Yesterday Apple unveiled version 4 of the iPhone OS scheduled to hit your iPhone or iPod Touch this summer and whether you love it or hate it, app navigation will remain nearly identical to what we’re so comfortable with. We have yet to see any mobile platform take a route besides a heavy list of apps and something different for the next iPhone software sure would have helped to spruce things up a bit, visually at least.
When we saw the iPad unveiling with it’s enormous screen (relative to the iPhone) laid out the exact same way as the iPhone, things got a little confusing. It seemed like Jobs was pulling our leg and he’d eventually blow the roof off what was supposed to be the next evolution in mobile computing. As it turns out, the desert oasis riddled with an app here or there is very real and feels more than barren. They couldn’t find anything to fill the overly simplistic home screen? Widgets, hello?
Some expected that to change with version 4 of the iPhone software, especially as Jobs was caught saying the next software update was of “A+” caliber. We’ve been swiping through pages of apps for years now and it’s getting old rather quickly. Apple’s remedy – though I doubt they see it as a problem in the first place – comes in the the form of folders, where we can place 9 apps in a ‘stack’ for faster access, improved organization, and more app storage (2,160 apps to be exact). Surely this is a welcome, if not temporary fix that will make plenty of iPhone users happy.
While we didn’t see the Springboard overhaul many of us were hoping for, the 100+ features they did add will surely distract from the fact that we’re using an app navigation scheme that has overstayed it’s welcome. Multitasking alone resolves much of the angst current iPhone users have with version 3.1.2. Hopefully, one day, we can move past the app icon layout and onto something a bit more interesting. Then again, a few years of that and we’ll want something new again. Talk about high maintenance!
What do you think? Was it time to give some thought to a navigation refresh? Are folders the answer? We’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.