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.