Don’t fix what isn’t broken. I saw that reiterated a few times after the unveiling of iOS 6. I can understand the sentiment. That’s essentially what Apple showcased. iOS, previously known as iPhone OS, hasn’t changed much at its face value since its start in 2007. Back then, iOS’s grid system was hailed as a revolution, helped entirely by its smooth and quick responsiveness. Five years later, and iOS looks the same as iPhone OS.

That isn’t to say that Apple hasn’t made changes or added improvements to iOS over the years. Obviously there has been, or iOS would have gone the way of other extinct mobile operating systems. That doesn’t change the fact that when you turn on your iPhone 4S, it looks like the original iPhone from way back when. The screen technology is significantly better, but the OS itself looks the same.

Each new iPhone, and subsequently each new version of iOS, has been a smash hit. Apple makes a ridiculous amount of money from the iPhone, so that’s why that old saying, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” comes into play with iOS 6. For all intents and purposes, even if iOS hasn’t changed at face value over the years, it’s still selling like hot cakes thanks to the features under the hood.

But, I think it’s time for a change.

I’ve asked in the past what you would change about Windows Phone's notifications, and here recently Taylor Martin told you what it would take for him to stick with Windows Phone. So let’s reposition the microscope at Apple’s mobile operating system, and talk about what you think Apple needs to change.

I was speaking to a few of my colleagues, and reached out on Twitter to get a better feel for what people would change as a whole in Apple’s mobile OS. I’m honestly not at all surprised at the responses I received.

A few people suggested that Apple should provide access to the file system on their iPhone. This is something that I’ve heard repeated over the years, and it’s become a louder source of contention with Android’s presence on the market. Apple’s view is that you don’t need, as the end user, to have access to the file system. Apple believes they’ve created the perfect device for you, so why would you want to go into the file system? For a lot of people, they may not want to, but obviously there are people who want to be able to access their phone’s file system.

In that same vein, people want modifications. Or, more importantly, want the ability to add modifications to their phones. This is one area that Android certainly has going for it, but where Microsoft’s Windows Phone shares a huge similarity. There aren’t many ways to differentiate your iOS-based device, as your home screens are predominantly filled with icons. Some folders, maybe. But there are always more icons. People want to be able to change stock colors on the launcher, or whatever else. There are folks out there who want to be able to change their phone in any way they can, because they own it.

But the most common change I heard? The most dominant addition that people want in iOS? A major change to those homesreens. (I find this ridiculously ironic, and it makes me laugh a little bit.) It doesn’t even matter if Google’s Android pioneered the mainstream widgets on our smartphones these days, or that people would see Apple as copying them. People want widgets. It’s a quicker way to information within an application. They just make sense. And, let’s face it, the widgets that developers would create for iOS would be pretty amazing to look at, right?

I think one way that Apple could actually expand on that thought would be dynamic icons. The only dynamic icon that Apple has right now is the Calendar icon. It changes the date to match the current date. Other icons, like the Weather icon, don’t change depending on the temperature. I find this strange, especially in the case of the Weather icon, because there’s weather information displayed on it. A sun and a temperature. Why can’t that change depending on the weather? And location? Dynamic icons would be a great inclusion to iOS. Yes, it would be similar to Windows Phone’s Live Tiles, but again, this wouldn’t be a bad thing.

So how would you change iOS? And, here’s a big one: are you leaving the iPhone due to the lack of changes in iOS 6? Or are you sticking with it? Let me know in the comments, Dear Reader!

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87 Reactions to this post

"What would you change about iOS?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

