I think bigger screens on Android phones work because of homescreen widgets

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by vaultwit, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. vaultwit macrumors regular

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    #1
    Sure, a bigger screen means more space when browsing websites or playing games. But what about the primary screen that you visit most often on your phone--the home screen? I think a huge screen just filled with a whole bunch of app icons is a waste.

    I know iOS is known for simplicity, but I believe there can be homescreen widgets without adding complexity. For example, a simple weather widget that takes up 2 or 4 icon spages. Or a calendar widget that displays your next event. List goes on. I'm not saying Apple should copy Android per se, but rather that they should make better use of the homescreen. A 6x4 grid of tiles (in the 6) is not good use, in my opinion.

    Here's an interesting article from The Verge that reimagines iOS with widgets: http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/30/5761732/this-striking-ios-8-concept-reinvents-the-homescreen

    I'm not saying iOS should turn into Android. If I was, I would just get an Android phone. I'm saying iOS should be iOS... Just with better use of the homescreen. Especially with the bigger 6/6+'s. I can't be the only one out there that thinks this?
     
  2. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    #2
    Widgets is a big reason I'm. Staying with Samsung. I love mine.
     
  3. vaultwit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Honestly, I think an icon-only homescreen worked fine up until the 5s because the screen was small enough. With the new 6 and (especially) 6+, the homescreen just looks tacky filled with a whole bunch of equally sized squares.
     
  4. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

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    #4
    I wish I had widgets on my new IP6. With the larger screen it would be great to have a weather widget across the top of my home screen.
     
  5. Oohara macrumors 68020

    Oohara

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    #5
    I agree, the bigger screens get, the more they feel like a waste of space unless something creative is done with the content you can put on them. I also love that article you linked. i would LOVE IT if Apple went with something like that. Finally some fun and playfulness - without disturbing their design language one bit!

    Hopefully we'll see something like this later on for iPhones and iPads. Currently I really want to be enticed over to iOS because I do love the smoothness and coherence of Apple's OS, but I still just can't quite shake the feeling that an iPhone for me at this point would be only 'adequate' and just not that fun really. If they had gone for this kind of widgets for the iPhone 6 Plus release, I would probably be lined up outside my local Apple store right now.
     
  6. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

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    #6
    I still haven't found that many widgets that I genuinely use daily - which ones would you recommend?
     
  7. abshole765 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Started using Zooper over the weekend. That alone would keep me from going back to Apple, even with the larger screens.
     
  8. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

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    #8
    Looks cool, will check it out.
     
  9. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    #9
    What's your main interests?

    I have

    Calendar
    Cbs sports news and scores
    Google search
    Sky sports scores
    Goal news
    Eurosport tennis
    S health
    Google music
     
  10. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    #10
    I think bigger screens worked on Android so well because of the more space for information. Widgets fall under that same spectrum of a better range for displaying content.

    The iPhone is better than ever, widgets or no widgets, and the larger screens work amazingly.
     
  11. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

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    #11
    I'd love a Podcast widget but Podkicker doesn't have one. Got one for Rocket Player.

    Forza for football doesn't really have widgets, shame. Might check out the Sky Sports one.

    Got a full screen Calendar one (the LG stock widget is nice).

    That's it, though. I always get a bit stuck beyond that.
     
  12. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #12
    That concept in the OP video would be an amazing step for iOS.
     
  13. Oohara macrumors 68020

    Oohara

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    #13
    I wish Apple would just hire that kid and get it over with. His ideas really make Apple's already established design language come alive in that video. It's such a logical next step. I mean.....it almost hurts to think that this could have been released with the 6/6 Plus. Imagine what a stunning experience that would have brought. I get extremely frustrated by thinking about this lol :mad:
     
  14. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020

    jamesrick80

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    #14
    You do have widgets, they are just in the notification drop down menu and look hideous.....;)
     
  15. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    #15
    Think I would of been more tempted to go back iPhone if they did.
     
  16. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #16
    I think Apple is waiting until next year to add something more to the homescreen because they'll want more people to have iPhones with bigger screens. Right now, I'm sure a lot of people are still on the 5/5s so maybe Apple didn't want to fragment the OS too much.
     
