A rant on a flaw in iOS’ design

This post was written when I was a child, I’m only keeping it here for archival purposes. All of these words should be only taken in context.

So, as we all know iOS is this magical piece of software that powers the iPhone which tends to change everything. If you follow me on Twitter and Google+, you probably know I’m in the Android camp. I do have lots of issues with Android, but today I thought I would write a rant on iOS. My really big gripe with iOS is something that I see as a major flaw. It is application based instead of information based.

Now what do I mean by application based? To get information you have to open an app, the only weak attempt of Springboard showing you information is a badge on the app, and badges only show for certain things. So you know that something happened, you just don’t know what happened. The new notification center in iOS 5 does try to help that, but if you have lots of applications pushing to it, then you get notification spam, which is a completely different problem. Yes, you can limit the notifications you get from a specific app, but the normal user does not actively manage who and what notifies them. The best version of notifications that I have seen on any OS is Ubuntu, because you can sort through what type of notifications you want to see, they aren’t in the way, and it is clean.

Back to the main point though, as I can go on about notifications for hours. When you compare iOS to competing platforms like Windows Phone 7 and Android, you can see that there is on major difference in the UI. Windows Phone 7 is all about getting information without jumping from icon to icon and everything flows together. Android on the other hand has widgets on the lockscreen and homescreen. Speaking of Windows Phone 7, while it does save you some time by taking a glance and go homescreen, you lose out one the benefits of an application based UI. If I want to specifically see one feed (Facebook), in Windows Phone 7, you have to go the people hub on the homescreen. Then you have to swipe over to the feed view, and then you have to specify Facebook. In iOS you open the Facebook app and you’re done, that might not seem like big of an issue, but it’s the little things that counts. And my second issue is that you are overloading__ the user with information; metro is only text, and lots of it at that. I think there is a reason that users like a nice GUI with icons, it’s not text overload like a CLI is (to some of course, as many users love typing away).

Android has it’s fair way share of issues, and the only big gripe I can see relative to this is how it presents it’s information. You can have widgets, but not application badges. With Android being a mess of colors and different UIs and generally not consistent, that also causes for information to not be received as well as it can be. The latter of this _should _be changing with Ice Cream Sandwich, but for now, it’s still an issue.

To fix this issue in iOS though, it causes two things. First off, you need to add things like widgets to the system and allow more information to be shown on the icon for the app (like Windows Phone 7), that also applies to Android. Second off, you have to change developers way of thinking, Apple pushes for iOS apps, apps, apps, and more apps. And if you follow Apple’s API’s then it works fine with all the Apple apps and to an extent with other apps. But developers need to make their apps work seamlessly together, instead of each app doing different things, the functionality needs to blur slightly so it seems more cohesive.