Rethinking The iOS Task Switcher – [CONCEPT, UPDATED X2: VIDEO]

Putting side the fact that I just noticed my personal Instagram account features in one of the provided screenshots, I just had to share Sentry’s vision for the future of task switching on iOS, mainly due to the sheer simplicity of the idea.

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Describing the common problems with other concepts relating to the iOS task switcher, (many of which forget the core purpose of the feature, then requiring the user to move away from the home button to switch to another application or service), Sentry of The Verge forums writes:

This is where most previous concepts fail. In an attempt to offer more functionality and features, they lose the core simplicity of the switcher which made it particularly usable to begin with. Some concepts use the entire screen space to display a grid of app previews, others only double the switcher height to include an extra row of icons. While both offer additional functionality, they actually hinder the flow and ease of app-switching. Whether it’s a full screen grid solution or displaying two rows in the switcher instead of one, both require more from your thumb than Apple’s original solute while tending to be overly brash in appearance as well.

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Providing an ideal solution to this core problem, while in the process rethinking the basis of switching apps on iOS with both enhanced visuals and added user functionality, Sentry‘s concept for a new iOS switcher utilises more of the space Apple is currently not using for anything, displaying “elongated card-like icons that serve as a visual representation of their respective app.”

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Additionally, the new task switcher UI proposed by Sentry would show “more information” for other aspects of the iOS 6 task switcher, such as the ‘Music Player’ UI, and could even provide quick toggles for system preferences.

The settings page (two swipes right), previously known as ‘the useless volume slider’ page, now features a useful brightness slider as well as settings toggles which, like the brightness slider, can be used as shortcuts to enable and disable system functions, previously only accessible through the settings app.


The following mock-ups, (which use the same idea), show the natural progression of Apple’s want to show more content to the user via the iPhone 5‘s elongated display. It makes sense for the iOS task switcher to follow suit, right?

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What do you think?Would this be a conceptual idea you would like to see Apple consider (or perhaps, implement) going forward? – Feel free to sound off in the comments.

/ iClarified

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