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Matthew Ahrenstein

DevOps Engineer for an amazing company, hiker, amateur radio operator, target shooter, and developer.

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Recently Apple held their WWDC conference, and announced the new features they are adding with the latest versions of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and iOS 8. While Apple finally appears to be opening things up, and they are making good strides in catching up to Android’s feature set, I feel they are missing a few components. Here is what I think Apple needs to add to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and iOS 8…


Sync my iCloud Keychain across platforms:

I wasn’t sure if this should go under iOS or OS X, but since the interface would be on OS X, I’m listing it here. iCloud Keychain is a great feature, but it needs improvement. On iOS you can’t remove entries, and entries also don’t sync with OS X. (At least my saved WiFi SSIDs never sync). OS X Keychain should allow you to not only sync, but edit items stored in the iOS portion of iCloud keychain. Perhaps I accidentally added an entry I want removed. What if I want to sync SSIDs with long, and annoying passwords to iOS? I’d rather type it on my Mac, and have my iPhone pick it up automatically.

Let me change the mouse pointer color:

This is a very annoying issue for me. I work in terminal a lot using the Homebrew settings (black background and green text). I also edit photos, and use a lot of apps where a black cursor (even the larger accessibility one) is easy to lose. It would be very trivial for the OS X team to allow us to change the mouse pointer color using a color palette. Maybe I want a bright red cursor so I don’t lose it across my 3 27” displays.


Exempt specific apps from Do Not Disturb:

Do Not Disturb is an amazing feature. I love it! It lets me sleep at night without turning my phone off. As a light sleeper, even the sound a phone vibrating on the table can wake me up. However it needs improvements. For built-in apps such as Messages, Calendar, etc… you should be able to exempt certain accounts/contacts from Do Not Disturb. What if I want phone calls, and iMessages from my Favorites list? Also you should be able to exempt third party apps of your choice from Do Not Disturb. I use Google Hangouts for everything, and I’d prefer to still get notifications from it even if it wakes me up. I want to be able to exempt Google Hangouts from Do Not Disturb.

iOS needs Gatekeeper more than Gozer does:

This is a big one. If Apple seriously wants to compete with Android, than they need to take the Gatekeeper feature from OS X, and add it to iOS. Android allows you to enable installation of apps from unknown sources. That is essentially “Gatekeeper for Android” If iOS had Gatekeeper, then that would allow the jailbreak community to enjoy the phone they want, and it would allow those who do not care to keep it set on “App Store Only”. If Apple seriously doesn’t want to support modified phones, they could even set it so the phone flags its serial number in a warranty void database (after warning the user several times for approval) so that they can know which phones have unapproved software on them. Then they can refuse support, and we can get unapproved apps. It’s win-win and puts a dent in the “Android is more open” argument.

I don’t need to hear notification sounds in my ear when on a call:

Honestly I think this is the biggest one. When I’m on the phone with someone, I don’t need text message tones, reminder alarms, or twitter alerts going off in my ear. if I have to ask a client, friend, or loved one to repeat them-self because a friend tagged me on Facebook, then your notification system is bad. Notifications should go silent during phone calls automatically. You don’t even need an exemption list, just hold the alerts until the call ends, and then send them through. Just make a queue of pending alert sounds.

Why can’t I choose default apps? Safari sucks:

iOS has copied Android on many fronts. I’m fine with this. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Apple tends to take mature ideas, and turn them into mature features. One feature they sorely need is for iOS users to be able to select the default app for certain functions. I’d love to replace Safari with Chrome as I use Chrome everywhere else. Also the iOS Mail app doesn’t support PGP keys, but my third party app does. I’d love to make it default. It’d make my life easier.

I don’t want to auto install that hot new iPhone game on my iPad:

iOS and iTunes allows you to have your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch install apps automatically when you download a new one in iTunes or on another device. The problem is this feature is either on, or off for your device. Perhaps I don’t want to auto install 2048 or my app on my iPad. I won’t use it there. Apple should allow iTunes to ask you which of your devices you want to install that latest download to on a per-download basis. For those of us that are lazy, the current configuration should still be an option though should allow me to add existing devices:

Apple recently launched a deployment service that allows mandatory distribution profiles. This is great except you need a DUNS number, a purchase account, and to buy all iOS devices through this program in order to add them. What if we had existing devices before the program launched? What if I just want to use it with my personal devices to learn the system before pitching it to my boss? Apple should allow existing devices to be added with proof of purchase, and initial proof of device possession. ie: I have the order number, the date of purchase, the serial number, and the device then prompts me one time via push notification for approval to give permanent control to the deployment account. This would be a secure way to prevent device hijacking, but still allow an easier way to add devices to this list.

These are a just a few ideas to improve OS X, and iOS as Apple heads into a new era under Tim Cook’s leadership. WWDC 2014 has already shown that Apple is no longer stuck in the really strict walled garden mindset it had under Steve Jobs. Let’s hope we see some of these recommendations make it to iOS 9 and OS X 10.11.