1. RFMagician's Avatar
    Hey all. As I've been following all of the Smartphone Round Robin news, two of the biggest drawbacks (in my opinion) to the iPhone I've seen have been multitasking and widgets. I started thinking of how Apple might implement these two features while still maintaining the simplicity of the iPhone. I've borrowed a bit from WebOS on a couple ideas, namely the position of the app selection screen relative to the running apps screen as well as showing running apps with live thumbnails.

    Basically, as of now you can swipe from left to right between app pages on the Springboard. My idea would allow you to swipe up and down, two actions currently unused in the Springboard, to go to either the Dashboard, where widgets would be held, and the Appboard, where running apps are. From any screen you would be able to reach the other two depending on which direction you swipe. Running applications would be shown in live thumbnails similar to WebOS' card view, only in coverflow instead. Pics are attached showing the three different boards as well as a transition between the Springboard and the Appboard.

    Just an idea that's been rolling around in my head, let me know what you think!
    12-19-2009 01:17 PM
  2. Tramain's Avatar
    Great Idea! I love the widget screenshots
    12-19-2009 02:38 PM
  3. RFMagician's Avatar
    Great Idea! I love the widget screenshots
    Thanks, I basically just stole them from the Mac Dashboard :P

    I really hope this is an idea Apple implements. I love having them on my Mac, and if they stick with having them coded in HTML/Javascript etc., I think a lot more people would come and make some really neat widgets.
    12-19-2009 03:19 PM
  4. Tramain's Avatar
    Thanks, I basically just stole them from the Mac Dashboard :P

    I really hope this is an idea Apple implements. I love having them on my Mac, and if they stick with having them coded in HTML/Javascript etc., I think a lot more people would come and make some really neat widgets.
    The second screenshot with Google Search looks very nice, And the weather widgets would be awesome on the iPhone.
    12-19-2009 03:20 PM
  5. BuddhistGirafe's Avatar
    I really like your idea but for me personaly multitasking isn't a priortity at all. Just give me better app management. Folders perhaps. I like the idea of up and down swipes for something though. Maybe you could use them as sort of hotkeys for launching apps or something.

    Here's my idea what the new layout should be. One homescreen with a few apps. Phone mail SMS etc. Then each direction of swipe can be a hotkey of some form ( that's programable by the end user) and then you tap the home button a certain number of times for search iPod ect.
    12-20-2009 03:12 PM
  6. RFMagician's Avatar
    I really like your idea but for me personaly multitasking isn't a priortity at all. Just give me better app management. Folders perhaps. I like the idea of up and down swipes for something though. Maybe you could use them as sort of hotkeys for launching apps or something.
    I know it's not something everybody needs, and even for me personally it's not something I'd use 90% of the time I'm on my phone. However, what I think the real power of it is is allowing switching between a select group of apps quickly. I've got 6 homescreens right now, and sometimes it gets annoying having to hit close, swipe to another screen, open another app, do whatever, close, swipe back, reopen...With multitasking, you can use both apps quickly since there's less swiping and searching, and no added launch times. With apps like Pastebot, multitasking would be a real boon, not to mention music and nav apps.

    So, while I agree multitasking isn't a complete necessity, I think it would be a bad idea to just consider it a worthless feature. Plus, it may allow apps to work with other apps even better and give us new features we've never even considered.
    12-20-2009 03:51 PM
  7. BuddhistGirafe's Avatar
    I know it's not something everybody needs, and even for me personally it's not something I'd use 90% of the time I'm on my phone. However, what I think the real power of it is is allowing switching between a select group of apps quickly. I've got 6 homescreens right now, and sometimes it gets annoying having to hit close, swipe to another screen, open another app, do whatever, close, swipe back, reopen...With multitasking, you can use both apps quickly since there's less swiping and searching, and no added launch times. With apps like Pastebot, multitasking would be a real boon, not to mention music and nav apps.

    So, while I agree multitasking isn't a complete necessity, I think it would be a bad idea to just consider it a worthless feature. Plus, it may allow apps to work with other apps even better and give us new features we've never even considered.

    completely understand what you are saying. I would add that my idea of hotkey type swipes could work well for a favourites type of section, or recently used type of deal so you don't have to swipe through all your home screens.
    12-20-2009 04:55 PM
  8. flyingember's Avatar
    I really like your idea but for me personaly multitasking isn't a priortity at all.
    it already multitasks just fine. Just not background runs third party apps

    yes, there is a difference.

    People do not multitask. We single task. We want to rapidly switch between tasks/apps with a minimum of wait. The computer is what multitasks.
    Last edited by flyingember; 12-20-2009 at 11:20 PM.
    12-20-2009 11:18 PM
  9. flyingember's Avatar
    As far as this idea

    how will you manage the additional battery life and data usage? The dashboard on a mac has to load every single item whenever you load it. This uses bandwidth for every one every time

    plus, some of the ideas you showed are what small apps already do. It's
    nothing special. app vs widget is one of terminology, not some standard
    12-20-2009 11:30 PM
  10. RFMagician's Avatar
    As far as this idea

    how will you manage the additional battery life and data usage? The dashboard on a mac has to load every single item whenever you load it. This uses bandwidth for every one every time

    plus, some of the ideas you showed are what small apps already do. It's
    nothing special. app vs widget is one of terminology, not some standard
    I think battery life and data could be managed by having a dashboard settings page that can dictate refresh rate, perhaps on a per-app basis. So the weather app can be set to refresh hourly, maybe a twitter app every 15 minutes, however you want it. Or just have a global setting, to all refresh at once.

