Apple’s iOS platform has certainly come a long way over the past decade. It started as a bare bones mobile operating system intended to simply the smartphone user experience, and it was welcomed with open arms considering how sloppy and overcomplicated platforms like Symbian and Windows Mobile were at the time. Then as the years went by, Apple continued to add more and more features to its mobile software. iOS 12 is now a feature-rich OS with more capabilities than most people will ever use. It’s wonderful that the platform has gotten more versatile as time has gone by, but it has also gotten a bit more cluttered and complex in some areas.
One example of a feature that could still use some refinement is the iOS notification system. iOS 12 introduced a bunch of big updates to notifications on the iPhone and iPad, and they’re so much better than they used to be. Features like notification grouping and per-app muting area great indeed, but Apple still has plenty of work to do before iOS notifications and the iPhone lock screen are no longer headaches for users. It’ll be interesting to see how much attention these crucial features get in iOS 13, Apple’s next big iOS update that’s set to be unveiled next June. In the meantime, a 17-year-old just whipped up a terrific design concept that might be even better than what Apple has done in iOS 12.
iOS 12 finally groups notifications by app, which is something users have been clamoring for forever. It’s also much easier to mute notifications from individual apps now, and 3D Touch gestures allow you to do neat things like reply to messages right from within a notification. Even still, notifications can build up quickly on the lock screen just like they always have. In fact, I still wake up every single morning with so many notifications on my lock screen that I almost always just give up while scrolling through them and clear them all instead.
A 17-year-old Reddit user who goes by “whatfood” is apparently as unimpressed with Apple’s iOS lock screen as I am, and he reinvisioned it in a concept video posted earlier this week. It’s pretty awesome. The focus in this particular mockup is a new music widget that’s immeasurably better than Apple’s, but the new notifications layout has my attention. Instead of an endless stream of text boxes, each app with unread notifications is represented by a small icon. Tapping one of those icons would then theoretically expand the notifications. This way a quick glance gives you an instant overview, and then you can address whichever apps you’d like without sifting through all the clutter you see on your iPhone now.
Here’s a video of his mockup, and you can click to visit the thread on Reddit: