True, Apple has improved iPhone each year, both hardware and software. It’s faster, has better graphics and screen resolution, has a gargantuan amount of storage, a camera that rivals any point and shoot and some DSLR’s and every aspect about the iPhone has improved. Except this one.
A Button Is A Button
Today’s new iPhone models boast more speed, higher resolution everything, and so many small pixels on larger screens that you can’t even see them while reading. It’s lighter, faster, and gets better cell phone reception than earlier models.
Yes, after all those advances, today’s iPhone models cost less– but not much less- than the original model in 2007. What has not changed much at all is exactly why some technically minded individuals prefer Android to iPhone.
The app launcher. Look at the old and the new and what do you see? App icons. The old iPhone icons are glossy and rounded, and have a look of depth, while new iPhones have flatter icons, but it’s all icons.
We launch our iPhone apps the old fashioned way. A tap to an app icon, all neatly arranged in a grid, or stuffed into a folder which is also neatly arranged as a grid. Grid, grid, grid. Yes, we can customize which apps go where, but that’s about it. If it’s not an app icon, or a folder full of app icons, it’s not going on the iPhone’s screen.
Just like in 2007.
I once tried to put every app on the home screen. One screen, many folders, all full of apps. It’s actually not a bad way to navigate, even with dozens of apps, but now I’m down to three screens of apps; two for apps only, and one for everything else stuffed into folders.
On a grid of folders and apps.
This presents a number of navigation issues for which Apple does not seem to have a solution. The folders are the same size as the app icons, so the apps within a folder are even smaller and more difficult to recognize.
The advantage of Apple’s 2007 app icon arrangement is consistency. Hand an iPhone to a friend, family member, or co-worker to use for a moment, and if they’re an iPhone user, too, it won’t take long for them to find the app they need or to make a call. Not so for Android users whose phone home screens differ dramatically by manufacturer and even by cell phone company.
The iOS app launcher is tried and true and time honored, but there are other ways, and it would be a pleasant surprise if Apple allowed for that level of customization and personalization. Otherwise, we’re nearing the end of the iPhone’s first 10 years on planet earth and it still looks like, well, an iPhone.