Inspired by the more living home screens of Windows Phone and Android, this concept video shows how the iOS home screen could become more.
In this concept, an app icon can be resized from 1x1 to 2x2 or 4x2, similarly to how you would on Windows Phone 8. The increased size can house widget like functionality and provide easy access to core features of that particular app. For example, you could expand the Settings icon into a widget with a brightness slider, and quick toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Personal Hotspot and Do Not Disturb.
The newfound space could also be used to give a miniaturized window into the app, showing content already on the home screen. This could be useful for Phone, Messages or Mail. Instead of a glaring red badge, you’d be able to see the messages or calls directly on the home screen.
To launch the app, you can press the shrunken app icon in the lower left.
The expanded icons can be moved around like regular icons and placed in the manner you like. But for obvious reasons, you cannot place an expanded icon in the dock; it would just slide back onto the home screen.
One could imagine that this functionality would also be available to developers, who could include it for their apps.
This would rather nicely complement the existing feature set of iOS and make the home screen more engaging.
If a phone were to be designed with an edge-to-edge screen, it would lack a hardware home button on the front. Therefore it would require a new way to go to the Home screen. Advanced gestures often requires two hands, which is not optimal for such a frequently used feature.
A more intuitive way could be to equip the phone with a pressure-sensitive body. The phone could then be squeezed and the current app would shrink and return the user to the Home screen.
This could be a real wow effect. Seeing how the phone reacts to your grip and then having the app vanish in the palm of your hand.
To avoid ‘squeeze to go Home’ from happening by accident, a visual cue could show that pressure is being applied. In this concept, the app begins to shrink to reflect the pressure that is being applied. When the pressure goes over a defined threshold, the user is returned to the Home screen.
The strength of a users grip will of course vary. Therefore, a setting for how much pressure that’s needed before an app is exited could be a good idea.