Review of Android Honeycomb 3.1 Display Design
For larger displays like tablets, Google decided to develop a different version of the android OS called honeycomb. My exposure with the tablet version of android came earlier this year when I first used the Motorola XOOM, it has to be said that earlier versions of Androids were better than Honeycomb. I actually found less productivity through honeycomb 3.1 than the older version of android for smart phones.
With an enormous anticipation, I came in touch with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has the latest (3.1) version of honeycomb, which addresses few of the stability issues from version 3.0, my initial reaction was a mixed bag of positive and negative reactions. But people don’t get me wrong, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is one of the best tablets available on the market. The problem is with my perception of honeycomb 3.1.
The biggest issue with honeycomb 3.1 is the design that Google has selected for larger displays. The awkward thing is its system controls distributed over four corners of a display which causes the feeling of inconsistency while in use.
A notification message and clock is on lower right corner with common android settings and functionality. However, you can only access installed applications from the upper right corner of a display, an area which has been seldom used in any kind of display. Even a Google Search tab has been established at the upper left corner which is a location choice I’d question. After this distribution, main android controls such as back button and access to home screen display is on the lower left hand side of a display.
Such a design means whenever I need to access something, I have to stop and think about which corner to access and generally ending up accessing the wrong corner which creates lots of unnecessary taping on the screen which is a sign of poor display design.