Does the Home screen need updating in iOS 6? [Poll]

We'll keep this one short but sweet -- Does the Home screen need updating in iOS 6? Rene laid out a lot of the pros and cons in his iOS 6 Home screen article a couple of days ago, and we discussed it in depth on the iPhone & iPad Live podcast last night. Hundreds of millions of users already know how to use the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad Home screen, and that's a huge barrier to change. Maybe not to geeks, but certainly to mainstream users.

It has the fast app switcher, it has folders, it has notification center, it has Siri, but at its core it's still an app switcher, same as it's been since 2007 and the same as my Handspring was over a decade ago. It's a classic, but as much as everyone loves the classics, sometimes we want something new.

So what shall it be, iMore nation? Does the Home screen need a complete redesign to compete with the likes of Windows Phone, webOS, and BlackBerry 10? Does it simply need some widgets to keep pace with Android? Or does it really need nothing at all? Vote in the poll up top and let us know your more detailed thoughts in our iOS 6 Forum!

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Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

Does the Home screen need updating in iOS 6? [Poll]


Apple needs to really step up now. The fact that iOS looks the same as ios 1.0 is pretty damn sad considering they've had 5 years to make far better improvements. The iPhone is going the direction RIM went and look what happened to them.

Well, kind of.
iOS 5 definately feels limited and dated, much like BBOS 6 did. Unlike RIM, however, they still have a great ecosystem and solid hardware. Also they don't have hoards of people whose only experience with iOS is a corporate device that is so locked down it barely qualifies as a smartphone.
So Apple has a lot more room for error than RIM ever did, but things can change pretty quickly so they can't remain too arrogant.

I think a redesign is due. However, I don't think it'll be with iOS 6. Apple's gotten into the habit of getting hopes high only to make minor revisions. The new phone's tagline may as well be, "This changes everything... Slightly... Again."

needs live icons, like calendar, clock, maps, browser icon,mail all should have some ui flash to it, something that says future
cydia allowed for live clock

At least some more swiping. Look at Windows Phone or the new RIM OS. Or even the new Spotify iPad app!

The same old homescreen for five years is boring...I do like customising my phone way I like. So Apple should redesign a better one each year...

I'd like to see lockscreen similar to IntelliScreenX or Lockinfo. This is primary reason I jailbreak. I can't go without one of these programs. So far IntelliScreenX has been the best for my needs. Apple fell short when previewing calendar appointments on lockscreen. Thank God for the jailbreak community. There is defintely room for improvement on the notification screen and themes area. It has taken apple quite sometime just to allow users to customize alerts and such, and the demand was there. Hopefully they keep monitoring the jailbreak tweaks out there and learn from them and quit being so controlling about some of the options users want to have.

I would love to see some improvements to the home screen as well I like the improvements that came with IOS 4-5 but they need to do something different with the home screen but I'm not sure what they can't do that won't get them sued by the competition. If they add widgets here comes Android, if they add something like live tiles here comes Windows, BUT if they change it to much then they will confuse some of the older users who like the simplicity they way the home screen is setup now.

I would love to see Apple implement this functionality - a 4x1 live widget that has four apps as a part of it's live can swipe between the four apps to see the live information then tap it to select it. In addition, you can set it up to show all four apps live information and can select it's corresponding 1x1 spot to launch the app.
I think this would be slick. It gives you both choices (live tile and widgets) but it's not locked to one has four that you can toggle between or use together.

To clarify, the 'ability to see all four' was all four at once, where you can tap on the 1x1 spot for that specific app to launch it. So it's either 'swipe to see each separately and tapping to launch that app' or 'tap on the one 1x1 spot to launch that app' when you see all four at once on the 4x1 live tile/widget.

I don't want change for the sake of change, just because what was groundbreaking 5 years ago is now considered "boring." I (try to) rely on my iPhone to function as a PDA in addition to a phone and iPod. In many ways, my old Palm Centro is still a far better PDA because it had a home screen that displayed the next upcoming appointments and due tasks. Apple's Notification Center can't replace this because it's notification-based, not item-based. I don't want or need "widgets." I just want a configurable list of appointments, tasks and unread emails, just like the Centro and other Palm Treo models had. And I don't want to jailbreak (my company won't allow jail breaking on devices that connect to our network) or use an app (which requires an extra tap and won't have native, deep access to calendar/tasks/contact information.) This is not complicated, Apple.

