Apple Watch UI iPhone

When the Apple Watch was revealed, it displayed a fairly drastic UI change from the way a typical iPad or iPhone works. The UI showcased many app icons on screen and once, and they could be zoomed in and out via the watch’s digital crown.

That UI seems to fit in fairly well with the watch, given that device’s limitations on screen real estate. But how would a similar UI work on the iPhone? Would it even work at all?

Developer Lucas Menge helps to answer that question via an open source mockup showcasing the Apple Watch UI on his iPhone 5s. The result is a fairly eye-opening display that may convince some that the Apple Watch UI could indeed work on a large screen device. Have a look inside at the awesome video, and let us know what you think.

One of the key differences between this mockup and the Apple Watch UI is the presence of icon labels—something the Apple Watch UI is devoid of. Otherwise, you can use a two-finger pinch gesture to zoom out or zoom in, and use a single tap and drag gesture to peruse all of the app icons on the Home screen. Tapping an app icon will launch the respective app, and tapping in an area where there are no icons will zoom out and display all of your app icons.

This is obviously a huge departure from the way iOS works now. Since its inception, back when it was called iPhoneOS, Apple’s mobile operating system has always used a standardized row/grid layout for icons, with additional pages to store additional icons. It’s a very systematic approach, and some believe that it’s starting to get a bit stale.

Menge’s inspiration came from a post made by fellow Apple blogger Michael Steeber. Steeber’s original mockup can be seen here.

Do you think this would be a good direction for iOS to take in the future? It would certainly serve as an answer to those that state that iOS never changes.

Whatever your thoughts, be sure to watch the video; it’s seriously impressive stuff.

  • Dave

    That is awesome. Well done that guy

  • sadaN

    I haven’t read the article yet (I usually do before posting), so sorry if I’m repeating something…

    I suppose that could even go to the AppStore since apps are allowed to list other apps…

    • Jonathan

      The launching animation would be different though.

  • Tsunade Trill-0 San

    Round icons that just been cut to circles instead of redesigning the icon to fit the circle is just plainly ugly and lazy.

    • avd98

      Do it better then

    • Actually the icons that do work in the circle are the ones that are actually designed properly on the grid (Apple also provides) which has the circle inside their rounded rectangle. So well designed icons will not need any redesigning..

  • TonyHawkins

    The one main problem I would have with this layout (one that I wouldn’t have with an Apple Watch) is the fact that since the iPhone has a larger display, there are more icons necessary to fill in the screen real estate, which would mean it would look rather odd if you didn’t have enough icons on your home screen. This problem isn’t on the current home screen, and the Apple Watch screen is small enough to have that zoomed look with fewer icons. Other than that, this would actually be a cool idea, although it might not be as practical.

    • Burge

      If you go back tough the clip you will see that the icons are repeated. So even with a few apps it looks like you got loads of apps

      • Shining Jade

        Eh give it a few months they will have it fixed up maybe it will become the next UI replacement Pogo Plank was the first this could be the second to do something different with the springboard and UI

    • BoardDWorld

      Up until a set amount of apps it could also automatically set the default zoom depending on the amount of apps you have. Icons would then fill the screen.

    • Rupinder S

      I’m sure all of the apps Apple has shoved down our throats (iBooks, Podcasts, etc.) would be enough to make the stock home screen look decent.

    • Shining Jade

      yes it would O.O I want this tweak it is unique and different and exactly what I have been trying to produce on my ios though theres only a circle tweak nothing like this I love this !!!!

  • PSiCKø 魔怪

    I love it

  • avd98

    We need a tweak like that.

  • Just no! It’s a cluttered interface that might work on a watch due to it’s smaller screen real estate but there’s no need for such an interface on iOS devices. Pages and folders are so much more superior than just cluttering the entire screen with icons you need to actually look for as opposed to say knowing your favourite RSS feed app is on page one in your news folder…

    • BEDU

      Good Point, but still pretty cool.

  • iNeedANameHere

    Am I the only person who thinks this looks absolutely horrifying on a phone?

    • Jonathan


    • Carlos Gomes

      It looks cool, because it’s different and nice to interact with, but yes, it has no practical advantage.

    • M_thoroughbred

      No. I think that this looks cool but a mess when trying to find what you’re looking for.

    • Alberto Espinal


  • HouserM.D

    Any way someone can compile the source to a deb and add it to a repo

  • Stayo

    Can we run this on are phones?? Can he give a app download for us.

