Suggested iPhone Lock Screen improvement

Since the improvements to Touch ID you see many people complaining that they press the Home button to see the lock screen to catch some missed push notification or check the time, and it instead unlocks the phone. The new Apple TV remote has a nice feature where the Apple TV itself dims the display when inactive, and “wakes” up brighter when you lift the remote. Obviously this is using the accelerometers in the remote. Wouldn’t it be great if the iPhone did this to reveal the lock screen?

If Apple made this relatively simple change to iOS, the iPhone could wake up the display when you lift it. To avoid wasting battery all the time by lighting up in your pocket, it should constrain it so that it only does this when the phone is facing up, and the movement was in the upward direction, or when the phone was perpendicular to the ground (in a pocket) and moved to be upward facing.

Animation timings

Making your animations subtle is very important. This usually means they should be very short, circa 300ms or less. However even a tiny amount of undamped spring means they need more time to feel natural.

Perceived smoothness is a function of distance travelled and the frame rate, so the further the total distance travelled (in any direction, e.g. when bouncing on a spring), the longer the animation must be to appear smooth. Even if it is longer than you would normally like such an animation to be.

UITableView move handles not showing?

Today, I had to implement UITableView row re-ordering for the first time. The cells had showsReorderControl set to YES, and my delegate was implementing tableView:canMoveRowAtIndexPath: returning YES and still the handles would not show when tableView.editing was set to YES.

The solution? Your dataSource must also implement tableView:moveRowAtIndexPath:toIndexPath: for the handles to show, even if it does nothing – although it must do something to have any lasting effect on your model. The docs do state this but it is easily missed.

What will Dropbox become?

Dropbox has nothing but a somewhat trusted brand despite repeated password hacks, and a smart filesystem driver/integration, and as a result of this a sizeable user base. Those are all that differentiate it from the army of file sharing web sites that existed prior to it. They do not have a “sync” service, they have a last-write wins distributed filesystem. There is nowhere else to go with the service as it stands.

Now Dropbox buys the iOS Mailbox app, which was previously only for Gmail. Next Yahoo announces it will be integrating Dropbox into Yahoo! Mail to make it easier to transfer large files. Will Dropbox really add their own e-mail service to the Mailbox app? Or will they cut a deal with Yahoo! Mail?