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Author Topic: (godawful) home screens & widgets  (Read 3001 times)

Offline erik

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(godawful) home screens & widgets
« on: July 26, 2012, 08:32:58 PM »
I hope this doesn't come off as trolling. I'd love to see a spirited discussion on this point, as I think it would be really valuable.

Is there anyone here who DOESN'T view the home screens and the widget screens as fundamentally broken, and both hard to navigate and understand? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get it. Overall, I'm so impressed by my Nexus 7. But the all-important main Home screen strikes me as an absolute train wreck— like if I threw a few books and DVDs I own on my floor.

But maybe I just haven't figured out the subtleties of using these screens. I've dragged widgets to the home screen's secondary pages and I don't see the point of doing that either. What I want to do is modify the default first home screen to contain all the apps I generally use, instead of being senselessly dominated by a bunch of images from my media library.

Maybe I'm just imposing my iPad-centric biases here, but it seems that where the home screen is concerned Apple got things right, and Google's current implementation is clunky and ill-conceived. I've realized that the Nexus 7's Home Screen's dock is super flexible and useful, but the rest of the Home Screen makes no sense to me at all. What I'd like is for the primary home screen page to offer up a collection of my favorites folders and apps. And while realize I can dump widgets for some of these on secondary pages, there doesn't seem to be any point do doing so.

So here's how I use the Home screen right now. I've carefully thought through what I want in my dock, and I've got folders there for my games and productivity apps. I view the remaining 80% of my primary home screen as an ugly, cluttered waste of space (images for my Google books, music, and videos). If what I want isn't in my dock I hit the Apps screen button in the center of the dock and choose what I need from that screen.

Am I doing this right? Or am I missing a way to create a more elegant and useful functionality? If I'm missing something, it's sure not obvious. In whatever version of Android comes after Jelly Bean, there's nothing I'd like more than for Google to completely redesign the Home screen.

Eager to hear what our community thinks.



Offline Drew

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:00:57 PM »
Long press on what you don't like and move it to another page or to the top to delete. You can clear out your home screen and customize it however you want, unlike iPad.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:02:40 PM by Drew »
"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." - Oscar Wilde

Offline Undo

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 10:21:09 PM »
When I tap the home button it takes me to the home page with all my chosen apps. All that other stuff — books, movies and magazines — is on other pages so it doesn't bother me. It's kinda nice to have it there should I need it. I'm not sure I understand what the problem is.

Offline radiocycle

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 12:04:34 AM »
Guess you ought to stick with your ithing...
Time flies like arrows... Fruit flies like bananas!

Offline richardright

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 05:37:21 AM »
I use nova launcher. by using this I can add the apps and widgets want for my main home screen. then on secondary home screens I rebuilt the pages with the media library and so on.

Offline frank

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 05:44:44 AM »
+1 to nova launcher.
The beauty of Android... if you dont like something, change it.

Offline samalex

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 08:14:18 AM »
If you're used to the iPad then I can see why the N7 might be funky.  Just to say how I do it, I have various screens for different functions, for example one screen has my productivity stuff like calendar widget, tasks, and so forth. One has my telephony stuff like icons to Talkatone, Skype, Google Voice, etc.  Another screen has the multimedia widgets to TuneIn, Google Music, plus icons for Pandora, Spotify, etc. 

So for me I organize each screen to have different functions, and based on what I need it's pretty simple to swipe left or right to get to what I need easily enough.  And doing it for a few days muscle memory kicks in so I just instinctively know that if I need to call someone I just swipe Left once. 

My wife has an iPhone and iPad, and honestly I get boggled when I use those because to me those are illogically setup... the android layout though seems to work quite well.  But it definitely depends on what you're used to for sure.  Also as others have pointed out there are other launchers you can use.  I use Go Launcher Ex on my Kindle Fire which is amazing, and nova launcher is nice too.  But personally I like the stock launcher that comes with the N7.

Offline erik

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 01:38:33 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the very helpful comments. It hadn't been clear to me that I could just delete useless widgets and put app icons and useful widgets in their place. I've now constructed a pretty decent front page that shows recommended apps, my gmail inbox, my calendar, and my six most commonly-used apps. All in all, I now like my Nexus 7 home screen more than my iPad home screen.

And @radiocycle, I'm new to Android and came to this community looking for some help getting started. What's the point of making unkind comments to somebody who is trying to figure out the basics?

Offline radiocycle

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Re: (godawful) home screens & widgets
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 02:19:44 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the very helpful comments. It hadn't been clear to me that I could just delete useless widgets and put app icons and useful widgets in their place. I've now constructed a pretty decent front page that shows recommended apps, my gmail inbox, my calendar, and my six most commonly-used apps. All in all, I now like my Nexus 7 home screen more than my iPad home screen.

And @radiocycle, I'm new to Android and came to this community looking for some help getting started. What's the point of making unkind comments to somebody who is trying to figure out the basics?

I'm sorry erik but I just thought you were another member of the Apple cult, coming in to goat this group on.  Apple has such a closed door kind of business model that I don't think they are good for the internet and they stifle experimentation. They seem to be more closed with each new device.  They don't want ANYONE looking under the hood.  It's write two sets of code for every program; one for apple and one for everyone else.   
Glad you like your N7 home page now.

radio
Time flies like arrows... Fruit flies like bananas!

 


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