Five Things Google Messed Up In Android Pie

Android Pie has been around for a few weeks now and, while it’s been well received by most, it’s not perfect. While some features make sense, such as moving select top bar elements to accommodate the notch in the Pixel 3 XL, other “features” have been less popular. Here are some things Android Pie needs to get right sooner rather than later.

#1 System UI Tuner

System UI Tuner lets you enable some interesting tweaks such as disabling status icons from showing up in the notification bar and triggering Demo Mode for clean screenshots and video screen grabs.

While System UI Tuner is still there, it’s been buried by Google. It can be accessed using tools like Nova Launcher or Activity Manager. But it’s pretty well hidden now.

Google needs to make up its mind – either make it more easily accessible or ditch it entirely.

#2 Brightness Now Algorithmic

Google decided that a linear scale for screen brightness was too simple so they decided to implement a logarithmic scale. So, even if you slide the scale up to 90%, you don’t get all the brightness you expect.

Lots of people were wondering why their screens are suddenly less bright when they had the slider most of the way up. It turns out that it’s a design “feature”.

#3 Android Auto Roadblocks

There are some hassles with Android Pie devices connecting to Android Auto. In particular, Pioneer systems seem to be most affected.

The issue results in Android Auto displays going black, app restarts and other problems. What makes this all the more infuriating is that the issue, according to some sources was identified during the Android Pie beta program but not rectified before release.

#4 Battery Stats Go incognito

Battery Stats lets you see which apps and services are sucking the juice from your power cells. And it’s a very handy tool for diagnosing problems. The good news is that the tool is still there. The bad news is that Google has buried it a little deeper.

On the main Battery page of the system settings, tap in the three-dot overflow menu icon in the upper-right corner. There’s Battery Usage.

I’m not sure who’s in charge of UI design at Google but having an overflow menu for one item is pretty dumb. The Battery settings and information already scroll down beyond one screen. Why not just add one more item at the bottom rather than add a silly one-item menu?

#5 Moving Things For No Apparent Reason

Almost every software maker is guilty of this one so we’ll cut Google a little slack. A number of items, such as how to access split screen mode, app pinning, app switching and volume controls for the phone ringer and alerts have been moved.

One of the most frustrating things for user is when commands and options we rely on are moved for no apparent reason. When something is dumb, it makes sense to move it (Apple – I’m looking at you when it comes to settings for almost every app), but when something works, like adjusting the volume in Android, it’s hard to understand why things are changed.

What have you found? Do Android Pie’s new gestures annoy you? Is there a feature you relied on that has either moved or been removed? Let us know in the comments.


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