Google’s Matias Duarte speaks about the lack of microSD card and Jelly Bean device consistency
Director of Android operating system User Experience at Google, Matias Duarte, has made some very interesting comments on Google+ today. He started a thread on Google+ asing people what we “want to know.” As you can expect, the thread has been flooded with tonnes and tonnes of questions – it would be impossible for Matias to answer them all, even with such a cool name.
We’ve taken out some of the most notable points from Matias’ huge comment, but we’d really suggest that you read the full thing over on Google+.
He started off by addressing the point of the consistent system buttons and status bar on Jelly Bean for devices of all sizes. This is a hot topic which many Androidians from around the globe either love or hate.
On the on-screen buttons that make the Nexus 4, 7 and 10 UI’s the same, with many complaining that this ruins a 10-incher.
This new configuration is based on usability research we did on all of the different form factors and screen sizes that Android runs on. What mattered most of all was muscle memory – keeping the buttons where you expect them, no matter how you hold the device.
He went on to say:
Phones are almost always used in portrait mode, flip sideways occasionally, and never go upside down. As screen sizes get larger though, any which way goes. Imagine the frustration you’d feel if every time you picked up a tablet off the table ‘the wrong way up’ you found yourself reaching for a home button that wasn’t where you expect it to be? That irritation adds up and over time like a tiny grain of sand in your shoe and undermines the rest of your experience.
From the sounds of things it appears as though Matias and the team just really do not like any kind of button that is not find on the screen itself. While we knew this already, he’s gone into some acute details, pointing out the apparent frustration and supposed confusion(?) that Android users have with capacitive or physical buttons.
Matias went on to speak about another hot topic that has been on peoples’ minds – the ominous SD card expansion issue.
Once again, we’ve known this for a long time – Google doesn’t like the SD card any more. Although, we never really knew why Google were so against it and assumed it was all about pushing the cloud. While it still very well may be, Matias has at least given a bit of an explanation:
If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.
With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for users.
While I’ve never really found SD card expansion to be so mind-blowing and confusing, I can understand that some people may. Who these people are, I don’t know – most likely our non tech-savvy friends, or most likely someone who is getting their first smartphone.
As always, it’s so great to see high-up people making comments about issues that us users have and answering real people. I doubt there’ll be too many (if any) more answers made as the thread has grown beyond comprehension. Follow the source link to check it out further.