Trapped in iPhone app hell: 23 taps to save a web screen grab to Evernote

Trapped in iPhone app hell: 23 taps to save a web screen grab to Evernote

Despite the millions of apps out there, the rumoured iPad 3, the upcoming Windows 8 and the mythical Google goggles, we are still a long way away from turning digital content consumption and use into a truly seamless experience. Here is a simple example of the hoops I have to jump through to perform what appears to be a simple task: take a full-screen grab of a mobile website page and save it in Evernote along with the URL:

  • Tap 1: To open Safari. Then I type “Furniture Village” into the Google box. The search results comes up.
  • Tap 2: To select the desired search result. The website appears.
  • Tap 3: To place the cursor into the navigation toolbar of Safari.
  • Tap 4: To bring up the text edit menu.
  • Tap 5: To select all.
  • Tap 6: To copy.
  • Tap 7: To go back to the home screen.
  • Tap 8: To open the “Web Capture” app (it allows me to capture the full length of a mobile web page, but otherwise it is primitive, so I can’t search for a website the same way I do on Safari)
  • Tap 9: On the URL button.
  • Tap 10: On the text box to bring up the text edit menu.
  • Tap 11: To paste.
  • Tap 12: On Return. The website comes up.
  • Tap 13: To capture.
  • Tap 14: To select Camera.
  • Tap 15: To go back to the home screen.
  • Tap 16: To open Evernote.
  • Tap 17: To open the relevant Notebook.
  • Tap 18: To add Note.
  • Tap 19: To select Camera Roll.
  • Tap 20: To select my screen grab to add.
  • Tap 21: On the title box to bring the text edit menu up.
  • Tap 22: To paste URL.
  • Tap 23: To save.

The reasons for this excruciating user experience are not only the limitations of the current mobile interface and some bad app design, but also the fact that apps don’t talk to each other. Efficient, nimble and task-driven, apps are great bits of software – the antidote to big software behemoths born in the 90s and still lingering about. Yet, lack of interoperability turns a smartphone into a pocket or task silos. There are tons of such examples – try to use the Hootsuite app to Tweet about a post on the Mobile RSS app – and unfortunately, they compromise our relationship with technology and content. We are a long way away from content (and tasks) becoming truly free.


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