Two of the things Android has always done better than iOS are notifications and widgets. While iOS 5 finally introduced Android-style window-shade notifications, Apple’s mobile OS still hasn’t fully embraced widgets. In the meantime, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has resizable widgets and Microsoft has taken the widget concept and made them the entire basis of Windows Phone 8 with Live Tiles.
One Apple fan has taken inspiration from Android and Windows Phone 8 and created a concept video for how widgets could work on an iPhone. YouTube user maxrudberg, who also creates themes for Apple operating systems, created the video to show “how the iOS home screen could become more.” From his video description:
In this concept, an app icon can be resized from 1×1 to 2×2 or 4×2, similarly to how you would on Windows Phone 8. The increased size can house widget like functionality and provide easy access to core features of that particular app. For example, you could expand the Settings icon into a widget with a brightness slider, and quick toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Personal Hotspot and Do Not Disturb.
The newfound space could also be used to give a miniaturized window into the app, showing content already on the home screen. This could be useful for Phone, Messages or Mail. Instead of a glaring red badge, you’d be able to see the messages or calls directly on the home screen.
To launch the app, you can press the shrunken app icon in the lower left.
The expanded icons can be moved around like regular icons and placed in the manner you like. But for obvious reasons, you cannot place an expanded icon in the dock; it would just slide back onto the home screen.
One could imagine that this functionality would also be available to developers, who could include it for their apps.
This would rather nicely complement the existing feature set of iOS and make the home screen more engaging.
The iOS homescreen certainly could use some redecorating. Though the brand recognition of the iOS homescreen is something Apple is still enjoying, looking the same as it did in 2007 might not be the best strategy when potential customers see the functionality widgets bring to other mobile OS’. Just this week a new survey showed that iPhone loyalty is on the decline.