The webOS Wish List: Lockable Cards 17
If you're like me (and who doesn't want to be like me?), your webOS device is constantly full of multitasking app cards. Some are fleeting, around for until you don't need them anymore and then tossed off the top of the screen like the day's garbage. Others are important, and you keep them around because you don't want to deal with relaunching the app later, need it to be running in the background, or just want to have whatever's in that card available for quick reference later. For that latter category of app cards there's a problem lurking in your quick-gesturing thumb: the inadvertent toss-away.
It's too easy, we know. You're busy closing away unneeded cards at the end of the day and before you know it you've tossed away the web browser card with that restaurant address you were going to need later that evening. Curse words fly forth as you're forced to reopen the browser, dig into your history, and find the lost page. But… what if you could lock that card and make it so you couldn't accidentally throw it away? Wouldn't that be grand?
Yes, it would indeed be exceedingly grand. But locking a card should be a very deliberate action, something you can't do or undo accidentally. Our simple and straightforward proposal: pull down and hold. The current pull-down behavior in webOS varies depending on the version. webOS 1.x and 2.x treat a pull down the same as tapping on a card, merely maximizing the card. It makes sense - if pushing it away is closing it, pulling it down - towards you - should be the opposite, making the card active. But webOS 3.x left us scratching our heads, as pulling down on an app card instead triggers a slingshot that throws it off the top of the screen, closing any background processes for running built-in apps. Useful, but in no way intuitive.
So our proposal is really two-fold. First: restore the pull-down-to-open behavior for cards. Second: add a pull-down-and-hold gesture to trigger locking a card. For a visual cue, add a red glow and a lock icon on activation, and have a translucent lock icon superimposed on the locked app in card view. Swiping up on a locked card triggers a vertical wobble (perhaps with a red glow at the top of the screen), and unlocking is accomplished by the same pull-down-and-hold gesture.
Simple, intuitive, discoverable, and it doesn't get in the way if you don't need it. Most of all, it's useful and a life-saver of sorts.
Have your own thoughts on this or any other webOS Wish List entry? We'd be disappointed if you didn't. That's why we have the comments, it's your place to say how incredibly right (or horribly wrong) we are, plus there's a poll! And we have little doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so there's a forum thread just for that where awesome webOS dreaming is the order of the day.