Check out this concept for a more useful iOS app switcher

By , Oct 9, 2012

Since Apple introduced multitasking in iOS 4, the app switcher has remained relatively the same. The jailbreak community, of course, has found dozens of uses for the pop-up app menu, but Apple, for the most part, has left it untouched.

With that in mind, you can understand why mockups that offer a new take on the app switcher create so much commotion. And such is the case with a concept that recently surfaced called “Rethinking the App Switcher for the iPhone 5…”

A forum member over at The Verge posted a series of mockups depicting a refreshed app switcher along with an explanation for why it should change. The concept involves swapping out app icons with live preview shots and other improvements.

 

The poster, Sentry, says that the problem with most app switcher concepts is that they stray too far away from the core simplicity which makes it so easy to use in the first place. So his concept keeps the slide-up switcher tray, and adds functionality.

For starters, he replaces the icons in the switcher of the most recently used apps with card-like snapshots. He doesn’t get too specific here, but you can imagine these snapshots almost serving a widget-like purpose, offering useful information at a glance.

The additions don’t stop there. The concept goes on to suggest that Apple could make use of the extra screen real estate on the iPhone 5 (and the iPad, while we’re at it) to make the media playback page more useful with larger controls, and album art.

But perhaps my favorite part of the concept is the toggles page, which makes settings toggles like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessible from the app switcher. It also has a toggle for 3G data (although I’d rather see one for LTE) and a display brightness slider.

Overall, I like the concept, and wouldn’t mind seeing Apple bite the entire thing in a future iOS update. But unfortunately I don’t see that happening. Luckily, I think that most of these features, if not all of them, can be added via various jailbreak tweaks.

What’s your take on the above concept?

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  • http://twitter.com/fisalcs فيصل المعارك

    Wow. amazing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/abhinandh.ajay Abhinandh Ajay

    That will be the next greatest jailbreak tweak

  • http://twitter.com/iMosa3da iMosa3da

    Really great concepts, thanks Cody.

  • http://twitter.com/Gilbarshlomo Gil bar-shlomo

    WOW
    I like

  • moustafa idris

    I would love to see it on a new jailbreak tweak ^_^.
    Or on a new ios6 update.
    And btw apple should release a new update for ios6 to fix some bugs.

    • http://twitter.com/bongojenga Marcel Herba

      I agree with you.

  • http://twitter.com/Bigodon Marcos Frazão

    not sure for iphone, but in ipad could be sexy

  • http://twitter.com/ZoltanTroll Colton

    I Think this is really good. Live view would be good seeing exactly what you were doing and whether or not you want to lose that, The music controls make perfect sense. and the toggles, Oh the toggles Need I say More?

  • Kurt

    too bad apple can’t think of this stuff. this is superior to what we have now. iOS is ok OS, but this could make it better. not great but better for sure!

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      apple is so damn boring now its not even funny.. when the showed eh iphone 5 with tat same boring grid of apps i was like boooooo

      • Kurt

        i wont buy an iphone again.

      • GNexusPhone5

        always found you guys circle jerking around here. low life?

      • Kurt

        you’re an idiot, probably an obama supporter…i’m not gay but if you want to bash gays go right ahead.

      • GNexusPhone5

        look who’s talking. low life

      • http://twitter.com/rud0lf77 Rudolf

        Who cares?

      • Kurt

        i do, mr. raindeer!

    • Jonathan

      Let’s be realistic, iOS has been the same thing since 2007!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Tate/100001331093009 Chris Tate

    I want it now

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    I hope we get a lot on the ios 7 update.

    • Erny Carrillo

      Seeing how much apple is updating, i doubt we see any real updates anytime soon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

    Only thing add a second row like switchy it’s so useful ! :D

  • a smit

    one word: multifl0w

  • jose castro

    meh

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    we already have options like this .. what we need is a dev to fix the tweak called back grounder that actually enabled the iPhone to do 100% true multi tasting..

    • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.soderholm Aaron Soderholm

      Backgrounder is a solution for 1% (if that) of users. iOS’s intelligent multi-tasking works very well in almost every situation and doesn’t have the side affect of draining the battery.

  • willie_walk

    I like it! Wish Apple would implement it or something similar in iOS.

  • http://twitter.com/Freducken Alfie

    All I want is a tweak/toggle to replace the volume slider in the multitasking window with the brightness slider. We already easy access to volume via the physical buttons. This is for iPhone, since iPad already includes both.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.soderholm Aaron Soderholm

      Agreed. Having the volume there is redundant. Even though I use auto-brightness there are times when it makes it too dark or bright for the current situation. Putting it in the tray makes so much more sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.soderholm Aaron Soderholm

    I don’t see why they shouldn’t change it. Most people I work with who have iDevices didn’t even know they could pull up the multi-tasking tray until I showed them. The average joe simply has no idea it exists anyway. If only power users are using it then make it more powerful!

    This concept is genius.

  • goofygreek

    they might not have made a nicer app switcher to preview apps because google may have it patented. on my s3, when i pull up my previous used apps, it shows a preview of what you were looking at in the app. and other than it being on the left side vs down at the bottom like the iphone, this tweak looks like it does the same thing.

  • Sentry

    Nice read! I’m glad so many are digging the idea. Hopefully there will be a JB tweak made for it no time! PS. Due to the feedback, i’ll be trying to post a video demonstration to show it off in action later today. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/LuanDaiCa Luan T Dinh

    This is by far one of the most simple yet greatest concepts I’ve seen in a while
    If this were to appear on an iOS update, I would be astonished

  • http://twitter.com/MoreThanMac Anthony

    This actually looks like apple designed it and it should 100% be implemented!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.matherly Jesse Matherly

    Finally an app switcher tweak I would be willing to pay for. PLEASE somebody make this.

    • Sentry

      It’s coming soon. :)

  • IllestName

    It’s out.