Android First Impressions

So I’ve made the switch from iOS to Android and I have to say that overall I’m not becoming a fan. In no particular order, these are my thoughts.

Haptic feedback, that small vibration when you tap a button, is a thing that I’m starting to like. I like it when I’m typing, especially as feedback that I toggled to ALL CAPS.

Notifications are something that I find lacking. On iOS notifications light up a sleeping screen to display the notification, which I can read. On Android my phone vibrates violently and starts blinking a light that could be blue, green, or red. This means that I have to wake the phone manually and go to the notification center in order to find out what wants my attention. That is too much work, so I ignore notifications.

Network notifications are placed on the screen while I’m using it when I join a wifi network that I’ve connected to in the past. This is very nice and has made me more aware of when I’m using wifi instead of data. Since I’m trying to use less cellular and more wifi for data this is a good thing.

Home screen as the center panel. When I turn my phone on it starts me in the center panel of all the panels that I have (five at the moment). This is ridiculous, as it forces me to remember if that app I use every once in a while was placed to the left, or to the right.

Widgets are little mini features that you can place into a panel for quick information or access. Some examples would be clocks, weather, Facebook updates, etc. These are excellent in theory but I find the execution to be wanting as they either aren’t attractive or don’t show enough information to actually be useful. I’m planning to experiment with these more, so my future self my have a different opinion.

And finally the big thing…

It’s ugly. While there are little hints of things that are well designed, overall I find that the whole UI (and UX) could use a bit more polish. I’m hoping to fix this with an upgrade to the recently released version of Android called Lollipop. This includes Google’s Material Design UX, which I think looks good.

So to wrap things up, I’m finding my phone usable but not exciting.