iOS Settings Standards: Using Checkbox Rather Than Switch

  • If you are familiar with iOS devices, you know that the settings application uses the UISwitch control to show that a parameter is enabled or disabled. This control appears as a toggle switch and even has an animated switch motion that tracks the user's finger as the switch slides from one side to the other.

    On my iPad, I did notice an exception to this. A checkbox is used for what I would normally associate a radio button for.

    The toggle switch takes up a significant amount of space on an iPhone, which I can put to better use.

    I have access to the settings with a user interface from inside my application (and only from my app), and can depart from this practice of using the switch, by replacing it with a checkbox. (This would simply be a custom UIButton.) I am wondering whether there is a downside to doing this from the user experience perspective.

    If we've answered your question, you can select the best solution so that if anyone comes across the same problem in the future, they know the course of action.

    I didn't want to add my own point of view without getting more inputs on this topic. I think Matt came closest to responding to my question -- what is the downside from the user's perspective. The user may be comfortable with an app that conforms to the Apple HIG, but users have a bigger range of experience to draw on. By the way, a tap on a checkbox is a gesture, in Apple's parlance. (Even though it is called a click when it's done with a mouse.) I'm still hoping to see more discussion on this subject.

    Ironically, Apple have now introduced their own checkbox for UITableViews. Check out:

  • Mica

    Mica Correct answer

    9 years ago

    I think this has a lot more to do with the look and feel of your app.

    If your settings is using apple's default styling then you should definitely keep everything consistent. No point giving your users two ways of yes/no.

    Even apple uses UI styles that are not in the HIG, e.g. (Settings > Notifications > Mail > Alert Style).

    A lot of apps use custom elements to toggle. E.g. Stop/Play icon, Star/Unstar, Heart/Unheart.

    So - Pick one way, use it consistently, and maintain fluid styling with the rest of you app.

    Lastly, if you use a checkbox, definitely do not use Android's colours and styling.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM