High Time for A New iOS Home Screen

Remember when Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone back in 2007? Everyone looked on curiously. The shiny “slide to unlock.” The clown fish lock screen wallpaper. The squarish colorful icons. Soon enough, people were busy replicating the icons and interface on their Windows Mobile and Palm.

Apple even went as far as sending legal warnings to those who made iPhone skins for other mobile platforms. Bloggers who merely linked to these skins on their blogs are not spared either.

iPhone 2G and iPhone 4

More than four years and three newer iPhone models later, the interface still looks pretty much the same. The amazement is no longer there. The lock screen remains the same, with nothing but time and date, while the home screens are filled with only icons, and more icons. Sure, we can now customize the home screen with custom wallpapers. Big deal.

The fact that the iPad is featuring the exact same interface is not helping either. While lacking of native apps, Android Honeycomb tablets have a highly customizable home screen just like its smartphone counterpart. Why not put the huge screen real estate the iPad has to good use?

It wouldn’t hurt to be able to glance through all your appointments, to-dos, emails and news feed without opening a single app. Sure, having all these widgets running will not give the maximum possible battery life, but we are all not that stupid. We know how to make a compromise.

This, Apple, is not customization. This is.

After four years of the same boring home screen interface, it’s high time for Apple to introduce a major overhaul. Rumors have it that Apple will include home screen widgets in iOS 5. But Apple being Apple, no one will know for sure what’s in the box until they’re officially announced.

Everything will be unveiled two months later in WWDC2011, but I wouldn’t have too much hope. Android users can have all the bragging rights till then.

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