Originally Posted by O and O
Is this at all possible? I still want to have my contacts, etc updated but I feel the interface is somewhat primitive!
I know what you mean about the GMail app, if it's the same as in Android 1.6.. Ugly, flat and boring interface. Some customisation or nice animation wouldn't go amiss. I think the problem is that the Android team at Google don't really view the product UI as a whole, but instead as a load of separate modules that they can just chuck together. No time to make the GMail app look nicer for 2.1? No worries, just stick it out as it is. Media player still the worst/most basic there is? We'll worry about it another time, just stick it in, as is.
Depending on what you've come from, Android can seem amazing, or quite basic in it's vanilla form. I realise the intention is for manufacturers to add their own custom touches to the OS, like HTC have with Sense, and Motorola have with MOTOBlur. But really I think Google should be applying a bit more spit and polish to it's own core apps - the ones that come installed on all/most Android phones, and won't be messed with by handset manufacturers.
By this I mean GMail, Maps, Market, Browser, Gallery etc. Some of these are pretty good efforts (Browser), while others leave a lot to be desired compared to those found on other types of (non-Android) handsets.
I realise that they have to code for the lowest common denominator (low-end handsets) and not every handset can have a 1ghz Snapdragon in it, but I also feel that they are failing Android a little bit, by not ensuring the the latest hardware is taken advantage of in it's latest OS.
How hard would it be to tart up the GMail interface a little bit, while still keeping the same functionality? Not hard.
I know Android is about power and flexibility - don't like the Google way, then design or just install some other developers app instead. And that's great, but I really think there's something to be said for making sure your core experience is great, not just ok.
Disclaimer: I am basing this opinion on my experiences of Android 1.1, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 (2.0 admittedly is limited, since I do not own my own phone with Eclair yet, just flashed custom ROMs).
Feel free to flame away - I may flame myself when my Desire turns up by 1pm today, and I realise I'm tallking a load of BS when I'm presented the all singing, all dancing, beautifully animated new 2.1 apps from Google! But I doubt it... :)
BTW, don't get me wrong - I love Android, and I would not consider buying any other type of phone!