Android 10 review

04 Sept 2019

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  • StillOnOreo

It's great to read about Android 10, sure do wish there were a simple way to find phones with it.

Any word on when 10 is going to be added as a filtering option in the Phone Finder? Apologies if this had been addressed, it's a damned difficult topic to concoct useful search terms for.

EskeRahn, 11 Sep 2019Well and concisely put.Yep. It's true. And I really miss those old CSS tricks for making 3-D effects like beveled button edges. You could do so much with color and shading. Material Design is suitable for peeps whose right brain is numb. :)

I cannot agree with this: "And the traditional three-button navigation bar has returned too, bafflingly." What's baffling is that you spout that piece of nonsense right after you trashed the alternative - the new gesture navigation. Well that deserves to be trashed and I don't even like the original one. I bet I'm not alone! I am much more comfortable with the nav bar, which btw is dynamic and in certain apps disappears to give you more real estate, until you swipe to re-enable it. What's so bad about that?

I have updated android 10 in my S10 plus, after updated my phone being hot and battery getting drain as well. Is there solution for this and anyone facing like this?

  • Anonymous

Android 10 is better, An working on the updates and upgrate to turn my old into new Android devices with new features. Android is here so glad of it.

Android 10 best feature is...your android 9 is almost obsolete, and you have to uprade to the latest hardware just to get this dark theme BS and also gesture navigation, and so on...

Andrew, 08 Sep 2019Material design is stupidity made art. Someone there has compul... moreWell and concisely put.

  • Lumia fabula

Andrew, 08 Sep 2019Material design is stupidity made art. Someone there has compul... moreİ cant agree more.
I mean it's just plain flat.
Colors are dead tones, not lively, black is dead also, and white? Boring.
Grey? Zombie grey. Well you get don't good looks of course, if you close your phone and toss it in the corner and look else where.
İ really miss the old symbian, meego ui's they were both elegant and beautiful, not cramped or flat. İf you want simplicity metro ui of wp 8.1 is to go. Super black dark tones, vibrant full colors (I really miss the cyan and pink tones of wp) and interactive buttons.

  • Andrew

Material design is stupidity made art.
Someone there has compulsive disorder and wants all icons look the same.

EskeRahn, 07 Sep 2019I think we better just agree to disagree on the disastrous Mater... moreNot really.
I know it a lot of text, but go back and read it. Once you realise what I've written, its just a navigation system using gestures on a 2D-like plane... it just "clicks". And this is for the Operating System, not for Apps.

The only implementation I would have for Apps, is that they cannot use the "Back" button and the 3-dot "Menu" button. That's two changes... but big implications. To help transition smoothly, there's few things that can be done. The first could be an SDK system to help developers update to the new API and make the required UI improvements. The second could be financial incentive (eg Google agrees to charge only 10% for all Apps converted instead of charging the usual 30% fee). The third could be a system tool, which would convert the old Apps automatically to the new App-framework. This is usually a dirty endeavour though.

I think my UX idea is pretty genius, and I suspect these companies will probably transition towards something similar in time. I mean, I successfully predicted the death of the physical buttons for on-screen buttons from a decade ago. It just makes sense to have the transition happen earlier than later, and do it during a major platform leap. For instance, Android 4.0.3 ICS standardised the Toolkit and User Interface from the older fragmented Android 2.3 days. Also, it was Android 5.1 Lollipop which modernised the User Interface and bought proper 64-bit and multi-complex-core system, for the older 32-bit Android 4.4 days.

I think Android needs a big platform upgrade for these reasons:
- a powerful built in AI-Assistant like Siri
- 120Hz displays and Freesync displays
- Desktop Mode for DeX/Continuum computing
- Under-screen support for Selfie camera
.....then roll all these improvements together with the new UX, and release it as "Android 20 Rice Pudding", and watch the mobile market mature further and evolve!!

