Apple’s iOS 5.1 software update for iPhones makes the camera icon appear persistently on the lock screen. Previously the camera could be launched by tapping on the camera icon; after 5.1, you now have to swipe the icon to launch the app. When you try to tap on the camera icon now, the screen bounces slightly to indicate you must swipe upwards instead.
I know this was to prevent the camera from triggering as you carry the phone around in your pocket, but it’s just not very affordant. On a dark background you can barely see the subtle lines around the camera icon that indicate dragability in iOS, and the screen-bounce seems like a clumsy solution to the problem. Since 5.1 came out I’ve seen people on the street try repeatedly tapping the icon before they understood what they had to do—call me crazy, but maybe it’d have been better to go with a double-tap on the icon instead? I’d willingly take the hit of a few photos of the inside of my pocket in exchange for a button-like icon that actually acts like a button.
OK, </grump>. That concludes this week’s episode of end-of-weekend blues manifesting themselves through UX criticism.