Is this iOS 11’s most annoying change?

iOS 11 app update screen on an iPad

For the most part, I’m really liking iOS 11, especially on the iPad. I like the steps it has taken towards unifying with OS X, while still remaining very usable on smaller screens.

However, there is one, tiny thing that really irritates me.

Most apps have changed, new fonts, more spacing, and to be honest less is shown on the screen at a time as a result. This looks nice but in my opinion lowers the usability, particularly on smaller screens like the iPhone.

One of these apps, the one that my ire centres around, is the App Store itself.

You might have noticed that much of the App Store has been redesigned. For the most part, it’s fine. However, there is one piece of information about each app on the update screen that has now been virtually hidden: the size.

Previous versions of the App Store showed the size of each app prominently on the update screen along with the version number and update button.

The iOS 10 App Update Screen
The iOS 10 app update screen showing the size.

This is a vastly important piece of information because it determines when and where I will run the app update. A large app of 200mb+ I would only run if I know I’m going to be on wi-fi for long enough to install it. On the other hand, if it’s 40mb or smaller, it’s not a big deal if I use some mobile data on it. The same goes for installing a new app. While the placement on the app pages hasn’t changed, it used to be more readable.

Now though, it’s not shown on the app update list at all, so you have no choice but to make the extra tap to enter the app information screen.

The new iOS 11 App Store updates screen without app sizes.
The new iOS 11 App Store updates screen without app sizes.

Given its prominence on the update screen previously, I would have expected it to at least be easy to find on the app page.

iOS 11 app update screen on an iPad
The new iOS 11 app update screen on an iPad, also without app sizes.

In fact, though, it isn’t anywhere in the data shown when you open the app information screen.

An iOS 11 App update above the fold
An iOS 11 App update above the fold

You have to scroll almost the whole way to the bottom to get the actual app information, including its size, and this is the only place the size is shown.

The iOS 11 App update screen after 1 full scroll
The iOS 11 App update screen after 1 full scroll

Now, a decision that could be made in a glance requires 3-4 taps just to get the data needed to make that decision. Instead, I have to wade through lots of useless data and images. Not to mention, I now have to load all that unnecessary data. It’s a waste of mobile data and slows things down, especially if the connection is already slow. It might not matter on a high-speed connection, but for those without that luxury, it is a big deal.

The app information on the iOS 11 app update screen
The less-readable app information on the iOS 11 app update screen, right at the bottom

Some of that data is useful if it’s the first time installing an app, or if you aren’t really sure if it’s the right app. To be honest, though, I rarely look at any of that info. Almost every app I download, I get from the search screen directly without going into the app information screen.

The more readable iOS 10 app information
The more readable iOS 10 app information

When updating apps though, I certainly don’t need to see screenshots of it, I don’t need a video, I don’t need to know that it’s also available on other devices. I certainly don’t need the description or highlights, just what’s new is sufficient. I also don’t need to see expanded reviews, and definitely not before the actual app information. All of this waste of space would be ok to be after the app data, but it really just slows things down and makes the useful information harder to find. This was a flaw in iOS 10 as well, if you went into the app information, but it wasn’t necessary to do so since you could see the file size on the update list screen.

What do you think? Do you find this as annoying as I do or is it just me? Let me know in the comments below.

Creating an iOS App Using The Alarm

I’ve got an idea for an app that will use the alarm and push notifications associated with the alarm on an iPhone and ultimately an Apple Watch. So I’ve been reading up a bit on how to approach that. The below links look promising so far and I plan to experiment with them. We’ll see how I go!

  • http://www.raywenderlich.com/32960/apple-push-notification-services-in-ios-6-tutorial-part-1
  • http://apigee.com/docs/app-services/content/tutorial-push-notifications-sample-app
  • http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/setting-up-push-notifications-on-ios–cms-21925

Ironically Macca’s just released a new app that has a lot of similarities to what I am envisioning. Also some key differences.