Are you in the Android clan?11 posts
You could always use one of your animated gifs. :)
HTC – This might sound harsh but to me the One shows that they haven’t really learned a lot from when their stock started going south with the rise of Samsung. Yes, they are now putting out fewer phones and focusing on building the One brand with a few core products (upcoming M4?), but their strategy with the One is the same as the one they had with the One X: make a great looking handset, with excellent build quality, a great UX and what should be a great camera. To me it just still seems like they’ve yet to really fit all the pieces of the puzzle into a cohesive whole when it comes to making smartphones. They’ve got a bunch of great ideas – dual speakers, optical image stabilisation, quality premium-feeling build materials – and great hardware design but something always seems to go askew with their execution. I’m talking about the placement of the power button, the capacitive button arrangement and the HTC logo, Blinkfeed homescreen which looks nice but is not removeable, the placement of the new weather widget at the top of Blinkfeed and the app drawer, etc… Why do they always end up making weird design choices? I want HTC to stay in the game but some of the things they do just continue to frustrate me. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
Samsung – They have hit the jackpot and so are clearly happy to continue along with their S3 strategy. And why not? The S4 is going to hit 10 million in sales soon, and counting.
LG – The only thing they are doing differently from Samsung is to make better built phones than Samsung.
Of the other major players I think only Motorola (but they are now owned by Google of course) and Sony.
Sony are bringing back the top build quality and design of the Sony of old (not that they’ve ever lost their design edge amongst the Android OEMs IMO), differentiating their flagship with water and dust resistance and fully embracing the development community. Yes Sony continues to ship their phones with LCD screens and camera software that don’t measure up to the competition but if the strides they have made so far are anything to go by I think Sony will correct those two issues too soon.
about 6 hours ago
Make a no-costs-spared Nexus, as well as a ‘budget’ (same as the Nexus 4) Nexus. The Galaxy S4 thing is good, but it’s not a Nexus: it’s a Google Experience Device.
Yeah I like the idea of a “Pixel” phone which would sit above the N4. It should be the first to market with the best processor, camera sensor/optics, the best screen tech and have awesome build quality (I’d be happy with an N4 mach 2).
And I think it would be good to also see a 4 to 4.3" Nexus mini with a 720p display, modern dual core processor, 2MB ram, 8GB storage, 5MP camera costing sub $200. That sounds realistic to me and would fit with Google’s stated aim of reaching the masses and putting a Google smartphone in the hands in the next billion or so people.
On the software side, I’d like to see Google rethink the lockscreen:
Wow, I followed the link in your post below to your original thread and I must say it was a fantastic read. I don’t think I’ve read a more objective/fair post on one’s personal views of a device (if that makes sense) – no puns intended. :)
That said… one thing struck me after reading your repost above. IMHO I think you should make the following edit:
Design. Matters. To Me.
That’s what you’re really saying isn’t?
Logically speaking it should be either:
But going with the OP’s more colloquial take I’d prefer:
Samsung didn’t create a lockscreen widget for the remote? What a waste given it runs 4.2.
Hmmm I actually quite liked the multi-coloured chat bubbles icon that floated around when this was first rumoured:
Or it doesn’t even have to pop up at all. What if you could compose your reply direct from the notification shade when you tap on the reply button?
To add to the suggestions made above, I’d like to see a universal switch that allows me to flip all apps between holo light and holo dark. Right now we have somewhat of a mix – most apps are light but there are still some like the dialer and Play Music which are dark – and the transition between them is a bit jarring (actually Currents sometimes flips to dark before going light when it is loading). I know Google does seem to be heading towards a holo light Google Now-esque theme but I think I was just like to be able to change it up every now and again by doing dark so I don’t get bored with all the grey (the new Play app).
Also, this is hardware related and potentially third party vendor at that, and the N4 wireless charging dock is cool and everything but…
I WANT A COOL SPEAKER DOCK WITH USB AUDIO OUT (FOR ALL NEXUS DEVICES) !!!
I think the back button should take you back to the previous app you were in, which means apps need to have their own in-app nav to get to previous screens. The main example I can think of is the browser, which needs at least a back button on the action bar because it is annoying having it buried in the menu overflow (I know right now you’d use the back button to go back to the previous webpage).
Why hasn’t this been recommended yet??
15 days ago
I didn’t think “Your phone doesn’t do that” was that bad. It’s what you would ordinarily say to someone if they wanted to do the same thing with their phone that you just did with yours and you know their’s can’t. That said, I do think Samsung should cut the “Some phones are smarter than others” scene. I get that they want people to think that these features make the GS4 “smarter” and are not merely gimmicks but it was a cheap shot and is just stating the obvious anyway.
Once again Samsung are portraying GS4 users as young, hip, cool and (very very) attractive whilst iPhone users are of the older generation who need to get with the times and use the “smarter” device. That hasn’t changed. But boy is Samsung getting good at the marketing game. This ad was a lot more subtle in the jabs it took at the iPhone.
