With all the apps we use on our iPhones these days, organizing them in folders is pretty important. But why is Apple still showing only nine apps per folder page, especially as the screen size gets bigger and bigger?
Apple introduced folders in iOS 4 for the first time, and you could only have up to 1
The introduction of iOS 7, however, meant a completely redesigned user interface, including folders. While folders have now been served with pages that you can scroll through (up to 15!), You can only put nine apps on one page at a time.
This was still useful on the iPhone 4 and even on the iPhone 5, both had a much smaller screen size than current models. On the smaller models, opening a folder with nine apps filled the screen pretty well. However, with iPhone screen sizes up to a massive 6.5 inches with the iPhone XS Max, using this folder size will only waste space on the screen.
Unfortunately, on these larger iPhones (even on the normal 5.8-inch screen of the iPhone XS)) folders somehow look … bad. Take a look at this screenshot of an open folder. There is a lot of wasted screen space that could otherwise be used well. And why is the folder title so far away from the folder?
Of course, this could be a deliberate design decision from Apple so you do not have to go all the way up. To select an app in a folder, you still need to do so to select apps at the top of the Home screen.
In any case, we did a bit of photo hopping to see how much better a folder could be on iOS and how much nicer it would look on newer, larger iPhones.
As you can see, adding two more rows of apps increases the number from 9 to 15, which makes a more meaningful use of all this space. There are still pages to scroll through, but seeing more apps on the screen reduces the number of swipes you need to do.
Apple could easily implement such a thing on the iPad. Admittedly, on a folder page on the iPad, 16 apps are displayed at the same time, but there is still a lot of room around the folder that can be easily used, as shown below.
Hell, Apple could easily expand the size of a folder to cover most of the iPad screen.
On Android, it depends on the device and the launcher used, but the default launcher on the Pixel 3 can display up to 15 apps simultaneously within a folder. If you have a custom launcher like Nova Launcher, you can view up to 20 apps in one folder at a time, which works pretty well. In any case, I would not be surprised if Apple made an improvement to its iOS folder sometime in a future update, but I'm amazed at why it takes so long.