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Aug 13, 2012

iOS vs Android Home Screens and the Nexus 7

Well with all the buzz around the Google Nexus 7 I decided to get one. So one thing that I though was really interesting is how the home screens are laid out. I found this a bit odd coming from the iPhone world.

When you compare the two, they sorta look like this.
The Apple devices always home to the left most page. So when you press the home button twice you end up on the left.

How Android is Different
With the Android device, the home page is always in the center. You can navigate two pages to the left or right. But pressing the home button twice always takes you to the center page. Once I figured this out, it made sense.

However, the thing that really threw me off at first was the Android widgets. With iOS, the only thing that shows up on a page are icons or folders. No deviations from that. With Android, you can put Widgets on a page. Widgets are little mini apps that can take anywhere from a row of space to the entire page. The home page on the Nexus 7 is filled with a Google Play widget. It took me quite a bit of playing around to figure this out.

I think Google would be better off to make the widget maybe half a page or smaller. That way, the new apps are installed on the home page and users can see as they are added. Without that sort of behavior it is less than obvious where new app icons get added.

First Impressions
The size and weight of the Nexus 7 are pretty cool. It is a great device for reading books. Although, I do think Google would be better off with their own ePub reader. Finding and installing one took much more work than it should have.

Anyway, I'll add more as I spend more time with it.

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