Sunday, August 26, 2012

Apps on Android need work

It's true what some say: even though Android hardware is getting good, as in Nexus 7 for example, apps need to come along too.

For example, I just tried my two favorite news reading apps (from the iPad) on the Nexus: FlipBoard and Zite. And frankly, they were just both terrible.

Zite had much too small text, even on largest setting. And I could simply not find a way to shift between sections. What looked like section headings at the top did not react. ... except when they sent me away to a browser for some reason. In contrast, the iPad version is gorgeously and logically designed.

And Flipboard suffered from odd headlines in its squares, which appeared nowhere in the sections. I googled one of them, and it turned out to be an old headline from 2010! Whu?? Further, in the article, the text, surprisingly, was way too large (and in an ugly font), with no immediate way to change it.

And oddly, the Nexus often is missing a Menu button. This used to be one of the three stable buttons on the front of an Android device (together with Home and Back), but on the Nexus, it's replaced by a running-app list button. Which I like, but a Menu button is even more important. (Sometimes it appears on the right, sometimes not.)

iOS is lacking a bit in interface conventions, but Android beats it by several horselengths in this area.

The hardware can make for excellent ereaders of devices like Nexus 7 and Note 5.2, but the apps really need to catch up.

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