Feature Request Overview Updated March 15, 2022

Feature Request

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117 'Feature Request' stories

November 2015 - March 2022

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 March 15

They say that travel brings new perspectives, and that’s absolutely true for anyone visiting Argentina. But in my case, it’s also so far generated two feature requests for Apple.

Yesterday, I asked for universal OCR capability across all apps for instant translation …

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Feature Request Stories March 14

Universal translation on iPhone is a fantastically useful feature when traveling. Arthur C Clarke famously said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and this is one capability that still feels that way to me.

I’m in Buenos Aires at the moment, with extremely limited Spanish, and it’s incredible to me that I can point my iPhone camera at any Spanish text and have it instantly translated into English. But there is one big limitation that requires an extremely clunky workaround …

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Feature Request Stories February 3

It shouldn’t have come to this, but here we are. It’s becoming impossible to browse Twitter on your iPhone while listening to music or a podcast. The app just interrupts what’s playing every time you scroll over an ad. It’s not just Twitter either – this is a common frustration across lots of apps with ads. There has to be a better way.

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Feature Request Stories January 10

A few nights ago, I was a few ocean wave crashes away from falling asleep when a thought populated my mind. I desperately wanted to capture the idea without breaking the dark with my iPhone screen. Easy, I have a HomePod mini in the bedroom, so I’ll just use Siri! That’s when I realized the HomePod still has a handy voice feature left to learn.

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Feature Request Stories January 4

There was a time when tech news was full of talk about long-range wireless charging using a technique known as RF power harvesting – using radio waves to charge devices around the home, without the need for charging pads.

While companies like Energous and Powercast made big promises for the tech, what’s currently possible in the real world is far more modest. But Samsung has demonstrated that trickle-charging a TV remote by Wi-Fi is possible today, and the very compact nature of the tech means that it could similarly be used to keep AirTags charged …

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Feature Request Stories December 21, 2021

Apple’s Messages app has greatly improved group iMessage in recent years, but there’s one missing feature that Slack gets right. Addressing this and other creative recommendations in iOS 16 next year would be extremely well received.

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Feature Request Stories December 9, 2021

Contrary to popular opinion, linguists know that texting isn’t destroying the English language, even if there aren’t hard-and-fast rules. In fact, texting is a language in-and-of itself, and like any language, it allows us to express exactly who we are.

Think of it like this: the ways in which we format our words, how we respond to our friend’s texts, and the emoji we choose when texting are the parallel versions of our inflection, our non-verbal communication, and our facial expressions, all of which are highlighted when having face-to-face conversations.

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Feature Request Stories December 1, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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

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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