A New Home(screen)

Shawn Blanc thinks about the possibilities of the next Home screen on iOS:

Not until recently have we felt much of a need for a revamped home screen. Since 2007 iOS has evolved significantly in both its functionality (i.e. multitasking and Notification Center) and in the amount of available apps (thus folders, and multiple Home screens). After five years the Home screen is feeling cramped and outdated.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that the iOS Home screen as we know it today is not Apple’s long-term plan. My hunch is that the Home screen is still the way it is because the long-term ramifications of what it could be are huge.

A reimagined springboard is a prime opportunity for significant innovation. And significant innovation takes time.

It’s really exciting to think about what’s next.
Not because it’s a fantasy, but because for those of us who understand Apple, we know this is inevitable.
It’s inevitable Apple is skating to where the puck is going to be (as they always have). It’s inevitable they’re re-imagining the Home screen. It’s inevitable they’ll make a lot of people happy with their next software paradigm. It’s also inevitable they’ll piss off a lot of people in the process.
It’s also all very sad when you think about the opportunities that exist for Android and hardware manufacturers like Samsung who copy everything Apple does.
Comparisons like this stop being funny and just look pathetic.
This is why I’m so happy with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. It’s a complete departure from everything that came before it. It’s not stale, contrived, fussy or silly. It’s clean, efficient and modern. Microsoft acknowledged a missed opportunity in mobile computing but still pushed forward and came to their own conclusion.
Mutliple futures exist for multiple UI paradigms in software. It’s a painfully commonplace expression, but it’s true – there’s more than one way of doing something. It would be great if more leaders of more software companies realized this, strapped some sets of balls on and took some risks.