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One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

TouchWiz is precisely why I won't go near a Samsung, vanilla Android please Samsung then I'm interested.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

I don't mind TouchWiz that much. I do mind not being able to remove preinstalled crap and tardy updates. Fortunately, nearly all Samsung's are easy to root and well supported by LineageOS. :-)

OneUI looks to me mainly like adopting Material Design, which makes sense because it gets a lot of things right.

Dave 126 Silver badge

TouchWiz isn't what it used to be. I was wary of Samsung but my S8's version of Android is good, and I say that coming from Sony phones (close to stock) and Nexus (stock).

JohnFen Silver badge

My last couple of phones have been Samsung and have served me well -- but the first thing I've done for each of them is replace the ROM with one that is actually reasonable, in part to avoid TouchWiz and all that shovelware.

JohnFen Silver badge

"adopting Material Design, which makes sense because it gets a lot of things right."

As hard as I try, I cannot make myself think of Material Design as "getting things right".

Charlie Clark Silver badge

As hard as I try, I cannot make myself think of Material Design as "getting things right".

I suspect you're just being snarky. If you compare apps before and after Material I think you'll find more recent ones are more consistent. Material Design, of course, builds on classic UX patterns but also incorporates lessons learned fom IOS and, yes, Windows Phone. Which is one of the reasons why the various platforms are increasingly interchangeable.

To summarise: I think that Material Design provides a coherent metaphor for design elements that recognises the importance of visual effects but subordinates them to functionality. Eg., the darkening around a screen press: the effect reinforces the action and is thus meaningul. I don't think this is particularly revolutionary or magical, just well applied, well documented and it provided a useable toolbox for developers.

Right enough of the whalesong guff, I've off to shoot some kittens!

alpine

It's Android, not IoS, just install another shell and forget Touchwiz.

Charles 9 Silver badge

Forget TouchWiz and you can forget sensitive apps since many are root-, custom- and (in this case) Knox-aware (last I checked, you can't install anything custom without tripping Knox).

Youngone Silver badge

Careful now

I disagree. I am using an LG V20 after having used a Samsung Galaxy S7.

Touchwiz wound up being fine, after several updates.

The LG apps are, without exception rubbish. The various Samsung apps on the S7 were all much better than the stock Android equivalents. (IMO of course).

JohnFen Silver badge

"I suspect you're just being snarky"

I am not. I don't think Material Design is a good thing.

"If you compare apps before and after Material I think you'll find more recent ones are more consistent."

Well, sure, but I'm also bitten by the downside of that. If a design you find to be suboptimal becomes "standard", then sure, you get consistency -- but all that means is that most of the apps you want to use are irritating and hard to use.

In other words, UI consistency across applications is a serious downside if you find that UI to be objectionable.

KenBW2

How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

And stick to <5" phones.

God bless you Sony, you're the only holdout.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

I could reach about 85% of the screen of my Xperia Z3 Compact phone with my thumb without adjusting my grip... That's reduced to about 65% on my Galaxy S8, and to 50% with its case on.

JimmyPage Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

The problem is as people get older, they'll find bigger screens easier - if not essential - to use.

My wife has MS, and fucked vision and tactile sense. She's pretty much what a Samsung user will be like in 10, 15 years.

So manufactures *either* ignore them, and wait for the revenues of mobile to drop as the monied pensioners are driven off, OR they start to think what is going to be needed for an older user base.

Barry Rueger Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

The problem is as people get older, they'll find bigger screens easier - if not essential - to use.

It's less about screen size and more about the size of the type and the contrast. And of course some kind of half-ways intelligent layout that doesn't bury content under pointless pop-ups and subscription nags.

Too much tech is so in love with the newest, coolest thing that they lose sight of basic functionality. Less is more. With respect to every phone maker deciding that they need to customize Android, there's also a lot to be said for maintaining a consistent interface across devices. I dread hardware upgrades because I know that functions that I need will disappear or be hidden, and I'll have to waste time learning a whole new workflow.

I challenge phone makers to offer a choice on first boot: the manufacturer's customized interface or straight Android.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

"Less is more."

To a point. I do think that a lot of applications, both desktop and phone, have gone so far in the "less" direction that it has actually become less.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

"It's less about screen size and more about the size of the type and the contrast."

If you need bigger fonts, you need bigger screens

unless you

don't mind

reading

everything

like this

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

I like my larger than 5" phone. In terms of overall usability, I think it's more usable than smaller ones.

Piro

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

I couldn't agree more.

I thought I could get used to 5.2", but I've since discarded the two 5.2" phones I was using, and have purchased a 5" one (Xiaomi Redmi 4X), and put a custom ROM on my old Z3 Compact. (Yes, I carry two phones, yes, I'm aware the Redmi 4X has dual-sim, I use that too, so I carry 3 sims in total). It's so much nicer using the Z3 Compact than pretty much any other phone I own, because of the size.

Anyone who downvoted you just flat out hates choice - the market is absolutely saturated with enormous devices, but almost no reasonably sized ones with good specifications. No-one is saying larger phones can't also be sold, but it would be refreshing to have some reasonably sized ones from time to time.

I remember the reviews of the HTC Desire HD back in the day: Gizmodo praised it as "A 720p-Shooting Android Behemoth" though they felt that it was a little too big for comfort.

It seems so quaint now, (I have a Desire HD too), as that size of device today would qualify as very much miniature, but my hand hasn't changed size.

Charles 9 Silver badge

Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

"And stick to <5" phones."

And what about those of us with big hands. 5" is the smallest I'll accept.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Samsung.

Lol.

Ledswinger Silver badge

Bastards still won't learn

this year's Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ will receive the update but not apparently last year's Galaxy S8 and S8+

'nuff said.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: Bastards still won't learn

I dunno. I'm very happy that my phone doesn't get updates that I don't put on it myself. If it did, then I'd have to put up with Android Pie -- which I certainly don't want.

ThatOne Bronze badge
Joke

Bigger is better

I'd like a 21" phone. (Of course with a handset you could pick up and hold to your head for calls. It could be connected with one of those spiffy spiral cables...)

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
FAIL

Is this to boost replacement glass sales?

The Galaxy S9 series has a touchscreen that wraps around the edges. It's nearly impossible to operate them single handed because you'll bump the sensitive area of the screen edges. The only way to operate the phone with your thumb is to rest it in a flat open hand rather than grip it. That's not something you want to do often with one of the most expensive and fragile phones on the market.

The S9 series already allows you to swipe apps into and out of windows. If you're in a reclining chair and can risk dropping the phone frequently, you can put your app in a window near your thumb.

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