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Dark Mode in Android Q

It seems like Google is finally adding a dark mode to Android and hopefully, it will appear in Android Q. Google is one of the first companies who decided to implement dark mode in apps, and it will be interesting to see how they plan to do that with a whole system. Apple introduced Dark Mode in macOS Mojave and showed how complicated it was to implement this feature and support all possible states of the interface when Dark Mode is ON. They have done an amazing job and set a gold standard for everyone else.
Also, let’s do not forget that Android 3.0 Honeycomb was kind of the first system that used dark colors as primary colors in the system. I look forward to seeing the process of the creation of Dark Mode in Android Q, and I hope it’s going to be sophisticated as the solution by Apple.

2019   Android   OS   UI

That’s good, Spotify :)

Some time ago I wrote a small post about Spotify update to the interface and how they moved repeat button to the hamburger menu. One month after they have changed it back. It seems like it was kinda A/B testing and I was unlucky to be one of its participants. Anyways it’s nice to see that Spotify team is not stopping in UI improvements and constantly testing new UI/UX solutions.

2018   Spotify   UI   UX
2018   Article   Medium   UX   UX Inspiration
2018   Medium   UX   UX Inspiration

That’s not good, Spotify :(

A few days ago Spotify made the same UI mistake as Apple did after updating Apple Music sometimes ago. They got rid of controls from the main screen where you listen to music.

That’s how it looked a few days before this post:

As you can see Add to Playlist, Shuffle, Repeat Album/Repeat Song are on the same screen. It is very convenient to have all these controls on one screen because it doesn’t require any other actions to use them. Especially a Repeat button, which is a crucial feature for me.

And what we see right now: Repeat button is moved to the Hamburger Menu. Shuffle button was moved to the right and on the left side designers put Add to Library button. In turn, the hamburger menu was moved to the right top corner. Maybe they have made these changes because they want to clean up the interface of the Player Screen and hide two additional features. Also, we don’t know any data about how people are using Add to Library and Repeat buttons inside Spotify. Seems like they want to encourage people to discover new music and add it to their playlists.

I think that is a bad decision to hide any of these UI controls: Repeat, Add to Library, Shuffle. People are always using them, and any changes can make user experience worse.

When Apple did almost the same thing – they moved repeat and shuffle buttons under a Player View. In other words, it does not fit a viewport of the device.

This is the look of Apple Music interface.

As you can see all to get access to additional controls you have to scroll.

2018   Bad UX   Spotify   UI   UX

How to fix “No packages available for installation” in Sublime Text

I have been struggling with this problem for a long time. This error is basically pissed me off because it took a few days to figure out a solution.

So, each time when I have been trying to launch a ‘Package Control’ in Sublime Text 3 it was giving me the next error: ‘No packages available for installation’. After searching on Google and trying a couple of things by myself I found a very interesting problem: if I launched Sublime Text 3 through Terminal under root rights (“sudo /Applications/Sublime\ Text.app”) ‘Package Control’ worked perfectly. BUT if I launched it like every normal app in macOS through Launcher it gave an error “No packages available for installation”.

Many people have the same issue and nothing is helping. I have been in the same boat before I found this brilliant solution: https://github.com/wbond/package_control/issues/1302#issuecomment-352076439

For some macOS users, it is showing a bug with certificates and even manual installation of ‘Package Control’ is not helping.

The solution is to install a PRE-RELEASE version of ‘Package Control’ which you can find here – https://packagecontrol.io/prerelease/Package%20Control.sublime-package

For me, it worked perfectly.
Hopefully, this article will help you to fix your Sublime Text.

2018   Code   Fix   Sublime Text

Android 9 Pie Update

A few days ago Google released Android 9 Pie for Google Pixel smartphones. It contains numbers of changes like improved battery life, smart brightness, performance, etc. But in this post, I will talk mainly about interface changes. Guys from Android team are doing an excellent job by making the experience as satisfying as possible. As we know the first version of Android was introduced to us 10 years ago by Andy Rubin and his team. Since that time they’ve released 15 major versions of Android.

In this version, we can see massive changes to some interactions inside Android, especially with multitasking and gestures. They decided to get rid of the multitasking button completely. Now you can see only the tiny ‘Back Button’ and ‘Home Button’ (which is now a grey rectangle with rounded corners.) This gesture is very similar to gestures on iPhone X which also doesn’t have any buttons and all interactions with the smartphone are fully gesture based.

Now, you need to make a short swipe up, and you will see all the apps which running right now. If you want to see other apps you have to “drag” ‘Home Button’ to the right. That is an interesting solution, but I would doubt the experience side of this gesture. I’m not sure that people who skipped introduction tutorials can digest this feature easily. (Actually, NielsenNorman Group says good things about to the same navigation pattern in iPhone X https://bit.ly/2OSUQEA ).

Also, as you can see on the screenshot below, the designers decided to ‘colour code’ all items inside the settings menu to emphasize the difference between them. That is very close to the Settings Menu in iOS:

Even the third and fourth levels of the settings give us iOS like feelings. The unusual part is the drop-down icon which is on the left side of the text. Actually, all icons in Android 9 placed on the left side of the text except toggles; they are still on the right side:

Plus, you will find similarities between taking screenshots on iOS and Android. One version ago iOS introduced editing screenshot right after capturing it. But the Android team decided to take it even further. After taking a screenshot, you will see a card with 3 buttons on it; Share, Edit, Delete. This is a feature that had to be in Android long before version 9:

Android 8 Oreo introduced circled icons for applications. That was a big move because before Android didn’t have any particular form for the application icon and sometimes your screen could look like a mess. Right now it’s getting much better, and more importantly, it has consistency:

My biggest question about screenshot below is: “what the hell is going on with sound settings?” These 4 sliders exist in Android since version 2.3, and I still confused when I’m trying to choose the right one.

Sometimes you can even see 5 sliders... I think the Android Design Team haven’t touched it for a while.

They have done great work with Tiles (Control Center). It still has the same functionality as in Android 7-8, but now it has a more refined look with an increased range of settings. Control Center in Android is much powerful than in iOS, and it is not a surprise because Control Center first appeared in Android and only sometime after it has been introduced in iOS.

The Spotify widget looks fantastic! This makes me want to switch from my iPhone to Google Pixel 2.

So, overall Android 9 Pie is an excellent update that gave us performance improvements, refine design which now has better consistency and fixed old UI bugs. Of course, it has some controversial UX features, but I am sure time can prove it, if it useful or not.

All pictures were taken from Droid Life Youtube Channel

2018   Android   Android 9 Pie   Eng   Google   OS   Smartphone