Top 3 design flaws of iOS

I just recently smashed my phone. It was an Android Nexus 5 device. I've been using android since the first phones came out and have never been on iOS. However, this smashing incident (involving a floor drop and a couple of kids, don't get me started) had me take over my wife's prior iPhone 4S.

Now, I would probably consider iOS to be one of the most well designed products ever (despite me being an android fanboy), giving the way it revolutionised/invented the entire smartphone business. But coming from android, there are a few caveats I think apple should consider redesigning.

1. Notifications

The notifications I find a bit messy.

There are a few places the notification shows up.

  1. The lock screen where you right-swipe the message to access it, left swipe to access a closebutton and such.
  2. The pulldown from (unlocked) top of the screen. Tap to view, left-swipe for close-button. This I believe is called the notification center.

The notifications on the lockscreen will be cleared (all of them) if you unlock your phone. Notifications in the notification center will stay though. And since there are no indication on the status bar (as there is on android) I tend to forget about the notifications . There are that red badge with a counter sitting on a respective app icon - which I will notice - but I find my self ignoring those more and more. I mentally consider a dismissed message a read message. Which makes the red badge feel a bit abundant. Messy.

Where is my Dismiss all-option?

Finally, I find myself often tapping a lock screen message or swiping on the notification center ones. Neither does nothing. Except annoy me.

2. Search and voice commands A uplifting design?

So, searching on iOS. This search view is brought forward when you swipe down somewhere on the homescreen. I like the way that is designed, smoothly layered on top like that- well done. The actual search view though is really bleak - a large grayish empty space. There's also a mic icon you can tap and speak. Now, this is not Siri, just a simple speak-to-text function. Asking fun questions like "How tall is Danny DeVito" makes no sense here. Siri is instead accessed from long pressing the home button. So two places to do voice commands, and they are not the same. Slightly confusing. Slightly Meh-ish.

3. Nested modals

Occasionally I find an excessive use och alert dialogs (or modals if you will). For example if I try to download a new app from the App Store and the Ts & Cs has changed, I'm presented with a quite obtrusive alert dialog. After i read the 69 pages (yeah, right), accept and continue, I am presented yet another dialog saying I need to re-confirm my download. Really bulky UX-design right there.

A standard iOS alert box

It's not isolated to that particular circumstances. After a factory reset for instance, I was presented with an alert box asking for the SIM-pin. But before I could press "unlock", another alert box arose on top of it asking me to activate the phone. So multiple alerts not associated with each other, shouldn't that really be avoided when designing such a flow? I like to think that alert modals like this should be used extremely rarely, and probably never nested.

I've actually enjoyed spending some time with a diffrent OS. iOS is indeed excellent. It's funny how quickly you can put blame on things that doesn't work the way you are used to. Some you get over quite qickly though, while others - such as the above - stay with you longer.