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Motorola’s new Android phone truncates “Text Messaging” to “Text Messagin…” and “Text Mess.”
Whats wrong with sms?
What’s right with sms?
Signal vs Noise’s RSS feed truncates Motorola’s new Android phone truncates “Text Messaging” to “Text Messagin…” and “Text Mess.” to PHOTO: Motorola’s “new Android.
The person who buys a phone that looks like HAL 9000 from hell is unlikely to give a shit about language details.
This is truly a bug, though. Obviously, the ellipsis takes up more horizontal extent than the g would. There’s some miscalculation going on here that led Android to think it needed to cut off the text.
Maybe the formula is wrong ;)
Right on with the bug observation, Mike. The code said that “Messaging” wouldn’t fit but that “Messagin…” would?
The right solution is to change it to the language the customer actually uses: “Texting”. And then fix it so it truncates in the middle. (Which would have produce “Text …ing” anyway I suspect.)
Nevermind how the label is being truncated; why is is the SMS app getting the email icon?
Yep. I agree with Cory. Or SMS. I lived in Europe for a year in ‘04-’05 when SMS was very common. It wasn’t until a year or two later when it started becoming popular in the U.S. I was curious about the name change (and why it was so damned expensive at first!). Short Messaging Service sounds a lot more descriptive than Text Messaging. In fact, this run-on comment was a text message….
What I want to know is what happened to the wireless signal strength icon. All the other icons (well maybe except the weird 3G icon) sit nicely centered vertically in the bar. But the signal bars fell to the bottom.
“Text Mess” reminds me of a db table in a legacy product I worked with. The table stored assessments, it was called ass_list
Texting would ve been the best solution
Longing for better cell coverage in remote areas I tried to like the Android. Its specs on paper are impressive and I thought “This is going to be great….”
But while spending considerable time with one in the store, I realized that little oversights like this “Text mess” would always make for a kludgy experience. I’d have to spend 95% of the time longing for a smoother user experience in order to enjoy the less than 5% of times I’m somewhere where Verizon has a signal and AT&T doesn’t. I left un-impressed and deflated.
No one has beat the iPhone UI’s spit-and-polish and attention to detail. To bad we have to choose between optimal UI experience and optimal cell coverage.
Oh, and the music icon looks like a washing machine.
Why not just use, Text? When the user selects the Text icon, they know exactly what they are getting into, no need to add more text to an obvious feature on the phone.
I was wondering how long it would take for some Apple fanboy to chime in. UI on the Nexus one does not suffer from shrtcomings like this one. It is the crap that Motorola adds on top of it. Give them an iPhone and they will spoil it the same way.
If “Text Messaging” then “Calculator” needs changed to “Calculating” =:)
“SMS” is old hat because messages are no longer required to be “short” (e.g. can exceed 140 limit).
“Text Messaging” fails on several levels.
1. Too long.
2. Limits concept to text while messaging can be photos, etc.
3. Is not consistent with “Calculator”, “Music”, “News”, and “Gallery” which are all nouns.
“Messages” is the best label.
2. All kinds of “messages”.
3.Consistent with the other icon labels as “News”.
This is a poor choice of application naming on Motorola’s part and a needed UI improvement on android’s part.
The Android OS shortens the names under icons after a certain length. Phones with a trackball or similar option can move around and highlight a specific icon at which time the shortened text will scroll to show the rest of the title.
With this limiting factor, Motorola should have gone with the Android default SMS app name “Messaging” which displays just fine.
The findings in Ars Technica’s review are great examples of why I applaud Apple for owning both the hardware and the OS in most of their products. Single-company ownership and accountability across those layers is a win for purchasers of their products.
That icon is terrible. A letter peeking out of an envelope as a metaphor for text messaging? That’s much more appropriate for email (although still, not quite). Text messages are usually short bursts of texts and/or pictures that are sent instantly, so why use such lame old-world metaphors for sms? A speech bubble tends to be the standard amongst most systems, right?
The only thing that would make this bug even more idiotic is if Android didn’t even let you change/rename the label of an icon.
@JeanMoniatte Except the Nexus One isn’t going to be sold any more.
Funny. A college roommate and I used to laugh that the Motorola Razr used to shorten “Address Book” to “Address Bo…” on its main screen—as opposed to “Contacts” I guess.
I wonder how many people actually approve things like this before it gets to market.
Is Text Mess anything like Tex Mex? If so, sign me up.
Droid: the tribal tattoo of smartphones
moving to “messaging” is the right thing for all phones to do, as they merge SMS and MMS into one application.
Which is precisely why they don’t give Motorola iOS.
That’s a pretty ugly looking UI all around.
A bunch of Apple fanbois must have invaded 37signals because every REAL ANDROID USER knows that every Android phone is perfect. To suggest otherwise is dumb.
Yes, Jean. Which is why, as Steven said, Apple doesn’t let carriers do that.
Can you still buy an Android phone that isn’t carrier-mangled?
