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This easy Android gesture would make iOS 16 a lot extra intuitive

Do you favor digital buttons or contact gestures to navigate your smartphone interface? Personally, I am extra of a gesture kind of particular person. Scratch that, in truth, I am a gesture particular person. And after spending two weeks reviewing the iPhone 14 Pro Max each day, I miss the navigation gestures on Android. The again gesture, particularly, has grow to be a marvel of intuitiveness in my eyes in comparison with the system chosen by Apple for iOS 16.


I do know, I do know. Antoine continues to be discovering the tech world, however that is additionally the purpose of reviewing merchandise over the long run. Extra delicate parts of the person expertise are sometimes “forgotten” within the preliminary articles. We’re in a rush to publish the assessment out as quickly as potential to seize your consideration and fulfill the sacrosanct algorithms of the Divine Google, the merciful purveyor of web page views and clicks.

Because of this, probably the most placing unfavorable factors of my person expertise on the iPhone 14 Pro Max and thus on iOS 16 is the intuitiveness or somewhat the ergonomics of navigation. iOS ought to have a gesture to return to the earlier display screen, similar to on Android. Properly, iOS does have such a gesture, nevertheless it solely works in sure apps, in chosen situations, and in a sure method.

Am I overdoing it? Am I only a vile anti-Apple hater who is aware of nothing about UI design? Or is that this a flaw in iOS that, for some customers, is usually a actual deterrent to purchasing an iPhone?

Gestes navigation interface ios 16 apple
The primary navigation gestures allowed by Apple in iOS 16. / © Apple

iOS 16 has a really intuitive interface…

Even should you hate Apple and iPhones, it is exhausting to disclaim with out mendacity to your self that iOS has a really intuitive person interface. I will sound like an absolute noob who found fireplace. However foolish issues like Face ID, AirDrop, a number of widget stacks, or the back tap gesture behind the iPhone are nice.

Properly, I want Apple would implement iPadOS 16 ‘s cut up display screen and windowed mode options in iOS 16 in order that we will profit from them on the iPhone and never simply on iPad. Total, iOS, and particularly iOS 16, gives a easy and ergonomic person expertise.

We are able to additionally point out Apple’s lead by way of accessibility. Android has definitely made loads of progress lately, however iOS 16 is actually filled with choices to make navigating the interface simpler when you’ve got visible, listening to, or bodily/motor disabilities.

Accessibilite fonctions tactiles ios 16 apple
Apple even means that you can create your individual contact gestures. However you may’t assign the “Again” operate beneath any circumstance. / © NextPit

… besides to go backwards

I do not perceive why, in 2022, I nonetheless should stretch my thumb to the opposite finish of the display screen to return to the earlier display screen. WHY?! Okay, I can perceive that we will favor to have a set button, however then once more, why place it on the reverse excessive of the world that’s accessible to your thumb (if you’re right-handed, like most people on this planet)? Why make one-handed operation extra difficult than it ought to be?

I haven’t got the reply to that query. It’s bizarre that Apple continues to go towards the grain on this matter. On the time of Android 10’s (Q) rollout in 2019, the 2 product managers of Android UI, Allen Huang and Rohan Shah, defined, amongst different issues, that the “Again” button was used 50% extra occasions than the “Residence” button.”

“So one in every of our design targets was to make the again gesture ergonomic, dependable, and intuitive, and we prioritized this over different much less frequent navigation modes like drawers and up to date apps,” in accordance with their blog post.

An apparent lack of consolation

Google engineers then carried out a bunch of experiments to find out an accessibility zone on a smartphone display screen. Mainly, the perimeter that the person is most capable of cowl along with his thumb with out feeling discomfort.

Google Android zone accessible ecran smartphone
That is the common protection space of a person and due to this fact the perfect place to position a navigation gesture. / © Google

By the way in which, this well-known protection space was additionally one of many details raised by different Android producers like OnePlus, Oppo, or Samsung. They’ve all recognized the necessity and even the demand of customers to have the ability to navigate the OS of their smartphone with only one hand.

OnePlus OxygensOS 11 zone accessible ecran smartphone
The identical precept utilized by OnePlus in the course of the growth of OxygenOS 11. / © OnePlus

On iOS 16, the “Again” button is positioned on the prime left of the display screen, whatever the utilization state of affairs. So we’re on the antithesis of the pure consolation zone for probably the most ergonomic navigation potential. It is simply plain silly. It’s important to systematically maintain your iPhone with each palms or be one of many minority of left-handed customers to return to the earlier display screen with out risking a cramp in your thumb.

I refuse to imagine that this isn’t a deliberate selection by Apple. We’re speaking concerning the market chief and probably the most streamlined and optimized UI. No, it will probably’t be a blunder, there should be a sure kind of logic behind it that we have no idea of but.

We’re again to the well-known magic argument that Apple would not do something by probability and particularly nothing by mistake. In the event you discover one thing incorrect, it is merely that you have not elevated your self spiritually sufficient to understand the relevance of this or that individual operate.

Supporters of this doctrine will certainly say that I’m too silly, since iOS does provide a backspace. Properly, sure, it is true, however who cares as a result of it would not work in any respect like on Android. And that is precisely what this text is about.

A query of philosophy by way of UX?

Mainly, in some purposes like Safari, Settings, WhatsApp, and others, you may go return to the earlier display screen by swiping your iPhone display screen from left to proper. Sure, it really works.

Nevertheless it solely works if the app’s interface shows a brand new tab or web page from proper to left. Within the Photographs utility, for instance, a photograph is displayed in full display screen by way of an animation that begins from the underside of the display screen and goes to the highest. On this case, the return gesture is not going to be horizontal, from left to proper. As a substitute, will probably be vertical and you’ll have to swipe from the highest to the underside.

Whereas digging round on-line, I got here throughout a comment from 2020 beneath a publish within the subreddit r/iphone that was very fascinating. The person defined that “It is not probably the most handy factor, however that is Apple. They care extra about fluidity to verify it feels pure. Android, alternatively, was designed with a again button. They cannot do one thing like iOS, until all of the app builders need to rework their apps. To allow them to solely use a backswipe to set off the again button performance.”

Mainly, it is all about consistency between animations and continuity of stream in accordance with which UI data is displayed on the display screen. By this logic, Android merely changed a button with a gesture to activate the identical operate in the identical method whatever the app or state of affairs concerned. iOS, alternatively, carried out this gesture in a extra contextual method.

This itself is a legitimate argument however the issue nonetheless persists. We sacrifice fluidity of use and due to this fact ergonomics for the sake of visible fluidity. It is like carrying a pair of sneakers one dimension too small as a result of it matches properly together with your jacket, for my part.


Properly, that is it. As soon as once more, I am glad I wasted a lot electrical energy, Wi-Fi knowledge, and parts of my sanity writing yet one more temper publish on a subject that issues perhaps 0.00002% of the inhabitants.

Nevertheless, past the easy rant, I discover this query of philosophy by way of UI design very fascinating. I’d love to speak to Apple and Android builders about this (in truth, I wished to take action earlier than publishing this text). Regardless that I am not a fan of the system Apple has adopted, I discover it fascinating that there’s a logical clarification for it. And I used to be pleasantly shocked that my analysis in assist of my pamphlet led me to be rather less silly and to relativize my very (too) sturdy opinion.

What do you suppose? Do you suppose Apple’s philosophy is legitimate? Or ought to iOS copy Android and undertake an identical backwards gesture on the iPhone?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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