I recently added my AIM account back to Messages for Mac for the first time in a while. After signing in and everything was squared away, I realized two things:
1) The buddies list and other controls are still its own window (a “problem” I noticed since beta)
2) At the bottom of the main window in Messages for Mac, your AIM status is shown
As mentioned in number one, I noticed that the window was separated in beta and was puzzled because I felt that there could be a great way to integrate it into one view without having two open windows. At the time, I didn’t really think of a solution but it’s been jostling in my head. After reviewing this again and getting my thoughts together, I came up with a solution: a Show/Hide view.
A Show/Hide button would be added to the current view along with your AIM online status. Clicking the icon would expand the view showing all the same info that the regular list has but in that view. It’s scrollable just like normal, and even the buttons at the bottom are visible. To hide it, simply click the Show/Hide button again. The amount of content in your list will determine the height of the view (unless otherwise specified — read further). Even when this view is open, you can still scroll through your iMessages just fine. You can even change the height of the view at anytime when it’s open by simply dragging the border (just like any other similar view).
Since I don’t have any other social networks to add, I can’t test this, but, if there were multiple status cells at the bottom of the window, each and everyone one of them would have a Show/Hide button.
In light of this implementation, I don’t see any reason to still have the option show a separate window. If you wish to have it in a separate window, you could click and drag the view off the window.
Feel free to comment! Look forward to hearing from you.
© 2012 Joshua Tucker
iDownloadBlog recently reviewed an upcoming tweak called MountainLionCenter which will bring the Mountain Lion-styled Notification Center to iOS. Although oriented towards the iPad, it works on the iPhone as well.
I have a few suggestions on how to make this project better, using the official Mountain Lion Notification Center as my guide. Note that these suggestions apply only to the iPad version.
1) Only the wallpaper moves, not the entire screen, when activating the Notification Center in Mountain Lion (SpringBoard).
I believe this point is extremely significant because it drastically changes the experience and purpose of the Notification Center. Here’s my justification:
iOS has multitasking (App Switcher) and, now with iOS 5, the Notification Center. When accessing the switcher, you’re make a conscious decision to move into another application. At that point, it’s appropriate for the user enter that view in the current window to fade or move aside. However, for the Notification Center, it’s meant to be an unobtrusive shade that is easily brought down and hidden without any disruption to the current activity. Accessing the Notification Center shouldn’t feel like you’re multitasking (in the iOS sense). I think there was a purpose in Apple’s choice to take the Notification Center as an overlay for iOS versus a screen pusher.
MountainLionCenter serves as a screen pusher at this point, but I think it can changed in this way to make the experience more of an overlay. On the SpringBoard, leave the dock and push the rest. And no need to fade the icons. Keep them the way they are.
2) The status bar does not move on Mountain Lion when the Notification Center is activated.
There are a two reasons why this is important. First, the way that MountainLionCenter (the tweak) does it now doesn’t make sense. If you look at the screenshot, the status bar in the Notification Center shade shows information that is still available to see on the actual page it pushed over (the time, bluetooth, battery percentage, etc.) Why display information twice? It looks weird.
Second, the fact that the status bar changes from something sleek to a linen texture looks pieced together. It doesn’t look good and doesn’t promote uniformity within the OS. Do it like Mountain Lion does it. Keep the status bar stateless. Move the content, keep the status bar. Then you won’t have to worry about re-showing certain info on the status bar because it will always be available to you from any view. Also, it eliminates having the two different types of bars merge.
3) The dock doesn’t move in Mountain Lion when the Notification Center is activated (SpringBoard).
This section is brief because I already proposed, from the SpringBoard, that everything is moved with the exception of the dock. Now that the dock is still there, do it like Mountain Lion does it. Have the Notification Center come underneath the dock so that the dock is on top over it. With this setup, you’ll also be able to use the applications on the dock without having to leave the Notification Center first. That’s one of the nifty things about OS X and how it handles the Notification Center. Anything outside of it takes priority. Not to mention, adding a two step process to opening a dock application when they are clearly right next to you doesn’t make sense.
I’ll leave you with this. When it comes to Apple’s intent of the Notification Center, I think its clear what their philosophy on the matter is: the Notification Center doesn’t take priority over the other core components. I think that’s a good point to refer to when doing anything with the Notification Center.
Photo courtesy of iDownloadBlog.
This project is in progress.
The pre-beta release of Mountain Lion gave us the definitive conclusion that unification between iOS and OS X is coming. It’s a great thing and will enhance the user experience and reliability between devices.
With that in mind, I feel that the iPad could take some additions from OS X like the Mac has done in regards to the iPad. Adding iOS 5 Growl-isk banners to the iPad would utilize more of the screen real estate, but allow for more content and could potentially fit this device quite well.
These banners are based off of the iOS 5 bubble notifications that appears on the lock screen and have been transformed to fit the iPad screen. The logistics of how you can interact with the notifications is in my head but hasn’t hit paper yet.
Keep looking back and see what happens! I really like this rendition. I would appreciate all respectful and constructive criticism that you have!