Kangal, 07 Sep 2019Actually, Material Design is very good. Sure, you subjectively d... moreI think we better just agree to disagree on the disastrous Material design mess...

I must admit I only skimmed your post, but the big problem with any(?) totally new UI concept is that it requires all apps to be rethought to be good...

MS tried to make some partly backwards compatibility with the Win8.0 horror, and I doubt that many will find that a success. Even their 100% own Settings are still a mishmash of new ugly design and old control panel, years after launch. So how do anyone expect that all third parties redesign their apps? Sure there will be some big players that can afford to throw away money on that, but for many many small vendors it would be insurmountable.

So we would be likely to be in a 'transition' phase for many many years.

I think that a totally new UI unfortunately would require some sort of 'old' window/mode where all the old stuff can be executed with the old interaction intact. BUT it of course would be a UI mishmash similar to Win8/10

EskeRahn, 06 Sep 2019I agree that the whole UI need to be thoroughly re-thought. BUT ... moreActually, Material Design is very good. Sure, you subjectively don't like it but you're wrong to call it bad. I've seen bad design, trust me, things can be much worse. When you talk about shadows and realism, you're thinking of skeumorphics, something that was big with the old Mac OS X and iPhone OS v5. Good design is design that stays out of your way. It let's you know what is happening easier, and is simple to grasp. But regardless, these are just artistic choices that we're talking about and I won't go into it further.

Back on topic, that's User Experience.
I'll tap into some Human Psychology and say that we are very visual people, but also temporal. So we're great at grasping movement, which is an element of space and time. So I would actually base it around that "feeling".

Now, the most popular thing people do on their phones is actually to browse the web. And this is something we cannot alter, as its a universal standard, that, there is always a lot of scrolling involved. And this scrolling is mostly from top to bottom, and sometimes to the right. So I would place the Browser at the bottom, and work my way backwards in-time, in terms of navigation. This means my App Switcher would be one level above it. And to get my Apps open, they would come from my Launcher which would be one level above it. And to open the phone, you would come from the Lock Screen which would be one above that. This would be my UX.

In greater detail:
So you turn your phone on, centre would show if you have any notifications and current stats, since there isn't a Notification Bar. Swipe to left to make an emergency call or shortcut to certain actions like turn on flash light, mute device, call an accessory like pen/watch/camera to find it. Swipe right to take a quick photo or video recording. Swipe down to goto the Home Screen.
Now you're on the far left of the Home Screen, you can swipe right through it. See things in folders and you're widgets. It's somewhere between iOS and Pixel, so like MIUI/Meizu. There is no App Drawer, instead you have the option of quick-switching between your custom Home screen to one where all the Apps are in Alphabetical, or from Most to Least Used/Useful. Here you actually get a Notifications Bar, but it is located on the bottom. The left side of the Bar shows the Status like Battery and Reception. The middle of the Bar shows the Time and-if-space also the Day of the Week/Date. The right side of the bar shows the icons for Notifications, and if many/no-space, you instead get Exclamation Mark.

Swiping up, from the Status side brings up the Quick Settings page which is fairly understandable. The Notification Bar which was at the bottom actually moves to the top with your swiping action, as if you were really navigating a 2D area, except the left side now reads "Quick Settings" instead of showing you the Status markers. You can scroll down in this Quick Settings Page if there are many Settings that you added to the page. Yes, even volume bar is there, with a way to toggle between different volume contexts. And also hit the Gear to go to the Settings Page and Hold to jump to individual Settings. You can swipe up to go back to the previous Home Screen, or swipe right. Swiping right gets you to your Notifications page. Now the Notifications Bar on the top shows you the Status Markers but the middle side instead reads "Notifications", whilst the Date-Time gets pushed to the rightsize. And you can scroll down to see them if you have many. There's a button to dismiss them all. You can quick reply them, or do many nifty things. And you can also arrange them Chronologically or between most important to least important. And of course tapping on one, will trigger an animation that shows it pop-up, then to the right and down, and expanding to finally fill the screen. Swiping left goes back to the Quick Settings page, Swiping up takes you back to the previous Home screen. You can also visit the Notifications page from the Home screen directly by swiping up from the bottom-right.

