Thursday, May 17, 2018

Google Pixel 2 and Android Suggested Improvements

Some thoughts on improvements to Android's UI now that I'm on second Pixel, the Pixel 2.

> I love the inclusion of the Golden Ratio grid on the camera app, and I like the new lens cleaning warning function.

> I've had a Pixel 1 and loved it. The mic broke, which was on Reddit as an issue, but warranty covered it. Then the camera had the failure issue with Bluetooth turning off too (also all over Reddit), and it wasn't covered by warranty anymore. However, I traded it in and still went with the Pixel 2, hoping it is more mature and the kinks are ironed out.

Here are some of my laymen ideas for improvements that I'm sure you've considered.

> Design a budget Pixel like the iPhone SE. I need a great camera, but my wife doesn't care.

> Select a watch or two that you recommend, so I don't have to choose from so many third-party ones. Nothing fancy. However, waterproof. I want not to have to lug my phone from room to room from its charger.

> Make it much easier to set up kid accounts with access only to apps like YouTube Kids, PBS kids. I'd like a default app for that actually, that comes with the phone. 

> Android tends to hide some essential buttons, like the "back" button, from being apparent enough. Mostly, make the most likely button needed, bigger. I'm sure you've done some testing, but I think more would be useful for older newbies. Also, the pull-down buttons like the Flashlight, are tiny and low contrast. I'd like the flashlight button to glow more when it's dark out, and I need to find it.

> Have an "I forgot my reading glasses" button that enables me (Recently relegated to reading glasses at 52) to make calls in a slight emergency by massively enlarging essential interface elements.

> Is it possible to have returning to home stop an app, so over the course of a day I don't build up so many windows open?

> It's spooky to go to a restaurant with a new phone and then be prompted to take a photo or leave a review because the phone knows where I am. I don't really mind, but I'd like the first notification to be something more humane, like "location awareness is on, we could have recommended a review or photo of X restaurant your phone was at, but before we do, we wanted to remind you that location services are on and double check if you want notifications like that."

> I'd like a setting for an extra low ring or notification when I am going to be upstairs.

> I'd like a function where when the battery is low I can set it to shut down with say 5% left, so I know I can boot it up and make an emergency call. I have a young family, and I have anxiety if the phone goes dead and shuts down on a trip in the car, or camping, when I don't have a charger.