There Are Bigger Issues To Think About

UPDATE (May 3, 2014): Find me here and on Twitter @SahilC0.

As you can probably tell, I’ve always been really picky about the smallest UI elements. And I probably always will be.

But, to be honest, I’ve lost interest in ranting about the minute details; especially with a rapidly changing company like Google/Android. Most of the “big issues” I had in my previous posts have been completely changed, and old user interfaces have been made more polished.

You’re saying – “What’s he whining about? Of course the UI will get better – it’s been months since he made that post!”. And I think that is what bothers me. I know that Google engineers and designers have these issues in mind, and they’re doing their best to address complaints.

I just don’t feel the need to rant about every detail these days. There are bigger design issues to think about. This hit me especially hard after seeing Matias Duarte’s (Director of Android Design #HOLOYOLO) interview with the Verge. Among other things, he talks about how designing specifically for mobile is “dead”; how we need to design for the user and not for the device.

That’s what I mean when I say there are bigger things to think about. As expected, Google released many updates to their apps recently. There are rumors that the dialer is getting a colorful upgrade. Hangouts also received an update that merged the SMS and Hangouts threads (praise tha lawd!). Google even released the Camera app to the Play Store, and gave it an overhaul.

But the fact is, that isn’t the conversation I want to have with you. I want to talk about mobile design, and software design as a whole, and not just limit our discussion to Android. Maybe even the Design of Everyday Things.

I’d be interested in a YouTube vlog, or maybe a podcast. To be honest, I’m not sure what the next step is. But I don’t like how narrow minded my posts are on this blog. Like I said, I have no idea what’s next, but you can follow me on twitter @SahilC0 and on Google+ (yeah, that’s a thing) for my future projects. I’d really love to continue talking to you, just maybe not on this blog specifically.

See ya around!

Another issue with the Clock App (and possibly others as well)

I should have added this with my earlier post about the clock app, but there’s another thing that annoys me.

The scrolling feedback – the white thing you see when you there are no more screens left to swipe to in an app – gets cut off by the action bar.

dont like how the feedback gets cut offOne way to get around this would be to make the action bar translucent, the way it is in Keep.  That way, the feedback would show through the action bar, and you wouldn’t feel like it’s a bug.

What do you think?

Clock’s “Lap” icon

This is the Clock app from 4.3 Jelly Bean and below:

JB Clock

JB Clock

The “Lap” button (the disk-like one on the bottom left of the stopwatch) changed, with Kit Kat 4.4.

This is what it looks like, now:

KK Clock

KK Clock

I’m okay with this; my only issue is that the icon hasn’t been updated in the notification shade!

Stopwatch running in notification shade

Stopwatch running in notification shade

Details, details.

[ROOT][Awesome] Using Expanded Desktop with Kit Kat Immersive Mode

I usually don’t share this kind of stuff, because it requires Root. But I thought of this great use of Android 4.4 Kit Kat’s Immersive Mode.

If you’re rooted, you should either be on a custom ROM (like Cyanogenmod) that has Expanded Desktop, or get the feature through Exposed Framework.

Screenshot_2013-12-11-22-10-59

The Good

Expanded Desktop will hide your status bar and navigation bar, giving you a rich and immersive full screen experience.

Screenshot_2013-12-10-10-49-16

Beauty.

Beauty.

In this state, Kit Kat lets you swipe up from the bottom , or down from the top of the screen to show the status bar and navigation bar for a few seconds, allowing you to interact with it. I’ve been waiting for something like this!

Screenshot_2013-12-11-22-11-13

Now, you can browse Chrome, or send an email in full screen, and then bring up the normal status bar and nav bar whenever you need it.

Screenshot_2013-12-11-22-11-54

The Bad

This use of Expanded Desktop isn’t perfect, however. I did find that it was a little annoying, especially when typing a message. As shown in the screen shot, the nav bar would come on top of the message area, making me wait a couple seconds before it would disappear.

Screenshot_2013-12-11-22-12-18

I would definitely give this trick a shot, though, and see how you like it! Let me know in the comments down below.

New “Photos” app icon?

Google + got an update on the 29th of October, and with it came a new Gallery app. The G+ app was scrapped, and the new Photos app took over.

The NEW Photos icon.

The NEW Photos icon, down in the bottom right..

Frankly, I really don’t like the look of the new icon. It’s so… non-Googly. The old G+ Photos icon was gold.

The OLD G+ Photos icon. Yeah... much better.

The OLD G+ Photos icon.
Yeah… much better.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Difference in Navigation Drawers in Google Apps?

Google recently started adding a Navigation Drawers in most of it’s apps: This trend has started to catch on with many third-party app makers as well.

But there are some differences in these Navigation Drawers, and I wish Google would sort it out. It’s driving me crazy!

If you notice, even the sizes of the panes are different in each case! Very inconsistent.

What do YOU think? Let me know in the comments!

The "Google Play Apps" all look similar. But these buttons are very large compared to normal SlidingPanes.

The “Google Play” apps all look similar. But these buttons are very large compared to normal Navigation Drawers.

The "Google Play Apps" all look similar. But these buttons are very large compared to normal SlidingPanes.

The “Google Play Apps” all look similar. But these buttons are very large compared to normal Navigation Drawers.

This seems relatively consistent with Keep.

This seems relatively consistent with Keep.

This seems like the ideal size. But that white space is killing me. I can't think of another solution, though...

This seems like the ideal size. But that white space is killing me. I can’t think of another solution, though…

It looks consistent with the web version (thank god) but it feels too congested on Android.

It looks consistent with the web version (thank god) but it feels too congested on Android.