Archive for October 2012

 
 

iOS Irritations

iOS 6 has been out a while now, and the changes it brought with it have been by and large known about since back as far as February when the initial previews and developer Betas were made available. It’s not really had much discussion, perhaps because we’ve known so long that there were not going to be any major changes, much as some people would love to replace the simple Homescreen that has remained largely untouched for 5 years with something a bit more flashy, and dare I say it, more ‘Androidy’ – is that a word? It is now…

I actually like the fact that nothing major has changed, the ridiculously simple nature of the Homescreen isn’t a problem for me, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that need attention. I maintained a (very small) list of niggles that I intended to write about before I installed iOS 6 in the hope that some of them might get some love. In the end, it’s no great loss that I didn’t get around to it, because with 1 exception they all remain. So without further ado, here is my hit list of tiny things to change to make the Homescreen that bit more polished:

  • Modal notifications, such as the “20% of battery remaining” message, must be dismissed though a tap on the screen. Nearly every time I get this, I try to tap the Home button to clear it, but no beans. In fact, when such a display is shown, the Home button ceases to function entirely, and as such I think it’s reasonable to co-opt it to be a hardware “OK” button when you are presented with such a notification

  • If you are viewing a Homescreen folder, and don’t want to start an app from within, your only choice is a tap outside of the folder to exit it. Since almost every time I am in this scenario it’s because I went into the wrong folder, then I think that a tap outside that happens to be on another folder, should simply switch folders, instead of requiring a 2-tap process. As a side note, my list complained about the fact that a Home button tap did not collapse an open folder, but that is the thing that did get fixed in iOS 6.

  • Another folder improvement would be to automatically collapse the folder after the execution of an app from within it. As things stand if you open a folder, start an app, then quit the app, you return to the open folder, more often than not requiring a further tap (or at least Home button tap now) to get back to the standard Homescreen

  • Gesture based navigation on the iPad, including the 4 finger swipe to switch between recent apps only works if you are currently viewing an open app. Switch back to the Homescreen and swipe, and you get nothing. I makes sense to me to continue to allow a swipe to move you back to the previous app just like it works if you are already in one, because the alternative is a lengthy (well, by comparison) double tap on the Home button, followed by a screen tap to pick the first app in the list.

So, not really much to complain about from my point of view, and almost all concerned with Folders and the Home button. Will these things ever get fixed? Do they need fixing? Have you got some more? Get in touch.