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Ice Cream Sandwich: cluster-fucked

October 20, 2011

I just watched the Ice Cream Sandwich (aka. Android 4.0) video demo for the second time before writing this down, that and with some repeating back on the features, I know one good word to describe every features that Google have jam-packed them in one big swell version update and calls them fun, easy, powerful, and user friendly:

It’s cluster-fucked.

Don’t get me wrong, those new features including those improved ones from previous version are all good, but they are good for advanced to power users, not for average day to day users. Granted, if the aforementioned users have spent time long enough with Ice Cream Sandwich, they’ll get the hang of it eventually.

But that’s the bottom line, that’s what I’m really talking about it here. Why make it complicated, not easy, I mean really easy as in user friendly. Like you take it out from the box, turn it on, touch here and there for about 5-10 minutes, you’re good to go. Sure this can be done if you’re using basic features, but how about those so called powerful and rich features?

I know Google is trying to add as many as possible exciting new features into Ice Cream Sandwich, but along the line, that also mean they’re adding more complexity in using it. All of those improved multitasking, customizable home screens, System Bar, Action Bar, favorites tray, virtual buttons, etc. are all too confusing for most average users. And I haven’t mentioned the widgets, the famous Android feature that’s loved by tech-savvy users.

They all are too much, too many customization needed, too noisy to be in one place. That’s not easy, that’s annoying.

This, in one way or another shows how the mind of Android team is thinking, how they work. Unorganized, you can almost feel like they’re scrambling to put everything together in a short time. But who can blame them really, the one they’re trying to catch up is the finely tuned and polished Apple’s iOS 5.

I knew someone who said this about good design:

“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” *

You don’t usually see it, when you use an iPhone or iPad for the first time, but after awhile you definitely can feel the simplicity of using it. All you have and need to see is its beautifully arranged home screen, filled with all of those simple app icons. Even if you need to customize something, the settings display is dead-simple.

At the end of the day, anyone who use an iPhone will experience the same feeling: joy.

I don’t think Android will give its users that kind of feeling, not with this Ice Cream Sandwich.

* quoted from Steve Jobs.

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