John Anthony widgets by far
Anonymous 1 word. Permissions. Just let the users mod/tweak/change whatever. I'm sure it'll still be smooth
Edkens Alexandre lets face it. the OS just works. indeed it has become outdated and boring... but still it is reliable. and thats why it is unique. if u geeks want the iOS to be like android. just get a damn Android. sincerly, from my iPad.
Anonymous the size they need to go bigger like android even know im not a fan of ios
Tim Lindt flah and send music with bluetooth :D the rest is perfect :D
Chance Gillespie Here is what I would change. Geeks would use what they prefer and STFU about what others use. Petulant children.
Kim E. Salinas everything should be change
John Leasure The only thing I'd change is the hardware and a bigger screen.
Ronelo Frias iOS is the best in the market its stable and constant update. Android has lots of bugs. You only want android bec. You can manipulate every single part of it. iOS is simple and much organized than android. Android is way to easy to be hacked. iOS is iOS no need for improvements... Just add-ons to its customization!
Ronelo Frias Personalized alert tones without making one on a limitted time! Thats all...
Merrill Woodbury Have a choice on the UI one with widgets etc or just the plain old IOS UI.
Ed Seitzinger I'll take my gs3, gs2 or evo 4g og ( all running ICS ) over ANY pos iphone. Lets, stuck with 1 hardware supplier or have a choice.... Sounds alot like apple computers???
Jacob Grumbles The only real android phones are in the nexus line all others are posers with access to the play store . Put the iPhone 4s up against the GSM galaxy nexus and the galaxy nexus will run circles around it. I bet 190 of those 200 new features on iOS 6 are features android has had for at least a year .
Corey Stock Fragmentation is the manufactures fault, not Google's, and there is no lag at all on JB. I'm sure not many people saying that android sucks have actually had a flagship android device. Comparing a $100 android phone to an iPhone is completely unfair, obviously the android phone is probably going to lose that fight because it is under-spec'd.
Anthony So Be more customizable and usb to pc connectivity outside of itunes
Zach Brito Love this thread and I really love that everyone is getting smart and realizing that Android is now miles ahead of apple. apple has been dead for years, they fell off, sorry. #techgeek
Irvin Zamora Funny how those who say android sucks, can't give a good enough reason why. Fragmentation has nothing to do with Android not being a great OS. Oh, and don't say it crashes all the time... It was statisticly proven iOS had more app crashes than Android.
Paul Alexandru Android sucks ass period! GS3 should have been on Jellybean but anyways Android balls of fragmentation.
Jacob Grumbles Honestly the actual company that makes Android Google comes out with a phone once a year and the only real Android phone not being supported is the nexus one . Oh and project butter fix the lag issue on Android .
Shawn Poling Live wallpaper would be nice.
Rani Hinnawi Make the icons look less boxy, add live widgets to home screens, allow other phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung to make iOS devices, allow for more customization options, allow for live wallpapers, allow for people to limit the number of homescreens or use an option to put all the apps in a folder for all apps (like an app tray) or actually make an app tray.... yeah, this is pretty much making it Android. Lol
Yusuf Bahadur Honestly, android comes out with a phone and they after a few months stop all updates. Ios on the other hand keeps the update going on for years. And it never lags suck that andrlid
Robert Centennial The newest android phone is the galaxy s3. The newest Andorid OS is Jelly Bean. Is the S3 on jelly bean? No its not so its outdated. Android is a cheap buggy, laggy, fragmented, and your phone is worthless 2 months after its release date. iOS and WP7 are the only good operating systems. I would give credit to Googles Nexus line of phones but Verizon messed that up.
David Kimberlin make it android :D
Abdullahi Said Everything
Kevin AndDanielle Conley I do like that fact that apple makes stuff that is currently not in my budget...and i end up purchasing android devices...and surprisingly I'm able to visit flash sites, and do regular stuff that smartphones should do for less $$$ :)
Amie Lee Greenway I'm not sure. I love iOS 5.1 right now, gonna be going back to Apple phones soon actually. I'm so sick of my stupid Android device needing an update every 5 seconds. The last update, ICS, sucked. Yeah, better browsing experience...if my keyboard would work. I would rather pay for all my apps and music than deal with this kinda crap from Android. iOS all the way, FTW.
Flako Ramirez The ability to gift apps without having to use credit cards info just an itunes gift card
Jan-Michael de la Cruz The UI is in dire need of a facelift.
Leo Alexandrov Make the os android and name it after a junkfood. Jelly bean might do the trick. Then give it shells based on abstract ideas. For example sense, or nature ui
Bobby Moore Jr. The best thing get rid of it
Leo Alexandrov Take away the shell and all the innards. Call it the iAir. Then remove all traces of ios from the internet
Sarri Alsunna Everything, cause apple os sucks ass
Bobby Moore Jr. I don't like it at all
