6 big iOS flaws Apple really needs to fix

As the iPhone 5 nears, six major defects in iOS need to finally get addressed -- especially for iPad users

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4. Groups creation and Mail usage need to be enabled
You still can't create groups in the Contacts app on iOS, even though you can edit group membership for groups that you created on your Mac or PC. This is silly, especially because Apple fixed the similar omission in the Photos app for albums last fall. Worse, you can't send a message to everyone in a group in Mail by simply selecting the group name as an addressee. When you do that, the group's list opens up, forcing you to select one (and only one) member to add to the To or Cc list; you need to repeat the process for each person in the group you want to send the email to.

5. Reminders needs an all-tasks view and a way to reorder items
The Reminders app introduced in iOS 5 is the kind of app you would have expected much earlier in the evolution of iOS. Like many early iOS apps, it is a mix of cool functionality (such as location-based reminders on the iPhone) and head-scratcher omissions. The big head-scratcher is the lack of an all-tasks view so that you can see all your accounts' tasks in one place, just as you can see all your accounts' emails in Mail, all your accounts' appointments in Calendar, all your notes in Notes, and all your contacts in Contacts. For a company that values consistency and universality in core functions, this omission is bizarre.

The other Reminders head-scratcher is the inability to reorder tasks in your to-do lists. Need I say more?

6. App icons need to support a widgets mode
Android users love the widgets they can put on their home screens, and Windows Phone 7 users revel in its live tiles that make the big app buttons into mini-apps. Apple can -- and should -- learn from this love.

Right now, a few Apple app icons have live information, such as Calendar and Newsstand, and of course there are badges that let you know if you have new messages or updates. The notification tray that Apple "borrowed" from Android also provides widgetlike functionality for the Weather app on the iPhone. The tray has only so much room, so it's not appropriate to become the widget center.

A better option would be to let app icons be widgets: Users would tap and hold ("long-tap," in Android parlance) an app icon to have its widget version appear, then tap a Close button to return to the regular view. After all, Apple already uses the long-tap approach to reordering app icons in the home screens and to closing apps in the multitasking dock.

I don't expect iOS 6 will do this, but iOS 7 should for sure.

Apple: Please fill in the holes even as you extend iOS's reach
There are lots of other issues Apple should address, as I've listed previously: the lack of a "return to app" gesture; the lack of separate signatures for each email account; the lack of an account label when viewing all emails, notes, or contacts; the lack of text-formatting shortcuts; the numerous steps needed to access Bluetooth settings; and the tendency of the onscreen keyboard to split when you type fast.

I also wish iCloud did a better job of syncing my music with iTunes Match enabled -- why do so many album covers not sync to iOS when iTunes Match is in use? But that's a minor complaint. I can live with blank album covers, but I'd prefer not to with the six major flaws described in this post.

This article, "6 big iOS flaws Apple really needs to fix," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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