Apple execs say iPadOS 15 helps users to multitask with UI changes

Posted:
in iPad edited June 15
The multitasking changes to iPadOS 15 made it easier for users to understand they could multitask in the first place, a post-WWDC interview with Apple VP of worldwide product marketing Bob Borchers and VP of intelligent system experience Sebastien Marineau-Mes reveals.




Following the keynote of WWDC, executives at Apple surface in extensive interviews to promote the changes launched at the developer conference. In one interview with Borchers and Marineau-Mes focusing on iPadOS 15, the executives cover the multitasking alterations and keyboard shortcuts, as well as other alterations.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Borchers agrees with the sentiment that there was a much-needed change in the way users interacted with multitasking features, referred to as spatial gymnastics.

"The way that we think about this is that the step forward and multitasking makes it easier discover, easier to use even more powerful," said Borchers. "And, while pros I think were the ones who were using multitasking in the past, we really want to take it more broadly because we think there's applicability to many, many folks."

Marineau-Mes jumped in to say one of the goals was to make the spatial model more explicit. "For example, if you've got a split view, and you're replacing one of the windows, we kind of open the curtain and tuck the other app to the side, you can see it -- it's not a hidden mental model, it's one that's very explicit," he said.

As part of the changes this time, affordances to provide users with the knowledge multitasking was an option at all was required. Consistency was a key metric, with the same Slide Over appearance in all views, for example.

"I think we believe strongly in building a mental model where people know where things are [on iPad]," said Marineau-Mes. "And I think you're right when it comes persistence I think it also applies to, for example, home screen. People have a very strong mental model of where things are in the home screen as well as all of the apps that they've configured. And so we try to maintain a well maintained that mental model, and also allow people to reorganize again in the switcher."

Another goal for iPadOS 15 was to make everything navigable from a keyboard, Marineau-Mes added. "All of the new multitasking affordances and features, you can do through the keyboard shortcuts."

He continues "You've got the new keyboard shortcut menu bar where you can see all the shortcuts that are available. It's great for discoverability. You can search them and we even, you know, and this is a subtle point, but we even made a very conscious effort to rationalize the shortcuts across Mac and iPadOS."

Boucher and Marineau-Mes also touched upon the general discoverability of features, Universal Control, and how the Quick Note feature "permeates the system and is easily accessible from everywhere."

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alexonline
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 867member
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    darkvaderwilliamlondonotrfanmangakattenelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    neilmneilm Posts: 894member
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    williamlondonrobin huberretrogustodewme
  • Reply 3 of 21
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 540member
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 

    Apple abandoned intuitive a long time ago.

    In the real world, lots of people still don't understand when they should click and when they should double click.  They don't know they can hit return instead of mousing to the ok button in a password dialog.  And those people aren't all drooling morons, they're successful business owners, they're lawyers, they're doctors, they're college professors.  

    No, Apple has now decided that the water buffalo lodge secret handshake is somehow a good UI.  Most users will never even attempt it.
    williamlondonretrogustouraharaelijahg
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Dougie.SDougie.S Posts: 27member
    referred to as spatial gymnastics.

