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iOS 9 doesn't need revolutionary features to transform our screens

Michael Simon | June 5, 2015
For seven years, Apple has maintained a relentless cycle of major iOS updates. It's not hard to see the progression: what started as a simple system with 11 basic apps and an inability to install any others has blossomed into a powerful platform with millions of games and utilities and seemingly limitless capabilities. Some things might have taken a bit too long to arrive (I'm looking at you, copy and paste!), but no one can criticize the breakneck pace that Apple has sustained. Every 12 months or so, Apple has unleashed a whole new batch of features and enhancements that have given each iOS version an identity of its own, not unlike the jungle cats and California landmarks attached to OS X releases.

But there's a way Apple could bring a level of personalization with compromising its vision with themes or visible widgets: complications. On Apple Watch, they're a way to personalize our faces with quick bytes of information that can be gleaned at a glance, and they could be just as useful on our iOS devices. The time and date is already a staple of the lock screen, and a series of small, specialized functions would cut down on the number of times we need to unlock our phones even further.

It would be a perfect solution, allowing Apple to maintain the integrity of the lock screen while still giving users what they crave. And with a few new dynamic timekeeping wallpapers, it could even be a pretty cool advertisement for what you're missing on Apple Watch. The iPhone's lock screen is already the pocket watch of choice for millions of users, and a series of customizable clock faces would only drive that point home.

iOS 9 may be a transition release, but that doesn't mean it has to be a ho-hum update. Major new apps and features may grab all the headlines, but with a few tweaks, our iPhones could feel fresher than they have in years — and set the stage for next year's X-branded blowout.


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