Android and openness is something we talk about all the time, but the recent developments in the industry point towards inherent flaws with this very premise. Be it from bloggers, political institutions or corporations, Android is seemingly not open enough. The “War on Openness” is ironically becoming an open war, where many players are increasing their stakes and scope to try and land a bigger hold - or at the very least, restrict Google’s - on what is the world’s...
Google Patents Radial Menu Similar to PIE Controls–And That’s Actually a Good Thing
The world was first introduced to the concept of a touch-driven radial menu through an experimental “Labs” feature in Google’s AOSP browser in Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Affectionately known as PIE Controls, this radial menu allowed users to perform various browser navigation tasks easily and efficiently—all while saving valuable screen real estate in the process.
Since the dark days of Honeycomb, PIE Controls have been implemented in several custom ROMs starting with Paranoid Android, as well as a few aftermarket applications. A similar implementation was even included in Samsung’s Air Command on the Galaxy Note 3. Now, Google has patented an new implementation of the radial menu, but it’s not quite what any of us are used to. But rather than a simple one-finger gesture, Google’s freshly patented radial menu relies on two fingers: your thumb, which serves a a permanent anchor point, and your index finger, which calls a secondary menu and then selects from the available options.
Because of the inherent differences, it’s impossible for this patent to be used to go after existing applications using current generation PIE Controls. Rather, it’s far more likely that Google is planning an entirely new UI paradigm for use in Android—one that could potentially deliver the versatility of on-screen navigation, but without the wasted space of a dedicated navigation bar.
Ultimately, this is most likely a good thing for Android. It likely signals the coming of a “best of both worlds” approach combining the best from hardware and on-screen navigation. What do you think Google’s up to with this new patent? Let us know in the comments below!
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Smartphone cameras have advanced so tremendously over the past few years that they have almost completely replaced point and shoot digital cameras for the most of us. Furthermore, since our smartphones are always with us, the majority of us end up taking tons of photos throughout the lifespan of our devices. But what happens to all the old photos you take? Do you store them on an external hard-drive or keep them backed up to an online cloud service like Flickr? Let us know what your favorite way of storing old photos is and why.
Before the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Holo Design guidelines served as the official reference for Android design, right from IceCream Sandwich to KitKat. However, updates to the guidelines were few and far between, leading to a lack of synchronization between Android design and current UI/UX trends. Google seems to have learned from their mistake the last time around, and earlier this week, a significant update was released for the Material Design guidelines, marking the second revision in less...