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5 Things I want Google To Do
I love Google, a super fanboy if you will. If you check out my wardrobe and count the amount of Google logos, you'd probably be surprised. They do a lot of things right, but here's 5 little things that I'd like to see Google do.1. Google NowGoogle Now is great but there are times when it's not so great. I documented some of this in my previous post. tl;dr it's pretty good at knowing what you want, but not great at telling you it knows what you want. Another point is the horrible android UI. I actually prefer the original Google Now UI, not the weird kitkat looking mess we have today.2. Google Treat Yo' SelfThis one refers to Google treating itself to some extra functionality or permissions than 3rd party apps. There's been a few cases of this, here's some recent ones I've found. First up is the Android Wear app, it's okay at doing it's job but it's treated like any other app. It has to ask users whether it is allowed to access your notifications and it has to ask you to let it run in the background with battery optimisations. This is fine for 3rd parties, and is probably better for customisation, but it just feels annoying when you're using an Android phone with a Google app and an...
A quick note about Google Now
Google Now has something amazing tech built into it. Neural networks improving voice recognition, natural language detection in Now On Tap, the knowledge in the knowledge graph and of course the clever prediction work built into their cards. There's just one problem, and it's a biggy. Google Now is smart but it's not smart smart, it doesn't work 100% of the time, nothing does. Google Now is supposed to bring you information before you need it or just in time so that you don't have to go finding your boarding passes or what the weather will be like or what song is on the radio. But Google Now has actually added an extra hurdle, you've got to think about whether Google Now has that information and if it does, you go to Google Now, if it doesn't then you've got to go find it yourself. The same with Now On Tap, it'll provide you with helpful links but you've still got to remember that Now On Tap exists and it'll be very hit and miss when you try it.Google Now needs to stop waiting in the background, ready for you to ask it a question and to bring itself forward in a non-obtrusive way when it's sure you need its help. The cards in Google Now are starting to do this with displaying notif...
On the State of Android for Tablets
I recently bought a Pixel C, my reasons aren't really clear. I guess I just like the new shiny Google gadgets and the Pixel C is just the next one in that line. I already have a Nexus 9, so I knew what Android was going to be like on tablets either way. An interesting thing to note though is the apparent disconnect between Pixel and Android. The Pixel C runs almost stock Android, basically a Nexus product but designed in-house but it seems the Pixel team have freedom away from AOSP. For starters, you'll notice instead of the 3 navigation buttons being aligned in the centre, 2 are left aligned and the multitasking button is aligned to the right. I'm a little indifferent to it and I'm sure I'll get used to it. Furthermore, during a AMA on Reddit, the Pixel team said they were working on implementing multi-window support for the Pixel C (this was one of the reasons I wanted to buy it), but there isn't really word on whether this will come to AOSP and other Android tablets. The Pixel team said they were going to release updates every 90 days like the Chromebook Pixel which is a really great idea, as updates to Android generally are much much slower. I guess when the team is working wit...
Yik Yak
For my first "rant", let's talk about Yik Yak. I may post a redesign at some point, but this post is just to highlight some of the problems with their Android app, and hopefully if anyone actually reads this then they'll get on with fixing it. Yik Yak is a simple app, or at least, they don't have to worry about a lot of things. They're just taking text (and sometimes images), uploading them with a location and then downloading them on other devices. This is why it's a little unacceptable for not having a good as because it would be so easy to implement. It seems they're a little too busy working on custom pull to refresh animations (but priorities, right?).So let's get started! I don't think there's a need to remove the content as it's an anonymous network.Splash ScreenOkay, so here we have it. The first screen presented on every open of the app. That's right! A splash screen. Splash screens have been an anti-pattern in Android design for years (apart from that time that Google changed the guidelines to suit their needs - but we'll ignore that). Like I said previously, they're just loading text from a URL and putting it in a listview (basically) so there would be no problem in load...
Welcome
Hello! I'm an Android developer/designer/person who studies Mathematics and Computer Science (cool, right? No?). Any-who I'm the guy that made that weather app (Weather Timeline). I am a Google fanboy to say the least and am passionate about design, specifically on Android.We've come a long way with Android apps (PRAISE DUARTE) and for the most part Google has done a good job with their own apps and the platform itself. But 3rd parties, especially the big players, still have horrible UI designs (and horrible apps in general) that really spoil the experience on Android.On this blog I will point out some things I don't like and maybe some things I do like. Furthermore, if I've got enough time I'll perhaps take a current app and try and add a little magic to spice up the experience and make it an app that I'd like to use rather than one that I have to use....