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