6. Third-Party Icon Packs

While Google takes a giant customization leap on Android with the Material You makeover, iOS still lives in a bygone era. You can technically change app icons on iPhone, but the process isn’t intuitive enough for most users out there.

With iOS 16, we expect to see Apple opening doors for third-party icon packs in the App Store. The ability to change the app icons based on the wallpaper would also be great.


7. Messages Improvements

With the last two iOS releases, Apple focused on improving iMessage on iPhone, but the essential messaging experience remains below average. It’s one of the frustrating parts of the user interface.

You can’t favorite or star a specific message. You can’t filter out messages via date or media type. Spam protection leaves a lot to be desired as well. Apple should take some cues from Microsoft’s SMS Organizer app on Android in this regard. It should automatically filter OTPs (one-time passwords), receipts, travel details, and hotel bookings based on messages inbox.

spam protection in messages

8. Skip Lock Screen After Face ID Authentication

Even with a successful Face ID authentication, users must perform another swipe-up gesture from the bottom to unlock the iPhone. This is a significant inconvenience in some scenarios. It would be good to see an option to bypass the lock screen right after the Face ID unlock process on iPhone.

9. Formatting Options in Apple Notes

While Apple has added tags and smart folder support to organize your thoughts in the Notes app better, the software lacks important formatting options.

For example, Apple Notes doesn’t offer a highlighter. You can’t change font color or size either. The drawing capabilities are also limited compared to rivals in the App Store.

apple notes formatting

10. Redesigned Camera App

Over the years, Apple has been packing the default Camera on iPhone with new features such as Portrait mode, ProRes video, Night Mode, and more. It’s getting cluttered to a point where the app needs a major redesign to accommodate all the functions.

11. Better Third-Party Keyboard Support

We can’t recall how often we revert to the default Apple keyboard on the iPhone due to the sub-par third-party keyboard experience. For some reason, iOS kept forgetting the selected Gboard keyboard on iPhone and opens the stock one. This leads to inconvenience and we had to revert to using the stock keyboard for a flawless typing experience. We hope iOS 16 makes amends in this regard.

third-party keyboard in iPhone

12. Improved Background Syncing for Third-Party Apps

Background syncing is nowhere nearly as robust on iOS as compared to Android. To save battery life or free up RAM, the system pauses background tasks, and it can lead to background upload/download failures in apps like Google Photos and OneDrive. You must keep the app open in the foreground to complete the download and upload process. There are no such issues with the default Apple apps.

Apple should fix this drawback in iOS 16, as it would help make the iPhone a true productivity workhouse.

13. Multiple Vaults in iCloud Keychain

Managing dozens of login entries in the iCloud Keychain can sometimes get frustrating. Apple could take inspiration from 1Password or Dashlane and offer multiple vaults to manage login information in a better way.

14. Hide Apps

It’s 2022, and Apple still doesn’t offer a simple way to hide sensitive apps on iPhone. Yes, you can add Face ID authentication to most apps, but we would love to see a native solution in iOS 16 to hide apps and games on iPhone from prying eyes.

15. Redesigned Settings App

The Settings app carries a long list of installed apps on the iPhone. It feels crowded and cluttered compared to what Google offers on Android. We prefer a simplified version with better categorization, which hopefully Apple delivers with the iOS 16 update.

Which iOS 16 features are you looking forward to the most? Do you have a specific wishlist for the upcoming iOS version? Please share it with us in the comments below.