I don't have an iPhone
March 9, 2010 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Someone with an iPhone or an ipod touch, please answer a stupid easy question for me. When you open an app, what is the first thing the app shows you - is it: A. a full screen that says NAME OF APPLICATION and then you tap to see your first options, or B. those options are presented on the very first screen that you see? Which one is the most common?
posted by amethysts to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Alternative A. Mainly because most apps need to load for a second or two before displaying its contents.

Apps that come with the phone (App Store, Maps, iTunes, etc) show no logo screen when they start.
posted by Memo at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2010

Usually NAME OF APP is a loading screen, then it goes to your options/login.whatever.
posted by cmoj at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2010

Like Memo said. I would add, though, that most of these apps don't require you to tap to see the actual program options, but rather replace the splash screen with the main screen after the app's done loading.
posted by cerebus19 at 1:30 PM on March 9, 2010

If you are designing an app, do a splash screen with [App Name] for loading then switch to your main options. An app that doesn't do this is (the free) SpanishDict (iTunes Link) and, while a great app, seeing the options before me, but not being able to use them, bugs me to no end.
posted by 47triple2 at 1:33 PM on March 9, 2010

Neither, really. You might see a splash screen as often as not. If there is a splash screen, it will contain a logo for the app developer and then go directly to the app's main page.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on March 9, 2010

Response by poster: I gotcha! Thanks guys.
posted by amethysts at 1:35 PM on March 9, 2010

I think a common interface works as follows:

1. Show developer's logo while app loads (2 seconds or so).
2. Show full-screen menu with app title/logo and buttons, including a "settings" or "options" button.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:35 PM on March 9, 2010

The developer API provides explicit support for a splash screen. It's usually only used by applications with long load times, mostly games that need to unpack compressed content. Since the devices don't support multitasking, people switch apps frequently and don't like load times or pointless splash screens.
posted by chairface at 1:48 PM on March 9, 2010

There's a wrinkle here: some of the built-in Apple-provided applications, such as Notes, save a screenshot to Resources/Default.png on exit, so that when they next start up they show that as a static splash screen which then becomes editable once the application is fully loaded, which makes it look like they are loading instantaneously. (Third-party applications can't do this, because the app bundles are cryptographically signed.)
posted by nicwolff at 3:28 PM on March 9, 2010

The iPhone OS Reference Library specifically notes that the launch image should not be a splash screen, but rather should show the application chrome without textual content or changeable interface items.

That said, Apple seems to be very lenient on this point in the approval process, almost to the point of ignoring it completely. Many apps' launch images are splash screens which look little like the application chrome.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:06 AM on March 11, 2010

Also, another example of where a launch image can be useful would be apps that load or update their data from the internet: this can take a while if the device has a spotty WiFi/3G signal or is stuck on GPRS/EDGE. So not just games.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:10 AM on March 11, 2010

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