Tab bar icon replacement

On the iPhone home screen:

There‚Äôs a trick to replacing the 4 persistent apps in the Dock at the bottom: you cannot drag into the Dock to bump them out of the way; instead you must drag something out of the Dock to make room first, and then you can drag an app into the free space comparison to the black ‘tab bar’ navigation widgets with the ‘edit’ mode buttons, which you can’t drag icons out of, but dropping new icons on overwrites whatever you dropped them on. Yay consistency.

iPhone interface conventions

The iPhone has introduced a positively bewildering array of touch-based gestures we now have to learn, and apply in the right places. So far I’ve seen:

  •  tap
  •  drag
  • pinch (zooming)
  • two-finger-drag (in a few places, notably the campfire web app)
  • double-tap (Maps, Safari zoom in)
  • two-finger-double-tap (Maps zoom out)
  • swipe (to indicate you want to delete a row in a table)
  • tap-and-hold (typing accents on the keyboard, editing icons on the homescreen and, since the 2.0 software, in Safari and Mail to save an image to the local camera roll).

Chris Heathcote tells me that there is also drag-and-tap – when dragging between two home screens, a tap during the drag will stop it. Not sure if this is an interface or a bug, personally..

volume widgets

The iPhone / iPod music player volume widget behaves like this – you have to start your finger drag on the little round nubbin. You then drag it left or right. Dragging your finger up or down off the slider doesn’t adjust the volume, but doesn’t cancel the adjustment either, and I’ve found this to be a nice way of adjusting the volume a tiny amount – dragging diagonally increases the distance that you have to move your finger to effect the same change in volume, so it’s more precise.

If you put your finger anywhere else on the volume widget, nothing happens. If you drag your finger onto the nubbin from somewhere else you don’t start changing the volume.

The video player and YouTube volume widgets work the same way.

The iTunes Remote volume widget works like this – the volume will snap to wherever on the slider you put your finger down. Once you’ve done this, dragging the slider works as in the local music player. It looks identical to the slider in the music player app.

A slider control put into a blank view in Interface Builder works like the remote application – the slider position snaps to where you touch the slider. But it looks different from the volume control slider – the IB slider has a matte, concave look, wheras the volume control has a shiny nubbin.

The ‘Brightness’ control in the settings app is a slider that looks and behaves like the Interface Builder slider.

On the whole, I prefer the behaviour of the remote app, with the snap. And I prefer the appearance of the Brightness slider. But it’s odd that there are already three different slider widgets on the iPhone.