I’ve now been using the iPhone 7 as my main device for couple of weeks. After a rough start with the migration etc the phone has been performing fine. I’ve been able to do most I do on my Android and there’s not been any big blockers. However, I’m starting to get tired with the bad usability of the system. So many basic things are simply wrong if you think about things from user’s point of view.
I still don’t know how the home button works. After a week of struggle trying to figure out what tap did what I had to ask from my iPhone using colleagues and after some hand holding I now know in theory when to double tap, double click, long press, force press, press, tap etc but still the results are mostly random. Fking Siri just keeps popping up or I keep staring at a black screen as the screen doesn’t unlock when I expect it to.
Pressing home also has strange state-dependencies. If you launch an app from a folder pressing home takes you to the folder and not to home. I can’t understand why anyone thought that’s a good idea?
The home button was great in the first iPhone (yes, that’s the previous iPhone I used as my daily phone) as it had one function and it performed that one function well. Press it and you were on your home screen.
When the feature set of iOS grew Apple simply ran out of buttons on the phone. Instead of rethinking their hardware they opted to put everything into one button. I hate it.
iOS looks booring. Soooo boring. I’m tired of looking at these empty icons and mostly white screens of Apple’s apps. There are some 3rd party apps that look more interesting but in general the OS feels just bland and uninspired.
Disconnect of user interaction
This bothers me a lot. Somehow user interactions seem to be disconnected from the system very often. I tap a home screen icon, it changes colour to indicate tap but the app doesn’t launch.. I don’t know why..
Another example of this is the App Store app. You tap for app to be installed and the process begins. You can then navigate elsewhere but at some point the app asks you to scan your finger… This is a separate popup that doesn’t seem to be connected to anything. You can assume that it’s to instal the last app you set for installation but it just doesn’t feel like part of the same process.
Apple also seems to love switching context. Notification actions, for example, when opened bring the notification into full screen as a popup and you can then perform some actions to it. This makes you completely abandon the precious use context of the notification tray and jump into this new one just to archive one email. Annoying… This context switching plagues the OS all over the place. I don’t know why Apple doesn’t investigate possibilities to keep the user in the current context instead of forcing these pop ups all over the place..
With the rest, I think, I could learn to live with but iOS notification system is something that I cannot use much longer and will make me go back to Android no matter what.
I don’t know if it is pride or arrogance but Apple refuses to copy good ideas from Android, like notification bar icons telling you that you have notifications, swipe to dismiss, unified notification states on lock screen and in notification tray etc.
For those of you who haven’t really used iOS let me explain how iOS notification work. I swear to you that I’m not making this up..
Lock screen only shows new notifications
The OS thinks it knows better than you so it hides notifications once they’ve been shown to you once on the lock screen. This means that there’s no way to check if you actually have notifications other than unlocking your phone and completely pulling down the notification tray. If you remember all notifications you’ve seen already, good for you, but I don’t..
Notification behave differently on lock screen
When you’re on your lock screen swiping notification to the left exposes the “clear” button but swiping to the right opens the app for this notification. Wait what? Swiping a notification away actually opens the app. Not kidding…
This swipe to open only applies to lock screen though.
This applies to other part of the OS as well but is demonstrated especially well in the notifications. There might or might not be actions you can perform on notifications. You just have to know about them. While on Android the first notification opens with the actions visible so you can just tap them to archive email or whatever you want to do no such luck on iOS. You will have to first force press the notification and then you can see if there’s something you can do with it. Ugh.
Simple things with notifications
What demonstrates lack of though maybe better than any of the above is that on iOS you have to completely open the notification tray to see your latest notification.. No, you cannot peek into the tray as the latest notification is all the way on the top and it won’t be visible until the tray is completely open. I just can’t understand what made them do that.. Did they think “what do users want to do with notifications”.. I don’t think so.
Some good stuff
It’s not all bad. There are some ideas that I wish we’d see on Android. The way iOS handles widgets is actually pretty interesting. I’d love to have one home screen where I could have all my widgets just showing the latest data from all my apps. That would be great! RIght now if I want to do that I’d have to create multiple home screens and keep swiping but that’s tedious.
I know Google Now (assistant) is trying to achieve something similar but it’s not quite there yet.
The rotation… Oh, please Android framework team, do something to make Android rotation work smoother and to allow devs to create “scene transitions” for rotations. Rotating apps are such a pleasure on iOS.
Force touch is a gimmick and will stay as such.. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with force touch but it’s just yet another way iOS hides functionality. There’s no way knowing if force touch is available other than trying.
Only thing force touch does is that it makes it more difficult to uninstall apps.. Performing long-press is a delegate task now.
Siri is a joke. If you have ever used Google Now and have to go back to Siri you’re sorely disappointed. Google Now actually gets you the information you need. Siri usually shows a list of web links and can’t even read them to you. Meh.
iOS works just fine but it really is far behind Android in design, usability and functionality. Apple is trapped to their own inflexibility (or maybe they’d call it avoiding fragmentation) and their hardware simply doesn’t handle the complexity of their software.
Let’s see if the rumours of Apple giving up the physical home button is true or not.. I sincerely hope they are. Just put the fingerprint scanner in the back like many Android phones do. Back is MUCH more natural place for it than the front where it is on an iPhone.
I can’t wait to get back to my Android phone.
We worked on this lib for 16 months, making it as simple as possible. Check it out: https://github.com/grandcentrix/ThirtyInch
The topic of the Study Jam 2016 season?
Android for Beginners!
This time space is limited, and signup can only be done via Meetup - this is simply due to logistics, we need to be able to manage waiting lists etc and make sure that we are prepared for the group.
Very excited to have helping us to facilitate, he'll be an excellent guide for those who might get stuck. THANK you Pascal!
Notice! This really is for beginners. Those of you how know Android well and want to get engaged; There will be other opportunities. Let us know if you for example want to come and hold a talk- and the same goes for you other techies. There is always an opportunity to contribute to our great community.
Pro tip: Use emojis to identify rooms
Get Going with Design - structure your idea and set yourself up for success -
This time Doreen, our of our Design / UX / UI specialists will come and talk to us about how to structure your great idea an app and want to start directly with design and development.
What challenges may you face and how can you turn your project to success?
And then - on to something completely different!
During the evening our long time member Dittmar will hold a talk about something quite different - and as GDG Düsseldorf is about inspiration and fun, this fits perfect. I am not going to reveal too much now; Come and join us and be inspired.
As usual, there will be plenty of opportunity to network, mingle and of course we will also talk about our upcoming DevFest - The Call For Papers is currently running, the DevFest will take place October 22-23 (stay tuned for that)
See you August 31!
- grandcentrix GmbHAndroid Developer, 2013 - presentDeveloping cool Android apps
- User Interface Design GmbHStudent / Software Engineer, 2010 - 2013Android & Webdevelopment
Schanzenstraße 20 51063 Köln, Deutschland
- DHBW StuttgartAngewandte Informatik, 2010 - 2013
- Martin Gerbert Gymnasium Horb am Neckar2001 - 2010
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