    Spatial is Apple’s word of the year, isn’t it? 😂

    williamlondonmobird
  • Reply 5 of 21
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,464member
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    Amen to that—thought it was just me. I can’t do a leisurely scroll though my AppleNews+ feed without inadvertently invoking pop-ups, slide-ins, and other annoyances that defy my efforts to dismiss them. I have to quit the app sometimes in order to get rid of them. At very least they could put a little X in the corner to dismiss. Need a “classic mode” for those who like unitasking. 
    williamlondonotrfanretrogustogregoriusm
  • Reply 6 of 21
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    In installed the beta of iPadOS 15 and I find the multitasking to be fare more intuitive than in previous generations. I really don’t remember the demo though so It maybe I’m missing something and it’s more complicated that I think it is. I’ll have to rewatch it. 
  • Reply 7 of 21
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,497member
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    That's because Apple relied far too much on gestures to get a task done which were confusing for the average user to discover.  More reliance on visible UI affordances that guide the user is a better way to go and it seems from the demo they've taken a step in the right direction.
    williamlondonalexonlineelijahgStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    otrfanotrfan Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    I like my applications arranged alphabetically but the developer beta is imposing Apple's idea of how they should be arranged even after using the Reset>Home Screen command. Are we now expected to rearrange our apps the old, tedious, error-prone, manual method? That STINKS!
  • Reply 9 of 21
    thttht Posts: 3,981member
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    Amen to that—thought it was just me. I can’t do a leisurely scroll though my AppleNews+ feed without inadvertently invoking pop-ups, slide-ins, and other annoyances that defy my efforts to dismiss them. I have to quit the app sometimes in order to get rid of them. At very least they could put a little X in the corner to dismiss. Need a “classic mode” for those who like unitasking. 
    Settings --> Home Screen & Dock --> Multitasking 

    Two different settings: Allow Multiple Apps and Gestures. Just turn them off.
    williamlondonapplguyalexonlineneilmrobin huberStrangeDayskiltedgreenfastasleepFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    thttht Posts: 3,981member
    darkvader said:
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    Apple abandoned intuitive a long time ago.

    In the real world, lots of people still don't understand when they should click and when they should double click.  They don't know they can hit return instead of mousing to the ok button in a password dialog.  And those people aren't all drooling morons, they're successful business owners, they're lawyers, they're doctors, they're college professors.  

    No, Apple has now decided that the water buffalo lodge secret handshake is somehow a good UI.  Most users will never even attempt it.
    There's always opposite sides of the spectrum. Some users want the whole deal with iPads: arbitrary and overlapping app views, unlimited background tasking, full access to the Unix subsystem, virtual machines, turning on the page file, extended display support so on and so forth.

    Apple's job is to keep it straightforward for novice users yet have the system allow complexity as a user's expertise grows. Tough job. They have not abandoned any principles. Intuitive as a word describing easy to use UI isn't really appropriate imo. There isn't anything instinctive with computers. Id, there is nothing intuitive about it. It's all learned behaviors. They need to strike a balance for the users, and they have been doing that, and with iPad, they definitely have been keeping it on simpler or limited side of the spectrum. If I would criticize them for something, it's they aren't using the advertising power to educate their buyers on how to use their hardware. They really need to run commercials and advertisements that just show people how to use the UI.

    I don't think there is a way around it. To enable people to do more and more complex things, there has to be knowledge imparted on those who don't have the time or don't want to learn how to use things. I'm not talking about people as in you or an individual, but the mass market of hundreds of millions of users and potential buyers. This is true of every single machine on the mass market. Microwave? People probably only know how to use 1% of the functions. Toaster oven? 5%? People probably don't even bother to change the temperature from out of the box settings on their refrigerators.

    The answer isn't to limit the functionality. It's to design the UI to scale with a user's expertise, and to educate users so they can grow their expertise. Apple's done pretty good at the former imo, with them definitely leaning towards keeping complex things of the iPad. They really have done much education on how to use their devices since the iPhone introduction.
    netroxStrangeDaysFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,028member
    Actually, that is something that could help me because I never remember that it can multitask. I always use hand swipe to get to other apps forgetting that I can view two apps at once. A visual control will benefit me. The current implementation is just terrible but the new one I saw seems much more intuitive. 


    alexonlinewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    Then why don't you turn it off? 🤨
    alexonlineStrangeDaysfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    mike54mike54 Posts: 442member
    All this multitasking is convoluted mess resulting from being shoe-horned into an OS that clearly wasn't designed for it, and it shows.

    iPad needs dual boot, macOS and iPadOS.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgwilliamlondondstrauss
  • Reply 14 of 21
    alexonlinealexonline Posts: 241member
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    You must have been watching a different demo to me. I thought the news system is fantastic. I have iOS 15 dev beta installed, and it rocks. 
    williamlondonStrangeDaysfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,232member
    tht said:
    darkvader said:
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    Apple abandoned intuitive a long time ago.