Swiping to the right from the Notification page gets you to the App Switcher. Again, the top Notification Bar changes, it now shows you the Status Markers on-left and Time in-middle, but on the right side it reads "Opened Apps". So a user can tell visually which page is where visually just by where the Writing is. Here there's all the Apps open from the left to the right. You can scroll through these left to right, just like the Home Screen. You can Close All with a button, or individually swipe Apps upwards like you're throwing a card at a bin, towards the Home screen. And whilst swiping/holding an App Preview, you can move it towards a Settings shortcut to go into the Individual App's Setting. Or you can pin the App to a side, triggering the Multiwindow mode. Clicking on the App moves it down, and brings you to the App, in a quick animation. Alternatively you can just launch an App from the Home screen, which eats up 1 second of your time, as it does an animation which moves the App from the Home screen, through the App Switcher, and down and centre to the viewer. It's a nifty way to visual to users.

In the App itself, you don't get anything on the bottom. You have the Notifications Bar on the top, and below that you get the Menu Bar. This Menu Bar is something that scrolls from the left to the right, so there's no need for the three-dot anymore. The "Back" button for the App also lives in the this Menu Bar on the top left, and it is like the old-iOS style where it writes the page-name inside a Left Arrow shape. This saves users from hunting for the back button and menu buttons, but developers do get freedom if they want to change the buttons to suit their theme (eg think Angry Birds). There's lots of animations when pages move within Apps going in any of the four directions. So most Apps will have a top to bottom scrolling, some will have a left to right scrolling navigation. It leaves the devs with 90% of the screen. They just can't add a top-to-bottom swipe gesture. So it only slightly hinders games like 2-Player Air Hockey. Now to go back to the Quick Settings page just swipe up from the left. Or to go back to the Notifications page, just swipe up from the right. A short swipe up from the middle gets you back to the App Switcher. A long swipe up from anywhere flings you quickly to the Home Screen. To turn the phone's display off, you can do another swipe up from the Home Screen.

So essentially, this is a highly intuitive and 2D Mapped sort of navigation. It's based on fluid motion and logical to how devices are used. It means an Android phone like the Nexus One can finally remove the App Switcher button, Menu button, Back button, Home Button, Camera button, Volume Rocker, and even the Power Button. Whilst this allows for an all-screen experience, which is great for TV's, I think for a handheld device, it should still have four symmetrical side buttons. And yes, of course, they would be customisable from within the Settings. These can do the tasks of Power, Volume Rocker, Camera.... and because they're symmetrical, they can be used inversely when the phone is held "upside-down". Which is just another reason phones should be designed symmetrical for such use, like the old Alcatel Idol 3 and 4S phones, and sort of like the ZTE Axon 7.

  • Anonymous

Where are internal audio recording and recents fix for launchers? Most important features are always left out.

Kangal, 05 Sep 2019I'm happy at all the under-the-hood improvements. Although I wan... moreI agree that the whole UI need to be thoroughly re-thought. BUT that is very hard to do without affecting the millions of apps out there.

One thing that is really hard to do, but really is a must have, is to think in active an inactive areas. As phablets grows bigger and bigger, they have already long ago gone beyond what the vast majority can fully operate with one hand while keeping a secure grip.

So we need a 'mode' where the whole screen is active for display, but only the reachable parts take touch input (perhaps less some seldom needed functionalities likes settings for an app). And perhaps also 'dead' zones at the edges, to avoid interactions when 'reaching in' or just holding. This is both for one- and two-handed operation, but of course hardest for one hand.

For the even larger folded devices and tablets, perhaps modes with two active touch zone, one for each thumb...

