Feature Request Overview Updated December 1, 2021

Feature Request

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110 'Feature Request' stories

November 2015 - December 2021


Feature Request is a regular 9to5Mac series where authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products.

Check back for a new Feature Request each week and hit up the archives below:

Feature Request Stories December 1

There are plenty of ways to manage notifications on the iPhone and Apple Watch – methods range from simple permission boxes when you first open an iPhone app to more configurable features like Focus modes. However, there’s one workflow that Apple doesn’t offer yet which would greatly improve the Apple Watch experience.

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Feature Request Stories August 28

One of the key features of iMessage with iOS 14 was the threaded reply function. But in a group chat with a lot of friends or with multiple conversations happening at the same time, iMessage can still get really confusing. Here’s how to fix it.

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Feature Request Stories July 11

Apple TV and HomePod not only share the title as Apple’s smart hubs as also the same operating system: tvOS. So why are they not better integrated? There are several ways Apple could improve this integration…

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Feature Request Stories July 8

A couple of disturbing reports revealed the comparative ease with which criminal gangs were able to use stolen iPhones to access the owner’s bank accounts. The initial report didn’t explain the method used, but a subsequent one did: swapping the SIM to a new device in order to reset the Apple ID password.

Apple is already working on one security measure – making it easier for users to remotely wipe data from a stolen iPhone – but the reports also highlight a security weakness that seems worryingly common among non-techies: using the Notes app to store passwords …

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Feature Request Stories March 27

Apple has yet to announce the 2021 iPad Pro upgrade, but things are looking good for the company’s new tablet. could be unveiled as early as April. With a processor that will likely be compared to the M1 Macs, the iPad Pro is a powerful tool for professionals, but it still lacks more Mac apps and software upgrades.

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Feature Request Stories February 27

HomePod and even the new HomePod mini don’t count songs when you ask Siri to play something on your smart speaker. This affects your Apple Music Replay statistics and integration with third-party Apple Music applications.

Luckily, there is a workaround, but hopefully this is something Apple fixes sooner rather than later.

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Feature Request Stories February 25

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball has argued that Apple Mail should block tracking pixels in emails. I agree 100%. This seems to me to be a much-needed feature that would be completely in line with Apple’s strong privacy stance.

For anyone not familiar with email tracking pixels, these are usually links to single-pixel images hidden inside HTML emails. They are usually either transparent, or part of an email graphic in the footer, so they are invisible to the user…

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Feature Request Stories January 22

Apple introduced a new software feature with iOS 13 that helps prolong the life of your iPhone’s battery called “Optimized Battery Charging.” I’d love to see Apple not only expand it to iPad and Mac but also take a page out of Tesla’s book (and Dell, Samsung, others) and adopt a feature from its charging strategy.

Update 1/22/21: After two months, my 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro has learned my charging schedule and is limiting charging to 80% with Optimized Battery Charging.

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Feature Request Stories January 8

2021 is here and 5G is coming online around the world. US carriers have decent coverage nationwide with mid and Sub-6GHz spectrum 5G but issues like call quality and reception are still a problem even with the latest-gen cellular network. I think it’s time for Apple to make its first-party FaceTime Audio calls an option to be the default on iPhone.

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Feature Request Stories December 29, 2020

There was a time when forgetting to take your wallet with you when leaving home could really spoil your day. Apple Pay changed that, but even in London – where you can use contactless payment for almost everything – there are still occasions when you need a physical card.

But for those using the MagSafe wallet, Apple could easily eliminate the risk altogether …

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Feature Request Stories November 2, 2020

I’ve noted before that HomeKit presence detection is extremely unreliable for me, relying as it does on Location Services.

GPS location can be less than 100% reliable in cities anyway, as signals are either blocked by tall buildings or bounce off them. There’s then an additional complication for those of us who live in apartment blocks …

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Feature Request Stories September 30, 2020

We got the first iOS themes last year, when Apple brought a system-wide Dark Mode to the iPhone as part of iOS 13. But the way that iPhone users have been taking advantage of widgets and shortcuts in iOS 14 to completely transform the look of their devices suggests that there is demand for more system-wide iOS themes.

