1. Beckler's Avatar
    Moto G (original), just updated yesterday. Hating it so far; mainly the small things but the overall look also. It looks like some sort of children's beginner phone now with everything more plain and really stupid round/circular effects everywhere for no reason. I'm wishing I hadn't installed this. I'm going to talk about user interface mainly here because I haven't tried out the new features sufficiently (of which there aren't many, judging by the release notes).

    A Settings item sublist (Display, for example) is more unclear than ever - it's some random cluttered design with barely visible lines sometimes, etc. The Android developer pages (terrible also) dare to go on about usability, clarity, etc. in detail but something as simple as a list of items is complete cluttered, indistinct garbage. The new material design toggle 'button' for example is far less visually clear than the previous on/off one.

    4.4 KitKat looked technical, very neat, delineated and interesting; this looks silly, toy like, indistinct, amateurish (i.e. apple-like ). It's like someone took a smudge tool and swiped it across the entire OS.

    But anyway two small (but important because you use them 25 times/day) things that make no sense:

    -Lock screen apparently requires swiping now. I could just enter PIN directly in 4.4 and also one tap for Emergency call. It all worked perfectly fine; why suddenly require swipe? Why not make it optional?

    -Hold power button used to give you an options shortcut (vibrate, etc.). It's gone. Nobody was saying "man I wish this thing had fewer shortcuts - they make my life less efficient". Can't stand this sort of thing. This sort of stupidity is their big new breakthrough design idea?

    Anyway there are a few improvements like notification features, flashlight, etc. but overall the underlying user interface is just some ridiculous random design change that doesn't improve basic usability in fact from what I see so far, makes it worse. There should be more options, not less. But this too is in their design guide - they recommend your apps have less options. It's pretty idiotic, actually; does it get any more simple-minded than this? The idea that to make it easier to use, make it with less features so there's less to use! Done! Simplistic featureless design = simple to use. It's part of the software designer's computer-like binary mind I suppose, which isn't capable of figuring out how to interact with humans so the solution is not to.
    Engire likes this.
    02-25-2015 09:48 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! You're not alone. Personally, I don't think it's that bad, but you can always install an alternate launcher like Nova to bring back more of a KitKat feel. And I have heard rumors that Android 5.1 will bring back some of the functions that many people were asking for, like being able to simply mute the phone (instead of either having to use vibrate, or completely stop all notifications).
    02-25-2015 10:19 AM
  3. Beckler's Avatar
    Good to hear. I guess it just feels more like a new skin than anything so why not have several available! In fact an idea for actual innovation: you configure your OS exactly as you want (within reason obviously) on Google or your carrier's website, then hit Build and a custom download is ready. This pleases everyone and has minimum install size.

    Smartphones are stagnating at the moment IMO; I see little innovation in either soft/hardware. I guess everyone is sticking with the basic apple design and waiting for their next design move - easier than innovating on your own. Blackberry would be in a prime position to come out with some new smart idea but I doubt it'll happen.
    02-25-2015 10:50 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    But keep in mind that Android has always been more of a foundation to build on. Google may not give you many options, but there are dozens of 3rd party launchers out there that do. You can make your phone's interface look radically different with launchers like Action Launcher, Aviate, or Themer.
    02-25-2015 11:56 AM
  5. Beckler's Avatar
    I'll look into those, thanks...
    02-26-2015 08:03 AM

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