Joe Pemberton

iPhone Home Screen (Still) Can’t Scale

The hub and spoke UI paradigm is a mobile classic (read: old and tired) and Apple, for all their industry leadership hasn’t escaped its limitations with the iPhone. Even with all the upcoming iPhone 3.0 features there’s nothing to help users with the cumbersome home screen that’s increasingly crowded with apps.

Recent statistics show the average iPhone user has downloaded about 40 iPhone apps from Apple’s App Store. Even if users rarely adopt the free apps they download (research by Pinch Media), they are still having to manage them. They’re likely dealing with 3 or more screens full of apps without any helpful way of sorting or grouping them.

The worst part is the way it leaves users to awkwardly do a long press to go into an edit mode and then sort icons by pushing the them to new positions or onto the next screen of apps. It’s frustrating to fat-finger your way around when a web or Mac/PC-based configuration tool would be so much better. Even the lo-fi, Chumby lets you configure your device via the web.

Check this piece at Stop the Page Flicking - Give us Folders

2 Responses to “iPhone Home Screen (Still) Can’t Scale”

  1. Joe Pembertonon 25 May 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Some responses from Tom Hume and AllAboutiPhone (@twhume and @allaboutiphone respectively) on Twitter disagree with my thoughts here.

    The flat home screen has merits. I prefer it over current iterations of Windows Mobile and Android, but regardless; the bigger problem is the management and organization of all those unwieldy icons.

    I don’t love folders, but did we really trade them for endless flicking?

    I’m interested in some of the Android homescreen hacks that are starting to emerge.

  2. [...] problem with app stores doesn’t stem Apple’s ridiculous application approval process, scalability problems, or mediocre social recommendation functionality? What if the real problem with app stores is what [...]

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