I might be wrong but it looks as though that’s how it will work on PA based on the OP video, though I’m not sure if the round bubble will go away immediately after you’re done replying. I think it’s great how the chat-heads-like functionality is optional – you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to be disturbed.
So it’s going to be called Hangout… that actually makes a lot of sense. Google might be going for something bigger than just a unification of their messaging apps with this though because you can ‘hang out’ with your family/friends via chat, voice or video. I liked how “hangout” used to mean video calls but I guess I’ll get used to the new broader usage.
Making the icon green didn’t seem to make sense to me at first because I’m sure Google would want to tie “Babel” in closely with their Google+ social network which is branded red but then I noticed that the messenger icon in the side panel in G+ is a green message bubble. The normal text messaging icon is green as well of course – not to mention WhatsApp :) .
It’s great that we’ve got a forum user with insider info! Looking forward to its release in a couple weeks, hopefully.
Daenerys + dragons + subterfuge = crack
I can’t wait to find out what happens next after last week’s episode!!
Oh I forgot that was Samsung’s thing, kind of like how Apple calls everything amazing and magical. A Sony Nexus ought to be all those things and then some!
22 days ago
Just a simple setup on my N4.
No difference face down or face up? Wow you must have a good pick up. ;)
I did only have one rear LED notification light; in my original design. The X could be a single LED too but if Google ever considers this they should just bite the bullet and go with the multi-LED version. It’s way cooler and would help to differentiate the Nexus from the rest of the Android pack.
I think that your new concept is like an iPhone home button, but on steroids.
Had to quote it. Just had to. Thanks!!
Yeah Google should definitely add the floating touch tech in the next Nexus. I think it might be a tad fiddly using it for navigation controls because of latency – everytime it’s been demonstrated there’s no response until you’ve hovered your finger over something for a good second or so – but I can definitely see a lot of potential for it in Google’s apps. I think it could be the next big thing. Sony has that tech too though (2012 Xperia Sola).
I actually prefer that the first option I get when I wake my phone is the unlock pattern, keypad etc because most of the time I want to jump straight back in.
The app drawer tabs have nothing to do with whether an app has access to your contacts etc. If you don’t like the permissions that an app asks for then don’t download it. Look for alternative apps.
I hope Google Maps comes to your country soon.
Manufacturers have been making phones with an earpiece and separate rear facing loud speaker since like forever. I don’t really know why but it probably has something to do with cost and/or packaging otherwise why wouldn’t they have changed to dual stereo fronts sooner? Cost may come into the equation with the quality of the spearkers – both need to be of high quality since there’s no point in marketing stereo speakers if it still sounds tinny – and because having stereo sound may require additional patent licences.
There are reasons why people might have their phone faced down: to protect the screen (if they have a case on their phone which prevents the screen from touching the surface it’s placed on or if the phone is already designed that way), to silence the phone when ringing if they had it face-up initially (sadly the N4 doesn’t do this) or because it is actually easier, quicker and safer to pick up and start using it (if it is face-up when you pick it up you have to manoeuvre the palm of your hand to the back of the phone and risk dropping it in the process).
The swipe up to go home would be more like a flick because of the short travel. That would not be anymore tiresome than a gesture is compared to a tap. Thinking of alternatives… I suppose the arrow in this design could be turned into a capacitive button you tap to go home. The pie controls would only be triggered if you start moving your finger up (detected by the screen) or if you hold onto the arrow. In this case, the home key on the pie could be replaced with an app tray button. The capacitive function of the arrow home button could be disabled to prevent accidental presses by an extra long press (say 3 seconds) on it which dims the current app and triggers a screen tip telling the user that accidental touch mode has been activated, the tip to long press again to turn it off and the OK and Cancel options. The new pie layout would be displayed with the home button where the app tray button was, and an animated hand swiping up to home. Accidental touch mode is basically the setup described in my original post.
Hmmm… I actually quite like this new approach above! I think it should not only address your concerns but also makes it easier to access your apps closer with one quick swipe.
I knew not everyone would go with my idea but wow you don’t like any of it do you LOL?
The arrow, no. Why change the notification LED to an arrow? Arrows literally have nothing to do with Android except for the fact that its the fact that its the back button, but even then, that’s an entirely different kind of arrow.
As I explained in my original post, I proposed changing the front-facing LED to an arrow so it could also act a cue for the user to swipe up from there to get to the controls.
Yes, arrows have nothing to do with Android right now. This is a new idea… And as I also mentioned in my original post it is not totally divorced from Android because an upward arrow is also sometimes typographically used as the letter “A”, as in “Android”, no? Also, it’s not obvious from my drawings but the arrow is supposed to mirror the top of the home icon.
The Nexus logo is an X. Changing it because you don’t think it looks good is completely personal and Google will not redesign just because you don’t like it. I think it looks fabulous. It’s a much more exciting boot up than an iPhone, I’ll tell you that.
