Monday, January 11, 2021

Is iOS 14’s App Library for Me?

Chris Hynes:

You find names appearing under icons to be irritating, especially since you’ve long since memorized what all your app icons look like.

When you click on something that looks like a folder, you’ve always wanted it to launch the app under finger than open a folder like it does in the home screen.


You like when you have something that looks like a folder and clicking a big icon behaves differently than a small icon.


You were hoping for another place to search for apps that doesn’t tell you what folder the app is in.

Some good points, made sarcastically. I actually kind of like App Library. It sure beats swiping through an unsorted folder nine apps at a time. The small vs. large icon distinction probably breaks some rules but works well in practice.

The weirdest thing for me is that Recently Added doesn’t seem to be based on when I actually purchased or manually downloaded the app. It’s as if half of the apps shown are there because they happened to be the last ones migrated from my previous iPhone.

Update (2021-01-22): Ryan Jones:

This is maddening. Spotlight vs App Library

Update (2021-06-02): Jesse Squires:

I think App Library is one of the best features added to iOS in the past few years.


I only have one major complaint about the existing folders — why is there no “Developer” category?


Finally, why is App Library still not available on iPad? App Library is essentially the iOS equivalent of Launchpad on macOS. As the iPad continues to evolve into a more desktop-like experience, it is baffling that App Library is iPhone-only. (And the same goes for home screen widgets, which are also missing on iPad.)


There’s one main bug I continue to encounter: phantom notification badges. A folder in App Library will have a notification badge, but when I tap to open the folder, none of the apps have a badge.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

I dont like the App Library at all. I think it is badly designed. It is defiantly better than shipping thought 10 pages of apps. But that is a very bar to hit, especially for Apple.

Ed, are you OK? It looks like you started having a stroke after the second sentence.

I have yet to use the App Library, and maybe I should. I currently have 15 (yikes) pages of apps, despite quite a few also residing in folders. Why don't I delete some of those? Because I occasionally rediscover a gem among them.

However, iOS 14's widgets have been quite useful for me. For some apps, I don't bother with their regular icon; it's stashed away in a folder. Instead, I have a more informative widget, and may not even need to launch the app at all. While this perhaps isn't the intended use, I have a page focused on Health, with various widgets and icons from Fitness, Pedometer, etc., that shows me my health at a glance. Pretty good.

I don't think it hurts having a feature like App Library not be for everyone, as long as other methods stay around. It also doesn't seem to have made app management any more complex than before.

But, as Siracusa recently said, it's a bummer that we still don't have something like (or better than) the old iTunes app management UI.

I like App Library because all those apps have to go somewhere and anything beyond 2 pages is tedious.

Do you run Apps from your /Applications folder on mac?

I sure hope not, even Spotlight is better. (I use Alfred, which is -much- better.)

Do you squint at shrunk icons in App Library?

I sure hope not, that’s what iOS Spotlight and “SIRI Suggestions” are for. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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