Hello, I’d like to suggest adding another animation for when turning pages either left or right. If I recall, Panels only has one animation for the time being.
My suggestion is to add the ‘Curl’ animation that’s found in Apple Books to give a more “real” sense of turning pages as we read any media on Panels.
It had been absent from previous versions of iOS, but its being re-added into iOS 16.4
We plan to add this in the future. But it’s not as straightforward as it might sound.
Apple only provides one API to add this kind of transition, and it’s super outdated. It’s been around since iOS 5.
We use a completely different approach to implement the readers. This means that, if we want to add this transition, we have to create an entirely new reader using UIPageViewController.
We have always been reluctant to add it because of a few reasons:
- The UIPageViewController is very old, and Apple hasn’t updated it in many years. I wouldn’t be surprised if that API gets deprecated in the future. Building on top of it is high risk. If Apple deprecates it, it would throw away many hours of work.
- Apple hasn’t implemented the curl transition in any modern APIs. Actually, there isn’t any curl animation in SwiftUI APIs, which is a clear sign of where we are going.
- The age of skeuomorphism ended long ago and feels out of place in modern design. Apple has been pushing for removing skeuomorphic elements from UIKit for years.
That said, we know some of you are quite passionate about it. And given that it requires a separate implementation and won’t affect the rest of the reading modes, we will add it as soon as we have time.
But keep in mind that we are dealing with 12 years old APIs. Ideally, Apple’s step back with the Books app means they have re-thought the whole thing and plan to keep its official support. But IMHO, the step back is just a Marketing/PR move to reduce the backlash they got from the recent releases, not a strategic decision of the Design Team. I’m sure they are still planning to remove it at some point.
Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against that animation. I’m happy to have it in Panels if Apple provides a way and it’s easy to coexist with the rest of the app parts. But I’m quite pessimistic about it. Unless something changes at Apple, the future doesn’t look good for the curl animation fans.
I’m a reader that really loves the tactility of a smooth (high-fps) page curl animation, and have tested many readers to find the best one. Even though many apps implement the same API for page curl, they are not all equally performant in fps or responsive to touch gestures.
One app that I have found performs the most naturally and consistently for touch response is Play Books.
A few other apps implement their own renderer with unique features, such as BookReader, that renders the back of a page as it turns, enhancing the visual experience.
I hope these will serve as useful references when Panels implements it’s own version of page curl. Thanks to the dev team for all their hard work.