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5 Ways Apple Could Improve iOS 9

Next week is WWDC, where Apple will likely unveil a new version of iOS. Here’s what we’d like to see.

Improved text selection

I deliberately avoid using iOS devices in situations where I need to frequently copy and paste text because it’s extremely tedious.

Here’s an exercise to try: take a paragraph of text and try to select only one or two sentences inside it. After you select a certain quantity of text, iOS tries to help you by automatically selecting the entire paragraph. Selecting exactly the desired amount of text then becomes a battle between you and the operating system. A lot of times I just select the entire paragraph, paste it and then cut it down to what I need because it’s easier and quicker, but it’s still a step I wouldn’t have to do on the desktop.

It is also especially difficult to select the text of a link because if you tap on it, iOS assumes you either want to visit the link or copy its URL.

Proper multitasking

One big problem with iOS is that it does not have true multitasking. Some functions, such as audio playback, can take place in the background but most of the time when you switch to another app the previous app will either pause or terminate.

What this means in practice is that if an app takes a long time to do something, you cannot check email or do something else while it is processing or it will probably pause and then restart when you switch back. Consequently I spend a lot more time staring at progress bars on iOS than I do on OS X.

Dark mode

Dark mode would show system UI elements with a darker skin to stop the display appearing too bright or lighting up a dark room.

This could cause complications for third-party apps so I think it should be possible for apps to see which mode the user has selected and decide in what circumstances to honor it.

Don’t autocorrect proper grammar

I have no problem with iOS autocorrecting misspelled words but it sometimes corrects valid grammar and spelling into something that is incorrect, such as automatically correcting “were” to “we’re”.


There are rumors that iOS 9 will not have significant new features and will instead be a Snow Leopard-style polish and bug fix release. I’m less in favor of this for iOS than OS X because I find iOS 8 significantly more stable than iOS 7 and the aforementioned feature requests are problems that genuinely slow me down and turn me off the platform.

However, anything Apple can do to improve the speed of the OS is appreciated, especially on older devices.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jun 4 2015 to Analysis, Apple, Software