But this would require totally new UI-guidelines, and most developers would have to rethink their apps completely, so not an easy transition.

And please don't use the disastrous Material design from Hell (making things less intuitive to use) as a good example of anything. It is a design that would have been good on 16 colour CGA in the early nineties, but have no place on modern screens with fine colour depths. Our eyes&brains are over aeons build to see real things including shadows, not over simplified even coloured lines and surfaces that we usually just have to remember what represents, as they does not really relate to reality. One of the worst examples is the MS Sad Cyclop smiley to represent a user...

  • booldega

Does Google activated USB-C to HDMI adapters support with Desktop Mode with Android 10 update as they have USB 3 port ?

  • Nick

Looks like apple and google are copying many things from the dead microsoft lumia phones..

I'm happy at all the under-the-hood improvements. Although I wanted even more from the security perspective, and a built-in "developer mode" that could let you access root. I also wanted a more powerful AI-assistant, but it looks like its a work-in-progress, and that Google is going to take a page from Apple's Siri and make it exclusive to its Pixel products. Also, where is the Desktop Mode?

So, is this a must have update, or an insignificant one?
Kinda in the middle.

It's definitely not a huge shift such as 4.0.3, or 5.1, or 8.1 update.
Not even a big update such as 4.4 or 7.0 update.
It's closer to a mid-level like 4.1, or 9.0 update.
Yet it's not as small as say 4.2, or 4.3, or 6.0 updates.
...history tells me its always best getting a phone developed/released with the huge or big update, enjoy it, and be content to receive a single mid-level or two small-level updates.

Like most, I don't see much improvements to visuals or navigation. I mean we actually had "Dark Mode" back in 2011-2012 with Android 4.0 and 4.1, until Google decided to go for a white-scheme which was horrible for AMOLED Battery Life. Still good to see it come back. As for gestures, Google is doing it all wrong because they're clinging to their old philosophy of a moving Menu button, navigation to the Launcher, and trying to cram in a user experience that is hybridised from the iPhone X (which itself took artistic influence from BBX, which itself copied various other OS's).

Google hires very logical thinkers and good UX Designers. They clear the table, and imagine a blank phone. Then design the flow of the UI from start to finish. Implement that into AOSP. Push it out to all the Pixels (1,2,3,4). Then wait 6-months for OEMs to release their Stockish-OS phones and updates, and wait 1-year for OEMs to release their New Phones with SkinnedOS which uses this new UX. There will be another-year of awkward phase as people attempt to upgrade from their old devices. But after said period, the transition would be over. Think of MaterialDesign on Android 5.0 Lolipop, that also took from 2015-2017 to transition properly. I have my own concepts for UX, but I won't bore with the details here, but just wanted to say that it is possible to do a lot better than what we've been presented.

" if neither of the two gesture systems is well thought through and the three-button bar just feels ancient in this day and age"

The three button system still sounds like the best option. Calling it ancient puts it down when really it has stood the test of time. Navigating my phone is a very common task. When done wrong it will only increase my frustration with the device. Better to have a predictable, no nonsense system for that task.

Anonymous, 05 Sep 2019Because it was copied from iphone doesn't mean that it's bad. Bo... moreSo in your odd variant were other have logic, you call ME a fanboy for finding an obvoiusly silly idea silly?

The whole mess started by aPple trying to persuade people that one button was enough, and then after using single click, long click, double click and triple click, they went for 'gestures'. All to compensate the lack of buttons (physical or virtual).

IF (and only if) the gestures were all intuitive and not contradicting THEN they could have been a good idea

It is just like material design, an idea that can at best be excused, but really is stupid, and makes things less intuitive to use. Sure we can all LEARN people to work with stupid ideas, but it does not make the ideas less stupid.

  • Edd

What is the difference of Dark Theme in Android 10 versus the Night Mode on Note 9 on Android Pie?
It is the same Dark Theme or Dark Mode on Android 10. what is new here