Designer Jay Machalani just posted a concept that explores how iOS could be vastly improved if app icons weren't just static blobs. Instead, they could be dynamic UI objects that behaved more like widgets in Android or Live Tiles in Windows Phone.
Machalani's concept is so slickly produced that it might leave you drooling. He borrows some common UI tricks he's from Microsoft and Google, like app resizing and richer information displays, but he's also added some touches of his own. In particular, I love how he implentments the pinch to zoom gesture as a way of bring able to peek inside an app without opening it all the way up.
The problem Machalani is tackling is so simple it almost seems stupid. The iPhone homescreen is packed with icons that don't do much but tell you what apps they launch. Only the little red notification bubble has more information, and it's rarely used for telling you anything but an unread count. In some apps like Cal, the notification spot is used to display the the date, but even then it's a pretty dull experience compared to the interactivity of other platforms. Even fans of Apple's simpler design have to admit there's something to it.
Though Live Tiles and widgets probably aren't part of plan for Monday's iOS 8 announcement. (Here's our full wishlist.) But dreaming is part of the fun. [Jay Machalani via The Verge]