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Android's Interface can be simpler

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by monoceros, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. monoceros

    monoceros Lurker
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    Just a thought here, let's do a brainstorming.

    I remember when the first time I use "google" as my search engine. Compared to other similar search engine like yahoo or altavista, google's interface is so intuitive and simple with just 1 field and 1 search button without anything disturbing.

    So the first thing I adore from "google" is its simplicity.

    Now lets talk about one google's product named android. Don't you think that Android misses its essence in simplicity (compared to it's rival, lets say iOS). I think android devices are quite confusing for non-geek people, i pick my mother as an example. I have ipod touch and she learned to operate that thing in no time. It took a while for her to learn how to use my HTC Desire.

    Android devices have many buttons: menu, home, back, search while I expect to have a simple 1 button.

    Android has fancy widgets and that's good. But it makes thing not simple, because to get to a menu, you need to push "drawer" button. I don't know if it's possible, but... why don't they put the widgets on the lock screen, and when we unlock it, it will show the drawer. No need any widget anymore.

    Anyway, the point is make android's interface simpler.

    This is not about right or wrong, this is just about a simple idea. I want to know others opinion and idea too, and please state your argument.
     

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  2. Ryistech

    Ryistech Well-Known Member
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    That's mostly because they were built for the business/hardcore phone users. I like the way it's set up better then iOS because it's more customizable. And I'm a fan of trying to learn stuff. That's just my opinion tho.

    And haven't you noticed that google has been made more complicated with google+?
     
  3. gunderscorewil

    gunderscorewil Well-Known Member
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    Yea think you got your answer through your complaint. Android, I believe, was originally the "geek alternative" to iPhone and Palm and WM6 and BB.
     
  4. daveybaby

    daveybaby Android Expert
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    Why should everything be the same?

    If you want simple, get an iPhone.
    If you want something flexible, powerful and customisable, get an android.
    If you want secure email and a great keyboard, get a BB.
    If you want.... erm... squares... get erm... WP7...

    Having a choice is a good thing.
     
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  5. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    Widgets: the entire point of a widget is so you can have access to information without having to open an app. To me, that makes Android more simple.

    Apps: tapping an icon to open an app on your home screen is as easy as it gets. It is how it's done on iOS, except you don't have to look at ALL your apps if you don't want to. So how is Android so much more complex again?

    Phone functionality: tap the phone button and a dialer comes up. It's been that way since the rotary phones went out of fashion. How does that make the Android phone harder to use?

    Because there's 4 buttons on the phone? How many buttons are on a typical home theater remote?

    Just saying. It's not rocket science, and I know plenty of non-geeks and non-tech savvy people do just fine with Android.

    It's all about the mentality of the user and preconceived notions.
     
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  6. Bnice

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    So just because the iphone has one button it's easier? To me a home-menu-back and search button make more sense.
     
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  7. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Well, the subject line itself shows a lack of understanding. You do realize that OEM's stick their own UI's on Android, right? There is a stock Android UI but simplifying that wouldn't guarantee that all Android devices would be improved even if this thread spawns amazing ideas that everyone wants implemented.

    No. One data point (your mom, in this context) does not define a line, much less a trend (which is a curve) as you're attempting to do. If you want to claim that Android is too complicated for the average person to pick up then you need to do a proper study to back up your claim.

    What you expect is your preference. Android wasn't designed specifically for you. If you want a 1 button device there are plenty of one button devices and you failed to perform your proper due diligence when shopping.

    Don't play the old armchair industry analyst game of claiming that in order for company A to succeed that it needs to copy company B.


    Uh, no. You hit the App Drawer icon to get to the App Drawer. You hit the menu button to access the menu. This is clearly an operator issue, not an interface issue.

    I don't want widgets on my lock screen. I don't want to go to my App Drawer every time I unlock. Never assume that your preferences are universal.

    In any case, odds are pretty good that you can customize Android to do what you want. Why would you impose your preferred setup on others? I mean, aside from suffering from tunnel vision?

