1. Bazza1's Avatar
    OK, so we now have Photos and Gallery, Play Newsstand and Currents - both doing the same thing and both embedded in the OS - meaning they're eating into our precious storage.

    (Also on that front, we've now also got HP Print Service, QuickOffice and Hindi input in addition to the original Korean and Pinyin Input - all stuff that should be up to the user to choose to install via the Play Store, at least in North America. But I digress....)

    Why are we doubling up apps, Google? And, for my use, why does both Photos and Gallery suck so badly? In particular, if I've imported a subfolder of events inside another folder (for example, Bob's 30th Birthday inside a folder called 2009), then why can't it stay in that main folder and not be calved off, forcing me to recall the circumstances? And both apps have this shortcoming?

    If I wanted my device's manufacturer to impose upon me its own useless apps and peculiar file handling, I'd be using iOS...
    11-25-2013 06:19 AM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    Photos isn't an app, it's a shortcut to the photos portion of Google+ and Currents should have been removed from your device, along with magazines, both replaced by Newsstand. Uninstalling Google+ will remove the Photos shortcut.

    For the 2nd concern, I've never tried to import a files with subfolders onto my tablet or phone, so I can't say how it handles that from within the gallery. I do know that you can import folder structure into Google Drive, so that may be a solution to keep your organization structure intact.

    Are you no longer on iOS and OSX?
    11-25-2013 06:41 AM
  3. patruns's Avatar
    Actually, while Currents is not on my Nexus 5, it remained on my Nexus 7 (2013) after the 4.4 update. I wonder if that was intentional.....
    11-25-2013 10:20 AM
  4. Aquila's Avatar
    Actually, while Currents is not on my Nexus 5, it remained on my Nexus 7 (2013) after the 4.4 update. I wonder if that was intentional.....
    That definitely is strange. I wonder if any other devices have both apps.
    11-25-2013 10:39 AM
  5. Nonymous666's Avatar
    And, for my use, why does both Photos and Gallery suck so badly? In particular, if I've imported a subfolder of events inside another folder (for example, Bob's 30th Birthday inside a folder called 2009), then why can't it stay in that main folder and not be calved off, forcing me to recall the circumstances? And both apps have this shortcoming?
    The apps are this way because Google's cloud-based photo services (Picassa and Google+ Photos) also don't allow nested subfolders. Regardless of if you actually use those cloud services or not, the apps are designed to be the front end for them, so if the services don't do it, the apps won't do it. The lack of nesting subfolders been a big complaint for as long as the original - Picassa - has been around and Google refuses to do anything about it. I hate it, too.
    11-25-2013 11:29 AM
  6. Bazza1's Avatar
    Photos isn't an app, it's a shortcut to the photos portion of Google+ and Currents should have been removed from your device, along with magazines, both replaced by Newsstand. Uninstalling Google+ will remove the Photos shortcut. <CUT>
    ....Are you no longer on iOS and OSX?
    Semantics whether Photos is an app or a shortcut - and you can't uninstall Google+ (see my original comment about embedding stuff that should be up to the user to choose to install), only 'disable' it, which doesn't really do that, either. All I know is that I have two 'icons' that offer me near identical capabilities.

    As for iOS and OSX - for the moment, I still have an iPhone 4 (my Android device being a Nexus 7 / 2012) and both devices are merrily syncing via both Yahoo! and iCloud Contacts, while my OSX Calendar via SmoothSync on the Nexus 7. Had thought (with an upcoming contract lapse soon) I might replace my iPhone with an Android, but if Google is going to take to playing silly buggers with 'improvements', I see no material value in doing so.
    11-25-2013 05:49 PM
  7. Aquila's Avatar
    Semantics whether Photos is an app or a shortcut - and you can't uninstall Google+ (see my original comment about embedding stuff that should be up to the user to choose to install), only 'disable' it, which doesn't really do that, either. All I know is that I have two 'icons' that offer me near identical capabilities.

