iOS widgets done right concept
One thing that has always been missing in iOS is widgets. Apple did include something resembling widgets in iOS 5, but they are flawed:
- There is only a weather and stocks widget available.
- There is no support for 3rd party widgets.
- Putting the widgets in the notifications list makes them limited in size.
- If you (hypothetically) would have more than two widgets, the widgets would cover up the notifications.
- Why on earth are they in the notifications list anyway?
Another important feature missing in iOS is quick settings. Quickly toggling wifi or bluetooth, changing brightness, volume,... that would be very useful. Apple does include something similar to quick settings in iOS 5 but, again, it’s ﬂawed. There are some quick setting controls at the left of the multitasking bar but:
- Multitasking and quick settings are mixed in one single multitasking bar.
- The settings that can be changed are too limited. (music playback, screen rotation lock and volume)
￼Now, let’s see how this could be done better. Saw that last screenshot? I think there’s some screen real estate that’s wasted. The area above the multitasking bar is empty. It's current functions are providing context and if you tap on it, the multitasking bar closes. By putting widgets and quick settings in that open space, the problems with the notiﬁcations list and the quick settings are ﬁxed.
The advantages of putting the widgets above the multitasking bar are:
- Multiple pages of widgets so the user can add as many widgets as he wants.
- Widgets can be larger, and thus more useful, than the current widgets in the notifications list.
- The quick settings widget can handle more settings than the few ones currently in the multitasking bar.
- The notiﬁcations list and multitasking bar are now used only for what they are supposed to, which is a lot less confusing to the user.
The current functionality of the space above the multitasking bar can be retained:
- A translucent background provides context.
- Widget can never occupy 100% of the space so the user can still tap an empty spot to return to the app he was using.
It’s easy to imagine how widgets could be moved around or deleted. The user could simply tap and hold on a widget after which they start to wiggle and act just like app icons on the springboard. New widgets can be downloaded from a separate category in the App Store.
What do you think about my idea? :)