Why are Android settings so confusing?

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
21,181
13,025
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
This was one of the problems I originally had with Android, and now apparently still do.

It has gotten somewhat better since using the older version on the garbage tablet (Verizon G-Pad) that I have, but you have to really dig down levels sometimes.

And then with certain settings, Google shifts you to a web browser. Shouldn't those account settings be embedded in the Settings app? Apple can do it with iCloud and Apple ID.

Not wanting to start a war here, because I'm starting to like Android and I am committed to using it. But I now dread having to go into the Settings app. Unless I know specifically where something is within one or two levels deep I get lost.

Being able to search is a help, but at the same time Google could organize things better. You shouldn't need a miner's helmet to find something.

Is Google actively trying to do something about this or is this one of those Android things that users just accept and because they've been with it for a while it's no big deal?

PS. I'm running straight Android P on a Pixel if that makes a difference.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,853
7,463
Austin, TX
I think there is a happy medium somewhere between what Apple does and what Google does. I find the Apple settings menu just insane with the phone system menus and the app menus all in one place. On the other hand, it's nice to know everything is there.

I never had a problem with Android menus. In fact, in most cases I prefer them. There are some weird things with like "an app's menu is here but its ability to use cellular data is in this other menu" but overall it's just different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andondragov

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,399
4,644
This was one of the problems I originally had with Android, and now apparently still do.

It has gotten somewhat better since using the older version on the garbage tablet (Verizon G-Pad) that I have, but you have to really dig down levels sometimes.

And then with certain settings, Google shifts you to a web browser. Shouldn't those account settings be embedded in the Settings app? Apple can do it with iCloud and Apple ID.

Not wanting to start a war here, because I'm starting to like Android and I am committed to using it. But I now dread having to go into the Settings app. Unless I know specifically where something is within one or two levels deep I get lost.

Being able to search is a help, but at the same time Google could organize things better. You shouldn't need a miner's helmet to find something.

Is Google actively trying to do something about this or is this one of those Android things that users just accept and because they've been with it for a while it's no big deal?

PS. I'm running straight Android P on a Pixel if that makes a difference.
I bolded the answer.
Most Android phones are made by engineers for themselves, not for the lay person to use. So it's normal to always mix things up and make sure things remain complex. Android users either just accepts it, or move to iOS. Besides, whenever Google releases a new Android version, they have to have a new thing to show. Mixing the settings up will show that at least there are "changes." :D

When Samsung's own marketing team use iPhones, that tells you something about Android.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,606
This was one of the problems I originally had with Android, and now apparently still do.

It has gotten somewhat better since using the older version on the garbage tablet (Verizon G-Pad) that I have, but you have to really dig down levels sometimes.

And then with certain settings, Google shifts you to a web browser. Shouldn't those account settings be embedded in the Settings app? Apple can do it with iCloud and Apple ID.

Not wanting to start a war here, because I'm starting to like Android and I am committed to using it. But I now dread having to go into the Settings app. Unless I know specifically where something is within one or two levels deep I get lost.

Being able to search is a help, but at the same time Google could organize things better. You shouldn't need a miner's helmet to find something.

Is Google actively trying to do something about this or is this one of those Android things that users just accept and because they've been with it for a while it's no big deal?

PS. I'm running straight Android P on a Pixel if that makes a difference.

The Google settings that shifts you to a web browser, those are basically "Google Account" settings, not Android.

Other than that, I think the Android settings is pretty much simplified.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,449
4,455
The Google settings that shifts you to a web browser, those are basically "Google Account" settings, not Android.

Other than that, I think the Android settings is pretty much simplified.
Except that Samsung hardware is abandonware.
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
This was one of the problems I originally had with Android, and now apparently still do.

It has gotten somewhat better since using the older version on the garbage tablet (Verizon G-Pad) that I have, but you have to really dig down levels sometimes.

