Today's question is from David. If Android next OS version dropped widget support, would that stop you from using Android on future phones?
Probably, it's a big factor in my thinking about making a move from Apple this year.Bored of manually turning on and off wifi, bluetooth, etc, all the time, among other things.
And now the apps are finally catching up...
Good question. For me my move to android again was the Note being such an ultimate gadget along with a very useable operating system. I really to believe I will stay with this phone for many years but if Apple bring out a game changer well I can quite easily move as I have apps on both platforms.
Peter. Android apps are en par and better in some cases. Apple scores with itunes syncing , airplay and airvideo , mirroring, and better games. Android allows more control of everything. Fairly close really. Just personal preference.
Not a huge problem as we have many quality launcher replacements that all support widgets..
If they dropped widgets, dropped sideloading, dropped flash, dropped removable storage support and enforced draconian appstore policies (like not allowing alternate launchers, keyboards etc etc etc) then I would have a serious problem as I wouldn't want to use Android but iOS and WP7 already have most of these problems, I highly doubt it would happen though...
I have actually used Android without the widgets. I tried out Espier Launcher to get the iPhone interface and, at the time, you could not use any widgets. I did that for two weeks and finally deleted it. It was faster without the widgets but because of the background and loss of customization on where those icons went that caused that deletion. If you have an Android phone, I invite you to try out your launcher and do away with the widgets. Android does run faster.
I would also stay with Android if the widgets were gone simply because of the investment of applications. I also would stay because of the other things that make Android special. I have went from Palm to Pocket PC to Blackberry to Android. I am tired of switching platforms and do not wish to throw any more money away on a new platform. If I had to switch, that is one thing; but if I don't I will not.
I use very few widgets. It would mean losing seeing my days appointments at a glance, seeing my tasks at a glance, as well as my active applications. But that's about it. I could live without it, but it's the these little things I appreciate about Android. I'd still stick with Android because I'm used to it and I can't be bothered changing anymore. In the past I used to chose a new OS for the hell of it. Now I just want it to work!
Depends on what it was replaced with. WP7's live tiles work well as an alternative, so some form of smart tile would be acceptable.
If it went to a icon grid like the iPhone I'd have to switch to WP7 on the grounds that I'd retain most of the 'glance and go' functionality that makes widgets so useful.
@ elbowz - tiles are effectively a widget with a different name.
Part of the reason I love android is because I can set it up the way I want to set it up, and that is including the use of widgets to see my calendar and task lists at one glance, and to ability to switch on wifi etc without having to go through menus - so if that wasn't available in the next version of Android I would definitely consider going else - depending on what was offered.
Why would Android downgrade its OS to something like... I don't know... iOS, maybe?Na... that would make the Android OS too simple to use and we all Android users love the extreme difficulty the OS presents, don't we? ;-)
It will be more the case of: when will iOS get those widgets? And... of course... when Apple inserts the widget feature, then yes, the widgets will be considered fantastic! eh eh
I would keep using Android even without widgets.
Let me just put this down in writing, dated today:
"Widgets are not fantastic. If iOS gets widgets, it will lose that elegant simplicity that makes it such a joy to use. I hope iOS *excludes* widgets!"
OK. Remember that, and let's see if I change my mind when widgets hit iOS and Steve is rolling in his grave.
How many times does the same comment need to be repeated. Widgets are optional. You choose whether you use them or not. They are an extra, another feature you decide to use or not. You have the possibility to make your interface as simple or as complicated depending on your very own personal preferences.
Sorry - I just don't buy that. USING the widgets may be optional, but accommodating them in the OS fundamentally changes the design. Take Android and it's two-page interface; I've seen many people find it confusing. Therefore, I recommend iOS to most non-techy people. Specifically excluding features such as this imbues zen-like simplicity and focus to iOS, which makes it an ideal choice for people who just want an effective tool.
Switch them off on Android if you like, but that doesn't simplify the interface one bit.
iOS introduced widgets in V5 - the stock and weather ticker. They sit in the notification blind, sucking battery life, CPU time and bandwidth, but delivering precious little gain for most people. My father has an iPhone and never uses them, but he doesn't know how to switch them off.
I design online products and services for a living. The DNA of my company, for 10 years, is simplicity and focus. Whenever we've veered away from that, we've consistently found that our users get confused and don't use the tool. One of our competitors offers 6,000 reports in their management reporting interface. I offer 10. We've taken two clients from them recently, and "too complicated" was one of the major reasons.
Beyond that, why the desire to make all mobile operating systems the same? Why not let Android be the one with widgets. Let iOS be app-centric and Windows Phone be task-centric. Then, at least there is diversity and choice. What a drab tech landscape it will be if every OS become so homogeneous.
Android is more than widgets. Don't like keyboard. Change it. Don't like any part change it. And so on.
OK Peter. It's been recorded. Let's wait and see ;-)Can we say that "elegant" design of iOS on the iPhone seems... a "bunch of cluttered and confusing icons"?And about saying a "clean" design when 95% of the screen is filled up with icons?
I may say that when people show me their iPhone I struggle to read so many icons at one time. Yet, when people hold my phone I just say:" take it, swipe right for the games panel". That's it. Is this confusing? Difficult?
It's difficult because Apple says so. Nothing more then this. When Apple puts the same on theirs it will immediately be "great". Why? Because Apple says so.
I totally agree with simplicity being key, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to do more. I used to teach 8 year olds to make their own films using iMovie. They were able to do a lot simply. I later got a PC and used an similar application, I can't think of what it was called and I couldn't believe just how complicated it was doing the same thing as I did using iMovie. Apple has always been able to somehow keep things simple, yet with the potential to do a lot. I'm sure they can keep iOS simple, and yet get it to simply do more at the same time without breaking it.
I like the two screen system Android uses. It means leaving everything I don't want to see in one place, and putting the things I always use right there at my fingertips. I guess it's similar to a PC. You can put the things you always use on the desktop somewhere, whilst you leave the rest somewhere else where you only go occasionally. It's seriously not that complicated, especially for people who are also able to use a PC. I've posted the comment before that I find it hard to believe how people who use PCs day in and day out suddenly find Android too complicated. But maybe when it comes to a phone people don't want to think anymore.
I do like the idea of having two or more different OS's to suit different users though. I think that's why Palm worked for some and Window Mobile complimented each other so well.