I have been enjoying the beta of iOS 4.2 on my iPad for a while. Ever since the audio jack on my 2nd generation iPod Touch went bad, I have been using my Droid Incredible to listen to Audible audiobooks and I’ve been using my iPad as a (very large) iPod in my car to listen to podcasts.

This iPad as an iPod idea works great until someone tries to call me while I’m driving down the road. I’ve learned to keep my phone in the center compartment so it’s easy to grab in this situation. However, the process goes something like this: • Hear phone ringing • Slide to Unlock the iPad and then enter the passcode • Touch the screen once (because the iPod app is retarded and doesn’t show the Play/Pause buttons by default • Find the Play/Pause button and press it • Answer phone

Here’s the process in pictures:

iPad screen after pressing Home once     iPad screen after Sliding to Unlock     iPad screen after unlocking and then touching the screen once

With the iOS 4.2 Beta, Apple has made this process a lot easier with multi-tasking, as I just discovered the other day. With multi-tasking, I can press the Home key once to turn the screen on, then double-tap the Home button to make the Play/Pause and Back/Forward buttons appear, as shown below:

4-double-tap-home

This is all well and good, but I think they need to take it a step further. When I’m in my car, I don’t need to have to look at the screen to find the Play/Pause button. It’s easy to accidentally hit the Previous Track or Next Track buttons, and that can really disrupt things. I think the Play/Pause button should be in the middle of the screen and it should be HUGE. I need to be able to press it with my whole fist if I wanted to. So I threw together a mockup. (Please forgive my design skills, I didn’t want to spend hours on this post just making the picture look good).

5-Final