I made the rear LED the same arrow as the one on the front for visual consistency and also because both functioned as notification lights. I didn’t really mean to replace the nexus “X” logo. As I said in one of posts above the “X” is growing on me and I definitely also like the treatment of it in the current boot animation.
However, the fact that Google chose to use the word “nexus” instead of just the multi-coloured “x” is somewhat telling I think. Why did they do that?
Also, speakers on the back? Come on now. Why? Google can learn a thing or two from the One.Speakers in the front please. It only makes sense.
I would love dual front-facing speakers as well – though I’d just repeat the same design from the speaker up the top of the N4 instead of the ones on the One (probably the primary reason why the One is so damn tall). But this would be at odds with Google’s current strategy of making Nexii affordable so I’m also just trying to be more practical with my concept.
Also, swiping up and then touching the Google logo in order to access Now is asinine, a step backwards from JB really. Why deviate from the easier formula of just up?
You’ve misread that part of my original post. I haven’t deviated from the current formula, just added to it. Please read it again.
My last point is: what do you need with that extra screen real estate?
I’m not going to argue the “one more line of email” point – that is pretty pointless. I’ll just say that this is about stripping away unnecessary chrome and making content king.
PIE controls are great for anyone tech savvy enough to flash a ROM, but its just not intuitive, which I believe JB is closer to than PIE controls. Think “tiny old lady” when you try to redesign the navigation of any OS.
Everyone here keeps saying it’s not intuitive but really users only need to learn ONE thing:
swipe up from the bottom where the arrow is
It’s that simple. I think the hypothetical “tiny old lady” would already have difficulties with the current nav buttons of back, home and multi-task don’t you think? She should probably “just get an iPhone”.
I know this is your first design, and your visuals aren’t horrible, but please take this as constructive criticism and not me tearing you down for no reason.
This being my first go, I’ll take “aren’t horrible” as a positive LOL. Thanks for your comments.
So what do you think of the way I’ve designed the PIE then?
I added in the word ‘nexus’ just because Google have stamped it across all of their devices (except for the Q of course).
Well I can’t argue with you there. A gesture is by definition slower compared to a tap. But is it really going to make much of a difference?
If you want to go back, the first step would be the swipe but the PIE would persist allowing you to continue tapping back until you arrive back at the homescreen. Home is a short swipe away and so is multi-task. If you think the latter is a big issue then I have another solution:
Swipe up from either side of the bottom corners (really just to the left or right of the middle) in one continuous motion to cycle through your running apps in chronological order as if you were scrolling. Each app thumbnail could glow or enlarge in a vertical 3D carousel like effect as you move through them. Once you’ve found the app you want to hop back into you could simply swipe into the center of it (having never lifted off your finger) or if you have a lot of apps open and you can’t reach all the way to the top of the screen to get to the last one, you can lift off your finger to scroll through the list like you do now and then tap on the app you want. If you change your mind you would simply swipe all the way back down.
This would be more of a power-user’s function which would not be easily discoverable but then you already have the multi-task button on the pie and… IMO accidentally discovering something like this (because say you missed swiping up from the center bottom) would be pretty cool.
Don’t know how I missed this post…
I think you’ve explained the problem very succinctly and to my mind this might be one of the things that Matias was referring to when he said they was only 1/3 of the way there to where he wants Android to be with regards to consistency, responsiveness and polish.
While the black nav bar does help the content to sit higher on the device in portrait in a way that is ‘balanced’, that same content also gets ‘pushed’ to the left when in landscape; it’s like being letterboxed. If you then hide the nav bar in landscape to let the content fill the entire screen you’re resorting to a hybrid system where as you said the user has to learn a second control method which requires them to swipe in from the edge.
Maybe some will prefer this hybrid setup because it gives them the best of both worlds but in terms of usability and intuitiveness a single method approach is the more elegant solution – e.g. iPhone.
If you agree, then of course a choice needs to be made: make the black nav bar a permanent fixture or hide it and go with an edge swipe gesture like PIE. The thing with Android though is that Google has integrated access to Google Now into the OS with a simple gesture: a swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen. Both methods have their trade-offs but given that implementation of Now and the significance of Now, I think a natural extension of that implementation would be to integrate nav into the same gesture because it brings key Google services like Now and Search into the core of everything you do on a Nexus device.
Of course there would be no need for any of this discussion if Google just morphs Android into gesture-based WebOS.
It could work integrated as the ‘x’ in ‘nexus’ but I wanted it nice and big. I’d have it so it only blinks one colour at a time so you’d have a little light show if you got notifications covering all four. Thanks!
There was one feature on my GS3 that only Sammy has and I told myself I would miss it. But for some reason I can’t remember what it was now from the excitement.
The split-screen multitasking function?
Thanks for the post. Good to hear you’re enjoying it so much. It’s always a bummer to read about someone regretting their purchase.
Do update it with your impression of battery life after a few days or maybe in a week or so!