So I was thinking about getting an android phone and decided to test an example of where Android can do something iOS can’t. Assign a default app for an action from another app. In this case, I was excited about the idea that I could set the Waze gps app as my primary navigation app for my device and then when Google Now would suggest a route home I could tap the item and waze would start navigating.
This is supposed to be one of the reasons Android is great right? Letting this inter app communication occur so the user can have ultimate choice.
Unfortunately, the actual results I got testing this on my Nexus 7 caused me to see where this falls apart. I was able to successfully set waze as my default navigation app quite easily and have it open when I tap a set of directions in Google Now. However, when it opens, Waze doesn’t start navigating, it doesn’t even input the desired address. In fact, Waze just opens to a blank screen with no indication that it got anything from Google Now. I imagine this may have a lot to do with Waze not being properly coded to accept whatever address information google now is sending it. But Waze is a very popular navigation app, this isn’t some small time third party navigation app that nobody uses. Due to its crowd sourcing Waze continues to be the most reliable in accurately predicting traffic over Google Maps and any other navigation solution.
Which brings me to the point of my story. I would love to be able to customize my iOS device to use different device defaults. It’s that option that makes me consider an android device. But without a standard for those apps to communicate across, or having a coordinated partnership. The likelihood of that customization actually working is less and less. So whats the point of having all of that root level power if it doesn’t work.
I know this is just one example, and there are plenty of other scenarios where the two apps communicate just fine. I just wanted to use a real world example of something I know I would do if I had an android phone as a daily driver.
A well designed clean website for posting and sharing ideas. The design/ux collection is a frequent visit for me.
One of my favorite design resources, Codrops, has posted an excellent article about great design and why its invisible.
In other words, if you are doing things right, no one will notice anything.