This week, Apple shared a lot of new features for OSX and iOS. Some were great, others not so much. And if there’s one thing that we’re particularly worried about, it’s the ever-bloating Notification Center, Apple’s catch-all solution for the messages firing your way from half a dozen different services.
Joost van der Ree has at least one brilliant idea on how to fix the iPhone’s notification system. In the above video, disregard the earlier stuff and pay attention 35 seconds in. The idea you’re looking for is called Dynamic Badges.
His proposal is that by pulling on any icon that’s teasing messages--from Mail to iMessages--you could reveal the most recent, pending communications coming your way, all without leaving the home screen. “I never like it when I have a badge count on my icons when I don’t know what it’s for,” van der Ree explains on his blog. “It requires me to open the app to check it.” I agree. There’s little worse than receiving two iMessages from different people, and having to figure that out by opening the app and tapping one conversation at a time.
Dynamic Badges offers a solution more elegant than the Notification Center--I can just check the current messages from the app I care about--that doesn’t punish the user by throwing them into an app just for checking what’s likely a single line of information. Aesthetically, Apple could take this sort of idea and use the same animations we see in how they extend folders in iOS, revealing more apps on the main screen. It’s one small step to make iOS a mature multitasking system, rather than a single serving app experience.
Because while I can’t speak for everyone here, double clicking the home button every time I want to check some granular piece of information in an app is getting a bit unwieldy.
[Hat tip: fwd]