Jay Machalani's Vision for iOS

An alternate vision of iOS

A friend recently shared an independent designer’s vision of a future iOS. What I saw blew me away.

A vision of iOS that takes the best of Android and brings it to iOS.

UX Designer Jay Machalani has taken one of my favorite parts of the Android operating system and blended it into an unofficial vision of iOS.

The iOS Block, as he calls his vision, describes a version of iOS that maintains what longtime users know and love and adds much, much more.

Why is iOS working? Well its because it’s simple. – Jay Machalani, UI/UX designer

Machalani’s idea is simple: give apps the functionality of pinchable widgets. What that means is all those little icons you tap on to get your fix of text messages, emails, the weather, calendar appointments are accessible at a glance.

Watch the video to see what I mean.

Machalani is a UX/UI designer and branding architect with a lot of good reflections about the current state of the iOS operating system.

He makes a compelling case in his informative and well articulated, if lengthy blog post and video, which have received nearly 4 million views.

The idea of “pinch to expand” is a simpler way to create a widget than choosing form pages and pages of widgets like on Android devices.

The pinching motion is something every smartphone is already accustomed to on their touch screens.

An alternate future of iOS

An alternate future of iOS

Most importantly, for the average user, this is an easy fix if they were to accidentally expand an app they did not mean to. Just tap.

This falls in line with iOS being the easiest operating system available, while offering the functionality power users crave.

“Everybody is happy about iOS because it has always worked the same. Yet, people are leaving iOS because it has always worked the same.” – Jay Machalani

I had an idea a while back for two versions of iOS: a standard and a pro version.

Apple has offered this type of option the past with advanced editing tools in earlier versions of iMovie and the choice between a basic, consumer level app like Garageband and professional-centric app like Logic Pro.

Samsung has done something similar with Easy Mode on the GS4, GS5 and Note 3, except that “advanced” mode is standard. Flip a switch in settings for Easy Mode and a simplified interface removes non essential buttons and menus.

Samsung's Easy Mode

Samsung’s Easy Mode.

For my ideal pro version of iOS, the software would offer up more customization options; something more like an Apple-approved Jailbreak.

You would have more freedom to install, change the default applications (messenger, calendar, etc..) tweak, develop and create the mobile environment you want.

It was not until the forthcoming iOS 8 that Apple has granted developers access to provide alternatives for something as seemingly simple as the keyboard.

This type of advanced, tweakable, widget-friendly iOS may be wishful thinking, but Jay Machalani has put this ideas and research to work and come up with something that we could see parts of in the not too distant future.

“Block is a real solution to a real problem,” Machalani says in his blog. “We can add more to iOS while making sure people who love what they always had don’t see any change.”

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