My Number-One Wish for Android Key Lime Pie
Android Jelly Bean has been with us a while now, and though its adoption rate is still lagging behind -right around 15% of the installed Android base- those of us at the leading edge of tech have gotten used to its array of awesome features. Recently, our own Adam Doud asked just how necessary the next version of Android, Key Lime Pie, really is to the market. You’ll have to hop over to his article to argue your side in the comments, but before you go, let me tell you the one feature Google would have to include in Key Lime Pie to get my flag waving. If the title image hasn’t already given it away, that is.
That’s right: I’m talking about notification-drawer toggles in stock Android. It’s time, people.
Some will argue that stock Android already possesses this utility, in the form of the “second drawer” on the upper right, the one with segregated toggles for system settings like rotation lock, brightness, etc. In fact, that’s exactly the functionality I’m hoping for, and it’s baked right in to Jelly Bean.
But while I’m grateful that Google has added these controls in the form of that second drawer, and while I see the logic in confining system toggles to their own special zone, I’d like the option to move those buttons over to the primary notification shade.
The reason? Habit. That’s the paradigm manufacturer skins have gotten us used to, after all: from Samsung to LG to Huawei and beyond, OEMs have trained many of us to expect a handy row of shortcuts at the top of the notification drawer whenever we swipe down for our messages – which we do many times per day. It’s not off to the side in a separate pull-down; it’s right there, at the top, every time we check our incoming traffic.
Again, I see why Google decided to set these toggles off in a separate menu. It makes logical sense to segregate system functions from incoming messages, and it also results in a nice, clean notification area. But from a day-to-day usefulness standpoint, it makes less sense to me. I find it less efficient, and it creates a (slightly) larger obstacle for those moving from skinned Android to stock Android. I shouldn’t need to remind anyone that the most popular Android device family in the world bears a skin that incorporates top-of-drawer toggles.
Providing the option to move these controls to their now-customary place in the primary notification area would be a very customer-friendly move. While I don’t necessarily expect it in Key Lime Pie, it sure would be nice to see.
Jelly Bean adoption figure source: The Next Web