Leave the home screen, add in some subtle goodies but really make visual changes. Like moving wall paper, allowing people to download gifs. Really cut the cord with the music app and allow on device syncing of all music even music from another app. Make the status bar more interesting by showing you it has an alert! Make FaceTime over 3G, allow profiles, Bluetooth support, Bluetooth keyboard better support, landscape home screen, I think apple hates landscape I mean look at their pages app doesn't even have a way to make a document from landscape mode. Phone and SMS blocker

Complete redesign and they need a better multitasking interface. I'm sick of that double tap home screen crap

Widgets on lock screen like weather and a rss feed for twitter Facebook and news. I would also like to see live wallpaper without the need for jailbreak.

I'm good with the Home screen as is, but I would be very happy to have the Lock screen with user-tweakable 'Today' settings.
I guess they're all called Widgets these days, but a Today screen has been a feature of devices since original Palm, Mobile Windows and Blackberry days and offers - at a glimpse and without activating the device - such features as calendar events, due tasks, recent emails, etc.
Apple's Notifications simply doesn't cut it.

The homescreen or lockscreen could use some refreshing but is iMore really asking the right question? I'm thinking Apple needs a new UI.
If they eliminate the home button, this forces them to go to another UI. I want to be able to organize apps better, search faster, etc. Swiping pages of apps gets old.
It's about making things fun to use with some eye candy thrown in. WebOS was fun to use in part because you could play around with cards and swoosh them away. The UI was gesture based. It was visual multitasking.
Tapping on a home button isn't fun.

A redesigned UI is defnitely needed. I have owned an iPhone since the 3gS and now have a 4S. I also own an Android phone and have friends with the new Windows phone. These incremental upgrades by Apple are going to make them fall into the same outcome as RIM, as stated by someone earlier. People are going to get tired of the same ol same ol thing. I can customize my Android phone to no end and it fits my life the way I want it. Some people do not like widgets and other offerings by other UI's because they might drain battery. That is no excuse. You have the option to use them or no use them. Apple is supposed to be a revolutionary company. If Motorola was able to fit a 3300 battery into a Razr then why can't Apple top that? Look at some of the things Samsung just announced yesterday. Some of that stuff is cool. Look at the side by side comparisons some sites have shown where they have all the phones on a table side by side. The iPhone looks like a toy compared to the Androids, Windows phones and the new Blackberry. Its time for change or they will lose the battle. I am not an Apple hater. As stated before, I own one and have for a long time. People say that it will screw up the mainstream users. Thats why there is choice. You don't have to update the 4S to the new ios6 and keep it on ios5. You dont have to get the iPhone 5 with a bigger screen. The specs on the 4S are still relevent and should last you a few years. Its about choice and keeping things fresh and beating your competition, while keeping the users needs in mind. Apple should know better. It's like comparing them to the Chicago Cubs. Keep putting the same team on the field and not care cause win or lose they will always pack the stadium.

To be fair, the iPhone has spent most of it's life looking like a toy compared to other smartphones. It's only recently that it has been functional enough to enter the corporate workspace.
This used to work fine for Apple because the consumer market is what drove them. However more and more businesses are allowing people to bring their own mobile device. Apple now needs to keep up in both areas to remain competitive.

I predict no change in iOS 6. They may add some options to the notification center, but that will be all.

Don't understand you guys, why don't you stick to Android for your phone needs and Apple for your ipad needs? Get the best of both worlds like me. Android is far superior when it comes to mobile phones. And with the release of S3, there is no reason not to get it.

I can see a reason: I don't wanna bring a 640" movie screen around.
I have a flat screen for that. Doesn't even fit my pocket. I don't wanna buy a truck to bring my mobile around.
It is supposed to be "mobile" right?

Multi touch was built into the first iPhone operating system. I don't think "three finger swipe" or "four finger pinch" is going to go over too well on the iPhone; it's too small. You aren't one of those boobs thinking only of the iPad, are you?

OFC I am talking about multi-touch gestures on the iPhone.
I see the small screen point, but still they can make it work. 4-fingers swipe is not the only possibility, don't you think?

There's no option for the current Apple trend: keep improving the UI, adding extra functionality while keeping the underlying basic user-friendliness the same. I can't choose "change it all" because that would be daft. I can't choose "change nothing" because that would require Apple to remain stagnant (a daft idea as well). I can't choose any of the other options since they are too specific. How about "I'll be happy when Apple decides to add something neat?" Oh sweet mercy, I'm a fanboy aren't I?
Which "designed by committee" item were you last satisfied by, though? Public roads? The taxation system? Perhaps patent law (ooh, there's a good one). When there are too many cooks in the kitchen all you get is a mess!