Since, as The Fanboy pointed out, you sure as hell can’t get it from Google anymore...
Motorola couldn’t fix this bug because the team that would fix it is at another company and is on a different release cycle. I don’t think that’s a good excuse, but they do.
Droid Sans is hideous, and it’s everywhere.
or simply “Text Messages”. That would fit.
The Nexus One was the one and only phone using unmolested Android OS.
How challenging is it for an Android developer to create an app that spans across all the various Android UI’s, the various hardware configurations, and the various OS versions? I’ve never used an Android phone so I’m also curious, how does a consumer know if a particular app will work on their phone properly? In other words, how do I know if a particular app is supported by my OS version and hardware configuration?
Do I have to wait for the phone manufacturer to release OS updates or can I get them directly from Google?
This is truly a bug, though. Obviously, the ellipsis takes up more horizontal extent than the g would.
No, not a bug. The full name is “Text Messaginator”
surely it should say “txt msg”... but the original point is well taken: would never happen on an iOS4 device.
“Droid Sans is hideous, and it’s everywhere.”
Agreed. It’s gross.
What’s up with the battery meter? The Droid depletes 50% of its battery in 7 minutes??
The Nexus One is still sold. Just not from Google’s web pages.
Google decided to stop selling it online, carriers will still sell it online and on brick-and-mortar stores.
The lightning bolt indicates it’s charging. During which, the green “fills” up the battery, then starts over again as an animation.
Actually, when the icon has focus (is selected, as in using the d-pad), then the message text scrolls to reveal all of the icon’s label. It is truncated with an ellipsis in the folder because folder labels can have 2 lines of text instead of only one.
As far as not knowing if an apps will run on a device, the Android Market will only display apps that can run on your device. Apps that are designed for another device or are unable to run on yours will be filtered out of the results list.
It’s a shame that people commenting on deficiencies, real or imagined, on Android have little to no experience with the OS, and instead rely upon their idea of how it works in comparison to iOS devices.
Patrick, are you seriously defending turning “Text Messaging” into “Text Messagin…”? The “truncated” version is LONGER than the original. Come on!
If you’ve ever dealt with displaying text on screen from a programming perspective, you realize that the devs here are likely cutting off after a strict character count instead of going the extra mile and using some kind of font metrics to figure out how wide the text actually is on screen. That’s sort of lazy, but then, I’m assuming Android OS offers a way for devs to get font metrics. Perhaps the API doesn’t offer that?
Actually, I have seen a surprising number of third party iOS apps that have ellipses in their names. Given the number of screen resolutions available: Initially 1, then 2, now 3, I don’t get it. Even before the iPad there were apps with names that didn’t fit.
It bugged me that developers themselves, and then Apple, managed to miss this.
I used to use the Sony Ericsson P800, a UIQ based smartphone. It came in one single resolution. Two really stupid things (well, more than two, but the biggest):
1. The screen was fairly narrow, actually a good shape for your hand. However, many fields were “label, text input” next to each other, rather than “label”, next line “text input”. So the text input fields were always too narrow.
2. At least one of the dialogs had excess white space sufficient to make the scroll bar appear. Very lame; cropping the white space off the bottom would’ve made it all fit without a scroll bar.
The sad part is the lack of attention and refinement. After 30 years of experience I think we can say pretty definitively that the vertical model Apple uses does a better job at product refinement than the horizontal layered approach of MS and Google, though the MS/Google approach has an advantage in staying at the leading edge. Sad because a refined Android product would be killer; but I don’t think it’s possible with this model.
Not intending to be critical - Android has some brilliant advantages, as does the Windows oligarchy. Refinement is just not one of them.
i too worked on a legacy site that used a php script to pull song titles from a DB, it was called tits.php :P
Andre: Perhaps they just use a character count. But I could also imagine some other algorithmic mistakes.
I think the correct algorithm would be:
1. Check if the characters fit into N pixels
2. If not, add as many characters as will fit into N-ellipsis pixels.
Doing that would require iterating over the string twice.
Another way to do it would be to keep adding characters, checking before you add each char if it it would push you over the limit. Get to a char that would push you over: Don’t add it. Now, check if the string is too long with an ellipsis. If so, start subtracting characters until you’re under the limit.
I’m just hypothesizing, but I could easily imagine somebody skipping the back-counting step, either as a mistaken optimization or thinking it wouldn’t really matter.
I wouldn’t expect them to draw the string with tight clipping, so I would expect the string to be fully drawn unless it was way, way too long.
Patrick: While I think I understand your criticism, I think you may also underestimate the level of annoyance that an inattention to detail can cause some people.
I am completely confident that I could use an Android phone, and that I would be able to be useful and productive on it. But, having used poorly polished platforms extensively before, I never manage to forget and ignore the workarounds. They bug me every time I encounter them.
