MGTitleMenu is an open source iOS interface component that lets developers conveniently add pop-up, tile-based contextual menus to iOS apps. It makes the most sense on big screen iPad apps, but can also be used on iPhone or iPad touch. MGTileMenu, as the name hints, is from well known iOS developer Matt Gemmell under a free, attribution license (it can also be licensed without attribution for a small fee).

The idea is, if you're holding an iPad, you can invoke the context menu via a gesture (for example, a double tap). You can the quickly tap one of five action icons, or tap a "more" icon and get additional sets of action icons to choose from. MGTileMenu can also be configured for left handed or right handed use.

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Gemmell was also kind enough to include his design and development process in his blog post about the component.

MGTileMenu was created as a way to show options or tools contextually, wherever your hand might be on the iPad’s screen. It’s for use in an app that I’m working on, and I thought it was worth releasing as a useful component.

The tiles are exactly the same size as app icons on the iPad’s Home screen, which provides a sensible consistency and presumably capitalises on Apple’s own research and testing. Believe it or not, the identical size was actually a happy coincidence: the first rounded-rectangle I drew by eye in Photoshop turned out to match iPad app icons to the pixel.

Having made the mockup, I felt there was something visually missing; the tiles needed something to unify them. A bezel seemed like a reasonable choice, so I started experimenting with the concept.

Check out the video below and then go read the whole post via the source link below. The parts about the bezel and the animation flocking are particularly interesting.