Small but important changes for iOS

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by chuges, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. chuges, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

    chuges macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2011
    One of the reasons I love apple so much is because they care not only about how functional and powerful their products are but also how user-friendly and intuitively they are designed. Every detail is well thought out. However, there are a few things that have always bothered me - not game changers in my iOS experience, but things that seem uncharacteristically clumsy or overlooked.

    Music controls + rotation lock in the multitasking bar
    When Apple introduced multitasking in iOS4, they got rid of the music controls that pop up when you double click the home button while the device is on (this still exists when you double click in the lock screen). Currently, to control your music and rotation lock, you must first double tap and then swipe right. To control volume or airplay, you double tap and then swipe twice. This is annoying and unnecessarily complicated.

    For "simple" users (people who don't visit sites like Macrumors, your grandparents, etc.), this is hard to remember and unintuitive to use. I bet a lot of people don't even know that they can swipe the multitasking bar...twice.

    For more adept users it's annoying, and you can't rely on muscle memory to control your music when you're not looking. I bet a lot of you have used the music controls on your lock screen so many times that you don't have to look to be able to press the correct buttons. And doing this every time you want to lock the rotation (especially if you frequently use your iOS device lying down) becomes like chinese water torture - small droplets that eventually bore their way through your mind.

    Solution: Have a secondary dock that pops up when you double click. The animation could be akin to what happens when you open a folder, where the area expands from nowhere. No existing space or functionality is wasted because you can't interact with the screen content when you're in "multitasking mode" anyways, and it will make things a lot more intuitive for casual and power users alike. It would make double-clicking bring up a "dashboard" area with several different tools instead of a small bar that you have to swipe back and forth with all this wasted space above it.

    (rough) Concept:


    Add multitasking icon rotation when in landscape mode
    They should make the multitasking icons for iphone/ipod touch rotate when you're in landscape mode. Since they can't make the entire screen rotate like for the ipad, this would preserve the positioning of the dock but add that extra element of user friendliness that's so characteristically apple. I'm still toying with the idea of all the icons on the homescreen rotating too - if I have time I may make another mockup to see how it looks.


    Landscape Screen Rotation Lock
    I've seen this mentioned before but it's still missing, and it's kind of a no-brainer. In Safari you can work around it because you can hold the phone upside down and the screen stays landscape, but some apps rotate to portrait when upside down. We shouldn't have to worry about that though, and it seems like it would only take several minutes of coding to solve this problem.

    Apps opening in landscape
    If you're using your phone in landscape mode and then go to portrait, all subsequently clicked apps will open immediately in portrait mode. However, if you're in portrait mode and then switch to landscape (aka the app's memory doesn't "remember" you recently rotating), all apps open in portrait and then rotate instead of just opening in landscape. Not that big a deal, but it sometimes gets annoying that you have to wait for it to flip. And this takes away from the transparency that apple's software usually has for the user.

    Removing icons from the multitasking dock
    Holding down an icon for a second and waiting for the little (-) sign to pop up is not the best way to do this. In addition to take a small amount of time, it is confusing to casual users because it's the same action as when you delete an application. Apple should make it so you can just flick the apps out of the dock, akin to when you remove icons from the OS X dock. This is a more "transient" action to reflect that you're only closing the app (as opposed to permanently deleting it), it's faster, and it also feels more intuitive - it's as if you're tossing apps to the side when you don't need them, which is more reality more than hard pressing and then hitting a CLOSE button.

    All of these are really minor issues, but they're changes that would be easy to make and would add that element of polish that has come to define Apple's products. Im curious what you guys think - do you like it the way things are, or have any of these things come to bug you as well?

    (apology in advance if there have already been threads about any of this)
  2. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Beach Cities, CA
    I don't know if it's just me, but this actually seems to be more confusing than helpful especially the second image.
  3. verwon macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2011
    I agree! He/she is over complicating the simplicity.
  4. Dessureault macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Shawinigan QC
    I agree with that ! but I must admit that apple should add the rotating multitasking icon.
  5. chuges thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2011
    haha sorry about that! i changed the second image to make it less confusing
  6. Sdreed91 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2011
    The multi tasking bugs me. But the music controls don't. I too have thought that a rotating multitasking bar would be nice.
  7. Dangerdog3000 macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2009
    I like the idea of using the space above the multitasking bar for music (and possibly other stuff in the future) since you can't interact with it while the multitasking bar is up anyway.

    Swiping up to delete apps from the multitasking menu is also a cool idea, although i think it might result in a lot of accidental removals for some users.

    Good ideas, keep it up.
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    How is this confusing? You add a music player control with double tap. Excellent! You change the orientation of multitasking icons when in landscape. The second picture is almost EXACTLY how iOS does things natively, except that the icons are rotated such that the icon and name are in landscape as well.


    Exactly. Or... just let us see more of the multitasking apps. I never saw a point of seeing a maximum of 4 apps at a time when you can't do anything with the rest of the screen anyway.
  9. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I like all but the first and last idea. The first just looks ugly, keep it to the one bar at the bottom, and the last one I think is done fine as it is. Too easy to accidentally swipe something from the tray. Other ideas I'd like to see, though.
  10. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    It annoys me how device makers screw up or leave out obviously needed features. This goes for both Android and iOS.
  11. Mackbook702 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Yeah!! I hate that Apple hasn't made an impeccably perfect phone in hardware and software. God forbid them overlooking things, they're just @$$holes! Its just so infuriating!!!!!
  12. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Relax. A lot of these features are pretty easy to implement. They just have to WANT to... We pay a lot of money for these devices. We have the right to speak up and say what we want.
  13. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    I'd like my phone to tell me it's a bad idea to send the iMessage or text message as the recipient is in bed as its 3am there. Doesn't go down well. Sometimes you just forget. Doh
  14. tk0084 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    Just an FYI when you double press the home button and the multi tasking panel comes up you get music controls there too. Just swipe right. Why would you want separate music controls to pop up every time?
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm responding I guess to the "modified" second image -- I don't like it, but I do think it would make sense for the task manager to show up in the same orientation as the rest of the screen (i.e. if you're in a landscape app, you get the task manager across the bottom). But then I think the home screen should rotate too.

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