Home Screen: Notifications, Widgets, Google Now, Task switching

Today

In its current state, the android home screen, a part of the app launcher, is a difficult compromise between quick access to information and relevance. While some widgets may occasionally have something of importance on display, they merely diminish and push others aside when they don't.

Notifications, being user-centric and often of greatest importance, are segregated to a pull-down panel instead of being front and centre, where they are more likely to be acknowledged. They are, also, much like widgets in the sense that that output user data and accept user-interaction.

Google Now is paraded as ‘data before demand’, despite the fact that the interface must be so directly called upon, whether it be the application itself or its notifications in the tray. These, most of all, have the interactivity that provide rich navigation of data.

Tomorrow

I believe that a logical rearrangement of these elements of the android interface would be to unify user’s notifications, widgets and Google Now alerts into one chronological and importance-aware list on the home screen, putting the user’s needs front and centre.

Imagine the day when your look to your phone’s home screen and immediately see details of a missed call with quick access to redial; or, you see a weather report warning you of an upcoming storm; a unified inbox of texts and emails from your significant other; and even a reminder of that meeting at 2 accompanied by travel times... all given highest precedence.

It may also be convenient to make this interface, in a view-only mode, available on the lock screen.