Thought Patterns

Cameron’s thoughts on everything and nothing.

Has Apple gone too far making the iPhone simple?

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Just installed iPhone OS 4.0 beta that was released to developers yesterday. It seems to be a great release and delivers on a lot of feature requests. One of the biggest new features was multi-tasking support. Multi-tasking is the ability to switch from one application to another without closing the current application. Basically when you switch apps they are kept running in the background or frozen until you return to them where you can pick up where you left off.

To activate this new multitasking feature in iPhone OS 4, one has to double click the physical Home button (the round button with a icon of a square) to bring up the new app switcher. Now up until now double clicking the home button brought up the iPod controls when music was playing. In this new release the popup iPod controls are nowhere to be found. Here are some other Home button combos:

  • Click Home once (from lock screen) – Wake iPod
  • Double click Home (from lock screen) – Bring up iPod controls
  • Click Home once (from dashboard) – Go to first icon page / search
  • Double click Home (from dashboard) – Display the new multi-tasking app switcher
  • Hold Home – Voice Control
  • Hold Home and press Lock – Take screenshot
  • Hold Home and Hold Lock – Restart phone

Goodness knows where the accessibility options have gone which used to be triple click Home.

Now is it me or is by having just two hardware soft buttons (i.e. function determined by software) a bit to much on the sparse side? The fact that there are this many key combinations is slightly worrying. Can anyone remember all of these? It also does not help that Apple changes this combinations in each iPhone OS release.

Maybe it’s time that the next iPhone device has a few extra buttons?

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One Comment

  1. Yes, it is.
    You’re right. We have the same feeling even in Europe.

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