Rethinking the iPhone lockscreen

Brent Caswell has some interesting thoughts here.

  • So basically, he wants to get rid of the idea of the iOS lockscreen and turn it into an HTC/Android clone?

    I would love to have a few other doo-dads displayed on the lockscreen. But when you start adding interactivity to the lockscreen, it fails to be a “lockscreen.”

    Adding the current weather to a lockscreen seems stupid to me. Look out a damn window or open a door. All the other “heavy notifications” mentioned seem frivolous.

    I would hate to see iOS turn into a crapfest of notifications. That’s one of the reasons I bought an iPhone to begin with, and not an Android phone.

    • lucascott

      Agreed. I for one don’t like any of this. It’s a cluttered mess in my opinion. The reason for a lock screen is control and privacy. I don’t even have previews etc on my alerts, especially on the lock screen

      Some will say ‘folks should have options’ and okay sure, if you won’t to play that. But I say only if there is zero chance of any of this causing issues for anyone and if it is an option so I can not uses it. Otherwise let the 1% that think this kind of stuff is dandy jailbreak like they have been.

      • Agreed. The tech-savvy crowds that populate the comments on articles like this are far outweighed by iPhone owners who have a hard enough time switching between screens.

    • Cailean Babcock

      Not to mention the security issues presented by allowing access to an application which could potentially offer up private data to complete strangers. I like the swipe-able cards idea (including the weather forecast, because, you know, it tells you how the weather might change later on), but otherwise this wish list seems too specific to Brent Caswell’s personal echo chamber.

  • I have a question. When Josh Topolsky says he wants to see Apple make iOS more innovative, does he ever get more specific?

    • def4

      He means more like Android. The creative muscle is too atrophied in critics to come up with any useful suggestion.

  • Starting off with a four-point “general consensus” that only rings true for one or two of its points and using a quote of Marco Arment’s that was clearly aimed at Game Center, iCloud, and Apple’s other social/cloud services as if it were meant to be applied broadly to all of Apple products didn’t exactly get him off on the right foot, but I don’t mind the initial idea of “lockscreen cards”. I think his example of swiping to reveal the weather is rather elegant and would be something I’d welcome…assuming it could be done right.

    Unfortunately, all of the extra implementations details he provides seem convoluted and poorly thought out. Rearranging cards with only one per screen sounds tedious and frustrating if you have more than three. And he completely glosses over a LOT of very difficult problems, such as how iOS chooses which app “usurps” the home screen in specific situations. For instance, if I never reach my destination, does Maps stay stuck on the lockscreen until I clear the route? What if I prefer the current behavior of showing album art, since I only need to check Maps infrequently on long road trips, but like to see what I’m listening to pretty often?

    Simply opening the door for free-for-all customization is a lazy approach to solving the problem he identified with the lockscreen.

  • chjode

    There are Jailbreak options that for years have done much more than what Mr. Caswell is suggesting. I was using LockInfo almost three years ago to put additional notifications, appointments, and app-fed info on the lock screen. It worked great. Since then, IntelliscreenX, BiteSMS, and other tweaks have also added functionality to the lockscreen.

    That said, I think it’s high time for Apple to move beyond 2007 with the lock screen and iOS in general.

    • “That said, I think it’s high time for Apple to move beyond 2007 with the lock screen and iOS in general.” You’re right about this. I agree. While the evolutionary steps have been solid (remember when there was no cut-and-paste and you could only use Apple apps?), a quantum leap would be a great idea right now. Bear in mind that this takes time, however: My personal contacts at Apple were talking about iOS back in 1998 (not with that name, mind you). It might take more than 5 years to completely remake the OS that Samsung will be copying.

  • Not sure I want my phone to be in my pocket accidentally getting its lock screen cards rearranged, but other than that it’s an interesting group of ideas.

  • How does someone say it’s general consensus that iOS is boring, unconnected, inflexible and slow when there are literally hundreds of millions of devices sold in the last 5 years? Doesn’t “general consensus” mean “most people”? Or, at least “most people in this market”?

    B+ for interesting article. F for slant.

  • V900

    Oh no, you DON’T want other applications like Facebook or Google+ access to lock screen notifications! It’ll end like an ugly mess with 10+ notifications every time you turn on your phone, like on Android.

    The idea of “cards” or different information on the lock screen is pretty good. It would be nice to get weather info, for example, on the lock screen just by swiping left or right.

    As for configuring the grabber to different actions, in principle it’s a good idea, but the concept is flawed. Can you REALLY think of any other app besides the camera, where this would be a big deal? I really can’t think of any other activity than the camera where this could be useful, and where saving the two seconds it takes to open your phone is vital.

  • Looks like Android 4.2, at least the Cards do.

  • somerandomman

    Go Android woo hoo! falls