Saturday, July 12, 2008

iPhone Settings

Ken Case (via Lukas Mathis):

Settings which appear in the built-in Settings application can’t have any code associated with them, they can only use standard controls which store data in a few limited data types. We wanted to provide the ability to copy synchronization settings from a Mac on your local Wi-Fi network, which involves code—making it impossible to put our settings in the global Settings application.

The above point makes this moot, obviously, but in general another important factor to consider is whether the user might change a setting more than once or whether it’s really just a one-time configuration. If you’re talking about something like Mail settings, it’s pretty much fire and forget—but in OmniFocus’ case, the user might want to quickly switch between looking at all their completed items and then switch back to looking at just their available actions, and they wouldn’t want to have to relaunch OmniFocus each time they did this.

It’s not clear to me why Apple wants applications to use Settings, except that it reduces the need for a button in the application. It’s a pain to have to quit an application to change a setting, and it’s not always clear what’s a setting and what’s application data. I’ve only changed the locations in the Weather application maybe half a dozen times in the past year, yet I’m happy with them being in the application rather than in Settings.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Well, that's not true. Settings which appear in the built-in Settings application CAN have any code associated with them.

The only requirement is for them to be made by Apple.

This is either an anti-competitive method or a stupid omission. But Apple is making more and more stupid omissions nowadays (public APIs to deal with the multitouch PowerBook for instance).

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