iPhone feature wishlist

Apple makes well-built products that work seamlessly with each other. But not all is well within the walled garden. Outside, third-party companies are surpassing the tech giant in many ways. Still, there are a few features Apple could add to its smartphones to improve the user experience.

Software

T9 Dialling

Apple still hasn’t added T9 dialling.

Android (and even non-smartphone) users have benefitted from T9 dialling for years. The feature allows users to find a contact by simply typing their names or a part of their phone numbers on the keypad and poof; their contact information pops up. The feature is not present with the fruit branded company’s smartphones. The only way to find contact information is to dial all the digits from memory or use the Contacts App to pick whom you want to call. Come on Apple; it’s 2019, give us T9.

Make Siri Great Again

Siri has come a long way and now offers deeper integration with Apple devices, and a more natural, less robotic voice. But face it Apple users, Siri is objectively worse than the Google Assistant at providing useful information. Siri was a joy to use back in the day when the assistant was new. There were hundreds of YouTube videos of people asking Siri various questions and getting different, sometimes cheeky remarks to the amusement of many. Now, the competitors have caught up and surpassed Siri, and it shows.

This simple question seemed to baffle Siri.

Siri misunderstands words far too frequently and sometimes entire sentences, forcing manual input which defeats the purpose of hands-free operation. At times, the results are entirely confusing and useless.

Simple commands like “Convert 300 USD to Jamaican currency” results in bizarre answers that make it seem like the currencies are the same. The strange currency responses only started recently, which means Apple can fix Siri with an update.

Apple can do a better job of making Siri smarter and provide more useful information while preserving user privacy.

Though iMessage is a great default messenger, it could still be improved. (Photo: Apple)

iMessage improvements

iMessage is hands-down better than SMS. It offers enhanced communication and security, creative ways to express emotion and even allows users to compete through games right in the messaging app.

Android users have to scour the Play Store to download a bunch of apps to talk to different people. iOS users can fire up iMessage or FaceTime and contact any Apple user, for free (over WiFi). That’s awesome.

However, third-party messaging apps offer useful features that Apple hasn’t yet introduced to iMessage. 

For example, currently, users cannot reply to specific messages with text or audio. The only option is to add reactions like a thumbs up, etc. Also, you can’t delete sent messages. The ability to erase sent messages have saved millions on WhatsApp. That feature will undoubtedly protect many more in iMessage.

Hardware

Get rid of the Lightning Port

The Lighting Port should give way to USB-C.

The iPad Pro line and the entire MacBook line use USB-C. Arguably the best USB standard to date. Yet, even Apple’s latest iPhone 11 series phones still have Apple’s proprietary Lightning Port. For techies, that means bringing an extra cable so that you can charge one device. Switching to USB-C will simplify the ecosystem and remove the confusion as some Apple products use USB-C. Others are stuck with the Lightning connector. USB-C offer up to 10 Gbps data transfer rates, is reversible and provides more power for charging. Switching to USB-C would be a win-win for iPhones. Hopefully, the iPhone 12, 11S (or whatever they call it) will use USB-C.

No brand is perfect. Improvements happen over time, let’s hope Apple implements some or all the above soon.

Renor is a creator and budding photographer who loves the outdoors. He likes using, talking and writing about technology.