I’ve been meditative a lot newly about productivity.
In a way, it’s turn a bit of a thesis for me over a past integrate years: reckoning out ways to tame a record around us and make it work for a needs as against to usually removing in a way. From a second we arise adult in a morning, after all, we’re surrounded by miraculous record — though by default, it doesn’t always work in a demeanour that indeed enhances a lives.
That’s because I’m putting together a beam to taming Android and branch your phone into a capability powerhouse — a device that works for we and creates your life easier instead of portion as an combined daze and siphon of your time. (Stay tuned.) Out of a box, many Android inclination aren’t accurately optimized for productivity. And some of a many dire ways to solve that revolve around scaling behind what these inclination do by default and branch down a sound they generate.
Now, as Google puts a finishes touches on a next-gen Android O release and gets prepared to send a program into manufacturers’ hands, we fear we’re going to have another object to supplement onto a list of “unnecessary distractions you’ll wish to address.”
I’m articulate about Android O’s new notifications dots feature. While a O recover will move some genuinely useful and productivity-enhancing new elements into a equation, this high-profile choice strikes me as a step in a wrong direction.
At their core, Android O’s presentation dots paint an stretched complement for delivering notifications. As a name suggests, a underline causes a dot to seem in a upper-right dilemma of an app’s idol on your home shade whenever that app has a presentation pending. Notably, that dot is surplus with a participation of an idol representing a same presentation during a tip of your shade — in, y’know, a notification panel — and so serves usually as an combined daze and a harass to you, a user.
When a dot is present, we can long-press a idol to see a presentation and afterwards possibly daub a presentation to open it or appropriate to boot it — in other words, a same accurate things we can do with a regular presentation that calls for your courtesy usually inches above. Or, of course, we can do what a dot unequivocally wants we to do and open a app to correlate further.
As I’ve been removing to know Android O’s several elements over these past several months, we can’t assistance though consider this sold further feels some-more like a division when it comes to user knowledge and interface optimization. It seems like a some-more easy routine of providing notifications that competence have existed before a centralized, streamlined, and easy-to-manage primary presentation complement came into play. And carrying it uncover adult now in further to that primary presentation complement — one of Android’s specifying elements given a platform’s beginning days — comes opposite as an peculiar arrange of back duplication.
(And yes, we comprehend this judgment of presentation dots is eerily identical to a icon-based presentation badges that have prolonged been benefaction on iOS. And we know what? This wouldn’t be a initial time that Apple’s change has directed Android in a wrong direction and hold it behind from achieving an optimal user experience.)
We’re reaching a indicate where those of us critical about capability are increasingly looking to dial behind how mostly and in what ways a inclination direct a courtesy — and reckoning out how to effectively corral notifications is a core partial of that process. What we need now is less distraction, be it auditory or visual, and some-more courteous and suggestive ways to conduct a tasks and connectors a mobile inclination allow.
Implementing a home-screen-icon badge that shows a countdown to an arriving sign or event, for instance, creates sense. (And some third-party launchers already yield such a feature.) But adding a surplus warning designed to lift we divided from what you’re doing isn’t accurately a productivity-oriented innovation. Imagine how irritating that’s going to be when it shows adult on icons all opposite your home shade and beckons we to mangle your thoroughness and go open any of them immediately — that we fundamentally will do. It’s basic psychology.
Not convinced? In a post on a Android Developers Blog, Google records that presentation dots are designed to offer as a “a new approach for developers to aspect activity in their app” and “driv[e] engagement.” we don’t know about you, though “driving engagement” in apps — distinct as it might be from a developer’s viewpoint — doesn’t accurately line adult with my possess personal capability goals.
The good news is that it’s comparatively easy to invalidate Android O’s presentation dots on an app-by-app basis: You usually go into any app’s settings screen, daub “App notifications,” and afterwards deactivate a toggle subsequent to “Allow presentation dot.”
The bad news is that it’ll be one some-more thing for we as a user to residence if we wish to minimize a device’s distractions and optimize a capability potential. And as with some other new changes to a Android handling system, it’s a contrition to see that arrange of back slip in a software’s default user experience.