It's time to change the grid of icons, Apple

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| April 4, 2014

With iOS 7, Apple changed quite a bit about their mobile platform. While they were busy changing things, though, they managed to keep quite a bit of the operating system the same, too. Apple, like many other companies have done in the past and will do in the future, made sure that while the changes were pronounced and obvious, that anyone who picked up an iPhone 5s, an iPhone 5c, or updated their older iOS-based device could still use their handset without issue. Obviously, not everyone was happy with the way Apple changed iOS, but that was always going to happen.

You can't make everyone happy.

I know more than a few iOS loyalists who feel like iOS 7 was the wrong kind of change. They're still using it, and I'm sure more than a few of them have grown to love the new/old platform, especially with the update to iOS 7.1 not too long ago, but they're not as big of fans of the change as they thought they would be.

But, who could blame them, or the others out there who might feel the same? Let's face it, the Rumor Mill was spitting out quite a bit of stuff when it comes to iOS 7, and what people should expect for changes. I would have loved to have seen quite a few of those rumored additions or changes to iOS, but I never honestly expected them. I always kind of figured Apple would play it safe with their update to iOS.

iOS 7 is a big departure from previous versions of the mobile platform, and that's something that iOS has been needing for quite some time. It's still the same old iOS in a lot of ways, though, especially in that it's still Apple's creation, and they're going to give you what you think you need and nothing more. iOS, based on a features set list, is still missing quite a few things that Google's Android boasts.

The truth is, I just want Apple to change one thing about iOS. It's something that I've never really had an issue with in the past, but I'm starting to feel the same way as a lot of other people. It's time for iOS to drop the "grid of icons" look, and start adding a few more options for the home screens.

It's almost silly, because even on Android a lot of my home screen design choices are icons, with folders changing things up. But, iOS has looked, at least at face value, the same for so long that I've just finally accepted I want it to look different. Do I want widgets? I'm not sure. Maybe not on the home screen, but in Notification Center would be interesting.

To change the home screen for iOS, though, might be something that never actually happens, simply because iOS is all about the apps you use. This is really the case on other platforms, too, but for iOS it's never been more obvious. The strength of the platform is its stability to run a wide range of applications, and to run them well, so you might only be looking at your home screen for a few seconds.

Dynamic badges, as you can see from the image above, would be a pretty cool idea, if we're going to admit that the row of icons aren't going anywhere. It would almost be a play on the Live Tiles in Windows Phone, and widgets in Android.

I know I'm probably wishing for the impossible here, but I want a change in iOS's grid of icons. And I know something has to be possible, to give it a new concept and design. Maybe this year's WWDC will have something that will surprise all of us. Or maybe not. I've got my fingers crossed, anyway.

Is the "grid of icons" something that's kept you from iOS right from the start, or do you prefer those instead of widgets or Live Tiles? Let me know!

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