Indeed, one app designed to help users create customized widgets shot to the top of the App Store charts …

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Feature Request Stories September 23, 2020

Update: Apple implemented this request in iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.

Face ID is normally a completely seamless way to unlock an iPhone and iPad: just swipe up and it unlocks automatically. At a time when we’re frequently wearing masks, however, it’s rather less seamless.

So we’d like to see Apple allow an unlocked Apple Watch to automatically unlock an iPhone and iPad …

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Feature Request Stories July 30, 2020

Thanks to technology, there’s never been an easier time to work on your health, fitness, or weight. Instead of the old days, when you had to make an effort to time your exercises, keep your own records of your weight, calculate your own BMI, and so on, a combination of hardware and software means that almost all of it can be done automatically. And even better, your Health app data pulls together almost all of it in one place.

The app offers a vast array of stats, and helpfully allows you to favorite the metrics that are most relevant to your own goals so that they appear on the Summary screen when you open the app…

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Feature Request Stories June 23, 2020

I don’t think I’ve ever before written a feature request the moment a new operating system version has been announced, but one super-disappointing discovery prompts me to do so: iPad widgets in iPadOS 14 get less flexibility than iPhone ones.

I’ve been calling for iOS to evolve beyond a static grid for more than six years now

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Feature Request Stories June 8, 2020

A newly-granted Apple patent describes a way to create synthetic group photos from individual selfies. It’s an interesting idea, especially now, but a friend came up with a far simpler way to use this same tech: group photos with everyone looking at the camera, eyes open and smiling.

Anyone who has ever taken a photo of a group of friends knows that half the time, someone will turn out to have had their eyes closed, or be scowling, or yawning, or looking down …

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Feature Request Stories March 8, 2020

Over the last several versions of iOS, Apple has added a variety of new features to the Messages app on iPhone, some of which are more useful than others. One of the key areas that Apple has neglected, however, is group iMessage, and this is something I’d really like Apple to focus on with iOS 14 this year.

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Feature Request Stories February 17, 2020

This is a very simple feature request: I’d like the ability to resize the iPad floating keyboard.

Currently, Apple gives us only two options: full width, or an iPhone-sized floating keyboard. On my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the full-width one takes up too much screen space, while the floating one feels cramped. I’d like to be able to arbitrarily zoom it to any width…

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Feature Request Stories February 7, 2020

Since late last year, I’ve been using Apple’s fantastic Sidecar feature that makes it a breeze to leverage my iPad Pro as a secondary display for my MacBook Pro. Overall, I’m having such a great experience that I’m using this setup and skipping an external display but there is one improvement that I’d really love to see come to Sidecar…

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Feature Request Stories February 1, 2020

Apple Watch is highly customizable thanks to its vast collection of watch faces and complications. You can manage watch face layouts directly from Apple Watch, or from the companion app on your iPhone. One feature that I would love to see added to Apple Watch this year with watchOS 7 is support for automatic face switching.

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Feature Request Stories January 16, 2020

One of the things I love about the Apple ecosystem is the device independence. I can receive alerts, text messages, and even phone calls on whichever device happens to be in front of me at the time, whether it’s Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

And for most things, that works well…

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Feature Request Stories December 23, 2019

I can’t believe I actually have to ask Apple to add stereo-paired HomePods as a Mac sound output device! It’s the most ridiculous Feature Request yet, because it’s absolutely nuts that this isn’t already built into macOS — especially that it isn’t baked into Catalina.

Apple’s own audio apps will happily allow you to select stereo-paired HomePods as a single output device. You can see in the photo above that the Music app sees both my Office and Winter Garden HomePods as a single device.

Not so the Mac itself, however…

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Feature Request Stories December 2, 2019

Temporarily working on a second Mac has identified a small but annoying gap in the Apple ecosystem: There’s no way to synchronize learned spellings across Apple devices.

If you create Text Replacements, these behave the way you’d expect: Create them on any Apple device, and they sync via iCloud. For example…

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Feature Request Stories November 20, 2019

This is a small feature request: to have the same Auto-Shazam feature in the Apple Watch app that we get in the iPhone one.

This may be a bit niche. Certainly my own reason for wanting it is, but let’s see…

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