'Rethinking the Lock Screen: A Counterpoint'

Both Jim Dalrymple and John Gruber have linked to this piece in the last week. Most of its points are perfectly salient, but I strongly disagree with this section:

"Additionally, the grabber itself is flawed. It contradicts the swipe left-to-right motion that is is embedded into every iPhone users muscle memory. By the time I remember I can swipe up from the right to access the camera I've already unlocked the device the normal way.

A better solution might be to add an option to have a permanent camera "notification" that looks and acts like a standard lock screen notification. Swipe left-to-right on the camera icon to go directly to the app. It could be located on the top half of the screen below the date/time bar and would be far enough away from the regular unlock control on the bottom so as to prevent it from being accidentally triggered.

This would be more consistent with how people dismiss the lock screen and have the added benefit of being less visually disruptive to the lock screen's aesthetic balance."

There's nothing wrong with the camera's current 'swipe up' mechanic.

  • It's unobtrusive.
  • It's very easily accessible since you don't have to stretch your thumb to reach it, which I would think fits with the idea of quickly accessing the camera, yes?
  • The user could be holding their iPhone in either landscape orientation and still easily flick the camera grabber with their thumb.
  • It makes swiping to unlock the phone that much easier since it requires less 'travel' than it did before the camera button was around.

I'm having a hard time believing that anyone finds it to be a confusing feature. In fact, turning it into a constant notification would seem more confusing to me. To a user accustomed to seeing notifications on the lock screen, this would probably look like Camera.app is literally always trying to tell them something when it's not.

While I think that there are useful things that could be done with the iPhone's lock screen, this isn't one of them.