There are major changes in store for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 — the upcoming versions of Apple's mobile operating system for phones and tablets. One of those updates may transform the way you search for, organize and launch apps on iPhones, as rumors suggest Apple is developing a new list view for software to complement the traditional grid and widget pages.
Until recently, we didn't really have a good idea of how list view might look. However, a new set of mockups from UX designer Parker Ortolani (opens in new tab), based on details reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), imagine how Apple's proposed changes may actually take shape.
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Based on @9to5mac’s reporting, I put together a concept for the list view home screen. I hope they make it more customizable than the watchOS one, but if I had to guess it would look something like this. In abc view there’d be a letter slider on the right side. pic.twitter.com/dKMvAyzpQrMarch 12, 2020
A close look at Ortolani's pitch shows a set of three tabs at the top of the display, underneath the search bar: alphabetical, recently used and notifications. The first two tabs are self explanatory, but that last one could offer a quick way to see what apps have alerts that require more immediate attention.
Ortolani also imagines Siri Suggestions playing a role in this design. Those recommendations would appear near the top, in much the same way you're already used to seeing them on iOS 13, based on contextual cues.
But where things get more interesting is when you swipe or drag on a folder. Doing so in this mockup reveals all the apps inside it, in an indented list so the hierarchy is easier to grasp visually.
Over the years, many enthusiasts have called on Apple to fundamentally redesign the traditional iOS home screen, either by implementing widgets within the grid or by offering more avenues for theming and customization. And with every release, Apple has more or less doubled down on the quintessential look for iOS, presumably because it works and people understand it.
There's nothing wrong with the grid design, and changing it for the sake of change probably wouldn't get on well with the vast majority of iPhone owners, even though it might excite some.
On the other hand, offering additional sorting options like this rumored list view would seem to strike a good balance. The iOS home screen experience you know well is still there, though now there's an entirely new option for users who don't want to thumb back and forth between pages to remember where they put that one app, and would much rather see things in a simplified, straightforward scrolling manner.
We likely won't have any official confirmation about this or any other impending features coming to iOS 14 until Apple's WWDC 2020 event in June, where the company typically reveals and takes a deeper dive into the next versions of its mobile and desktop platforms. However, with this year's event, Apple is taking a whole new approach to WWDC, adopting an online format as a response to "the current health situation" and regulations against large gatherings.