Special thanks to my cousin Nevin for the iPad image.
© 2012 Joshua Tucker
It’s been a crazy last few days with this concept on my mind — I’ve learned a lot and I’m excited to move forward! Thank you for all your comments, support, and feedback; it’s greatly appreciated!
I’m going back through again to touch things up and change things if necessary. So without further to do, let’s start off Round Two with the Launchpad interface. Get acquainted with my prior concepts by visiting the following links:
Activating the shade brings you to the Launchpad interface first. This particular page is a merge between two different components:
- Launchpad - launch applications
- Multitasking - switch between applications.
The shade can be launched from anywhere (lock screen, SpringBoard, inside an application).
You can also folder applications on the Launchpad as well if you desire.
Note: If you have a passcode on your lock screen, you will be barred from using certain features until you type it in.
There is a set of page dots to alert you of which page you’re on in the Launchpad. To change pages, you simply swipe just like you would on the SpringBoard.
It is arranged from the bottom to the top with the running applications at the bottom. This allows for quick app switching.
The interface can be activated using the Home Button or some other gesture (unsure of which).
The dock at the bottom is how you access the different tabs in the interface. The dock isscrollable and can be scrolled with swipe/drag gestures. As an example, to switch between taps, simply hold down on the dock and drag until the tab you want is selected.
It happens to show three icons on the dock for easy access but, if you scroll left or right, it will show other options. Two of the icons that are not included are:
- Music (Music Controls)
- Settings (Options/Toggles)
Note: I’m looking to add more icons if applicable.
Here’s a more detailed explanation for some of the parts associated with the dock.
- Name Box - Since the bar is scrollable, as you move from icon to icon, the box at the top changes and tells you what section you’ve selected. In the case of the image, it says I’m currently on “Launchpad.” Now, if I were to swipe or move to the next icon (either right or left), the box would change to that respective name. After a certain amount of time (unknown) of staying on that tab, the box disappears.
- Selected Indicator - The blue icon on the bottom always says in the middle and alerts you of which tab you’re on. This is always visible even after the name box disappears.
Just like the current native multitasking, simply hold down on the icon to go into wiggle mode. From there, just hit the minus sign to quit applications.
Note: The minus sign won’t display on applications that are not running.
Stay tuned — I’m moving onto Round Two; WiFi!
“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others…I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” - Thomas Edison
© 2011 Joshua Tucker
The multitasking interface on iOS has been an area that I’ve had a lot of passion for. I’ve run into many ideas and have hit a lot of walls. Here is some of my earlier work:
I decided to go a different route and try to bring in the good characteristics of other Apple products and interfaces and merge them together.
Here’s my idea of bringing the Mac OS X Launchpad concept to iOS and merging the following into one interface:
- Music Controls
- Brightness / Volume Slider
- Basically all the multitasking utilities available to you now in native iOS
Initially, this would be a replacement of the entire multitasking interface all together.
Note: This interface can be launched from the SpringBoard and inside applications (not from the lock screen).
Also: This interface is more oriented towards the iPhone and iPod touch. I have another idea in mind for the iPad. After I’m pretty solid with this, I’ll move onto that.
Let’s break this down into sections so I can best explain this:
This would be done natively (double pressing the Home Button) or by a gesture of some sort.
When you activate this interface, the background as displayed in the photos will pop up. The shade is a mixture of the Notification Center shade (toned down a bit) and a blurred view of the background. The goal behind this view is to keep the experience all together — the focus should be on what is on the shade but it keeps a small sliver of what else is going on to promote a unified experience.
On the shade, applications are lined up for easy access. They are arranged from bottom to top and by last used. That means that the applications that are running are down at the bottom closest to your fingers. The blue indicator under the applications lets you know that the application is running. Just like the native multitasking interface, holding down on the icons will allow you to get to wiggle mode and kill applications.
Since you’re bound to have more applications than 16 (per page), you can swipe from left to right to go from page to page. I’m unsure on how much configuration I personally would add to the layout of the shade itself, but it’s a possibility. Once again, Launchpad is a way of accessing all your applications and launching them from wherever you are — whether from the SpringBoard or inside an application.
Bottom Navigation Bar:
When you first activate the shade (however you do that), it will always start at the Launchpad. A button shade tells you which button you are viewing. To change buttons, simply press or swipe along the bottom bar to move onto the next option. As mentioned above, you can tinker however you want. But, the other buttons are important as well.
- Music — Instead of the music controls and what not being viewed from the start, simply swipe the bottom bar until Music is selected to view what that interface. My aim is to add more then just the standard music controls to this interface but I have not started on that yet. This would include the volume slider and what not as well.
- Settings — I’m not even sure I want to keep this: this was just filler to be honest. However, this could be useful if you want quick access to certain settings. However, I may change it to something else later on.
Note: This navigation bar could be potentially scrollable with more interfaces but I’m unsure of what to add.
I’ll be sticking with this for a while so stay tuned for what is to come! You’re always welcome to give suggestions and critiques as well. Thanks!
© 2011 Joshua Tucker