Apple’s stealth improvements to the iOS

It’s always interesting to me to see Apple making small but significant improvements to the user experience, not as part of a software update, but through tweaks quietly made at their end with no announcement or notice given- things just get better. One example became evident thanks to my compulsive penchant for reading about just what has changed with each of my iOS app upgrades. Previously to iOS 6, this was a somewhat tedious process: for each app in your update list, you had to click through to another screen which listed the details of the upgrade. Then, you returned to the main Update screen – and waited while it refreshed the entire list (hey, something else may have been updated in those 10 seconds!) With iOS 6, I was – at first – delighted to see how this process had been revamped and streamlined. Instead of having to repeatedly click through to another screen and leave your update list behind, there was now a tiny arrow within each listed app. Clicking it, the update details would “roll out” – right on the same page. Brilliant! However, note that I said I was “at first” delighted with this improvement. It seemed one had to click precisely on that teeny, tiny arrow, or you would still be shunted to another screen – the app’s listing in the App Store. It seemed more and more arbitrary where exactly to aim for a successful tap, and I never could be sure I was hitting the right spot. It was maybe a 50% chance I’d get the app details to roll down successfully. The net result was, “great idea, but lousy implementation.” But then, some time later, I noticed a dramatic change. Now, clicking anywhere except directly on the app’s icon or on the “Update” button makes the details appear. It’s a much simpler and obvious target and far more appropriate to the whole touchscreen interface. It’s the way it should have been from the start. Nice to know that even when Apple doesn’t quite get it right, they keep tinkering until they do… sometimes without even mentioning it.  

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