On the iPhone homescreen…
Apple has a problem. When the iPhone was originally released, it was widely lauded as being incredibly easy to use. The user interface was great at allowing any non-technical user to pick the phone up and immediately start using even some of its more complicated features. Four years later, iOS5 remains visually almost identical to the software's original release.
However, in the interim other touchscreen mobile OSs have rose to prominence, particularly Android, that have bought into contrast the short-comings in Apple's icon-centric design. Affording the carrier, customer and developer the flexibility to customise their phone's home screen offers a huge range of potential that Google and Microsoft are only beginning to exploit in their own phones.
Android allows developers to add "widgets" to phones' home screens; and Google have used their own to add a number of features that can really aid a new user's first experience with their platform. One widget displayed by default serves as help and an introduction to the platform; whilst other app-provided widgets together can provide the user with so much more pertinent information in a glance than iOS's icon grid could ever dream of.
So will Apple adopt a more traditional home screen? The benefits offered by this dynamic and flexible change seem extensive, but it feels that Apple is faced with a quandary of expectation: they've been so cemented into a design pattern that at the point it feels almost inconceivable that a future version of iOS (which will be at least a year away) will fundamentally redesign the operating system and allow for Android-esque dynamic homescreen widgets. Their software design has been so firmly entrenched in a single direction and ideology that their ecology might have a huge issue adopting to this deep-seated change.
That said, Apple have never shied away from changes in design or direction in the past, and for all the issues such a change would entail; Jobs' company with Ives' designs has remained one of the most visionary of the last decade, and might still be holding the cards in a game we yet aware is being played.