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iOS 8 changes we'd like to see: FaceTime, Maps, Messages, Music

Dan Frakes | May 30, 2014
With iOS 8 likely coming later this year, it's time to talk about the changes and improvements we'd like to see in the next version of iOS. Today we cover Mail.

We'd also like an easier way to remove or purge images from Messages conversations. On my iPhone, Messages is currently using over 400 MB of storage space, most of it due to images contained within conversations. But the only way to remove those images is to either delete entire conversations (which is overkill, and I might want to keep the text components of those exchanges), or to painstakingly scroll through each conversation and manually delete just the messages containing images--a major hassle. A simple way to strip images from a conversation (after optionally saving them to the Photos app) would be welcome. Or even just a way to delete those images on a particular device, with the option to later re-download one or more on demand.

Related to this, it would be great if we could somehow see how much storage space each conversation is using on a device, either from within Messages itself or by using the Usage screen in the Settings app. If it turns out that most of my 400 MB of Messages data is in a single conversation, I could choose to delete only that conversation.

It would also be nice if we could quickly and easily mark multiple conversations as read on the main Messages screen. (The Edit button currently offers only a way to delete individual conversations.)

Music

Despite myriad third-party alternatives, many of us keep coming back to the built-in Music app for listening to our own tunes. Part of this is because many third-party music apps have problems with iTunes Match--or don't let us access cloud-hosted music at all. Another is that we like being able to listen to iTunes Radio. Whatever the reason, we use the Music app daily, so we'd really like it to become a bit more polished.

For example, though Music is currently the best iTunes Match-compatible music app out there, many people still have problems playing music that hasn't already been downloaded or synced to the device. And we regularly experience issues where Matched tracks and playlists simply don't appear--we've at times had to disable iTunes Match and then re-enable it just to see all our playlists.

Those of us who regularly use the Music app in the car would like to be able to use swipe gestures for control: left and right to skip tracks, up and down to adjust volume level. We've tried third-party apps that provide this feature, and because you can use gestures without even looking at the phone, they're a great way to safely control playback while driving. Why not just use those apps? Because of the aforementioned issues with third-party apps and iTunes Match, we'd rather get this obvious feature in the built-in Music app. (We've also found that most gesture-driven third-party music apps go overboard, requiring us to remember a slew of similar swipes to be able to do anything.)

 

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