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Bb10 homescreen: Some things to consider..
Definitely not the most constructive tone, but does bring ip some interesting points.
http://news.ebscer.com/2012/12/the-blackberry-10-homescreen-is-terrible/ - Google Search
"BlackBerry 10 homescreen is terrible
The executives from RIM have talked about how they want to minimize the use of the homescreen, and try and get away the in-and-out pattern of launching apps. To this end the process of invoking another apps card is brilliantly implemented, and when it makes sense will provide users with a seamless experience. But at times users are going to want to use the homescreen, and when they do they are going to be very disappointed.
The homescreen experience on BlackBerry 10 is absolutely terrible. There is practically no way to organize your installed apps. Even though I am only using my DevAlpha for developing and testing apps, I already have more apps than I can manage on the device. If this was the situation on my day to day phone, it would be the kind of annoyance that would lead to me downloading less apps, because I would not want to deal with managing them all. (And as an app developer, I clearly want people to download more and more applications).
What is worse, is that most of the limitations seem to be rather artificial. You can not have nested folders, you cant have more than 16 apps on each page, you can not have more than 16 apps in a folder. So say you have four pages of apps, and just downloaded a new game, and wanted to place it in a folder on your first page of apps. (I think this is a rather reasonable scenario). You would navigate to the fourth page and grab the app, then move it to the third page. This would bump an app off of the third page and on to the fourth page. You would then drag your new game from the third page to the second page (bumping one of the second page apps to the third page), then you would drag your game to the first page (bumping the final first page app to the second page). You could then finally place the new game into the folder. If you then wanted to get back your icon that was bumped off of your first screen you would drag it over from the second screen, see that it was in the upper left corner (instead of the lower right corner where you had it a minute ago), dragging it to the lower right wont work, so you would have to move it the second last icon, and then move the last icon over one place. (Repeat per page if you want to restore your previous pages to their starting look).
I will admit that personally I am not too likely to want to place one folder inside another, but I see no reason why that shouldnt be an option. Not everyone wants their apps in such a flat organizational layout. Some people would prefer to save their apps in a more strict hierarchy.
App limit per folder
Having a limit of 16 apps per folder makes them almost useless for organizational purposes. Of the four folders on my BlackBerry Bold, three of them have over 30 applications. (And despite its smaller screen, my Bold can display more than 16 icons at a time).
I have to wonder if the gesture for exiting folders has had any usability testing at all. For power users, it is kindof neat, but if I were to hand a BlackBerry 10 phone to a complete stranger, I would guess that they would be unable to exit the folder. For those who dont know how to exit folders on BB10, just know that swiping left, right, up, or down will not work, neither will tapping anywhere on the screen. If RIM doesnt want to go with the corner x, that the PlayBook uses, I would suggest that the huge label on the bottom of the folder that looks like a button, should do something.
Why does the homescreen not work in landscape orientation? Is there any reason for this at all? For all of its faults even OS 18.104.22.168 had no problem displaying the homescreen in landscape orientation. Remember how most of the pre-installed PlayBook apps only supported a single orientation, and we had to wait a year and a half for version 2.1 in order to mostly get that fixed? Lets not repeat that mistake.
Bezel swipe to unlock
The bezel swipe to unlock on the PlayBook is awesome. On the Dev Alpha, not so much. Unlike the ease of the PlayBook, BlackBerry 10 requires you to swipe twice, and furthermore the second swipe has to be in a predefined direction. It is the very nemesis of productivity, and I would much rather have access to my phone after a single swipe. Also the button on the top of the phone that look like the unlock button on the older BlackBerrys, instead does nothing useful.
Why limit the number of apps on each page
The 16 app per page limit is very annoying and was the root cause of most of the issues in my example in the beginning of this rant. The PlayBook already has a great system for handling this, just scroll down a bit on the page to see the rest that is there. I would be pretty happy to see that interface copied verbatim. The current implementation is very broken.
For my friends at RIM, the good news is that you still have 43 days to fix this. I dont want to see BlackBerry 10 ship with an interface that is so frustratingly unusable.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 9:50 am and is filed under Blackberry, BlackBerry10. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site./...."
