android

3 posts

You left your phone!

Dear Google,

Today it happened again. I left my mobile phone at home. I realized that before entering the train, so I went back, grabbed it and went back to catch the next train. This gave me a few minutes to think about that ;-)

You got Android Wear/Watch and already have the smart unlock functionality where your watch (if it is near your phone) can unlock it.

Now you also could detect the opposite scenario, my watch detects it lost the “visibility” of the my mobile phone, so an alarm could pop up on my watch, notifying me about the fact that it left my phone. I can dismiss the alarm, and decide if I go back.

This might cause a few false alarms, but with a small set of additional rules (like “only do this at home/work”, only do this around 8 am and 6 pm) these could be reduced quite a bit.

Please let me know when you are ready.

Kind regards

Jens

PS: Actually I do need to buy a watch for that …

The curated Play Store / App Store

Dear Google,

every now and then I come up with idea of buying another game in the play store (yes, a mobile game, for Android). So I browse and browse and finally give up again. The main entry views give me a few promoted items, which mostly are uninteresting as a game, the top lists show games which I already checked out the last time, or already bought, the recommendation show hardly any interesting games. The same is true for non-game apps (I wouldn’t always call them productive apps ;-) ).

Even more funny is the rating for normal apps. I do understand that showing more games of the same type is a good idea when I gave 5 stars to the game in question, but when I tell you that I found a (e.g.) file manager that I really like, the least thing I want is another list of similar file managers. I just told you I found a good one! So in the case of normal app, giving 1 star should trigger the “show others” list. But this is only a side quest.

If you got some music subscription service like Spotify, Google Music All Access or whatever you like else, then you pretty soon find out that there is so much music out there, you sometimes wish for somebody to tell you: “Listen to this one”. Google Music does that by suggesting you songs and “radio stations”. But really those radio stations repeat themselves after a few hours of listening. So it seems there is not much AI behind them, probably just a shuffled playlist.

The bright side to this is, both Spotify and Google Music (probably others as well) do have something like “shared playlists”. So once you found somebody you share the same taste, you will probably find more games and apps you like. However, just considering “all apps of this person” a good match is not a good idea. Just consider the fact that some people install all kind of rubbish. On the other hand some people really do have a talent to curate a few play lists.

Now here is what would be a great idea. Curated are there in Youtube (aka Channels, or Playlists), in Google Music (shared playlists), in Spotify (again shared playlists). So instead of letting people search for “best games android 2015”, give people a chance to:

  • Create playlists for apps/games
  • Let them embed the playlists in their homepages
  • Maybe even give them a share on purchased items

It’s easy! For games they could even be called “play lists” ;-)

PS: I guess the same is still valid for the Apple App Store

Google Play Store Forums

Dear Google,

since I did not find a better play to post this idea, I just did it right here ;-)

For openSCADA, the open source project I am working on, we use Google Groups as a communication channel with end users. This works quite fine actually, and I think that Google Groups are a fine instrument for that.

Sadly, when I browse through the Play Store, reading comments on apps, very often I find comments like “How can I…”. The comments, and also the possible replies are misused a form of forum, or back and forth communication channel. The next this is that the original comment gets updated to reflect a reply. All this is quite irrelevant, when I want to check if the app is worth a download or not.

On the other hand, my experience with Google Groups is, that very often users already help each other, and only when the question remains open for some time, or the question is rather specific we answer it ourselves.

I why don’t you just allow an automatic “per-app” Google Group, integrated into the Play Store App (but also accessible using the normal Google Group Website), to let users write about the app, provide self support, and provide a support forum for the application developer.

Well, I hope you read it some time.

You know were to find me ;-)