redesign | apple: How would you improve this iMessage experience?

Connect button

There are three keys to solving this puzzle:

  • The hashtag #lowbandwidth.
  • The E indicator in the status bar, showing that the phone is on and Edge network.
  • The stuck “Sending…” indicator.

My answer here is to fall back to SMS when the data network doesn’t work. Apple has created its own messaging system that runs over your phone’s data connection. In most cases, this is good. It allows Apple to deliver a richer set of features, free international messaging and can be faster.

But SMS is more robust because it uses a separate signaling channel. (This is why you should use SMS in emergency situations.)

One of my frustrations with a lot of mobile design is that it ignores low-bandwidth use cases. That’s important for areas where there is sparse coverage. It’s also important if you want your app to work reasonably well in international markets.

Some other answers from Twitter:

This really works best in normal- or high-bandwidth situations. Pre-fetching also uses data that a user on a metered data plan might not want to use.

I use Glympse for this, largely out of habit. But the latest version of iOS does include sending location.

Connect button