Leo Alexandrov Everything. I got my one s and I got used to it. Then I picked up my moms iPhone and realized how primitive it is. Make it appealing to people not hipsters.
Robert Mathias Make it jelly bean
Erick Reynal everthing iOS SUX BIG TIME
Mason Hartley Apple fans boy all of you speak of fragmentation and don't even know what it means. You hear of fragmentation of any other crap that apple comes up. Check out jelly bean. -U Jelly
Ken Hoey Make it an actual OS instead of it being nothing more than a launcher!
Ridha Fardian Fragmentation?? WTF!! You buy $200 phone and you will get $200 spek phone too, that is not fragmentation dude
Elijah David Kleehammer Seems like a lot of people want iOS to be like Android... Not going to say I saw this one coming, but I did see this one coming.
Dagenis Denny Fernandez None of the things you guys are saying is going to come true ... MORONS .. Just fucking deal with what apple gives .. It's a good phone, now stfu .. You braggy bitches I swear ..
Shashank Banerjee I hate iOS.. :P just coz i can't afford... I think no1 heard this..! lol.. :D
Naveen Bhatia live wallpapers!
Elery Stanislaus Sylvestre I wouldn't change anything I would however add widgets on the home screen.
Servontius Turner Simple. everything I have from jailbreaking: 1. The ability to customize my lock screen more. 2. The ability to change how my keyboard looks. 3. If you're going to keep the static grid on the home screen, the ability to at least shrink them some so I can better see my photo. I don't believe that list would be too much to ask for!!
Krishna Adettiwar Change the home screen UI
Noa Cebalo Make it actually useful.
Kevin Vega Combine an android platform with iOS therefore it can have the likes of iOS but at the same time have an advantage of downloading music without a computer and being able to make ringtones as well idk thats just what would be awesome for me! Lol
Joseph DiPierno I would like the OS to look more "alive." I would love to see animated icons that react differently based on the type of Push Notification. I would also like to see Live Wallpapers.
Elijah David Kleehammer Let's see, what would I change.. Well for starters, I'd scrap iOS and start from scratch!
Tevin Murry Allow it to download mp3 directly from the browser like Android
Anthony Tsolakis Everything. Even Java looks better . . . (That was clearly a fat lie) Android Rules . . .
Steve Bachman Make it EXACTLY like Android! And then they can sue Google and say they had it first!
Stephen Wagner Lol everything
Ian Baylon Everything, so Skynet doesn't come true, Siri is a sign.
CJ Jeffcoat Everything! Apple sucks
Ronald Johnson Put it on a phone with a bigger screen. The iPhone is getting puny next to the likes of the One X and the G III.
Hans Jaramillo @Carmen: No fragmentation on iOS? How about the iPhone 4 not being able to use Siri? Or how it won't get turn-by-turn navigation in iOS6?
David DiPilla Make it more open a lot more customizable add widgets its to plain now and os 6 is not muxh better
Brandon Johnson They need to change the look amd feel, as well as give the apps more breathing room, like the ability to make sparrow your default email client, a different music player than the ipod, and a choice of a browser other than safari now that chrome is on the scene.
Ori Sanilevich Open source and I'd make sure the phone had more than one button
Justin Doe Give it four capacitive touch buttons across the bottom of the device. ;-)
Gustavo Gallardo That carmen person is a fucking idiot. How is the S3 outdated
Brandy Green-Hall Nothing!!!!!!
Antonio Vazquez pretty much if it was like Android lol
Antonio Vazquez make it have a file system you can actually explore without rooting(jailbreaking), the ability to side load apps from memory, more customization, the ability to download any file no matter how large to the hard drive, and that would be cool if iOS was Open Source and free to be tweaked by developers and ability to change your whole OS and version at will
John Luttrell Animated wallpaper, a clock on the home screen and better camera settings.
Dion Glenn Make more devices and also not make everything go through itunes
Mark Mann The reason fragmentation is not a problem Carmen is because there is never anything new. It has stayed the same since 2007 and what they have came straight from android.
Nathan Wright Make it to where browsers arent just a safari skin, maybe more customisation. I don't want it totally like Android because I've already got my Asus tf300t and like different experiences.
Jesse Moses More customization and more phone choices so everyone doesn't have the exact same phone and then I might* get an ios device.
Timmy Regan Get rid of the limits of apps in a folder
Gordon Christie make it customizable like android as if lols
John J. Kamauoha Change it to Jelly Bean
Paul L McCord Jr. I would secede from Apple for a start.
Darren Griffitt Everything.
George Av open it and ad customization then i MIGHT maybe give it a try.
Chris Figueroa How is the gs3 outdated
Justin Haseq Nothing.
Robert Centennial I would change a lot but I would be wrong. It's a perfect os that runs smooth and no need to worry about fragmentation or your phone being outdated on launch day(galaxy s3).
Chuck Rico Taylor I would wipe everything off and throw the device in the trash
Chris Vaughn Bey Make it Android
Marti Ruiz ios notification is a copycat
Boyd C Adkins IV Make it android

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