Five Things That Bother Me About iOS 7

Let me get this out of the way: iOS 7 is great. I love it. But it’s not perfect. There’s a million fantastic improvements, but there’s also a few things that Apple still hasn’t gotten around to improving. I’m not talking about design problems (although there are a couple of those), but rather about some of the little quirks that still drive me crazy.

With that in mind, this is my attempt to keep a small log of the things that really bother me. Consider this is a wish list of tiny things I wish Apple would get around to in iOS 7.1.

The Music App Needs Fixing

I know I’m almost in the minority among tech geeks at this point, but I still use the stock Music app a lot. When I can’t find music on Rdio, I grab it from the iTunes Store and throw it on my iPhone. But the Music app has made a change that really impacts how I listen to my tunes.

Why I can't I elect to repeat the album?

Why I can’t I elect to repeat the album?

I don’t think, “I want to listen to X album.” When I’m choosing music to listen to, my thought process is more like this: “I want to listen to an album by The Beatles, but I don’t know which one. I think the one with their four heads on the cover. And I want to put the album on repeat for a couple hours.” At that point, I open up the Music app and find The Beatles in the Artists tab, and I realize I’m looking to listen to Let It Be. I choose “Two of US,” and hit the Repeat button, but to my dismay, I can’t select to Repeat Album unless I look for the record in the Albums tab. The thing is, I don’t think about it that way. Why Apple doesn’t just include the Repeat Album button everywhere in the app is beyond me.

I know that I can just search for the artist name and choose an album from there, but that’s also a workaround that doesn’t have to be there. I don’t think I’m asking for much.

Notifications That Don’t Disappear

The new Notification Centre is very neat. I dig the Today view and I like having a Missed tab (although I agree with some that it’s proper title should be Recently Missed). But the All Notifications tab needs some work, because it’s still suffering from the same irritations that it had in iOS 6.

These Foursquare notifications won't go away, even if I tap on them.

These Foursquare notifications won’t go away, even if I tap on them.

Let’s say you get a notification in the All tab. When you view it, it doesn’t always disappear from Notification Centre. That wouldn’t be the end of the world if you could just swipe the notification away like you can on Android, but since Apple insists I tap on the small little X button, it feels like the process takes much more time than it should.

I’d love it if Apple could implement a solution where notifications disappeared after you interact with them for iOS 7.1.

Events in the Photos App

Once again, the new Photos app is tremendous. I love most of the way that my photos are organized. But as somebody who dabbles in the world of professional photography (it’s not my main source of income, but I do offer it as a creative service), I still need some more advanced organizational functionality.

The Events tab in the Photos app, pre-iOS 7, fit those needs perfectly. Now, you have to dig into Albums to find Events. If you’re a compulsive photo organizer like myself, these extra steps are a little annoying. It’d be nice if Apple didn’t remove the Events tab completely from the Photos app, that way there’s easier access for people like me.

This takes too many taps to get to for my liking.

This takes too many taps to get to for my liking.

That being said, I really like the new way the app is broken down as well. I just wish I could have my cake and eat it too with this.

iPad App Folders Are Ridiculous

Look, folders on the iPhone are awesome. I dig them. I love that you can swipe between them, and frankly, having a couple less on each screen helps reduce clutter.

Awesome on iPhone. Ridiculous on iPad.

Awesome on iPhone. Ridiculous on iPad.

But displaying only nine apps per folder screen on the iPad display is wasteful and an utter waste of perfectly usable screen space. What’s the point here? Hopefully Apple fixes this with a software update when they announce new iPads later this fall.

The Little Things

There are some little things iOS still needs to do better. For example, I think iOS 7 needs improved router management. I’ve spread multiple routers throughout my house as extenders. None of my devices recognize which one is closest and rarely take advantage of it. When they do, none of them ever slow down and I never have any issues. But I can sit right beside a router in my office with a fantastic signal, and still have my iPhone 5 wasting precious battery life by trying to milk the router two stories down.

I'm sitting beside this router with my iPhone 5, iPad mini, and iPad 3. Why aren't any of them using it? They're all using the router on my main floor, despite its further distance and definitely-weaker signal.

I’m sitting beside this router with my iPhone 5, iPad mini, and iPad 3. Why aren’t any of them using it? They’re all using the router on my main floor, despite its further distance and definitely-weaker signal.

