Random tip: Don’t forget the icons!

I was fumbling around the Calendar app, looking for a way to switch from day view to month view. I wanted to find the date for Thanksgiving. I couldn’t figure out how to switch, so I closed the app and went on with my business.

Then while I was driving home I remembered — it was probably in the menu!

A picture named icons.jpg

There are four icons at the bottom of the device, they’re all super-important, and I’m always forgetting to use them (because the iPhone doesn’t have three of them).

The first is the Back button, it takes you back to the previous level, just like the Back button in the browser. The iPhone’s single button at the bottom is something like this, it takes you back to the Desktop. It means that the the UI of the iPhone can only be two levels deep. Probably not a terrible thing, btw. The Droid has more levels.

The second is Menu, and it’s what I was looking for in the Calendar app. If you click it you can choose between Day, Week or Month view, and various other options.

The Home button does what the iPhone’s single button does, it takes you all the way out to the Desktop. If you hold it down, I found out, you get a group of the last six apps that you’ve launched (I think). I learned about this in a tip right here on the Droidie blog!

And the spyglass is Search, which you’d expect to be always easy to get to cause this is Google after all. 🙂

Posted in Droid. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Random tip: Don’t forget the icons!”

  1. Justa Notherguy Says:

    Oddly enough, my main complaint with the Droid is that set of four ‘core’ buttons.

    While all previous Android handsets also have four, two of these have always been standard mobile issue: Green (Pick up call or invoke dialer) and Red (End call). I’m puzzled as to why Droid’s design – a phone that’s been marketed, most recently, as ‘a big fistful of does’ – eliminates traditional, arguably intuitive access to those functions.

    Moreover, on all other Android phones the Green button serves (at least) a dual purpose – use ‘long press’ to activate Voice Dialing. Again, this strikes me as a handy, sensible approach. So, its all the more curious why the Droid goes its own way (Puerile defiance? Sheer spite?), adding no obvious utility or convenience in the bargain.

    That said, I wish my G1 offered a menu button. And I envy the addition (in Android v2.0) of a ‘running apps’ item into the modal menu.

  2. sull Says:

    I have had the latest iPod Touch for 3 weeks and just got my Motorola Droid today. I am not finding the Android 2.0 UI to be complicated at all. The touch buttons on the phone are very useful and logical. A back button is so practical! And a context menu for the app you’re in built into the phone is likewise very sensible. Then the obvious home button and the other obvious button for a google product… Search! Sure, technically speaking, Android is more complex but as I use it, I don’t ever back myself into a corner or feel lost. I honestly don’t know where the sentiment that Android is unintuitive comes from. Maybe it’s because I am not coming from the iPhone (though I use the iTouch) and rather am coming from a dumbphone (razr).

    Loving the Droid so far.

  3. Dana Says:

    LOL – RTFM dude! I know what you mean. Sometimes the hardware guys just don’t get it and don’t even know what intuitive means.
    BTW, where’s the RSS link? I want to subscribe to this blog and track the happenings in the Droid world. I’m coming up on a “new every 2” date with VZN in December and the Droid is a contender. On the other hand, I know better than to jump too soon on a new product. There will be improvements in the 1st Q 2010 and new offerings as well per what I’m reading.

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