It’s 2018. Long gone are the days where Holo UI is the current design language for Android apps, Material Design is everywhere since 2015. But one of my favorite and most used apps still uses Holo UI… It’s almost 4 years since Google introduced Material Design at the Google I/O 2014 and I still remember it being a revolution. After some years of Holo UI everywhere Material Design came with a new and more modern design approach of simple but more realistic user interfaces focused on differentiating UI elements with shadows etc.
As you may know, I have a new phone. And because it’s new I didn’t root it. Thanks to German laws and the merchant I have 24 months guarantee - so if it breaks itself, it’s not my fault. And because I didn’t root, I have to live with some of the manufacturer’s decisions. And that one includes the deep integration of the Google Assistant. The Google Assistant might be an awesome product, when you look at how it can simplify one’s life.
At the beginning of December 2017 I wrote that I will buy the Xiaomi Mi A1 when it finally gets the update to Oreo. That’s exactly what I did. I’ve been using it for over 24 hours now, so my first impressions here: Fingerprint sensors are awesome! The Android and iOS world has had the option to unlock the mobile phone via fingerprint for years now, but only recently the whole thing has entered the budget area, which is why this is also my first mobile phone, which I can unlock with my fingerprint.
I’ve been in the Android scene a little longer already. Maybe not as long as some others, but Android 4.0 was the first version I used. A lot of time has passed since then. But when I look back in time today, it strikes me that one thing that had found many followers at the time is no longer really important. Where are the Custom ROMs gone? When I got my first smartphone, I quickly realized what custom ROMs are and what they’re good for, but only after a while when I found out that I can root my phone without unlocking the bootloader and without losing my guarantee, I decided to try it myself.
Have you heard about this? Micromax will soon launch a 31$ smartphone in India! Only 31!!! And best of all, it will work with Android Oreo (Go Edition)! The latest Android version on such a low-cost device… This is a real sensation, because if you wanted a phone for such a low budget, you had to be satisfied with either a feature phone or a smartphone running years old software. But this could really make Android accessible to the next billion people.
The openness of the system is often praised as one of the main reasons for Android enthusiasts. You can install apps not only from the official store (Google Play) but also from other sources. But isn’t that like running a Windows computer without a virus program? Try to teach a person who really doesn’t know anything about smartphones (except how to take photos, write messages and make phone calls) how to install an app from a source other than Google Play….
Guess what one of Android developers’ biggest problems is! Well, guess what? It’s the fragmentation! And who’s fault is it? Google? Nope, the manufacturers! Just recently the latest data, the current version distribution came out and the (almost) latest version Android Oreo 8.0 was just 0.5%. This is one of 200 Android smartphones running Android Oreo?! Google can no longer be accused of doing anything about the fragmentation, the slow spread of newer Android versions.
Yes, I will really get my money together and buy this device when it has received the Oreo update, even if it is after Christmas. I’m kinda a Xiaomi fan, even if I don’t have any device by this Chinese brand. All I have from them is a cheap pair of headphones (but with an amazing quality for the price tag) and a backpack. I’m in love with the backpack! Not just, because it looks good but because it’s quite a good quality.
Since Google I/O this year we know about Android Go. An optimized system for low-end smartphones with RAM up to 1 GB. Packed with a slimmer Android version and the Go variants from all the Google apps. Google finally made it. They released the Android Lite version a.k.a Android Go. They realized their system isn’t made for the cheap phones and they need to fix this problem, because you know - not everyone wants to spend five hundred bucks on a smartphone and not everyone can afford it.
That was it, Google, the launch event, where there was really nothing that wasn’t already known from various leaks (which you did yourself). Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL was clear, Google Home Mini, a larger Google Home and a new Pixelbook. Only I hadn’t heard of the Pixel Buds before. And admittedly, you’re becoming an increasingly better competitor against Apple. Not only are the Pixel cameras the best cameras ever seen in a smartphone.