    As for iOS and OSX - for the moment, I still have an iPhone 4 (my Android device being a Nexus 7 / 2012) and both devices are merrily syncing via both Yahoo! and iCloud Contacts, while my OSX Calendar via SmoothSync on the Nexus 7. Had thought (with an upcoming contract lapse soon) I might replace my iPhone with an Android, but if Google is going to take to playing silly buggers with 'improvements', I see no material value in doing so.
    There are quite a few people who enjoy straddling ecosystems for a best of both worlds approach. I've never been invested in the Apple ecosystem and I'm trying to get out of the Windows world too, but for now I really need full functionality of Microsoft Office (Access, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio and Word), including VBA, etc. so I'm sorta stuck. I kinda agree that Nexus devices should ship with as few apps as possible and let users download the ones they want individually, maybe with one app that recommends them.
    11-25-2013 06:49 PM
  8. Bazza1's Avatar
    There are quite a few people who enjoy straddling ecosystems for a best of both worlds approach. I've never been invested in the Apple ecosystem and I'm trying to get out of the Windows world too, but for now I really need full functionality of Microsoft Office (Access, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio and Word), including VBA, etc. so I'm sorta stuck. I kinda agree that Nexus devices should ship with as few apps as possible and let users download the ones they want individually, maybe with one app that recommends them.
    I've always been rather ambidextrous when it comes to OSs (including mobile ones) but the final straw for me with Windows was 8. I like the idea of a full tablet computer (Apple, are you listening?) but Win 8 left me absolutely cold. So the wholesale move to Mac. That said, I understand your MS Office needs and, while my needs definitely don't require the full-meal deal as far as the suite is concerned, I did take Word and Excel with me. Dislike Pages and I still need the default file structure as used by most SOHO and businesses. So I'm OK with Mac. And really, the iOS's only real problem is its lack of something 'insanely great' - particularly in hardware, as the manufacturers of Android-powered services (especially with phones) seem to be able to knock out monthly.

    All that said, in regards to Android's current OS offering, yes, I think that for Google's own Nexus range, the embedded apps should be as spare as possible - and certainly not produce 'doubles' of apps already part of the OS. Android's selling point to date has been its 'personalization' possibilities - so requiring users to use only Google services and apps and install bumpf feels very....Apple.
    Aquila likes this.
    11-25-2013 07:23 PM
  9. patruns's Avatar
    That definitely is strange. I wonder if any other devices have both apps.
    I finally go the update for the Nexus 10 last night, but totally forgot to see if Currents remained. Will report back.....

    Update: My Nexus 10 no longer has Currents after the Kit Kat update, only my Nexus 7 (2013) does.
    11-26-2013 09:40 AM
  10. zorak950's Avatar
    Currents is going away. I agree the Photos/Gallery thing is confusing. There are technical reasons for it (explained by others), but long-term Google really should figure out a way to consolidate the user-facing features into one app interface.
    11-26-2013 11:32 PM
  11. n8ter#AC's Avatar
    Photos isn't an app, it's a shortcut to the photos portion of Google+ and Currents should have been removed from your device, along with magazines, both replaced by Newsstand. Uninstalling Google+ will remove the Photos shortcut.
    Then Currents should be removed from the Play Store for any Android devices at or above the minimum version required by Newsstand, then Newsstand offered as an upgrade to Play Magazines.

    Just tell users to uninstall Currents. There may be some phones that come with Currents Pre-Installed, though... For those, you can do nothing but disable it unless you want to hack your phone.
    For the 2nd concern, I've never tried to import a files with subfolders onto my tablet or phone, so I can't say how it handles that from within the gallery. I do know that you can import folder structure into Google Drive, so that may be a solution to keep your organization structure intact.

    Are you no longer on iOS and OSX?
    Then try it and see what happens? The Gallery ignores Sub-Folders and presents any folder with media as its own Top-Level Album in Album View. This means that you no longer have a hierarchy, which is how many people organize media on any Folder-based File System. Instead, you have a flat view of folder names that ignore nesting. In addition to that, it has pretty poor Album organization (both apps), which only exacerbates things.

    Google Drive is not an imaging/media app. It's a Cloud Storage solution and document editor. You cannot Crop Images from within Drive, you cannot Apply effects to them. It does not integrate with other imaging apps on the device the way the Gallery does. Google Drive is also an Online Solution [for the most part]. It is not a solution for the OP, and only exacerbates the issue the OP has - too many apps for too many redundant functions - when used in that way, because Google fails to properly leverage existing solutions it itself offers instead of creating separate off-shoots (PWA -> Google Drive -> Google Photos).
    11-27-2013 01:36 PM
  12. n8ter#AC's Avatar
    I've always been rather ambidextrous when it comes to OSs (including mobile ones) but the final straw for me with Windows was 8. I like the idea of a full tablet computer (Apple, are you listening?) but Win 8 left me absolutely cold. So the wholesale move to Mac. That said, I understand your MS Office needs and, while my needs definitely don't require the full-meal deal as far as the suite is concerned, I did take Word and Excel with me. Dislike Pages and I still need the default file structure as used by most SOHO and businesses. So I'm OK with Mac. And really, the iOS's only real problem is its lack of something 'insanely great' - particularly in hardware, as the manufacturers of Android-powered services (especially with phones) seem to be able to knock out monthly.

    All that said, in regards to Android's current OS offering, yes, I think that for Google's own Nexus range, the embedded apps should be as spare as possible - and certainly not produce 'doubles' of apps already part of the OS. Android's selling point to date has been its 'personalization' possibilities - so requiring users to use only Google services and apps and install bumpf feels very....Apple.
    I don't mind Windows 8. The Start Screen is like a Quasi Mobile OS that gives me access to things like Instant PUSH Notification, Email over EAS, full cloud connectivity, etc.