- 12-18-12, 12:46 PM #3
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
12-18-12, 01:09 PM #4Folder navigation
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for those who don’t know how to exit folders on BB10, just know that swiping left, right, up, or down will not workYou would navigate to the fourth page and grab the app, then move it to the third page. This would bump an app off of the third page and on to the fourth page. You would then drag your new game from the third page to the second page (bumping one of the second page apps to the third page), then you would drag your game to the first page (bumping the final first page app to the second page). You could then finally place the new game into the folder.
orientation. i did think the same, but look at any of the other main 3 OS`s out there, which one does (or needs to do) this?
As for the lockscreen, yes thats a valid point.....but this isnt the final OS, if you watch videos you`ll see pulling down on the lockscreen shows the clock/alarm, this sint a feature thats on the dev alpha OS`s, so what we see to unlock a dev alpha may not be indicative of a end user scenario. as for direction of swipe, im guessing its partly to do with the clock as mentioned, and also because bottom to top is easy to do with one thumb - so a one handed OS approach.
what i`d be interested to know, is which OS`s allow things like nested folders etc, although when you can jump from page 1 to page 8 with a single tap (the lil rounded square denoting a page) at the bottom of the page, it seems like alot of it is more a personal taste than what everyone will encounter, although the folder limit of 16 kinda does make sense to me, because yes you could go up/down like on playbook, but then for panels you have to go side to side, so it seems that could actually be more confusing for others.
thats obviously how i see it, but as i said we all have personal tastes so everyones gonna have different thoughts on what theyd want.
take for example ebscers apps, they are great, work as they should and provide alot of fun, no denying that iv spent many an hour playing exploding boxes and runaway trains (and they are both highly rated apps too for the reasons i just said) but with all respect to the dev, this is a 355dpi 1280x768 screen, and the graphics on these apps arent `blow your mind` sexy like they could be. Again i`ll stress that its down to personal taste, and i love his/her games and have rated both highly, but based on looks it does need a little effort.
- CrackBerry Genius
12-18-12, 03:12 PM #5
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I agree with some of his points. I don't understand why there is a limit to 16 apps per folder. I don't think there's a limit to the number of apps in a folder on the PlayBook and so I don't know why RIM did that. I also think they should add an "X" at the bottom of the folder just to give people an option, rather than swiping up. I think RIM wants people to spend most of their time on their Hub anyways, and so the app grid hasn't been refined as much as it should. Hopefully these limitations will go away when launch happens in 40+ days.
- 12-18-12, 04:19 PM #7
I've actually seen the device unlocked with one swipe.
You haven't swiped that far up yet if it's not unlocking.
I remember seeing a leak awhile ago, saying if you're not past 2/3rds of the way up on the phone on the first swipe, you'll have to swipe past 1/3rds of the screen on the second swipe to unlock.
- CrackBerry User
12-18-12, 06:06 PM #8
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- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
12-18-12, 06:53 PM #9
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for BB10 demo`ers reading this, in browser tap the three dots on the right> settings> display and actions> toggle flash to OFF.
also, iphone5 has less pixels at 1136x640 compared to the dev alpha 1280x768. doesnt sound alot?
1136x640 = 727,040pixels
1280x768 = 983,040pixels. thats a massive ammount more
- 12-18-12, 08:35 PM #10
@BlackBerryScoop saw this and has said that some of the things are right and he is going to submit it to the RIM UI team so maybe we will see some changes since i assume he is an employee. If you don't know him he always releases a lot of good info on RIM and BlackBerry 10 like the BBM Desktop project.
- 12-18-12, 08:45 PM #11
16 icons per page seem to be... little... compared to other smartphones.
I assume it's on full touchscreen device? So, anyone can tell me how the navigation is? Is it intuitive enough for non-users?
- 12-19-12, 03:53 PM #12The executives from RIM have talked about how they want to minimize the use of the homescreen, and try and get away the in-and-out pattern of launching apps.
Multitasking and switching across apps:
BB10 - the swipe up motion to see eight recent apps is great, and the active frame concept is an improvement over iOS' row of icons or Android's static app images. Just a few minor quibbles: 1) the ninth app gets kicked out; 2) in the demos, the active frames are stuck in portrait mode (has RIM fixed this yet)?
iOS - double-clicking the home button is slow and unnatural, and the row of icons don't give you any clue of what you were doing in the previous apps. No icons get kicked out, however you are almost certain to lose context from the 4th oldest app onwards. If that happens the app would have to start over again from the banner page. One improvement I've noticed is that you can switch between three apps now (alt-tab) and context is preserved. I find this is good enough for 80% of the use cases.
