Apple's annual WWDC keynote is just around the corner and as usual rumors and speculation are burning through the internet like wildfire. While technology journalists and bloggers are scratching their heads trying to compile their wish lists of features they'd want to see in iOS 8, designers from all around the world are doing their best to visualize rumors and spread their ideas.
Joseph Machalani is one such designer, but the concept he came up with went viral the second he published it. Using Adobe Fireworks and After Effects, the designer created a fantastic vision of iOS 8 home screen, where icons expand like widgets. The name, iOS Blocks, basically explains how the concept looks and works.
You can simply pinch the app to turn it into a Block - a rounded rectangle that displays the most important information and controls. With Blocks, you can view calendar events, check the weather, or control media playback. Machalani designed Blocks to be integral elements of the home screen. The system can display multiple Blocks at once, allowing you to get the information you need at a glance.
Essentially a block is a type of widget. Android has had widgets since its inception, it's a defining feature of the rival mobile OS.
The idea is wonderful and combines the best parts of Android's widgets and Windows Phone's Live Tiles. It appears that the artist took inspiration from a different operating system, too. BlackBerry 10's home screen features a similar concept, with a grid of interactive miniatures of applications running in the background. It is not a part of the home screen, though, but an additional panel.
To see the thinking process behind Machalani's project, visit his website. You will also find there short descriptions of other features the designer hopes to see in iOS 8, a file manager, profile support, and improved multitasking are just to name a few.