    The integration of SkyDrive into the File System is one of the most innovative things I've ever seen done on a Desktop Operating system.

    I tend to switch devices and platform soften, but I've settled on Microsoft's services because of full EAS Support (Email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks - you listening Google?), perfect interoperability with a real PC operating system (Apple has this, on Mac), and the services' lack of dependence on any particular social network for full functionality (meaning no concessions are needed regardless of which platform I end up using, since I do tend to "get around" a lot).

    I basically arrange my desktop apps on my Windows Taskbar the way most Mac users would use their Dock, and I almost never need to go to the start screen to open anything, anyways. If I use a Metro app, it's for a specific purpose, which I don't mind. Most mobile apps are designed similarly. Only difference is I don't have to use two devices to do something like easily share a picture to a Social Network.

    I think most people assumed the OS would be a huge Wow factor. But it's, IMO, a rather mundane update that did nothing but give me some of the "Mobile Convenience" I liked on my Smartphone and put it on my PC, which has made me a bit more efficient at double fisting work and play from the same machine.

    Currents is going away. I agree the Photos/Gallery thing is confusing. There are technical reasons for it (explained by others), but long-term Google really should figure out a way to consolidate the user-facing features into one app interface.
    Google should lower the amount of apps it forces OEMs to load on certified devices, and that it itself loads on its own devices. Some of those apps are not even better than alternatives released by OEMs, which is why OEMs have taken to customizing the OS so aggressively.

    Once SkyDrive brings Auto-Upload for Photos and Videos to Android, will there even be a reason to bother using Google+ for most people? Especially those who use Windows 8.1 PCs?

    I personally have Play Music/TV/Books/Magazines/Games and Google+ disabled on my device. I don't even have Chrome, QuickOffice, Drive, Snapseed, Translate, Google Keyboard, or Keep installed. Hangouts set to not Auto-Update, but I will disable it if it comes with the 4.3 update on my device.

    I only use mostly Gmail (for Play Store reciepts only), Maps + Earth, and Search (oh and YouTube, but only to view since it requires Google+ for anything else). Sync for everything except Gmail and App Data is turned off (since I don't use Google Calendar, Contacts, etc. at all).

    Apart from that, I use Microsoft services because they work so well with Desktop Platforms without having to install redundant software (Chrome Browser) and in some cases (like SkyDrive) they are so well integrated at the OS level that it doesn't even make sense to use an alternative at this point... Provided an app is available for your mobile platform...

    With the way I have things set up, I'd be equally productive on an Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or Blackberry 10 device. And the choice that gives me is quite comforting...

    I use my iCloud email account for Spam and Online Accounts (set them up then delete the alias I used for that, and never have to worry about getting email from them :-P ), auto-forwarded to Outlook.com...
    11-27-2013 01:55 PM
  13. Aquila's Avatar
    Google Drive is not an imaging/media app. It's a Cloud Storage solution and document editor. You cannot Crop Images from within Drive, you cannot Apply effects to them. It does not integrate with other imaging apps on the device the way the Gallery does. Google Drive is also an Online Solution [for the most part]. It is not a solution for the OP, and only exacerbates the issue the OP has - too many apps for too many redundant functions - when used in that way, because Google fails to properly leverage existing solutions it itself offers instead of creating separate off-shoots (PWA -> Google Drive -> Google Photos).
    True, but Drive also has a nice side affect of making any photos that you upload to it available through Google+ Photos. That includes the auto-enhance, etc features and allows full editing with saves in both locations. I personally like the Drive solution because it makes it possible for content to be stored in only one place (Drive), rather than having copies on a device, on a PC, in the cloud, some on the tablet, etc. Everything is available from anywhere and once it's backed up, it's safe to free up that space on the originating device.
    11-27-2013 05:20 PM
  14. n8ter#AC's Avatar
    Space is not an issue unless your device lacks an SD card slot, and Google+ is required for that stuff. I guess it is a viable workaround if you use Google+.

    Personally I prefer using solutions designed for photos that allow you to organize better. Flickr is the best free option at the moment for managing photos. Too bad they don't allow Microsoft account sign in, and their Android app lacks the recent improvements they launched on iOS.

    Sent from my Galaxy S III using Tapatalk 4
    11-27-2013 05:32 PM
  15. zorak950's Avatar
    You can always root and uninstall the Google apps, but it's a Google OS. They're not going to stop packaging their apps any more than Microsoft is going to stop building its apps and services into Windows. That said, I agree it would be nice if they streamlined a bit.
    11-27-2013 06:27 PM

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