    In the real world, lots of people still don't understand when they should click and when they should double click.  They don't know they can hit return instead of mousing to the ok button in a password dialog.  And those people aren't all drooling morons, they're successful business owners, they're lawyers, they're doctors, they're college professors.  

    No, Apple has now decided that the water buffalo lodge secret handshake is somehow a good UI.  Most users will never even attempt it.
    There's always opposite sides of the spectrum. Some users want the whole deal with iPads: arbitrary and overlapping app views, unlimited background tasking, full access to the Unix subsystem, virtual machines, turning on the page file, extended display support so on and so forth.
    Then those users should get an iPad Pro, and non-pro users should get an iPad, with an OS for pro users (multitasking, UNIX subsystem etc) and an OS for non-pros, respectively. But as is, Apple is trying to shoehorn too many things into the OS to make it "pro" whilst making all apps full screen and thus missing some kind of always visible system-wide UI features (like the macOS menu bar). If there is a button to press to initiate the app switcher, rather than yet another slide-in gesture, it's very unlikely to be accidentally triggered, and if it is, it is obvious - intuitive - what you've done to reach that feature. Multi finger swipes and slide-ins couldn't be less intuitive. At least iOS has a small visible hint for its slide-ins.

    All these inconsistent features make the whole thing a bit of a kludge, and make it just as frustrating as using a desktop OS on a tablet.
    edited June 14
  • Reply 16 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,405member
    Another goal for iPadOS 15 was to make everything navigable from a keyboard, Marineau-Mes added. "All of the new multitasking affordances and features, you can do through the keyboard shortcuts." 

    He continues "You've got the new keyboard shortcut menu bar where you can see all the shortcuts that are available. It's great for discoverability. You can search them and we even, you know, and this is a subtle point, but we even made a very conscious effort to rationalize the shortcuts across Mac and iPadOS."
    This is great. I don't always use my keyboard w/ my iPad, but when I do I don't want to have to reach up to touch the screen. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,464member
    tht said:
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    Amen to that—thought it was just me. I can’t do a leisurely scroll though my AppleNews+ feed without inadvertently invoking pop-ups, slide-ins, and other annoyances that defy my efforts to dismiss them. I have to quit the app sometimes in order to get rid of them. At very least they could put a little X in the corner to dismiss. Need a “classic mode” for those who like unitasking. 
    Settings --> Home Screen & Dock --> Multitasking 

    Two different settings: Allow Multiple Apps and Gestures. Just turn them off.
    Actually, I did that and it’s better. But there is still the irritation of two separate windows (one for the story and another for actions) popping up if my finger tip lingers a bit too long between scrolls. Maybe a double tap to invoke that would help. 
  • Reply 18 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,405member
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. 
    Good thing we don't judge actually using products from brief clips of demos. That being said, I thought the WWDC demo was much improved, as it makes it easy to add apps to a split view.
    darkvader said:
    When I saw the multitasking demo, it seemed complicated and not at all intuitive. I would not be able to repeat what I saw without a lot of experimentation. I think much of the success of Apple products has come from their ability to make things that work the way you’d expect them to, and knowing when less is more in terms of functionality. Simple elegance. I recognize the desire to add functionality to make the products more powerful/useful, and I know it gets progressively more difficult to add functionality without sacrificing ease of use, but that’s the genius that has so often distinguished Apple from their competitors (until they all copied it, and eventually we all accepted the solution to the problem as obvious). 
    Apple abandoned intuitive a long time ago.

    In the real world, lots of people still don't understand when they should click and when they should double click.  They don't know they can hit return instead of mousing to the ok button in a password dialog.  And those people aren't all drooling morons, they're successful business owners, they're lawyers, they're doctors, they're college professors.  

    No, Apple has now decided that the water buffalo lodge secret handshake is somehow a good UI.  Most users will never even attempt it.
    Ah, the "Things used to be better!" trope. Yeah and things used to be much, much less capable. Do you want to go back to the original Macintosh? iPhone OS? The first iPad? Not me, I like the added functionality. Thankfully, not every user has to be a power user or use every feature.

