Idea for Multitasking and Widgets on the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VforVelveta, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. VforVelveta macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

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    Nov 16, 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #1
    Hey all. As I've been following all of the Smartphone Round Robin news over at The iPhone Blog, two of the biggest drawbacks (in my opinion) to the iPhone I've seen have been multitasking and widgets. I started thinking of how Apple might implement these two features while still maintaining the simplicity of the iPhone. I've borrowed a bit from WebOS on a couple ideas, namely the position of the app selection screen relative to the running apps screen as well as showing running apps with live thumbnails.

    Basically, as of now you can swipe from left to right between app pages on the Springboard. My idea would allow you to swipe up and down, two actions currently unused in the Springboard, to go to either the Dashboard, where widgets would be held, and the Appboard, where running apps are. From any screen you would be able to reach the other two depending on which direction you swipe. Running applications would be shown in live thumbnails similar to WebOS' card view, only in coverflow instead. Pics are attached showing the three different boards as well as a transition between the Springboard and the Appboard.

    Just an idea that's been rolling around in my head, let me know what you think!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #2
    Looks good to me. I especially like the first two (top two) ideas. The top left definitely looks like something that Apple could implement, staying true to their design. The second one is also a good idea, having widgets that would allow you to get a quick glance of things or open apps up (such as using the search bar, would take you to Safari).

    Good stuff!
     
  3. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #3
    my idea has been "spaces.. for iPhone"

    ok say you open your facebook app,check your news feed, then double click the home button and it takes you to the interface of spaces on mac but fit for the iPhone. (the 4 squares) you click on your open space, and it takes you to the springboard. you then simply click on the next app that you want to multitask with and that app opens. Do your business inside of that app, and lets say you wanna check your facebook double click home button, click on your facebook space and repeat.

    It seems like a easy way of adding multitasking to the iPhone, but not letting people run more than 4 apps at once, so the system is still intact.
     
  4. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #4
    I'm not shooting down your ideas or anything, but I really don't see the point of widgets... the Android has it and now the iPhone needs it? IIRC, there were no talks about widgets for the iPhone until the Android platform was announced/released.
     
  5. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #5
    Well, people have always wanted a "Dashboard" like thing on the iPhone, but it wasn't until Android that people wanted widgets on the homescreen.
     
  6. RiceRacerDX macrumors 6502

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    Jan 31, 2009
    #6
    I'll take widgets on my lock screen. Otherwise, I don't really care for them.
     
  7. VforVelveta thread starter macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

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    Nov 16, 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #7
    I'd agree widgets aren't a necessity, so perhaps an option to turn the screen on or off would be a good idea to add, along with being able to show some on the lock screen. I personally would find a single screen to show some simple programs that's both easily accessible and easily dismissible very useful, just like the dashboard on OS X.
     
  8. Emulsion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #8
    Why not just have the widgets on the unlock screen. Allowing left and right swiping to reveal more widgets. No input would be needed for the widgets so accidentally touching something in your pocket would do nothing. As for the open applications, why not just hold the home button down until the "cards/coverflow" shows up. I find this more appropriate than the speech recognition, which can be activated with some other function. To launch another application simply hit the plus button at the bottom of the screen. Which in turn would bring you back to the springboard. Or whatever way apple plans on handling applications because as it is its difficult to find some applications. I think they should do something similar to what they've done with stacks. They should have all of their apps categorized into folders as they are in the app store, "Books" "business" "Education".. etc. These twenty "Folders" would lie on the springboard. Rather then having multiple pages there is only one with a scroll bar on the side similar to the way stacks/grids work now. tapping a folder opens up the folder and displays the apps located inside the folder. All of these folders can be customized if you don't like the way apple has it set up. create a folder named "First person shooters" "Cooking" etc. Theres no doubt this would be easier than the way apple has it laid out now.
     
  9. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #9
    I think the iPhone needs a richer notification system, and I think widgets are the way to achieve that.

    It makes sense for a page of widgets to appear on the lock screen. So you'd have the option of checking the status of messages and weather etc. without unlocking.

