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Thread: Themed Spring board as a front end

  1. #1
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Themed Spring board as a front end

    Okay, so I've been playing around with the iPad and trying to know it better. Since some of the things are more developed for the iPhone platform, I took my j/b 3G and use it as a test mule for things to come.

    To use the iPad in the car I think we'd need a front end. By that I mean not a complete system like Ride Runner or CF, but something with big buttons from which you can launch all the apps you want to use in the car, while at the same time leaving room/pages on the springboard. Springboard is the iPhone application that manages iPhones main screen:



    This is what it looks like, very similar to the iPad one:



    The difference being that the iPad one rotates (you can make the iPhone rotate too, if you want to, by j/b it).

    Now those are relative small icons, and not very conducive for use while driving. Even if you have fewer icons, the application keeps them "organized", that means you can't space them out if you want to, like in Windows.

    Ideally we'd have a car front end, like RR and CF that would manage music, video, navigation and all the other stuff, specially notifications from other apps like text messages, ebay, facebook, etc.

    However, maybe you can tweak the Springboard to act just like a front end perhaps. Not like a full fledge front end, but a pretty good looking one, if you know graphic design. This tweak could be just a new "theme" applied to the spring board, just to make it look the way we want to, without by itself changing it's behavior or functions in any way.

    So I just installed Whitoken theme on my iPhone. It's very cool and it really works. Installation can be pretty involved, but it was fun doing it, and I learned a lot about the iPhone OS in the proccess. I liked iToken specially because it works so good under direct sunlight, it's unbelievable. I always requested creamy, opaque white with black fonts as the main background/font theme from skin developers, but I was never listened. So yeah, baby, this color combo ROCKS in direct sunlight.


    These are screen caps taken from my iPhone (hold the home button and hit the sleep button).








    As you can see, instead of 20 something small icons (AND TEXT) on the main screen, we have 2 main big icons on each page (with 3 regular icons, but more spaced), plus 3 on the dock below, and the shortcuts for other pages at the top. And more importantly, big text, when relevant.

    I haven't mod the theme much if at all. There's a lot of silly things I don't like, "safari, surf the internet", I don't need a description in most cases...So this needs a lot of cleanup. But it's a start.


    The only thing I changed was the Game section, which I plan to be my "in car section". I edited the stupid game app and to get beat the traffic (awesome app) app there instead.

    I have more than one hundred apps, and they are all organized under HOME/APPS/MEDIA/GAME categories. So when you click "apps" on the top menu, or slide the screen sideways, you get to the APP section/page and the top left button saying "APPS, view all" opens a category folder holding all your apps.

    The idea is to get to the in car page/section, dock the phone and launch the main apps (nav/traffic/pandora plus one more) from that section. You can navigate to the media section and launch videos/you tube/ipod section with music podcasts etc. it also has big buttons. If you launch Pandora and hit the home button, it will go to the background (if you have the backgrounder app) the music will keep playing while you're send back to the main "in car" section above, where you can launch other apps.

    This works best if you can dock your iPhone in the dash, with some ssort of holder, so that the screen sits firmly within sight.

    If you're in the mood for media playing, browsing, etc., then it's much better to launch something like flick tunes, or other gesture based app (see this section) and you'll have a much better interface to manage while driving. But if you decide to quit that and launch any other app, you'd rather have a cleaner interface with big buttons and text, wouldn't you?

    So that's my idea.

    What do you guys think? What sort of problems I'm not seeing? Have no idea how the iPad would look like, but I'm focusing on the iPhone first. If anything it makes the iPhone look cooler, IMHO.

  2. #2
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    I like that idea. I'd seen that but it is sort of difficult to try out and remove if you don't like it. But I like the way it looks.

    Here's something I tried with the iPad. Under the General settings, go to accessibility and enable the zoom feature. Then, use three fingers to double tap and set it up as you like. In this case, I put 6 icons on the screen.

    If you set the first 6 icons on each page to your car apps, you can page through them king-sized. Triple tapping will zoom everything back to normal if you need to operate the controls for some reason.

    It's not perfect, but it is *bigger*.

    Still, I'd agree about the need for a front end app of some type.
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  3. #3
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    That's an idea. I'm going to test this out.

    In the meantime, I'm going to try to tweak some icons for the iPhone.

    There's no categories working for the iPad so far, so that would mean hiding all the remaining icons in new pages after those first four...

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