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iPad Drag and Drop
In recent months, many have called for a renewed emphasis on the iPad platform in the hopes that with further refinements it might become a replacement or worthy supplement to the OS X desktop paradigm. In his 2016 WWDC Wish List, Steve Troughton-Smith noted that one of the crucial features still missing is a system-wide drag and drop:
With the addition of split-screen multitasking, much has been said about drag & drop on iOS. It seems like an obvious thing to add, on the surface, but when you think it through there are a lot of ways it could be detrimental to the OS. Finding a way to enable drag & drop without screwing over all the existing gestures in the OS, whilst still making it faster than copy/paste - that’s not as easy as you think. Despite that, I do think it’s worth figuring out, and makes so much sense on a touchscreen with its direct manipulation model.
It has long been known that iOS features drag and drop functionality, notably on the home screen for app icon arrangement. This is ultimately about adjusting the interface.
But just the other day while adjusting the addresses in the iOS Mail app, I came across what might be the direction Apple takes for direct manipulation of content itself through drag and drop. If this interaction is expanded to the whole OS, it could be a huge boon for mobile productivity. As Troughton-Smith points out, it will have to be introduced thoughtfully.
Improving Control Center
I previously noted that it seemed like a severe oversight that the iOS Control Center didn't allow users access to many primary system toggles that were being introduced. This became significant for me with the introduction of Low Power Mode, which can be a real life-saver with a phone more than a few months into contract.
This past week, I was reminded of the mockup I drew several months back of an improved Control Center when I saw an excellent prototype made by Sam Beckett. Talk about high production value. Apple would be making a big mistake by not promptly snapping up Mr. Beckett.
While Beckett was quite thorough in his design, one element that he and Apple haven't addressed is creating an explicit delineation between the top row and the bottom row of Control Center buttons and icons.
As it stands today, the top row of circular buttons indicates a consistent pattern of displaying mode toggles for the operating system, whether it be for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Do Not Disturb etc. The bottom row has the traditional app icon mask, indicating that it is appropriate to display app shortcuts in that area. This pattern is largely followed except for the placement of the flashlight toggle.
While it would be one more glyph icon for designers to draw, in addition to the recommended eleven app icon sizes, the proliferation of third-party app shortcuts could prove useful.
All this attention being showed to Control Center reminds me of the jailbreak theming days when people used the tweak SBSettings to enable toggling of system settings.
Fences on Apple Watch
As users get considerably more apps on Apple Watch, it could be useful for Apple to include a Fences-like feature for grouping them. I drew this quick mockup to show how fence groups might work on a future version of Apple Watch
Behind the Scenes Icon Design
It's always a nice treat to get to see the evolution of icons and glyphs in app design.
The branding for Apple's operating systems over the years. This is what aesthetic degeneration looks like.