Bits And Bytes (week of 9/25)



  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I know, first world problems right?  This is the first flagship phone I've ever owned, and even with a few flaws it outshines all my previous devices.  I guess I am just more forgiven on this device because of that.

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer slightly modified to the extent of improving in areas where the stock UI lacks.

    The gold standard for this so far has been some of the cyanogenmod releases. For example, some releases will add left and right arrows to the keyboard to make editing text easier.

    others may make adjustments to take advantage of the unique aspects of the device, but never anything that is different for the sake of being different.

    If a UI change does anything to increase the number of steps that it takes to complete a common task, then it either does not belong, or needs to be optional.

    Overall, UI adjustments need to be utilitarian first, and aesthetic second, with a primary overall focus being to maximize the efficient use of the available screen space.

    For example, with my android tablet (rooted), I reduce the display density setting so that the UI elements become smaller, in addition to allowing the home screen to hold more icons and widgets.

    A 100% stock UI, is in need of many improvements, but there are not many blanket UI improvements that will apply to every device (with the exception of basic utilitarian ones such as the arrow keys that can be shown in an additional navigation bar (some displayed with a gesture or on at all times with a tablet).

  • I'm sorry I'm just seeing this. I didn't mean to ignore. I honestly don't know though. It's excellent though. Elegant.

  • vagavaga USAPosts: 347 ✭✭✭

    I think skinning is unnecessary and also often makes things uglier at the end of the day.

    Screwing with notifications and sound settings are also annoying.

    I prefer features like double tap to wake, letting me choose between on-screen and off-screen buttons, and letting my volume buttons rotate with the device.

    I also appreciate a well-designed camera app with full-manual features and very quick speed.

    If you can come up with an alternative to HTC blinkfeed that is stock Android themed I'll use it in a jiffy. I love having news on my home screen.

    The most customized OS that i like is OnePlus' Hydrogen OS. Otherwise I like CyanogenMod. Both maintain mostly stock UI and features but refine rather than customize for the sake of it

  • vagavaga USAPosts: 347 ✭✭✭

    Other brought up some good points:

    OEM customizations sometimes are incorporated into future versions of Android and Google products (like multi window or the inclusion of a blinkfeed-like news feed in the Google now launcher).

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    right now, I am using the touchpal keyboard for the smartphone, and the entire reason is because it has decent sized keys, in addition to the number row.

    It is really hard to find a good keyboard that just adds the number row without taking things too far.

    e.g., some try to include the kitchen sunk (stuffing 108 keys into a tiny space), but no one seems to just take the minimalist approach and simply offer a normal keyboard with the number row at the top.

    Beyond that, I also like the long press options for special characters which makes it easier to enter in passwords which make use of mixed case and special characters, and having to get them from different menus would be too annoying, especially with 15-20+ character passwords.


    Only thing that would really make it better is if it had a menu that displayed arrow keys, or used the top suggestion bar for arrow keys in the corners.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

       Try "Swiftkey" this is my setup.


  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    ​ I just saw your post after I recommended Swiftkey as well....great minds and all  ... 

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, it seems much improved from the last time I tried swiftkey.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Swiftkey has improved much over time.  I would recommend it.  I actually do like Touchpal, but i have a bug whre the long press keys don't always work.  That is a must for me, so I switched to Google for now.  I might just go back to swiftkey soon.  I'd rather not have to load a third keyboard on my device though!

  • Any modifications done to Android affect the speed with which you can update it. I don't care about options. I care about security. What is it worth having a few extra options and then having an insecure phone? Security and speed are more important than a few extra options. If you want to add options, make them separate apps, please.

  • Slight modification to stock Android is okay. Motorola did this very well before they were acquired by Lenovo. The modifications were very slight and tasteful additions. Active display being an example. However, if these modifications delay the speed of system updates they are not worth it. This is where Motorola dropped the ball and was no longer able to deliver major Android updates in a timely fashion. I personally really enjoyed the developers addition of the Moto X. An unlockable bootloader is a must, as at some point the phone will no longer be supported and the the developer community helps to extend the update life of a phone. Promising at least two years of system updates is also a big reason why I love/ loved the Nexus line. I'm running a Nexus 6 and I am enjoying running Android 7.0 on an outdated phone.

  • Quick system and security updates for at least 2 years is a must, and the easiest way to do that is to stay as close to stock as possible.  Moto and Samsung lost my business because they don't provide that minimum level of security and piece of mind.  They would have to tweak and test each update Google provides, and they don't want to pay enough people to do that kind of work. 

  • Please continue the path Google left. Nexus Spirit! Pixel is not worth.

  • batman101batman101 Posts: 134 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer stock but don't mind slightly modified as long as its optimized well. 

Sign In or Register to comment.