Early in February my wife and I picked up shiny new iPod Touches. It was our V-Day/Tax Return/Finally-got-rid-of-that-old-futon-on-craigslist-for-200-bucks gift to each other. Now let me start off by letting you know that I love the device. It’s a fun toy and a decent (basic) PDA. That said however I have one huge UI question for the folks in Cupertino.
Why don’t all apps rotate to landscape mode?
You make this gorgeous widescreen device, in a world where the widescreen format is becoming the defacto standard. I can rotate my music, and Ohhhh and Ahhh over how slick coverflow is. But I can’t for my videos? Ok, so thumbnails of videos aren’t nearly as cool as cover art. I get it. But what about my Photos.
HA! You say. You can rotate photos and flick between them, zooming in with careless ease. Ok. Pick a landscape photo. Tap once to bring up the controls. Tell me, which orientation are those controls in? Why can’t I turn the damn thing sideways flick through a few pics and then go back to selected another Event/Folder without having to flip back to portrait mode?
Or better yet, there’s this great mobile email client on my iPod. Pretty spiffy yes? But I can’t turn the damn thing sideways to take advantage of the larger keypad layout. WTF. I understand each app has a separate purpose but that doesn’t give the developers carte blanch with regards to usability and UI design. Some apps have an alphabetical listing you can jump to by scrolling down the right side of the screen. Other apps do not. Tapping the top of a page in MobileSafari takes you to the top of the page, not so much in Notes & Mail.
Ok, I know now I sound like a total party pooper. You’re never going to look at your iPhone/Touch the same again, right? Right?
The most frustrating thing is I believe Apple will improve the UI over the course of the platforms life, which is great, but you know I’ll be paying for that new interface; not loading a new update via iTunes for free. 🙂
*And for Mac users has been for a few years now. I believe the last Mac sold with a 4:3 ratio monitor was either the iBook or eMac.