And then with certain settings, Google shifts you to a web browser. Shouldn't those account settings be embedded in the Settings app? Apple can do it with iCloud and Apple ID.

Not wanting to start a war here, because I'm starting to like Android and I am committed to using it. But I now dread having to go into the Settings app. Unless I know specifically where something is within one or two levels deep I get lost.

Being able to search is a help, but at the same time Google could organize things better. You shouldn't need a miner's helmet to find something.

Is Google actively trying to do something about this or is this one of those Android things that users just accept and because they've been with it for a while it's no big deal?

PS. I'm running straight Android P on a Pixel if that makes a difference.
Android settings seem really easy and intuitive to me. Maybe you just need more muscle memory, I remember hating iOS settings until I got used to them (although I still don't love them).
 
  • Like
Reactions: andondragov

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
21,181
13,025
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
The Google settings that shifts you to a web browser, those are basically "Google Account" settings, not Android.

Other than that, I think the Android settings is pretty much simplified.
Android settings seem really easy and intuitive to me. Maybe you just need more muscle memory, I remember hating iOS settings until I got used to them (although I still don't love them).
I suspect that part of my problem is my unfamiliarity with Android settings and my confusion as to where I am.

It seems to me that iOS Settings generally only get about three levels deep, whereas Android settings can do deeper. Some settings in Android I have to search for because they don't seem to be directly accessible otherwise.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,606
I suspect that part of my problem is my unfamiliarity with Android settings and my confusion as to where I am.

It seems to me that iOS Settings generally only get about three levels deep, whereas Android settings can do deeper. Some settings in Android I have to search for because they don't seem to be directly accessible otherwise.
Yea, it depends what you are familiar with. When I'm on Android for a long stretch and mess with the iPhone, the fact that many app settings are not within the apps themselves, that throws me off.

Android has more of a deeper settings menu, because there is just much more to customize or setup. At least now, they try to put everything under the correct umbrella/parent labels, cause years ago Android settings was truly a mess with a terrible search.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,112
7,507
UK
Yea, it depends what you are familiar with. When I'm on Android for a long stretch and mess with the iPhone, the fact that many app settings are not within the apps themselves, that throws me off.

Android has more of a deeper settings menu, because there is just much more to customize or setup. At least now, they try to put everything under the correct umbrella/parent labels, cause years ago Android settings was truly a mess with a terrible search.
Never really found the settings on android a problem really. Even though I’m using a Mac now I was a long time windows user and android is much like windows in its operation. It’s logical and straight forward.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andondragov

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,356
3,375
I suspect that part of my problem is my unfamiliarity with Android settings and my confusion as to where I am.

It seems to me that iOS Settings generally only get about three levels deep, whereas Android settings can do deeper. Some settings in Android I have to search for because they don't seem to be directly accessible otherwise.
Yeah I had the opposite issue, I was familiar with Android after being off iOS for a couple of years, when I switched back to iOS I hated it and thought it was terrible. Now I'm used to it and it's not a big deal. I use the search function in settings (in Android) and it makes finding stuff much easier. Apple likes to put stuff in weird places for some reason, like moving the auto brightness setting to Accessibility/display accommodations. Drives me nuts because when I'm outside my iphone on auto brightness doesn't brighten all the way and I have to toggle it off.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,508
3,430
Both seem to have deeper layers than ever. I’m a long time user of both, though intimately familiar with iOS, and I still often have to dig around to find specific settings in both.

I generally just use the search functionality on both for everything..settings, apps, content, etc.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,606
Never really found the settings on android a problem really. Even though I’m using a Mac now I was a long time windows user and android is much like windows in its operation. It’s logical and straight forward.
I personally never had an issue either, but the setting menu was a mess years back. Around Marshmallow is when they really started to clean it up.
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68030
Dec 22, 2016
2,885
1,886
Australia
Have you tried to use voice assistance to adjust settings? That’d have to work better on Android than IOS.