I’m sure we can all also agree that some of the animations need to be sped up, hopefully sooner rather than later. It’d be nice if you could swipe to unlock your phone in either direction. These are tiny little details I’m surprised Apple didn’t get right.

What’s On Your List?

We all know iOS 7 isn’t perfect and that there are a few bugs to sort out. And I’ll be the first to say that I think it’s a great update and I would never go bcak to iOS 6. There’s a million tiny new features that I really appreciate about it. But personally, this is my small list of minor pet peeves that I wish were a little better. What did I miss? What small things bug you? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

  • Darold Ross

    Is anyone having an issue with notifications (especially facebook messenger) randomly disappearing? I am having a hard time determining how these are getting dismissed when I am not doing it myself.

    • Nathan Snelgrove

      I saw something similar happen today with a Newsstand notification. I hadn’t noticed it happening before, but it’s a little strange.

  • iyyy69

    I’ve always been good with the music app until iOS 7 – now it’s as big a mess as iTunes 11 (it’s such a drag when they’ve basically got it right, then mess it up).

    Like Nathan, most of the time, I don’t know what album I want to listen to, I generally go: genre > artist > album. What I hate is that it lists all the songs for every album through this screwy system where if you have a dozen beatle albums and you decide you want to listen to “revolver”, you’re forced to scroll through a hundred other beatle songs before getting to that album! is that completely nuts or am i missing something?

    You know what also sucks? – when it reaches the end of the album, it just moves on to the next in the list. Most of the time, I only want to listen to the one album before choosing to listen to another.

    You know what also sucks? – the text is freaking tiny! There’s this huge album art that takes up most of the screen that looks pretty but is completely useless, and the controls and text, which are the whole point of the music app are tiny and difficult to maneuver.

    I’ll stop there, but what we need now is a run down on music app alternatives (that don’t suck) that can use the music library already on my phone (e.g. i can download albums from match using the music app, but use another app to actually play them).

    • Nathan Snelgrove

      That’s not a bad idea for a roundup. We’ll certainly keep our eyes out for some great music app alternatives built from the ground up for iOS 7.

  • iyyy69

    Nathan, I couldn’t agree more about the iPad folders – I LOL when I saw that for the first time. You’ve got to assume they didn’t have time to address it before release and they’ll fix it in an update. That’s just ridiculous.

  • Tim

    I hate the new folders on both iPads and iPhones. They waste so much space. I want at least one more row of icons. I don’t understand the point of swiping inside a folder. If you’re going to do that you might as well just put your icons on another screen anyway.

    Also, still not spam filter in the Mail app. How long do I have to wait for this feature on my phone?

    Additionally, there is still no way to disable the camera on the lock screen without disabling it completely. I don’t know if anyone else realizes this, but having the camera (or anything else) available from the lock screen is a security breach. All someone has to do is pick up a phone, swipe the camera and start taking any pictures they want without the owner knowing about it. Then the owner’s kids pick up the phone and open the photos app and, whoa! what are all these pictures of some dude’s junk on here?!

    • Nathan Snelgrove

      The ability to turn off Wifi from the lock screen without disabling Control Centre is also a security breach, since that will turn off Find My iPhone.

      I agree it’s odd that we now have the ability to choose a Reply From address in, but no way to mark mail as spam.

  • tisulli

    I absolutely love the control center but I very much dislike the music app and itunes store. when and if the itunes store works i’m not able to preview the content. i’m sure it’s just a bug with the update and it will get worked out soon enough but it’s just frustrating.

  • Penca

    I’m still annoyed by the amateurish look of the icons… they are just too ridiculous to be true.

  • Chris Gause

    I hate the music app I hate that it has all off my itunes library in the cloud and that I can’t hide it? Theres some songs I have in my library that I bought for my mom or others that I burnt on a cd for them that I don’t want but there there.

  • Robin Lundgren

    iOS 7 completely destroyed the experience on my iPhone 4, useless slow animations, choppy performance, unnecessary and android-esque multitasking system. Apple usually makes sure updates runs smoothly if it’s going to be released for older hardware.

    Seriously – It’s all pseudo-minimalism.. It’s minimal in look, maximal in usage. (Yes, control center is a fine addition)