Now that weve been living with iOS 6 for a while, weve realized (to our chagrin) that it still comes with a few quirks that bugged us in previous versions and still arent fixed. Herewith eight of the surviving features and flaws that bother Macworld editors the most.
Can't easily pull files from a Mac
Youre on the couch with iPad in lap and recall the ebook file you downloaded to your Mac earlier in the day. Awesome as it sounds to walk downstairs, fire up iTunes, select your iPad, click on the Apps tab, locate the iBooks app, drag the ebook file to the apps storage area, and sync your device, wouldnt it be better still to simply tap on your Macs icon on the Home screen to mount it, navigate to the ebook file, and download it directly to the iBooks app?
Without a third-party app, this kind of transfer is impossible. Though iOS devices can now wirelessly sync, you have to feed them from within iTunes.
But, speaking of third-party apps, heres how its done: Download a copy of Stratospherixs $5 FileBrowser app. FileBrowser allows you to rummage through any Mac, PC, or server on your local network for which you have a login ID. Find the file you want, tap the blue icon next to it, and tap the Open In button. The file will download to your device and open in the app you selected.
Alternatively, when downloading such a file to your Mac, drop it in your Dropbox folder. Tucked away there you can then access it from any Dropbox-compatible app on your iOS device.Christopher Breen
No screen capture
For years now, there have been apps for jailbroken iOS devices that allow you to capture videos of whats happening on the screen. But iOS 6 still doesnt allow you to do that. Its not a feature that everyone needs, but its absence drives many of us at Macworld nuts.
There is an old-fashionedand extremely clumsyworkaround: Point a camera at your device and shoot the video that way. Alternatively, you can use the $15 AirServer application, which allows you to mirror an iOS devices display to your Mac. Once on your Mac you can then use a screen-capture utility (QuickTime X, for example) to capture the mirrored image. And you can use an Elgato Game Capture HD (though some of us still prefer the image-quality of the AirServer solution). But itd be really, really nice if iOS 6 had this capability built-in.Christopher Breen
Siri cant change Settings
I use Siri every day. I use it to set reminders, send iMessages, perform searches, create meetings, and launch apps with the voice recognition assistant. But one thing I cant doand wish I couldis use Siri to toggle settings. You can ask, of course. But Siri will politely refuse.
The worst part is, its clear that Siri (or, more accurately, the developers behind it) know what youre trying to do: Say Turn on Do Not Disturb, and you get a link to iOS 6s new setting for muting notifications. Id love to use Siri to toggle that setting, or Bluetooth, or Airplane Mode. (Speaking of that last one: Id love to be able to use Sirifor settings, at leasteven when Im not connected to the Internet. After all, iOS had built-in speech recognition before it had Siri; surely that could be used for things like turning Airplane Mode off.)
Siri makes quick works of all sorts of common tasks. But the fact that it cant help with something I do several times a day continues to frustrate.Lex Friedman
While the Settings app is easy enough to use, there are a number of settings that I access frequentlyturning wireless networking on and off, for examplethat still require too many taps.
The Android operating system has a nice solution to this problem: It lets me place widgets on the home screen that provide quick access to such settings. For example, my Nexus 7 comes with a pre-installed widget that I can tap to toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, location, and syncing, and to cycle through screen-brightness modes. I wish iOS had something similar.Dan Frakes
Hitting that little X to clear notifications
Notification Center, which debuted in iOS 5, is great for keeping track of alerts and reminders. But removing messages from Notification Center is a pain: You cant delete individual messages, you cant easily clear all messages, and removing all the notification from a single appsay, Mailrequires you to tap a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy X button (which I inevitably miss at least two or three times before Im finally successful).
This is another area in which Id like to see Apple ape Android: On my Nexus 7, which uses a similar swipe-down notification display, I can swipe any notification to remove it, or I can clear all messages with a single tap.Dan Frakes
Limited shared Photo Streams
Its great that you can inflict your images on the world (or a small portion of it) through iOS 6s Shared Photo Stream feature. But sharing is a lot better when it works in both directions. Currently, while you can share your photos with others via iCloud, Shared Photo Stream doesnt allow you to create an album that multiple individuals can share.
The solution to this one is simple: Dont use Shared Photo Stream for this job. Instead, do what weve been doing for years and use a dedicated photo sharing service such as Flickr or Shutterfly. (Or, if youre a social butterfly, Facebook.) Create a shared album on one of these services and share and share alike.Christopher Breen
Cant download single iTunes Match tracks
With iOS 6, the Music app has lost the ability to download individual iTunes Match tracks. You can download the entire contents of playlists, albums, and artists catalogs, but single tracks? Nope. This is particularly bothersome if youre downloading tracks over a cellular network, because it means downloading more data than you want.
The solution is simple: Avoid iTunes Match. If youre willing to spend $25 a year for cloud access to your music, Amazons Cloud Player may be the better solution. For that same $25 a year, you can not only download individual tracks (matched, uploaded, and purchased), but more of them: The services track limit is 250,000 rather than iTunes Matchs 25,000.Christopher Breen
Inserting photos or formatting text in Mail is too complex
Want to insert a photo into a message, stylize text, or increase the quote level in Mail? iOS 6 lets youslowly.
Say you want to try that last trick: Tap once on the message body. Then tap again on the right arrow of the contextual menu that appears. Then tap the right arrow again to get past the first set of options. Now tap Quote Level. Finally, tap to choose whether to Increase or Decrease Quote Level. Five taps later, do you remember why you were tweaking the quote level in the first place?
The problem here seems to be Apples apparent desire to keep that normally hidden menu slim and trim. But I could imagine another way: A big circle of options expanding when I tap and release in an empty portion of the text, exposing immediate access to options such as increasing the quote level, making the text bold, or inserting a photo. The way it is now makes me use those features less frequently.Lex Friedman