    The widgets I put on there are just ones I took from the OS X dashboard, I'm sure given the ability developers could come up with much better ideas. I have a friend with a Droid, and he has a few widgets I would find useful, including a panel for turning on and off things like bluetooth, wifi, airplane mode, etc. Currently it's kind of a pain going into settings > general > bluetooth everytime I want to turn it on, so that would be nice. His phone also makes it through the day fine with battery life, so I'm sure Apple can make it a viable option.

    And for me, the advantage of widgets vs. apps is being able to get a lot of small bits of info quickly. For instance, usually every morning, I check the weather, Woot, and my calendar. To do so means I have to open my weather app, load, close, open woot app, load, close, open calendar, load, close. With a dashboard, I can swipe to the page with those widgets, check all the info at once, and I'm done. It's nothing revolutionary, but I think a lot of people would find it to be a useful addition.
    12-21-2009 09:04 AM
  11. flyingember's Avatar
    His phone also makes it through the day fine with battery life, so I'm sure Apple can make it a viable option.
    A single example does not define every device.

    Quickly with a set refresh period? If what you want didn't refresh recently you'll be waiting for each mini app to get new data.
    12-21-2009 09:18 AM
  12. RFMagician's Avatar
    A single example does not define every device.

    Quickly with a set refresh period? If what you want didn't refresh recently you'll be waiting for each mini app to get new data.
    Ok, the Android platform, as well as WinMo, has widgets and I've not heard anything that suggests that battery life is substantially worse. Again, by having the option to turn the dashboard on and off, people who find it useful and don't mind the battery life hit can turn it on, others can turn it off, just like setting your email fetch rate or turning on push.

    As for the refresh, perhaps each widget can be manually refreshed by double tapping it, or a manual refresh button in the bottom corner.

    My main point in all of this is that I fully believe Apple can implement it in a way that makes it both useful and minimize any trade-offs to make it worth it. Most any new features are going to take more battery life, so why not give users the option to have them if they find them generally useful, again, like fetch frequency/push email, push notifications, bluetooth, wifi, location services, etc. All these give a battery life hit, but allow people to turn them off if they don't find them useful. I think a lot of people would find widgets useful, and I think developers could come up with some really interesting ideas.
    12-21-2009 09:43 AM
  13. OmariJames's Avatar
    Yes. I like it. Great idea. However, I rather have a " Recent App " selection like you would see on Macs when you press command and tab. I'm 98% sure Blackberries have the same feature. I don't necessarily need to see a preview of the application thats running.

    More and more applications are having a feature where when you close the application and you open it once again, it returns to where you left off.

    NYTimes
    Rolando ( 1 and 2 )
    DocsToGo
    EchoFon ( it holds on to the unsent tweet )
    Smiles Drop

    Are the few apps I own that allow that. That's a perfect way to in a way " multi-task ". I wish more apps would do this.
    12-22-2009 11:03 AM
  14. mrburns05's Avatar
    I honestly like the idea of up and down swipes for something.. Background tasking , like keeping FTP managers uploading or downloads downloading would be a nice addition to the OS.

    I personally see no need for widgets but that's just me :-)

    I would like something like SBSettings implemented into the OS directly from apple as it would surely be more iPhone like and elegantly done so to say.

    I suppose if you want all this stuff now just jailbreak,

    for widgets = SmartScreen
    for dashboard (sorta) = Orbit
    and of course the ever so usefull "SBSettings"

    All right there in cydia. :-P
    12-23-2009 03:57 PM
  15. Hack-My-i's Avatar
    that would be great
    12-23-2009 04:13 PM
  16. iGeorge's Avatar
    nice idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    01-07-2010 04:44 AM
  17. Lady Kaede's Avatar
    I am completely on the other side of this issue. On the iPhone, a widget is called an "app" - and I am with Jobs on the multitasking question: as long as phone, email, txt, and iPod multitask appropriately, I don't need anything else to do so, because right now if they did some un-Apple-controled prcess in the background would drain my battery when I wasn't looking and prevent me from calling 911 in a crisis, and I'd have to sue Apple.
    01-08-2010 12:59 PM
  18. Hack-My-i's Avatar
    ^umm...huh?
    01-08-2010 02:24 PM
  19. Caballera's Avatar
    My apologies if this has been said before, as I just read the initial post and not all the responses. While staring at your pictures, I was thinking it would be 'awesome' if the icons could move, kinda like how the Calendar icon changes days, if say the 'clock' icon showed the current time, as in the little 'hands' moved to the correct time. Or the Weather icon shows the current temp and 'weather effect' in your local area. Some animated icons.
    01-08-2010 02:46 PM
  20. drian's Avatar
    I am completely on the other side of this issue. On the iPhone, a widget is called an "app" - and I am with Jobs on the multitasking question: as long as phone, email, txt, and iPod multitask appropriately, I don't need anything else to do so, because right now if they did some un-Apple-controled prcess in the background would drain my battery when I wasn't looking and prevent me from calling 911 in a crisis, and I'd have to sue Apple.
    nobody would make you run any apps in the background


    it'd just be nice to have the option to, if you wanted to.
    01-08-2010 03:38 PM
  21. frog_IM's Avatar
    Not a huge fan of widgets, I don't use Dashboard on my MacBook either. But if it was implemented in this way, I'd be quite happy. I wouldn't want to see widgets taking over the homescreen as they do on Android.
    01-08-2010 09:12 PM
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