    Also, Apple isn't responsible for the industry-wide issue of not understanding the difference between click & double-click.
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it
    Thankfully, you can. You never checked the settings or searched for this? I turned it off for users like my mother, she's not a power user and doesn't need them.
    mike54 said:
    All this multitasking is convoluted mess resulting from being shoe-horned into an OS that clearly wasn't designed for it, and it shows.

    iPad needs dual boot, macOS and iPadOS.
    Nah, it really isn't that complicated. Split screen is easy to understand, just like on Goldeneye and Mario Cart. The hardest part was getting apps into it, and it looks like they've made this easier.
    edited June 14 williamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    apmillerapmiller Posts: 35member
    Throughout this ongoing debate here and elsewhere, I've been thinking about the "Finder" on the Mac, and how it's unnecessary on the iPad (& iPhone), making it simpler to use for novices. It often flummoxes novices or Windows users when confronted with a Mac for the first time (due to how the menus of the application you're using switch to the Finder's menus if you accidentally click on the desktop, for example). MS Windows, as with iOS, manages to forgo the need for a Finder (&, in the case of iOS, a Menu bar for that matter). I wonder if we'll ever see it disappear on the Mac? (or if Apple's ever experimented with that?) It's a long time hold over from the very first Mac (& before?). It's actually quite a stark difference (& limitation) between the two platforms (MacOS and iOS) that no iOS Apps absolutely need or use a Menu bar. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    thttht Posts: 3,981member
    tht said:
    neilm said:
    I wish multitasking on my iPad Pro could be turned off. I’ve never once wanted it —have a Mac for that —but every now and again I fat finger something and it gets accidentally invoked in the most annoying fashion. The worst is split-screening Safari, which completely screws up whatever I was doing.
    Amen to that—thought it was just me. I can’t do a leisurely scroll though my AppleNews+ feed without inadvertently invoking pop-ups, slide-ins, and other annoyances that defy my efforts to dismiss them. I have to quit the app sometimes in order to get rid of them. At very least they could put a little X in the corner to dismiss. Need a “classic mode” for those who like unitasking. 
    Settings --> Home Screen & Dock --> Multitasking 

    Two different settings: Allow Multiple Apps and Gestures. Just turn them off.
    Actually, I did that and it’s better. But there is still the irritation of two separate windows (one for the story and another for actions) popping up if my finger tip lingers a bit too long between scrolls. Maybe a double tap to invoke that would help. 
    Yes that can get irritating. If you don't know, you can dismiss the multi-app view action. Don't think of the multi-view UI as a gesture UI. It's a drag-n-drop UI, and where you drop will execute a particular action. You are not entering a gesture, and your input is not done until your finger is lifted.

    If your finger has lingered on a hot link, and it has popped into a mini-view (or thumbnail view), and you lift your finger of the mini-view while close fo the edge of the display, it will put it into a Slide Over view or a Split View depending on close to the edge your finger got. If you see the mini-view pop up beneath your finger, you can drag it towards the center of the screen. The mini-view will turn into a box of the text of the hot link. Once you see that, that means cancel the action and you can lift year finger.

    The app switcher is a drag-n-drop UI where you are dragging an app to hot zones. The app switcher itself is basically an object that is being selected (lifted), dragged to a hot zone, released (lifting your finger), and the hot zone will determine what app switching action is being done. When sliding from the bottom edge up, what you are doing isn't entering a gesture, but lifting the app switcher, and depending on where you lift your finger, will execute an action: 1) first inch is for the dock, 2) first inch or so and slide right and left goes to the last app, 3) slide up to the center of the screen is the thumbnail view, 4) slide all the way to near the top is going to home screen, and 5) going back to the bottom edge cancels.

    I think what would prevent the accidental "long press and slide into Split View or Slide Over" actions is to move the hot zones towards the top edge. Make it so the user has to drag a long way to instantiate an app switcher action. The iOS 15 UI changes won't prevent this accidental input I think as it has preserved the drag-n-drop app switching actions, I think.
    watto_cobra
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