How Changes in Mobile Apps Are Affecting User Experience
The latest iOS 7 upgrade on the iPhone has stirred up a lot of discussion from supporters in addition to people in opposition of the changes. For many, the hesitation lies in the mere look and feel of the upgrade. Like all technology, it is a matter of comfort, and many are not used to the changes in application development and how that affects our everyday use of our phones and mobile devices. But a closer look at how we use the applications and it becomes a little clearer what the upgrade really is about.
In a recent article on Tech Crunch, columnist Semil Shah walks through his experience with iOS 7 and shows how the new UI impacts our experience with apps. On the one hand, developers are working tirelessly to make apps more accessible and convenient. But on the other hand, developers outside of Apple like BlueRocket and others, only have so much to work with. In a nutshell, the article brings up many interesting observations about the way we interact and use mobile apps (for full details, you can read the article at Tech Crunch).
First, launching your apps is a lot easier with Siri—who can now open your apps—and with the new “swipe-down-to-search for apps” shift from previous operating systems.
Additionally, organizing your apps is less about where they are on your phone. With push notifications and folders, searching and entering your apps is more about how the notifications engage and “require me to do something inside the app.” Finally, the new operating system has made it so that some apps are hardly entered by the app itself, but can be launched from the control center which makes it easy to access many of the tools you commonly use.
At the same time however, Shah brings up some of the shortcomings of where we are at with technology and what could lie ahead. He (and I think most of us would too) wants to see a phone operating system that responds to his behavior, from frequency of using different apps to the ability to use multiple apps at any given time. How convenient would it be to have all of your most commonly used apps on your home screen, and all lesser used apps pushed onto the second page and so on. While a part of his wishlist, capabilities like these, he feels, are not far off (dependent on the control developers have over these possibilities).
While technology inches closer to a more unique user experience, there is a lot out there that seems pretty far off. What if certain apps popped up based on your location or schedule? What if you could operate certain apps directly from the lock screen? It seems much more convenient to be able to respond to a text from the lock screen without having to unlock the phone and launch the app. Of course, apps have come a long way in becoming more user-friendly, but they still have a ways to go on the development side.