Android - some have a dedicated "recent apps" button, in the SG3 you need to long-press the home button. This was too slow for me so I installed an app which let me bring up recent tasks with a swipe up. Like BB10 you get to see four recent "cards" on the screen, and you can scroll to see older apps. I've done some stress tests (you may have seen the videos) showing that at least on the Samsung GS3, there's no issue with losing context. I like how you can swipe away the cards that you don't want. It also works in landscape mode.
My opinion? I give the edge to BB10 over Android because it has active frames vs a static image of what the screen was doing last.
- 12-19-12, 04:46 PM #13
Post was getting too long, so here is my assessment of the other side of the equation: Launching apps
There's a reason why a lot of BB10 demos start with some active frames already loaded up, and the presenter switches back and forth between the most recent apps. That's because if you have to launch a new app, it breaks the flow of the demo and shows that they haven't really broken out of the in-and-out pattern.
Changing settings: You're in an app and you want to change a phone setting like orientation lock or brightness. You have to leave the app, change the setting, and tap the active frame to enter the app again. Android's settings are now available in the notification pane, so when you're done you're back in the app. This is a minor issue, the next one is more important.
Launching apps: You're in an app and want to launch a new one that's not in your active frames yet. So you swipe up to the active frames page, and swipe the home screen until you see the icon you want. This is really no improvement over iOS, and is in fact less efficient, because that's one extra swipe to get to your first page of icons.
iOS also has the universal search page, where you can start typing in the name of the app and it creates a filtered list for you. (Does BB10 have a similar universal search function?) Siri also allows you to launch apps by voice command.
Finally Android. If you don't do anything with it you can have at the very minimum what iOS has: Universal search for apps. Launch by voice command (Jellybean). Widgets you can interact with.
But users do more with it by personalizing the app launcher experience. In the past decade, the industry have come up with a number of paradigms for app launchers. The rectangular grid of icons on the desktop is just one of them. The Windows start menu. The universal search in MacOS called "Spotlight". The snazzy icon dock in MacOS. These are best ideas the industry has come up with for launching apps. Any of these approaches are available in Android if you want them.
Android also invented a few more unique approaches. Gesture Search, one of my favorites, is like Spotlight but with handwriting. Swipe to launch lets you configure swipe gestures available from any app. There's some new ones which get triggered by motion, but I haven't really experimented much with them.
(My setup: I have over a hundred apps but I'm only using one page of the home screen, and about 2/3rds of the screen is a wallpaper of my choice.)
- 12-19-12, 10:42 PM #14
Just look at RIM's pretty firm stance (despite being yelled at by Playbook users for the last 2 years about the lack of bookmark management via folders) --- RIM still refuses to put bookmark folder management in BB10's browser. RIM specifically stated that they don't want bookmark folders because it's a bad UI for touch screens. So RIM ends up with tags and searches for bookmark in BB10 browser.
- 12-19-12, 11:07 PM #15
The Dev Alpha has an OS that is just for developers. An OS that is focused on providing the same application experience, but not the same OS experience.
In one of the previous updates, when you start swiping from the bezel onto the screen, it will do that flowy unlock thing. If you have a password set, then the screen will come up, but if not, the menu will show up and the phone will be unlocked. In the most recent OS version (presumably what the article is talking about), doing the swipe turns on the screen and then you have to swipe again to do the flowy unlock thing before getting to your menu or password entry.
So they could be making changes and tweaks, but it could be that they just removed it from the OS. (Hopefully the latter)
As similar thing happened a couple of updates ago when the Voice Command function (press and hold the Play/Pause button) ended up in the Dev Alpha OS release. People had fun playing around with it and the following release it was removed. You could no longer activate the voice command function.
This applies to the 16 app per folder limit as well.
Everything in the design definitely has a reason. Especially if it was a function/feature on the Playbook that doesn't exist anymore.
Last edited by Andrew4life; 12-19-12 at 11:35 PM.
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