  • Darryl Barnes

    It looks cool. Maybe they should have a variant of that.

  • Beowulf

    iOS 8.1.1 is out
    don’t update unless the jailbreak teams say it’s safe 🙁

    • Jonathan

      Don’t see it.
      (on 8.1)

    • Siddharth Desai

      Troll in the dungeon.

  • Bob

    Beautiful UI animations.

  • Hari

    i hope they it as jailbreak tweak …

  • Buzz Lightyear

    Looks good. Would be nice to have the options to modify springboard, like launchers on android. They’ve done it with the keyboard, this shouldn’t be all that difficult.

  • Guytano Law

    Ill ask the stupid question; could this be made as a tweak for jailbroken phones? I would pay for the tweak. it seems like it could only get better. great job!

  • Brandon Piening

    I think it needs to be circular still and add a feature that the most used apps are in the centre going outwards, with option to ‘pin’ apps to a central area, home button goes to centre.

    IMO the triangular/diagonal layout doesn’t look as nice

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    why is this not a jailbreak tweak

  • Keabsy

    Is there any way I can try this out?

  • That’s interesting. When we first posted about a similar concept early September, most people hated it

    Fast forward to today, and most people love it.

    Now to be fair, that concept from last month wasn’t as smooth as this proof of concept.

    • Lucus Bendzsa

      Can’t wait for this to be a jailbreak tweak and use this forever. Do you think we will see one?

  • Fanboy 

    How about implementing something like Apex 2, which allows for better organization of apps, not just ugly folders.

  • This looks too messy for me personally, I like when things are organized IMO.

  • s0me

    Looks great ! I hope it will be released as a theme for all of the ios devices.

  • Alawyy96

    I think that the jailbraik community will soon work on it as a jailbraik tweek as soon as they receive the original UI from Apple watch when it’s released. Who knows, it could be even iOS 9 UI !!

  • WiseBlasian

    Who cares if its stale? I dont care about the fancy stuff. If its counter intuitive there is no point to it. Funny how windows pretty much used the same UI for almost 2 decades and nobody complained in fact people complained when it changed.

  • gittlopctbi

    It looks cool, but it is awful messy. That’s a lot of icons. I like the way it behaves, but again, just not organized enough. Maybe add folders or something. Still having all the icons just spread out makes for longer searching for what you want.

  • locomambo

    I Want it now for all my devices pretty nice and nice job

  • Ethan Humphrey

    Can you tell/show us how to do that?

  • Jeep204

    The interface is looks awesome until you realize there is no order and spend an hour looking for your app of choice…

  • ARX8

    I hope somebody makes a tweak to bring this to other iDevices

  • TeddyBearStand

    Can someone try finding that wallpaper he has?! :O

    • Guest

      Glad to help…. here you go 🙂

      • TeddyBearStand


    • John Monday

      Enjoy 🙂

      • TeddyBearStand

        Nothing 🙁

  • 12345678

    Future Dreamboard Theme right there…

  • Hassan

    I’m pretty sure that’s not an iPhone 5S
    What the hell Jeff! -_-

  • Jordan

    Apple needs to move to circular icons next major update they, looks soo much better!
    I use Ayeris and circulus together amd it just makes my ios so much nicer! I literally can’t stand the dullness of apples stock square apps it’s ugly.
    However, I hope this guy brings it too the jailbreak community. Would be fun to mess around with and possibly use. Change it up a bit

  • Jan Meier

    Does this work with a iOS 7 Jailbreak?

  • Shining Jade

    This UI is amazing with all the apps it be perfect for all devices ..

    when I finally decided to jumped to iOS 8.1 it had new icons like :

    Tips who uses these ????? waste of space )

    Podcasts (again who uses this buggy thing I have used other more stable apps in the past ..)

    iBooks (Come on!! now there just trying to shove there garbage apps at us .. I had the older iBooks remember the one that looked like a bookshelf… they got smart on people and now are forcing this crap one ..)

    newstand(already a norm for ios 7 and up still junk..)

    Just give me a special tweak to remove these crap apps replace with better and

    add this UI into the mix and wala nice looking device ..

    Watch iOS 9 takes this UI tweak that could become a full tweak and Apple will make it into

    a iOS 9 standard UI for all iOS devices lol … yup I can see this coming …

    Technically without jailbreak Apple have no new shiny stuff to put in there new iOS updates ..

    most of the “new” stuff is a jailbreak tweak reworked lol