iOS 13 hopes: 6 small tweaks that would bring big improvements [Opinion]

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Reports of significant changes in iOS 13 have been popping up for months, but there are plenty of minor modifications that would enhance day-to-day use of the iPhone and iPad.

Here are half a dozen we think Apple should include in the next iOS version when it debuts this fall.

Volume pop-up

Rumor already says the version being announced on Monday includes a much smaller volume pop-up. The current one takes up an irritatingly large amount of screen space.

Tipster Ben Geskin took to Twitter to show what the redesigned volume might look like:

Save files from the Web

iPad users are hoping for some serious changes in Safari, but almost everyone would benefit from one tweak: the ability to save any type of file found on the Web to the Files application. This is already possible with some file types, but most can only be opened into an app on the handset or tablet. There have been hints iOS 13 will include upgrades to the Files app, and this feature might be included in that project.

Unlock Mac, iPhone, etc. with Apple Watch

Tim Cook and co. are looking for ways to drive more sales to the Apple Watch, and one way to accomplish this is by enabling a Watch to automatically unlock the wearer’s other computers just by being nearby. This goes on the idea that, if someone is wearing your watch it’s probably you. Consider never having to worry about passcodes, Face ID or Touch ID as long as your Watch is on. It’s likely some security conscious people would turn this off, but it could be a real timesaver for most.

This should be part of iOS 13 as well as macOS 10.15, which is also expected to launch this fall.

Lock screen aliases

iOS 13 should let users set which applications have icons on the Lock screen. This is currently limited to the flashlight and the camera application, and there’s no way to swap in a third-party camera app, for example. This is an easy change that would make the iPhone more useful.

Home screen aliases

A nice tweak would be allowing the creation of aliases on the Home screen. This would allow users to put an application in the Dock but have it also appear in a folder. Consider an example: the user has a folder containing all their social networking apps, but this can’t include Facebook because that’s on the Dock.

Aliases would allow iPhones and iPads with many third-party applications be more organized, and it’s a feature included in macOS for decades.

Guest mode

The lack of a Guest mode is particularly galling to iPad users, but every parent who frequently hands their phone to a small child should see the need for one. An iOS 13 Guest mode would allow the device to be used without enabling major changes such as deleting software or making purchases of any kind.

Bonus iOS 13 tweak just for iPad users

Previous versions of Safari identify themselves to websites as mobile browsers, so websites like Facebook and Google always serve the “lite” versions of this pages. Viewing a page formatted for a phone on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro screen is ridiculous, and getting the desktop version requires reloading the page every single time. Safari in iOS 13 should enable tablet users to always be served the desktop version of webpages by default.

We’ll find out tomorrow whether any or all of these modest changes will be included in Apple’s next mobile operating system, along with more significant enhancements. The keynote for this company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2019) is scheduled for Monday morning.

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