Every time Apple releases a new OS update, be it on the Mac or iPhone, there’s a bucketload of smaller - lesser-spotted - changes that appear in the system. iOS 4 very much continues this trend, so whilst you’re busy perusing the new update today here’s 8 little changes you may (or may not) spot.
All screenshots taken on an iPhone 3G
The”End Call” button is now simply “End” - and a different shade of red to boot - whilst a contact’s photo now flows beneath the “End” button itself.
Whenever you create a draft email (in Mail.app or in any other application that uses the Mail framework) you’re now prompted discard or drafts with a destructive button in the action sheet.
Whenever the web address or search field is active they take up less screen space than in previous releases.
When viewing album listings in the iPod application, you’re presented with a far more spacious view (similar to the on-device iTunes Store) for browsing songs complete with album artwork.
Every Apple OS release improves the copy shown in error messages and dialogues, and iOS 4 has some tweaks too. Applications with an age rating are now explicitly named when downloading them - a huge improvement over the previous releases where you’d be left in the dark as to which application you were approving.
Sidenote: Whilst I’m talking about copywriting, there’s also some improvements in the error messages from the system too. For example, this error message from NSURLConnection:
iOS 3: “no Internet connection”
iOS 4: “The Internet connection appears to be offline”
If you’re a developer that uses these localised error descriptions you may want to check your UILabels have enough space to fully display the more verbose warnings.
Update: As pointed out by Brandon Walkin this still isn’t great: using ‘Click’ on a touch-screen device is flat-out wrong…
This isn’t entirely new in iOS 4 - it’s been in the iPad since launch - however it never ceases to amaze me how the map tile fade-ins improve the (already brilliant) Maps application. As you’d expect, developers get this new animation for free as part of MapKit too.
Again, another that’s from the iPad (but, it’ll be more noticeable to those who upgrade from iOS 3.1 or earlier). The application dock slides up when returning to the homescreen and down when launching an application (a la Mac OS X dock animation). In iOS 3 the dock would stay in place when you quit or launched an application.
When pressing a wiggling homescreen icon to remove an application, the (X) button found in the top left of the application icon now has a depressed state - shown on the Twitter for iPhone icon.
Update 22nd June: There’s 8 more little changes listed in this followup.
Posted on Monday June 21st, 2010