Introduced more than a month and a half ago during the Google I / O, Android L could lay the groundwork for the creation of a user experience equal for all. It was the year 2012 when I decided to sell my glorious iPhone 4S to go to the “enemy.” Tired of some things that lead me to still remain faithful to that choice taken 2 and a half years ago, the transition to Android has marked the turning point for me from different points of view.
Although it was not the first time I getting in relationship to the green robot, I had an HTC Desire HD, I had to think again when for the first time, turned on the Nexus 4, I got in (re)touch with the operating system made ??by Google.
In these two and a half years many things have changed. Android has finally become mature enough to cope without any problems in iOS, and also the various partners of Google have started to offer customizations that, in some cases, allow users to enjoy an experience and care of the first level.
New framework, old hopes
In past years, the major release matched the release of a new framework that (on paper) allowed to return to the user animations, transitions, effects, graphics and fluidity, which for several years have been the Achilles heel of Android . Several years after its introduction, the Cocoa Touch framework developed by Apple for the management of the environment and feel of iOS, continues to offer devices uprights hardware “inferior” on the paper, a graphics rendering which in some cases can to embarrass the top of the range more noble.
In some ways, these “little” glitches continue to affect some devices such as for example the Samsung Note 3 or the newest in home LG, the G3 . Though all things considered, the overall experience remains at high levels, this shows that in some areas there is still a lot to work on.
Project Butter, introduced by Jelly Bean – the penultimate operating system released before the advent of KitKat – was born for this; make every graphic, every transition, smooth as butter . True, the name is not one of the most well chosen to match a technological concept, but gives a good idea. It makes it so well that Google, as ever, pushed on this point in an almost obsessive way. It has done well.
The reason is simple: those who spend $600-700 for a top of the range phone, absolutely does not want to see hesitations or delays of any kind. And who never buy a Ferrari in third which “pushes” less than a Panda 4 × 4? None.
OEMs are the problem
OEMs are the problem, or at least they are a part of (big) problem. By turning on any Android phone, you can tell the reason that is not a Nexus. Heavy customization of the UI, upheavals that reach to touch deep in the code itself to Android, are responsible for 99% of the time with all the problems that I mentioned just above. Google is not cracked and is running for cover .
Two clues lead me to believe that a few months from here, things could change dramatically. The first, consists in “chained” the various OEMs to not even touching with a finger UI for all current Android wear devices and all those who will come on the market in the future. “We’ve seen what have you done with Android smartphones and tablet and we can not allow this to happen even with the smartwatch” seem to have these various Google executives in the control room.
The second, is to be found in the very idea that led to the birth of the framework that next fall will be the lifeblood of the engine of Android L .
Material Design: will it be the turning point?
Who is serious in computing, one of the first rules that learns by heart is as follows: UI and UX always go hand in hand. For those of you who are wondering what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the ‘ user interface and user experience’ and all . These two paradigms, on which the success of IOS and, in some cases, the “failure” of Android is based.
The reason is to be found in the extreme fragmentation of the user experience that for every device released by this or that producer, is constantly changing and most of the time without a reason. Buy a Samsung phone and I have the TouchWiz amending, horribly, in my view, the user interface; I buy an HTC device and I find the Sense that, still , it’s different than, say, an LG. In short, the same operating system, myriad differences that for those who are not geeks, in the long run affecting the user experience.
Fortunately, the music is going to change, and a taste of what it will be as we have seen during the presentation of what this fall will be released by Google under the name of The Android L . The Material Design company strives as unifying the user experience despite the heterogeneous universe of Android devices. Flat icons, palette of bright and warm colors, Material Design make the biggest leap forward from the aesthetic point of view since in 2010 Matias Duarte , former design director of the now defunct Palm, has joined the team which deals with the graphical interface and user experience in Android.
For lovers of the green robot, the arrival of the new graphics engine is to enjoy the full user experience of researched, studied and performed with the sole purpose to unify rather than divide. Android has always been synonymous with the freedom to change, modify, distort every aspect of the operating system and the project carried out by Google will not move an inch in the opposite direction; rather, it is an act of love in wanting to finally bring the entire user experience to a higher level, more mature and more aware that the time has come to get rid of old mindsets.