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!

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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.

Gmail confused?

It seems like Gmail is getting confused as to what the action bar “up” action should do.

As you can see, sometimes it shows the “back” button, while sometimes it shows the Hamburger menu. Weird.

Screenshot_2013-10-08-19-27-48 Screenshot_2013-10-08-19-27-40

Kit Kat will be announced soon, so maybe this will get updated soon.

So, I understand that Google tests out a lot of designs. But when will we finally get some consistency across the Google Apps? I constantly feel like I’m a beta tester.

Here, if you zoom in, you can see the action bar (where it’s refreshing). On Gmail (leftmost) the bar starts off slow and cycles to the right, and it’s blue.

In the second screenshot (Google Drive), the refresh bar is blue, but the sections of the updating bar are the same size, unlike in Gmail.

The Google + app is probably the biggest offender in this case. The update bar is multicolored (which I’m okay with, since they are the G+ colors) but they are also evenly spaced. Not to mention, the bar is at least 1 dip higher than the other two bars.

It feels like the developers of these different Google apps don’t communicate with each other.