The Shift

There’s a price to pay with iOS 11, but it’s very much worth the ini­tial pain, says david chartier

Mac|Life - - NEWS -

David Chartier is ex­cited about iOS 11’s changes.

Be sure to give your­self some time to get used to Con­trol Cen­ter’s new lay­out

This fall, mil­lions of iOS de­vices will up­date to one of the largest changes Ap­ple has ever made. But­tons will have moved and some mus­cle mem­ory will get a new work­out. Change can be hard, even frus­trat­ing at times. But I think in the case of iOS 11, it will be well worth it.

Let’s con­sider Con­trol Cen­ter. This use­ful dash­board of short­cuts and me­dia con­trols changes com­pletely in iOS 11. You will be able to change Con­trol Cen­ter’s fea­tures, and ev­ery­thing now fits on a sin­gle page in a grid of icons. How­ever, un­like the Home screen, con­trols don’t have text la­bels to help you dis­cern which is which. I think they’re pretty in­tu­itive, and a long press (or a firm one if your de­vice has 3D Touch) on many of them will re­veal more op­tions.

How­ever, I wa­ger this will be quite an ad­just­ment for many peo­ple. Af­ter learn­ing my way around the public beta, I think it’s a great im­prove­ment. But be sure to give your­self some time to get used to the new lay­out.

The new-look Con­trol Cen­ter does dou­ble duty on iPad, as it’s com­bined with a vastly re­designed app switcher. Dou­ble-click the Home but­ton or do a long swipe up from the bot­tom of the screen; Con­trol Cen­ter will be on the right, with thumb­nails of re­cent apps scrolling off to the left, in­clud­ing apps com­bined in Split View.

I con­sider this to be a huge im­prove­ment in many ways. Not only did Ap­ple com­bine two some­what re­lated func­tions, it has made both more use­ful. Con­trol Cen­ter is eas­ier to nav­i­gate now that it isn’t spread out across mul­ti­ple pages, and it’s eas­ier to see mul­ti­ple apps, in­clud­ing your Split View groups, in one place.

Still, it re­quires ad­just­ment, es­pe­cially since I’ve had to spend time learn­ing Con­trol Cen­ter’s new icon ar­range­ment. Over­all, though, I like that I don’t have to swipe be­tween pages to con­trol me­dia play­back. And hav­ing one place to go to switch apps and tog­gle set­tings has re­ally grown on me.

No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­ter and the Lock screen also see big changes. In iOS 10, you can swipe left on a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to re­veal “View” and “Clear” but­tons. But you can also swipe left on th­ese screens to open the cam­era. It’s an in­ter­ac­tion I’ve al­ways found a lit­tle janky, as it was easy to trig­ger one when you wanted the other. Or it was easy to open a no­ti­fi­ca­tion by ac­ci­dent.

In iOS 11, you in­ter­act with no­ti­fi­ca­tions in th­ese places with a long or firm press. This will show you the full no­ti­fi­ca­tion text, in­ter­ac­tion op­tions (like mark­ing a task com­plete, or send­ing a quick re­ply), and a close but­ton.

This is a big change to a lit­tle thing we tend to do of­ten. Some think the in­ter­ac­tion feels slightly slower than the old method, but I think it also makes it clearer how to nav­i­gate be­tween No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­ter, the To­day screen, and Cam­era.

At their core, de­sign de­ci­sions like th­ese are al­ways about com­pro­mise – what’s gained or lost. In the case of iOS 11, I think we’re gain­ing some great new flex­i­bil­ity, at the cost of spend­ing a lit­tle time to learn a new way to do a few things. I think that’s a price worth pay­ing.

All th­ese con­trols are just one swipe away in iOS 11.

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