A pedant that hangs out in the dark corner-cases of the web.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich on Nexus S so far

  • Notifications rarely seem to notify!
    Google Voice, in particular, is terrible about indicating something has happened, but notifications in general don't seem consistent about providing notification sounds or activating the screen.
  • No more search provider narrowing!
    In previous Android versions, you could tap the icon to the left of the system search field, and choose which Searchable Items to use: just Applications or Browser or Music or Twitter or whatever, instead of all of them, which is slower and often too crowded to show the item you wanted. This has completely ruined the "command-line" aspect of search for me.
  • Picasa integration is broken for uploads!
    No albums are listed and trying to upload displays a "Failed to retreive account information" error. There are indications in some forums that this is a result of Picasa trying to use the wrong authentication account, but no adequate fix yet. This also highlights another problem: Who do you call for a fix, or where do you go to even to report a problem like this?
  • No unhide UI for contact providers.
    When trying to delete contact entries automatically created by the Twitter app for everyone I follow, the app informs me that they will only be hidden. After realizing that I can just hide the contacts from that provider, there's no way to restore those "hidden" contacts short of deleting the app's data and starting over.
  • Much better browser, still no extensions though.
    The stock Android browser seems much better, even though it offers no extensions, and isn't really a full Chrome implementation.
  • Sharing UI in the Gallery app is better.
    In previous versions of Gallery, the sharing menu was difficult to use once too many apps registered as sharing targets. The new version handles long lists of sharing targets easily, and even offers a very good MRU interface.
  • System settings are available from the notification tray.
    This makes turning WiFi off and on, among other things, much easier to do.
  • The Market is available in the corner of the app tray.
    This makes getting to the market easier.
  • Widgets are available as a tab in the app tray.
    This allows you to preview what widgets look like before adding them.
  • Scrollable widgets are handy.

In general, I'd say the experience was negative, and I'd recommend avoiding this upgrade until some of the problems are addressed.

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