First look: iOS 9's totally redesigned app switcher

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Apple's next-generation mobile operating system comes with many visual tweaks, but the all-new, simplified app switcher is perhaps the most radical change to the user interface.




The release of iOS 9 marks the third consecutive redesign for the app switcher, which first appeared --?in a much more limited fashion -?in iOS 4. iOS 7 brought app screenshots to the party, while iOS 8 added a list of frequent contacts, pressing the app switcher into double duty.

iOS 9 does away with almost every interface paradigm established for the app switcher in the five years since its introduction. It's still accessed by double-clicking the home button, but nearly everything else has changed.

The familiar row of icons at the bottom of the display is gone. Now located at the top, the icons are smaller and the app names are larger.





App screens are no longer shown in their entirety. The "deck of cards" metaphor adapted from webOS has been taken more literally in iOS 9, and apps are now arranged in a manner more reminiscent of Apple's Cover Flow, minus the unobstructed central item.

Perhaps the biggest change is that the home screen is now on the right side, rather than the left. Millions of frequent app switchers will have to rid themselves of that muscle memory.

A couple of other things do remain from the days of old: you can still force-quit apps by swiping up, and a single click on the home button will jump directly back to where you were when you called the switcher. Overall, iOS 9's new app switcher is a welcome change that seems much more in line with iOS's overall architecture than its immediate predecessor did.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,827member
    Looks Interesting, I think I may like it much better this way.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,102member
    That does look good. I don't think I ever used the contacts on top so no loss there.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I wonder if the screen shots will be more up to date? Right now often times the screen shot you see on in app switch mode is not current.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,871member
    I'm on the fence about this. I use both an iPhone and an iPad. The switcher works differently on each platform. I prefer the one on the iPad, as I can use four fingers to move back and forth between apps. I don't like the need to double click the home button to see the switcher on the phone though.

    With the larger phones, using four fingers is very easy, but does nothing. I'd like to see the four finger move on both devices.

    I'm also not sold on the overlapping screens, I don't see how that going to be better. You still need to swipe between them. And why move it from the bottom to the top? What does that accomplish? With the apps at the bottom, swiping an app away seems right when swiping up to an empty screen. But now, it seems as though we're going to be swiping into the the apps.

    For the first time, I'm in the beta program for iOS. When it comes in July (I hope), I'll try it on my iPad Air 2. I'm pretty hyped about split screen, and some other features, and I'll see if I prefer this or not. My iPhone is too critical to test on, so I'll wait.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I wonder if the screen shots will be more up to date? Right now often times the screen shot you see on in app switch mode is not current.

    That's a developer-side thing, if I remember well.
  • Reply 6 of 42

    Weirdly - why does this not scroll from right to left?...

     

    On any iDevice - you start at the first screen of apps, then then swipe from right to left to view the next page of apps and so on.

     

    So in the app switcher, if you're starting point is the springboard screen or an active app, shouldn't everything else be in line with the same paradigm?...

     

    Or are Apple saying that launched apps live to the left of the Springboard in 'reality'?...

  • Reply 7 of 42
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,709member

    I actually used the contacts on top more often than I thought I would. Probably will use the Launcher app more to call/message my favorites. I hope this does function better and is not just change for change's sake.

  • Reply 8 of 42
    aduzikaduzik Posts: 94member

    Yeah, it is mostly up to the developer. The OS takes a screenshot when you navigate away from the app. If there's enough memory and your app doesn't get killed it should basically pick up where it left off. But if it was killed, it's up to the developer to implement the app resume feature to configure the app as it was when you navigated away. A lot (probably most) apps don't really do this, even though it's not that hard to implement.

  • Reply 9 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

    I actually used the contacts on top more often than I thought I would. Probably will use the Launcher app more to call/message my favorites. I hope this does function better and is not just change for change's sake.


    I think the quick contacts got moved to the Search menu, but it hasn't been real clear how they work or if they are configurable.  I turned off the recent contacts in the app switcher, so it would instead always show my favorite contacts in a set order.  The recent list in the switcher just didn't seem that useful to me, as the most recent people would already be at the top of the list in Messages.  Perhaps a "Most Frequent" list would be better.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    mike1 wrote: »
    I actually used the contacts on top more often than I thought I would. Probably will use the Launcher app more to call/message my favorites. I hope this does function better and is not just change for change's sake.

    I see this change as bringing the app switcher closer to how the screen-over will act, and perhaps may actually be one and the same by the time iOS9 is out of beta.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    You can barely see the apps without scrolling through them. After watching that clip and opening the switcher on my phone, I prefer the iOS 8 implementation. This looks like a step backwards.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    homiehomie Posts: 44member
    Looks like a Palm Pre swipe up to close and scrolling side to side to me.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,137member
    Drop the screen capture. It gives a really poor impression, compared to the video.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Looks even better in the video than I thought it would. Makes good use of the screen size, and you can see a lot at once.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    cashxxcashxx Posts: 100member
    Personally I liked the iOS 8 way......showed the full screens of what was open. This new way looks nicer, but not a efficient.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 707member
    I 2nd melgross' comments. This is the kind of stuff that stumps me. On iOS devices, almost nothing is better on the top of the screen vs. the bottom. The app icons should anchor on the bottom and we should swipe up into nothing to quit the apps.

    I keep going on about mouse-miles but it seems like Apple could decrease the distance between interface elements on so many apps. On large screens, it's getting ridiculous. On iOS devices, our thumbs are great on the bottom third. Try to maximize on that idea. On OS X apps, avoid the lower right corner. Everywhere else is great.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Creek0512 View Post

     

    I think the quick contacts got moved to the Search menu, but it hasn't been real clear how they work or if they are configurable.  I turned off the recent contacts in the app switcher, so it would instead always show my favorite contacts in a set order.  The recent list in the switcher just didn't seem that useful to me, as the most recent people would already be at the top of the list in Messages.  Perhaps a "Most Frequent" list would be better.




    Interesting. How are you able to customize the App Switcher to turn off recent contacts and only show favorites?

  • Reply 18 of 42
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 887member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post



    You can barely see the apps without scrolling through them. After watching that clip and opening the switcher on my phone, I prefer the iOS 8 implementation. This looks like a step backwards.



    Agreed, and why kill the muscle memory by placing the Home screen on the right? I don't understand that.  I was cool with the scroll change a few years back in OS X but this makes no sense.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    ^^^ Good point... What happened to the frequent contacts? Unceremoniously eliminated? I was just getting used to them!
Sign In or Register to comment.