Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Gripes with iOS 7.1

iOS 7 overall is becoming a more polished product especially after yesterday's release of iOS 7.1, adding many new features and improving performance on older devices. However, there are a few things that have bothered me in iOS 7 which I was hoping would be fixed in iOS 7.1 and others which I still want.


Closing all open apps leaves you in Multitasking with nothing but a miniature peek at your home screen. Logically, since there's nothing left to do in multitasking after everything is closed, iOS should just automatically exit but nope. Also, iOS 7.1 added faster animations for unlocking and exiting apps but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case with multitasking. Because they all use a similar zoom effect, not having the same speed creates an inconsistency.


So far, I've only found one and you can try it for yourself. Touch the screen and hold your finger there then proceed to pressing the home button and sleep/wake button to take a screenshot. If done correctly the screen will flash as usual but will remain white until you remove your finger. You can even take a screenshot of the screenshot flash.


The only reason I still use Google Maps on my iPhone is because of the lack of transit directions in the default Maps app. Fortunately, a rumor came out this morning stating that Apple is readying transit directions for iOS 8.


You still can't AirDrop simple things like pictures from iOS to OS X and vice versa.

Of course, the positives outweigh the negatives but I guess there will always be little things to complain about every once in a while. Is there anything that we missed? Tell us in the comments.


While this article does represent my opinions  there were some excellent points made by Reddit user Msechea pertaining to the Multitasking and AirDrop portions. I would like to clarify that I understand AirDrop for OS X and iOS use completely different technologies but it can also be argued that if Apple didn't want any confusion then the two services shouldn't have the same name despite the similar functionality. Since our goal is to provide quality content that is both original and informative, I thought including these comments would add value to this article.


Logically, since there's nothing left to do in multitasking after everything is closed, iOS should just automatically exit but nope.

I understand what you are saying. The behavior is similar to Safari in the way that it handles open Safari pages, except in that mode, you have the functionality of opening a bookmark or new page. In multitasking, if it is showing no running apps and just the home screen, there isn't anything to do, so you exit out of multitasking. I think this is the right behavior. The only behavior I would change is when you have one running app in Multitasking, and you swipe that away, it should automatically exit out and return you to the home screen.But if you return to the Multitasking stage, it should leave you there until you tap out for good reason, here's why...

It's best to avoid behavior that could allow the user to think that they are at fault or the product is at fault, especially without any visual suggestion as to why the interface acts the way it does. Two possible solutions to avoid:

1) No running apps, double tap home button, Multitasking launches then automatically closes (like you suggested) - This is technically a UI u-turn and you have to ask yourself, well, why go that step of launching and backing out if nothing happens? What does it communicate to the user? They think, maybe something is broken if multitasking exited right after? You have to account for all users of all skill levels. They need affirmation that the Multitasking stage is there and that no running apps are visible. Ok good, now I can tap out of that. It's defined and it's there.

2)No running apps, double tap home button and either multitask doesn't evoke and nothing happens - This suggests a hardware error or malfunction. Where is the confirmation to the user that my double-tap actually went through?

The most honest way of allowing the user to feel ownership or his or her actions is to give them that visual cue that they are in the Multitasking stage, there are no running apps and I see that. Now I can tap out and return to the home screen. Automation has its boundaries, but this is still a user interface.


You still can't AirDrop simple things like pictures from iOS to OS X and vice versa.

You will never see this come to fruition for both technical and psychological reasons. Apple is not in the business of telling its users I'm sorry, what you did didn't work. That's the appeal here, everything is supposed to just work and work well. They are different frameworks and there are too many technical variables in filetypes and native ios apps, not to mention security concerns. If Apple ever wanted to make this functionality feasible they would have to put limits on what kind of files can be Airdropped, and psychologically that's disheartening to a user to hear. Imagine the frustrations when they cannot transfer a filetype, or they transfer a filetype and it doesn't open correctly. iOS will not do it, so Apple has to introduce a third-party reliance on covering this ground, like hey, Dropbox will you take care of all the stuff that iOS can't from OSX and store them in the cloud? Cross-platform sharing is dirty.