    In terms of software a widget could be an ultra-light application. With a very low memory and CPU footprint.

    If this were the case, regular apps could "quit-to-widget". The apps terminate but hand control over to a helper widget which remains running.

    The limit of a single page of widgets means the user cannot over-burden the system.

    C.
     
  10. afireintonto macrumors 6502a

    afireintonto

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    Portland
    #10
    i think the only thing we really need is some widgets and things on the home screen
    this is what i do now, i love it - i wish apple would include something like this in the official iphone os
     

    Attached Files:

  11. VforVelveta thread starter macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

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    Nov 16, 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #11
    While some widgets wouldn't need any input to use (weather, stocks, calendar) I think a way to interact with them after unlocking would be useful, hence the inclusion of the dashboard. For instance, a calendar widget showing upcoming meetings could allow you to tap the specific meeting for more info or launch the calendar application, or perhaps a tip calculator widget so you don't need an entire application.

    Also, the reason I chose the swipe up/down gestures as opposed to holding/double-tapping the home button is because to me holding/double-tapping the home button always felt very un-Applelike. Using it isn't very intuitive, and unless you know about it beforehand, it's function isn't very discoverable. Also, the iPhone was really the one to introduce the gesture system used by so many phones today, I think it would make more sense to extend functionality by using more gestures, rather than resorting to tacking on more functionality to an already overused single button.
     
  12. AustinSTI macrumors 6502

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    Jul 2, 2007
    #12
    Have y'all taken a look at pro switcher? It's an app on cydia that's in beta right now and is essentially multitasking switcher when used with backgrounder.
     
  13. PhoneI macrumors 68000

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    Mar 7, 2008
    #13
    I have a droid since launch day. At first I liked the widgets, but now I don't really use them anymore. The novelty has kind of worn off. I prefer just to use real apps.
     
  14. MacFly123 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    #14
    The ideas in here aren't bad. I have thought of multi-tasking with 'CoverFlow' or 'Spaces' as well. It just seems pretty natural.

    Multi-tasking, widgets/unlock screen, notifications, and stacks I think are all on Apple's radar for iPhone OS 4.0. Now how they will implement all of those things remains to be seen. I don't think it will be quite what is being described in here, but akin. :)

    I DO think, that with the Tablet coming with a hybrid version of the iPhone OS, iPhone OS 4.0 will be a very nice upgrade!

    Can't wait to see! :D
     
  15. lavinci macrumors 6502

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #15
    I'm using proswitcher from cydia also. Take a look at the blog post from theiphoneblog.
     
  16. CrazyIllini macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2009
    #16
    Sounds cool. Where can I find it though. I searched for it on cydia and nothing came up.
     
  17. Eddieowns macrumors member

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    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    I have an add-on for my jailbroken iPhone, called ProSwitcher. It basically works like the Palm Pre.

    I've tried to demonstrate it's ability to "swipe", like the Pre, to close your applications.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the swiping. I have multiple apps running in the background, and I just swipe up to close an app.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. jjprusk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #18
    "Today" screen

    What you've got here [and many have been asking for] is the basic, configurable winmo "Today" screen. I wholeheartedly agree that this is much needed and raises the usability of the iPhone greatly. I have been using an iPhone (now have 3Gs) since first launch and have never jailbroken my phone. However, seeing your screen, it tempts me. What product(s) did you use to set this up? Is it possible to show emails vs tweets?
     
  19. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #19
    people have hated virtual desktops since it came to Windows 95 or 98 back in the late 1990's. too much work to use it
     
  20. afireintonto macrumors 6502a

    afireintonto

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #20
    the app is called lockinfo it can be found in cydia,
    there are quite a few plugin's including twitter, email, sms, weather, calendar and some others.
    all the plugins are free, and the app comes with a two week free trial, but it's 4.99 after that.
    but i hide/show the sections - so when i have no emails it doesn't show, same as sms.
     
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #21
    same with me and gadgets or whatever MS calls them. tried them and hate them. memory hog, they take up too much space and don't really do anything useful
     

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