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Little things I’d like to see polished in Ice Cream Sandwich

I preordered two iPhone 4S’s. One for me and one for @laurensabet. We have been using them since day 1. They replaced our iPhone 4’s which replaced our 3gs…well you get the idea. We are card carrying members of the faithful. 

But iOS 5 isn’t making us happy. Both of our phones lock up a few times a week. The battery isn’t great. The UI gets sluggish. It sorta feels like Google Chrome to me. I love the look and power but I long for the day when it was more stable and faster. 

So, I picked up a Galaxy Nexus earlier today. 

This isn’t going to be a thorough review. There are plenty of those that out there that do a fine job. 

After a day of using Google’s latest – Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), I can absolutely say it’s a big improvement over the previous version of Android. And there are a number of things I like about ICS over iOS5.

One thing is clear, there is a lot of polish and improvement that has taken place with ICS.

But it’s still needs even more polish as the new UI makes the good stuff look great but the improvements makes the unpolished stuff stand out. 

Here’s a list of things I’d like to see polished. 

(disclaimer: I fully realize I’m not a designer or a UX person. I’m just a user)

Okay here goes, in no particular order:

1 – I use Google Apps for Domains with ICS. I have thousands of contacts. Some of them have pictures for each contact. Many/most of them don’t. With iOS when I call or receive a call from someone that doesn’t have a contact photo, the screen lights up with their name, number and the wallpaper I’ve previously selected. 

With ICS, I get a generic looking icon that takes up the entire screen and it’s ugly looking. Here we are with a gorgeous screen and it’s taken up with a graphic that isn’t.

2 – When i call or receive a call from someone with a photo, the photo is stretched in a non-flattering way. Again, beautiful screen, ugly presentation. 

3 – Every app has a soft UI for the menu screen or more options. It’s indicated by three vertical dots. It looks nice but some apps have this icon on the top of the screen and others have it on the bottom. Google should pick one location and nail it there.

4 – Android is known for it’s flexibility. I can add widgets and move all sorts of apps all over the various screens. But there is one widget I can’t move. Care to guess which one? Yep’s Google’s search box. It’s on the front page and I cant move it. I have a family pic as my wallpaper and this search box covers my wife’s face. Not cool Google!

5 – The fonts in ICS look very nice. And some of Google’s own app icons looks super great (ie gmail, maps, gallery). But some of them look pretty bad – like Phone, Browser, Camera). The People icon is borderline. 

6 – Meetings on my calendar are a deep dark blue. I’m sure some people like it but it’s not for me. That’s okay but I’d love to be able to change the color somehow. 

7. ICS has three main buttons on the bottom of the phone. Back, Home and a dedicated Multitasking button. I wish they ditched the multitasking button and put the search button there instead. The old-style Android method of getting to your active apps by holding the home button was very satisfying. I miss that and the search button. 

8. i have a password lock on my phone. ICS doens’t have a built in way to have a delay before the lock kicks in. 

It’s almost 11pm eastern time. i’m pretty tired so that’s all for now. i’ll respond to any comments in the morning.

goodnight :)