    IMO if usability severely hampered usage for most consumers then Android would not be as successful as it has been. I'm not claiming that there's no room for improvement but the assumption in this thread doesn't seem to hold to me. The people that want iOS simplicity will use iOS.
     
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  8. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy
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    You can make Android look exactly like Google's homepage. Here's how:

    1) Find a white background for your Android. If you have the time/patience to figure out the resolution so you can put "Google" there, then kudos to you.

    2) Delete all short cuts and widgets.

    3) Long press the middle of your primary home screen (seeing how they're all called home screens) and add the Google Search widget. If you were cute and made the "Google" wallpaper, make sure this widget is below the name "Google".

    Viola!
     
  9. gwlaw99

    gwlaw99 Android Expert
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    Remove everything from your home screens and just use the app drawer and the home button. That will simplify your phone to the level of an iphone.
     
  10. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    You are comparing Google's search page which does only one thing compared to an Android smartphone. The Android smartphone can do everything the Google serach page can do plus a whole bunch of other things. Now incorporate everything your smartphone can do on the Google search page and see how simple you can make it.

    Why do you expect to have only 1 button? It is possible you expect it to have one button because you are familiar with an iOS device. When I was helping my father-in-law configure his iPhone, it was the first time I used one extensively. I was expecting a back button somewhere on the bottom and can't find it. I was used to an Android device so was expecting a dedicated back button.

    Wouldn't putting widgets on the lock screen make it more complex? After all, you expect the lock screen to prevent you from accidently opening apps unless you unlock it. Having a lock screen with the only function of unlocking (and perhaps showing the time and date) seems pretty simple as is. Then you unlock it and access the whole phone.

    I'm used to how I currently configure Android. If it is too complex for your mother, then there are other devices out there that you can get for her. Even if you make Android simpler, it may be too simple for me and many other people. If you do like iOS devices for their simplicity, then perhaps an iOS device suits you more than an Android device.
     
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  11. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast
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    Google Search is an appliance. I want it to do the one thing it does best, and be done with it. Like my dishwasher; It doesn't need to be fancy, in fact the simpler it is (an on button is enough for mua) the better.

    Android Smartphones are tools. I need it to check my email, remind me of my schedule, place calls, receive calls, brush my teeth and once in awhile entertain me. It should appear simple only if I want it to.
     
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  12. monoceros

    monoceros Lurker
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    Ok, seems noone has same thought with me, anyway it's quite a nice discussion here. Thanks for your opinions.
     
  13. jroc

    jroc Android Expert
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    Well....I can use my not so tech literate kids mother....thats loves my Droid X1. Wants an Android phone now. The love affair started with my Droid 1.

    Never have I heard her say its too complicated, or asks me to do everything when it comes to the phone. Someone stole her Blackberry and I let her use my phone. After 3 months I practically had to beg for my phone back...lol Why does she love my Droid X1 so much?

    Swype
    Youtube app
    music player
    GPS navigation
    browser

    It cant get no simpler than that....

    This is the same person that only uses a computer for web browsing, emailing, Facebook, and playing the Sims or Diner Dash...she is also a heavy texter, no complaints about texting from her. Did I mention she loves Swype? This from a person that picked a Blackberry at first because she thought she needed a physical keyboard for good texting.

    Just based on the browser, she cant stand Blackberry anymore. And she was hoping to use my Droid 1, but Verizon's plans are too high to her.

    Android can be just as simple as the iPhone. Thats the beauty of Android, it can be as simple or as complex as you want.

    How about I was lost trying to use an iPhone recently....because of the 1 button. How about I picked up Android alot easier....coming from the old Win Mo...
     
  14. Kasereelphas

    Kasereelphas Lurker
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    i don know but cant u just clear your home screen of all widgets etc and put as many shortcuts startin with the apps u use the most that way frm lock u av apps, me i like android the way it is, even though it could stil be improved as with any other OS, or just get an iphone that way your 'phone' will look and use just like an iphone
     
  15. Lombardi

    Lombardi Well-Known Member
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    Android is defineately not for people who don't find interest in customization, its not a phone thing, its an OS thing. HENCE, the Tablet... need I say more.
     

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