Since collecting my iPhone X from Appleon release day, my impressions of using the device have gotten better and better. The size is perfect for me, splitting the difference between a smaller phone in my pocket and a larger screen to get things done. However the one huge sticking point in my enjoyment is Control Centre.
The notch has proved to be the most controversial design choice of the year. Yes it allows for more screen space but still packing in loads of new technology, but it also splits the status bar in two. Swiping from the left side brings down the cover page, and from the right reveals Control Centre. There is no way to change this so if you use your phone left handed you are in for a particularly palm stretching experience.
Whenever I stretch my thumb over by awkwardly shifting the fragile bit of technology in my hand I am immediately reminded of the Apple ‘thumb’ advert.
The demand for larger screens has meant Apple had to drop its previous stance, but without doubt this has lead to trade offs. Reachability is a work around for reaching areas of larger screens, but there is no denying that you must accept these trade off when choosing to use a larger device. With that said Control Centre is without doubt not one of these trade offs. The whole concept of this is to have toggles and quick launch options available quickly and easily.
It can no longer exist as a swipe up from the bottom as in previous generations, because this is now the gesture to go home, but even Android tried this interaction and it didn’t work then. The question is, where exactly could you put it?
There have been lots of options suggested for an easier accessed control on iPhone X, and it is clear Apple had other options on consideration. Guilherme Rambo uncovered a demo video inside the Tips app that showed the Control Centre as a page inside the multi-tasking view.
This would make it easier to access when using the phone one handed, but also add in extra gestures in order to access the ‘quick toggles’. Users would have to swipe up and pause (or another of the hundred ways people tell you to do it), then swipe over to Control Centre and then access the toggle they wish.
The best idea may be to adopt the same UI as with the iPad and build the toggles into the multi-task view. The app previews do not need to be a large as they are, and there would be plenty of space to add in extra content. The only downside to this would be access from the lock screen - so a quick fix isn’t easy to come by.
Lets hope I just become more used to Control Centre being more difficult to access, as let me honest, if the notch goes away in the next couple of generations then it will have to change AGAIN!