[Update] App Icon ‘Sheets’. An iOS UI suggestion for Widgets and Shortcuts

Click to Enlarge

UPDATE: Well it took a month+ after my original posting in early March, but looks like somebody has made this into a real product, and gone to town with the idea on the jailbroken iOS’ Cydia marketplace. Its called Velox and theyre charging for it.





A decent way to do Widgets and Shortcuts in iOS while maintaining that Apple ‘feel’

Any iOS app can have a Sheet slide open by a tap in its icon.
Click to enlarge — iOS App Icon Sheet UI suggestion. This Sheet can display Controls & shortcuts, App info and stats, App ‘About’ info, App Support/Review Links

I have no idea if this has been suggested before, but heres a comp I made showing a way to do Widgets in iOS with minimal changes to the basic iOS UI. (This was made quickly  so it doesn’t look as nice as it could. A lot of the elements are cut and paste)

The demo image attached here shows the settings app, which has always been an iOS pain-point. It desperately needs Android style  switches for turning phone antennae on-off quickly, unlike the current method which takes far too many clicks. Cydia jailbreak customizations often put these in the Notification center, but Apple clearly doesnt think its a good idea, or it would have been done by now.

The suggested Icon Sheet  slides out with a Double-tap on the Icon. It can be used by different apps in any way the Developer wants.

What the Sheet can show and do:

  • Calendar – ‘Today’ events, or quick view of a Month calendar
  • Weather – current weather for your location
  • Clock – Time in a ‘favorited’ Time-zone, like your home-city (right now you open Clock > World Clock > Scroll to city)
  • Clock – Quick timer (maybe using a slider for minutes)
  • Safari – iCloud tabs or Bookmarks – will save many clicks.
  • Camera – Shortcut to open App and start shooting Video (saves having wait for the app to open and only then slide switch for video mode)
  • Settings – Please can we have this? See image attached with this post
  • Twitter — Switch between multiple accounts, and open app.

What I think the advantages are:

  • Sheet is directly linked to the app icon – doesnt float around the homescreen like Android widgets, and dont need more UI for alignment or positioning
  • No clutter of the homescreen. I like the iOS Homescreen. Widgets as done on Android can be visually overwhelming on the home-screen, mis-aligned, often ugly and power hungry.
  • Is simple and easy to understand. Most widgets are over-kill of styles, sizes and info that is better presented by the full app.
  • Developer can let users choose what they want to show here, maybe.
  • Default sheet can be a Support link with error reporting — for those times when the app doesnt open at all.


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