Yesterday, I wrote about how Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” has been well-received by most folks who have tested it. Today, I write about someone who doesn’t like ICS.
Farhad Manhoo is a man whose writing is always well thought out, and I find myself agreeing with him 99 percent of the time.
This post, which is short and bittersweet, has to do with the other 1 percent. Manhoo tested ICS on the GSM version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
While he acknowledged some improvements, he argued ICS doesn’t have a heart, or a theme. I’ve also seen it written that Android in general lacks a soul.
What does that mean? I could be a cheeky monkey and say, “Duh, Android is a robot, stupid. Of course, it doesn’t have a heart, much less a soul.
Call me crazy, but I don’t want my smartphone OS to have a heart, or a soul. I don’t agree with Matias Duarte’s Jobsian drivel about people not “forming emotional relationships” with devices.
I want my phone to help me get stuff done. Make calls, text people, send emails, check Google+ messages, play Angry Birds, etc.
But then, as I read on, I realized Manhoo just didn’t like the way ICS works:
“Android’s problem isn’t just aesthetic. It’s also functional–Ice Cream Sandwich still doesn’t do a great job of showing off all that it can do. Two years ago, I criticized Android for its reliance on hidden menus: In many apps, key functions could only be activated by hitting a button that exposed new buttons. While ice cream sandwich does away with most hidden menus, it adds a bunch of new, confusing interface elements. In Android’s new notifications tab and multitasking pane, for instance, you swipe your finger across an item from left to right to get rid of it. It’s a handy gesture, but it’s not universal. Swipe a contact in the People list and, instead of deleting the contact, you go to a different tab. Swipe an email subject line in your in-box and nothing happens.“
His point is that because Android isn’t coherent it’s not user-friendly and, therefore, doesn’t invite love from users. So ICS doesn’t have a heart.
I can’t imagine ICS being hard to use, but I’ll reserve judgment on that until I play with ICS myself.
Has anyone else experienced this, or can otherwise articulate Manhoo’s complaint?