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Improve app integration with SailfishOS UI

asked 2014-01-09 09:16:43 +0200

strnous gravatar image

updated 2014-02-09 19:05:05 +0200

I would really like to encurage the developers either Jolla's own or third party to consider higher integration of their apps into Sailfish.

As Sailfish is true multitasking system there should be no need to have a separate apps for some of the tasks. In particular I believe that apps providing a messaging/news/feed stuff of any kind could/should be integrated into the Events view rather than having their own covers flooding the home screen unnecessarily. With the number of social networks these days the Home screen could easily reach the current limitation of 9 covers and/or become a mess of a number of covers for different social networking apps when the limitation is gone.

I will use Mail app and Tidings as an example as these are the two I use currently the most, but the same would apply to others such as Facebook clients, Foursqare clients, WhatsApp clients, news readers, current messaging app, ....

My idea is to have an entry in the notification view showing, besides the current Facebook and Twitter accounts, also each mail account configured in settings (or a single entry representing all mail accounts). Clicking on that entry would dive into the application specific sub-page (i.e. Inbox view for a particular mail account as it is used within the current Mail app). The other sub-pages (folder view) below this one would act as they do now.

Another icon in the Event view list would be for RSS feeds (i.e. Tidings) and clicking on it would open the app specific sub-page again.

Even Calendar could be integrated here as it is also event handling app.

Swiping from the right screen edge would make the Event view disappear as it is done now not leaving any active cover opened in Home view. The apps' necessary services would stay running in the background or they will be woken up for their regular tasks such as polling updates. Swiping from the left edge would bring you back to the main Event view from any of the application specific sub-pages to switch easily between the messaging apps.

With such integration each message received will be available from any point in the Sailfish UI with a same simple swipe-from-bottom and one or more clicks.

I know there's quite much which would need to be clarified and done for this idea to work (integrate apps notification icons in lock screen, integrate apps account configuration in Settings as requested here, integration of the apps into the Event view pulley menu (i.e. there could be single "Update all" item to refresh all integrated accounts/apps) but I believe it would really make Sailfish easier to use and differentiate from the other OSes as there is no such level of integration at the moment (Androids and iOSes use a separate app for nearly anything). It would also leave the Home screen free for the other important stuff such as browsers, e-book readers, camera or whatever the user chooses.

Please, feel free to comment, enhance, criticise the idea described above.

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Sounds a bit like how the BB10 Hub works.

onion ( 2014-01-09 10:33:42 +0200 )edit

Definitivly agree on that also some 3rd party developers should also learn to use swipe more and NOT add to many menuitems in pulleymenu when swipe can be used instead for most frequent used stuff. Also avoid using buttons when VKB return can be used as search button as one example...

mike7b4 ( 2014-01-12 00:54:13 +0200 )edit

Sorry @Stskeeps, I removed the "3rd party" you added to the title as the issue is not limited to third party apps.

As written above it applies i.e. to the stock Mail app as well.

strnous ( 2014-01-15 22:32:30 +0200 )edit

Yes please. Thats what I miss the most (with multitasking) from my N9 when I use an Android device. I have facebook, twitter, and RSS feeds (reddit for example) in a single timeline. Plus date, weather and calendar on the same page. So when I want to check whats new I just go to that page.

saya ( 2014-01-17 12:39:46 +0200 )edit

Please also add support to create a reminder application which shows custom-made reminder screens, even if the app is closed.

kylihars ( 2014-02-09 19:50:17 +0200 )edit

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answered 2014-01-18 23:31:18 +0200

FlyingSheep gravatar image

I absolutely agree with your sentiment, bur please give us poor app developers a little time. It is still early days. Many apps will have a previous history somewhere else, be it Symbian, Harmattan, BB10 or Android.

The Sailfish Silica UX is very different from anything else out there, even the supposed predecessor the N9. Let's leave the pros and cons for other threads, but these differences do make a seamlessly integrated port difficult. (As an example, I am currently losing sleep over the lack of tabs in Silica).

However I am sure, that as time passes, we developers will get more of a feel for the Silica UX and be able to worm our way into its unique way of doing things, This will allow us to tear ourselves from old ways of thinking and achieve ever higher degrees of seamless integration.

Equally important, the APIs will mature become public, and be better documented, making it easier for us to do things the Sailfish Silica way


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@FlyingSheep No worries. As I wrote already in the original question I'm quite confident that it would need quite some time to achieve such goal.

strnous ( 2014-01-19 00:53:20 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-16 22:16:32 +0200

Blown_ouT gravatar image

Gladly I did a search before commenting the same question. I want to offer from the events view where should the news from social networks be, to slide left and go to RSS feeds. For example by pully menu to jump to the email accounts or something! Also note that when I click on the link "RSS feed" from a site in the browser it does not automatically add the link to the Tidings app and I have to do it manualy

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Asked: 2014-01-09 09:16:43 +0200

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Last updated: Feb 09 '14