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Ocean Observation’s Overhauls to iPhone’s App Managment

by Travis Harvey | January 18, 2010January 18, 2010 10:43 am PDT

The iPhone is long due for some UI overhauls to bring it up with some of the competition.  Searching through pages of apps is frustrating and the lack of multitasking getting very old.  Although OS 4.0 might not be far off, Ocean Observations has created a few concept videos that show how much more our devices could do.

multitaskingIt’s my battery, I’ll use it how I want.  If I want to drain it an hour after a full charge so be it. During it’s unveiling, Steve pointed out how other OS’s used a task menu where users had to learn what tasks were related to which applications.  Those days are gone, as competitors like Palm have created the smartest way to manage multiple applications.  It’s doable so do it.  Although it might not be the most Apple-esque way of managing applications, Ocean Observations uses Cover Flow with Palm Pre swipe ups to close background applications.  Triple click home button they’re using for accessibility could trigger the whole screen to show Cover Flow.  I don’t care how you do it, but please just do it.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got multiple screens of iPhone apps.  Sorting through and finding the app I want sometimes leaves me searching through a few pages that are far away from the main screen.  In OS 3.0 Apple gave us the ability to search, but by the time I’d think of the app name and type it in I could have found it.  There needs to be a way to have more icons on the true home screen.  Currently dashboardavailable to jailbroken iPhones, Stacks in the dock would allow users to access more applications from any screen they’re on.  While they’re at it, home screen navigation could be simpler.  Expose could display all your home screens, allowing you to jump to any screen in one spot.  Moving the spotlight search to Expose would eliminate the need to swipe to the left your main home screen.  Here’s a concept of Expose in action.

Just for giggles and to bring more functionality from OS X, Ocean Observations put together a Dashboard concept.  Exactly like the desktop version, it allows you to add widgets across a scrollable landscape that can be accessed at any time.  Opening the calculator or jotting down notes without interrupting the current process is something I could get used to, so here it is.

Are there any other ways you’ve seen app management done?  Is there any particular feature you’re struggling without?  You’re not alone so share your gripes in the comments!


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