  17. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #17
    Widgets are highly underrated IMO. It's a vast amount of live information at a single glance. People may think of widgets as just email or calendar widgets, but the breadth and scope of widgets in Android is amazing. I would never have thought I could have a live video feed of my 2 year old in daycare sitting on my homescreen on my cell phone.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    Yes.

    Widgets are like having little Apple Watches all over your screen :)
     
  19. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #19
    very cool :D
     
  20. Oohara macrumors 68020

    Oohara

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    #20
    Sorry no offence intended...but I can't tell if this was meant as a sarcastic or positive comment? :eek:
     
  21. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #21
    How is the homescreen the main screen? It certainly isn't the screen I spend a majority of my time in.

    My time is spent in apps - for which the larger display adds to the experience and functionality.

    I never used widgets on my Android devices - I put them on my 3rd screen but rarely if ever looked at them.

    The in-app experience is just more polished. For at a glance info, widgets in the notification center makes more sense to me. They can be accessed at any time (lock screen or in app) and are all in one place.
     
  22. spinedoc77, Sep 22, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #22
    Different strokes for different folks and all. With android you can make the lockscreen contain widgets so I can see at literally a single glance all my live info. But I hear ya, it's valuable to have stuff in the notification pull down as well, no doubt about it. But for me it's also valuable to be able to custom arrange my widgets where I want them, resize them, replace them with different widgets, or even the same widget function but a different theme or different dev who made it.

    Personally I still think on iOS you will never come close to having the functionality I have on my homescreen page, AND I still have a notification panel when I need it.

    LIVE feeds of the following:
    Calendar, appointments, etc.
    OneNote notes complete with one button clipping of pictures, voice, etc.
    Google now headlines, traffic alerts, weather, etc etc.
    Hangouts/text messages.
    Google voice transcripted voicemail messages, texts, missed calls, etc.
    Emails, new and old, send new, reply, etc.
    Live video feed of my 2 year old at daycare.
    My audio books paused exactly where I left off.
    My music paused exactly where I left off.
    EDIT: almost forgot, the direct dial/direct text widgets which are icon sized, a single tap of my finger and it dials the contact. It's amazing to have a row of my favorites and not have to open the phone screen. I can even put them on my lockscreen.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg with Android as well, it's just what I have on my homescreen. See I don't necessarily treat my widgets as only information to be glanced at, although I could and sometimes do. Another key point is not only are these all live, but you can interact with them, scroll down the email list to see dozens of emails if I want, flip though different cameras at my daycare, clip a photo or recording to a onenote note, start my audio book from the homescreen, etc etc.
     
  23. McCool71 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2012
    #23
    I totally agree - very few Android users with big screens (even those without big screens) fill the 'start screen' up with just icons.

    ----------

    I have the Google search bar (of course) and Flipboard (which auto-updates ever hour - in other words there is 'always' something new there) on my main start screen.

    Still have room for 12 app icons on my Note 3 :)
     
  24. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #24
    POSITIVE! :)

    The whole point of a smartwatch is that you can see important info at a glance... but only one screenful at a time.

    A display full of widgets is like having a bunch of those important little screens!
     
  25. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #25
    Sure - I guess.

    I suppose I'd much rather take the extra half a millisecond to click on the icon and get the full app experience versus some neutered widget version (as far as interaction goes).

    And as far as functionality, I don't subscribe to the idea that widgets make for a more functional OS.

    As for quick dial, iOS 8 introduced recents and favorites into the multitasking window. Double click shows me my recents.

    Anyhow, good on people who use them. Perhaps it was just my use case never quite adapted to them being there, but I really got no value out of the customization and location of widgets on my home screens....just saw clutter.

    And because most of the ones that will show any amount of information take up a lot of the screen, I ended up having multiple pages of widgets which introduced additional swipes to get to them.

    Lock screen widgets (at least natively) were somewhat annoying to access with the lock on.....I never got into 3rd party lock screens. More stuff I didn't feel I should have to tweak.

    I'm just an iOS guy through and through I suppose. Just works for me.

    EDIT: I will say that when I first saw the concept in the OP, I thought it was pretty cool. Part of the reason I don't like Android widgets is they all have different styles and themes....perhaps that's a small thing, but it matters to me. The simplicity of the concept make widgets more appealing to me.

    Even so, I'd likely only use the weather one....maybe Sportscenter? Music controls are ALWAYS a swipe up away so I see no reason to have something on your home screen.
     

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