Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

Will iOS 7 make Steve Jobs turn over in his Grave?

Yikes, WWDC is upon us and, well, a few things were announced - as expected.
iOS 7 was one of them, likely to hit the download arena in Fall. And, well, I was disappointed.
A good overview - albeit full of grammatical errors (probably written late at night, after the 19th coffee, junkfood and too many drinks at a WWDC party) - is available in this Redmond Pie article.

Let me touch on some of the updates to iOS this article presented:

GUI
Wow, does this look like Android or what? Considering Apple used to be a true innovator, not only in Hardware and OS Design, but also in Ergonomics, the “breakthrough” of being able to add more apps to what are called - strangely enough - Folders, just isn’t what I was expecting! Add more apps so that you can find what you’re looking for even less? How about the ability to have iOS sort apps by usage count? That would be extremely simple to implement (just increase a counter every time an app is started or switched to) and would really make things simpler.

Let me give you an example: on my iPad, I frequently use an app by the German rail system Deutsche Bahn, to see if my local connecting train is on time. It’s a very useful app, but for whatever reason, I am unable to find it at all in any of the “folders” I’ve created to sort apps into. It’s just gone. I can only find it by searching for it. Assuming that there isn’t some programmatic glitch that has actually removed the icon from the iPad, it just goes to show how ineffective the folder-concept really is.

Let me take you back about 12 years, back to a time when the smartphone to have was a Treo 650 from Palm. They already did a good job of letting you create tabs (yes, tabs, not annoying “folders”) to sort icons into - and there were several add-on applications that made sorting icons logically even easier. I honestly feel that the methodologies used back then (we’re talking the smartphone stone age!) were a lot more ergonomically sensible that what Apple is currently presenting as the ultimate GUI.

Settings
I’ve ranted about this before - even in iOS6, getting to certain settings (like Bluetooth on/off) was a chore, making you open the Settings app and delve into the depths of layers of screens.

Android has shown the proper way to do this: just put a widget with a whole bunch of buttons to turn things on and off on one of the screens.

The fact that iOS has taken as long as version 7 to even touch on a solution to this is quite a surprise. Having to rumerate through several levels of a settings menu to do simple things like turn on or off the WIFI access point is such a pain in the rear that I would have expected a simple-access solution much, much earlier.
Comments