iPhone Application UI Request

At my day job I spend most of my day working in Linux and Microsoft operating system environments. Coming from a background where my parents are both huge Apple supporters I miss the elegance of working in an Apple controlled operating system.

Courtesy http://www.allaboutapple.com/

Apple IIe

One of the ways that I get my Apple fix when using Windows 7 (which I very much enjoy), Windows XP (which I can do without) and Linux all day is by using my iPhone.

One of the applications for the iPhone which I have recently begun using is Tweetie2 [iTunes Link]by atebits. Tweetie2 is a Twitter client that I picked up after reading numerous positive reviews. I would like to use this blog post to publicise one of the great features of Tweetie2 and make a call to add the feature to as may apps with a similar  UI paradigm as possible.

The specific feature that I would like to praise/request is the way that Tweetie2 refreshes its Twitter timeline. As opposed to having a button somewhere on the periphery of the screen to refresh the stream a simple gesture is used. The gesture is a simple downward swipe when the timeline is scrolled all the way to the top. When you pull down far enough a panel showing information regarding the last time your Twitter timeline has been updated is shown. If you pull down far enough it locks in and performs an update of your timeline. If you do not pull down far enough the timeline simply slides back up and resets.

This feature is highly usable and I feel should be translated to other applications in the iPhone stack. Particularly, any application that uses a listing style that also receives fairly constant updates. Two applications come to mind immediately that could benefit from this.

First, Apple’s own Mail program. I find myself constantly trying to pull down on the screen to update my Gmail account. Currently this action displays the search box. I would prefer that the search box be replaced with the Tweetie2 update mechanism and the search button be moved to the bottom. Using this gesture just feels more intuitive to me.

The other application that could benefit from this refresh/reload mechanic is the ever popular Facebook application for the iPhone. Currently when you pull the list down to expose the top you get a button exposed which allows you to reload posts. Why force the user into an extra tap and not just dynamically reload based on how far down the user drags?

Feel free to let me know in the comments if there are other applications that could use this treatment or if I am completely off base.


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