On Monday @TiP_Cam gave his weekly Monday moan, lamenting about the fact that is is impossible to delete stock apps on iOS. More recently it emerged that iOS 8 may contain a few key additions to Apple’s stock app repetoire, and I was led to ponder my own feelings on the subject.
I couldn’t help but be drawn to several stock apps that, since the introduction of iOS 7 have become somewhat inept. I like a nice OCD Home Screen, but I’m always having to work around apps that I find really don’t need to be there at all.
Apple’s introduction of the Control Center in iOS 7 placed a torch, Clocks, Calculator and Camera all within a seconds reach regardless of where you happen to be in iOS.
Accessing all four of these apps is quickest and most convenient when you do it through the Control Center, swipe up then tap, simple. So why is it then that three out of four of these apps remain on my Home Screen, flaunting their garish icons at me?
Yes, it’s perhaps nice to have an analogue clock face on your Home Screen, but for me, this is no more than two centimetres away from the digital clock face at the top of the screen, and no easier to read.
If that app doesn’t feature on your first Home Screen page, then why would you waste your time (pardon the pun) swiping to see that clock face, when your digital clock is right before your eyes?
Apple’s camera app has one of the dullest icons I’ve ever seen in iOS, and can be much better accessed from both the control center and the lock screen.
Whilst Calculator’s icon is, in my book at least, a little more aesthetically appealing, it’s still easier to access that app from the Control Center, assuming that you’re switching to your calculator from a different app, or from the lock screen.
Straight away, three needless app icons could be removed from the Home Screen to create more space for apps that I do use on a very regular basis, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook etc.
Two further apps needlessly placed on the Home Screen are Contacts and FaceTime. Both of these apps deliver excellent functionality, and I’m certanly not questioning their utility.
However I’ve personally never touched the Contacts app, as I much prefer simply using the Contacts sub-category at the bottom of the Phone app. Because your Contact list and your Phone functionality are so closely linked, I cannot understand why Apple thought it was a good idea to separate the two.
Likewise, when you open your FaceTime app, the first thing you have to do is open your contacts list (which appears as another sub-category inside this app) in order to find the person you’re looking for.
I’m not suggesting we all up-sticks and buy Galaxy devices because of a couple of extra apps on the iOS Home Screen, it just seems odd to me that a company such as Apple, with a phenomenal track record of OS unity and attention to detail, managed to bungle its stock apps quite so significantly.
I honestly can’t understand why iOS can’t more effectively incorporate your contacts list, the Phone app and FaceTime, both Phone and FaceTime can be activated from within the Contacts app as it is, so theoretically they could get rid of the other two anyway.
My final beef is with the Compass app. Because the Compass is so well integrated with Apple’s Maps app, I don’t see why there needs to be a standalone Compass icon.
It strikes me as a fairly rare occurrence that someone might use the Compass app with serious intent without also using Maps, having the two separate in that sense is actually hindrance, and indeed it makes more sense to have the two integrated, which they are.
Having a standalone compass app was cool when it looked like a real ships compass, but now I’d much rather see it integrated into the Maps app, and off my Home Screen.
And yes, I know, we can access a “spirit level”, from the new Compass App. But given its reliability issues, you’d probably have more luck measuring the spookiness of ghouls than making sure you new shelf is flat.
I could argue that Calendar and Stocks, as well as Weather, because of their integration into the Notification Centre might also be worthy of the chop. Of course, these apps don’t need to be ripped out of the coding of iOS, but for goodness sake let me hide them if I want to.
This may certainly come across as the ranting of an anally-retentive journalist with too much time on his hands, but I, like Cam before me am sick of stock iOS apps that I don’t need or want. Do you feel the same way? Leave your comments below!