Currently you can add 12 applications to Folder. Why only 12, I can only assume it was to…well, I have no idea why. It’s not to match the Folder icon, which only shows 9 icons in it’s mini-view. Maybe it’s to display the text of the folder, but that’s to small to prevent it from keeping an additional 4 apps. Maybe it was just a way of showing off animation. Apple moves in mysterious ways.
Next, any given Folder icon shows just a subset of the apps within, 9 to be exact. And they are small. The icon is a nice grid, but it’s pretty much useless to those with anything but 20/20 vision. Anyone looking to glance at a folder for it’s contents will be sorely disappointed. Proper naming of folders is a must. Instead of displaying a 3×3 grid, Apple should have provided a set of icons that people could use.
Opening a folder makes an interesting experience. If the Folder is not in the Dock, the folder icon moves moves up to the top row and reveals it’s contents down, splitting the screen in a slightly disconcerting animation. But, if it’s in the Dock, the Folder stays put and pushes everything almost up off the screen. Almost being the key word. The bottom row of the non-Dock icons stays on the screen, faded and inaccessible. It’s a waste of space.
A better solution for opening a Folder would be to always drop down to the doc when opening a Folder and then follow the Dock animation. And instead of displaying the faded, useless icons of the bottom row, use the extra row to allow for more icons to be added to the folder, bringing the total to 16.
Folders could have been so much better. Many people like it and it does fill a gap in the iOS interface, but as it stands right now, Apple failed to live up to it’s potential.