Order! Order! Order the Incompatible Applications by Name!

When it comes to the (quite hidden) App Compatibility screen in iOS 10 that is trying to help us with which apps are not compatible with iOS 11, this is a great for advising users. However, one goes to that screen, the apps are listed in a strange order. Are they alphabetical? No. Are they by size? No. Are they by date of app release? No. So what order are they in? Who knows?

Solution: The simplest and most understandable way would be to list the apps alphabetically. Given that this is the last gasp of iOS 10, it’s unlikely that will never happen.




iTunes 12.7 and iOS Device App Synching

iTunes 12.7 removes the ability to manage, update and synch apps on iOS devices.

iTunes 12.7 Notification About Apps

However there is a problem that this update ignores: The Mobile Applications folder on the disk. It seems that this folder is redundant now. But with multiple gigabytes of .ipa files in there is it now okay to delete this folder? Shouldn’t iTunes inform the user about this folder and say it’s okay to delete it or offer to delete it? The Learn More link doesn’t say.

APFT iTunes 12.7 leaves .ipa files behind

macOS Sierra 10.12.6; iTunes

iOS App Store Search Field is not Active by Default

The iOS App Store has five tabs across the bottom of the app. The Search Tab brings up a search field, and a list of trending apps. Unfortunately, the search field is not active. The user has to tap within the search field before the keyboard appears and they can type, which requires the user to use both hands. This should be a one-handed operation.

Almost nobody will tap a suggested trending app, because they came to the Search Tab to search for an app they have in mind. Having to tap a field rather than being able to start typing the name of the app is bad usability. The solution is that when the search tab is opened, the cursor is in the search field and the keyboard is active.


iOS App Store Search Tab


iOS App Store search field active

iOS 10.3.3 (14G60); App Store.
Update: Still not functioning as expected in iOS 11.0 (15A372).

Finding What Page an iOS App is on

It’s common for iOS users to have multiple pages of apps. However, it can be annoying scrolling through pages of apps just to find one particular app, especially if that app is hidden in a folder. It’s quick and easy to swipe down and enter the first few letters of the app in order to launch it. But if a user wants to find what page it’s on, then it requires slow manual searching. What would help is if the search results showed the page and folder the app is in. Currently only the folder name is shown (in this screenshot, the app Chess is in a folder called Games 4). But which page is it on?

iOS—Show page application is on

iOS 10.3.3 (14G60).

iPhone Icon Placement—Bottom Up

Most people operate their iPhone using their thumb. When the thumb won’t suffice, then fingers from the other hand are used. However, if Apple allowed the user to choose a corner from which icons could propagate, then users could get more use out of their phone should they choose to propagate icons from the bottom right-hand corner (or left-hand corner for left-handers).

How it is (note that the thumb can barely reach the third row of icons comfortably):

How icons are currently laid out

How it could be (note that now the thumb can reach most of the icons comfortably):

Icons aligned from bottom to top left to right

It might seem ugly, but after a few days of using iOS like this, it wouldn’t seem odd, and most users wouldn’t want to switch back given the increased usability.

iOS 10.3.3 (14G60).

How Much Free Space?

I sync my iPhone with iTunes. I like to have a local backup. Occasionally I get a message like this:

iTunes. Updating phone OS 01

Yay! An update. Let’s click Download and Update.

iTunes. Updating phone OS 02

Oh. Let me have a closer look…

iTunes. Updating phone OS 03

I’ve 1.36 GB of free space. That’s greater than the 770 MB that’s required. Let me sync the phone and see how much free space there is afterwards.

iTunes. Updating phone OS 04

Wow. 3.30 GB. That should be enough for the sync.

iTunes. Updating phone OS 02

Hmm. Let’s check the iPhone itself.

iTunes. Updating phone OS 05

Well, I guess this figure of 411 MB is the number that the update process is seeing, and no wonder it’s complaining. But, why is iTunes giving me such a large figure for free space? Shouldn’t it be querying the iPhone itself and getting the phone’s free space number?

It may be that my iPhone needs to be restored. But even so, iTunes calculation of free space is not the same as how the iPhone itself calculates it. Which one is right?

iTunes; iOS 9.3.5 (13G36); OS X El Capitan 10.11.6.