I know that part of this is personality, but I understand most of the intentional limitations that Apple has chosen on the iPhone. Even the limitations that annoy me are tradeoffs that I see the rationale for. I find that I am bugged far more by oversights and lack of care than by tradeoffs that are different than the tradeoffs I would prefer.
How challenging is it for an Android developer to create an app that spans across all the various Android UI’s, the various hardware configurations, and the various OS versions?
Google knew from the beginning devices would be running at varying resolutions and prefers developers work in “display-independent pixels” (dips). If you don’t care what experience your users get, and you work in dips, you more or less compile once for any display and call it a day.
If you give a damn about what the end result looks like, on the other hand, it’s challenging. Ditto if you’re doing something more exacting like a game or, say, an “augmented reality” app. You often end up redesigning the UI for every supported display resolution.
Hardware and OS revisions are a bigger deal still. Motorola has the rare sense to provide emulator images for many of their devices, which addresses some of the cross-mono-platform issues in a half-decent way. On the whole, developing for Android sucks unless you want to make another slapdash application like 98% of the Market. Or you only want to target a single device.
No one has beat the iPhone UI’s spit-and-polish and attention to detail. To bad we have to choose between optimal UI experience and optimal cell coverage.
I’d argue Palm has damn near reached it. Strictly from a UI and UX perspective, webOS is a hell of a thing.
Unfortunately webOS devices are dragged down by their hardware quality and some stupid initial under-the-hood design decisions. But Palm knows those weaknesses and they’ve been on the path to fixing them.
Motorola didn’t have time to fix the bug because they have 30 other phones to get to market this year. They’re productive, in a non-profitable sort of way.
I’m glad that there’s some decent software-end choices out there in the mobile space these days for but I do think that google needs to put the Chrome team to REWORK the android os and make it lovable instead of nerdy and awkward.
Also, motorola… it’s all bells and whistles. It’s sadly always been that way. Worse than sony in some cases.
This phone UI reminds me of a Linux desktop.That worries me, since the strong point of Linux has never been the UI, its the underlying stability/flexibility of the OS.
Since Android isn’t Linux, I may worry about the stabilty/flexibilty as well.
Is Android the worst of both worlds? Or am I worrying too much?
This is an entirely Motoroloa-centered issue. I just bought my first Android phone (an HTC Incredible) and the amount of polish that HTC has put into this thing is astounding. No elipsis issues, few-to-no alignment issues, it’s a very nice user experience. I tried the new Motorola Droid in the store yesterday though, and was absolutely repulsed.
If you’re getting an Android phone and you care about polish, then go with an HTC version.
It reminds me very much of Linux desktops. All sorts of tweakable things hiding a bunch of kludges underneath. No thoughts into human interface or ease of use. It’s why your mom just went out and got an iPad.
Speaking of bugs…
Check out your feed guys. Today the apostrophes in the titles (like “Motrola’s” or “If it’s been done”) are substituted with ”’”....
Bug in bug… The comment I typed was processed in such a way that the sequence of characters &#+8217; was rendered as an apostrophe.
Linux desktop could be great. Needs more focus from one or more developers to make it on par with Mac OS X.
Stood interface and blackberry for that matter, are crap. Sorry fls but it is true. They are not inspired or inspiring examples of UI and are most likely going to be forgotten
I do believe the expression is “shinterface”.
Love the comment from Todd about SVN’s own needless truncation. Seriously, why?
As for the phone, yep, that’s dumb too.
Google suffers the same congenital aesthetic deficiencies Microsoft does for either expediency or some notion of functional purity that leaves me endlessly annoyed with their products.
Some people are just fine listening to high-compression/low bit-rate mp3 files all the live long day, but others hear artifacts. I know I do. So, when I see visual / display foibles like this I gotta wonder, ‘what else is sloppy under the hood?’
As a developer I ‘wanted to believe’ Android would be a good alternative, but the range of ‘standard’ platform models varies so wildly that Apple’s Model T ‘any color you want as long as it’s black’ has irresistible appeal: from back-end development all the way through to the Clean Well-Lighted Place for Pixels stores Apple has made a phenomenally attractive business proposition for small developers. Frankly, the Android store looks like it attracts the hobby crowd and no wonder since so many applications have to be tailored for the particular flavor of phone you bought. How is this an attractive business proposition unless enough of any one model is sufficiently large to justify more than hobbiest fixation? By my measure this critical mass is a long way off and they have to give away a whole lot more ‘buy one get one free’ phones to get my attention again.
another example of pore UI design and really poor oversight/mgmt – you need to have someone that has ultimate say and says “hey this looks like crap” fix it
btw, iphone users are “boxed in” with only 200,000+ apps to choose from – what exactly is the point of android? to get java programmers excited again? when will we finally be rid of Java? I hope soon. It sucks and not really sure it has any point anymore except to confuse and layer more and more crap on an OS.
I get the impression a goodly group of people believes fixed resolution screens are a way to cure UI issues. We were here before and everybody remembers it sucked, right? Should we fix the web to 8.5×11 as well? Or maybe A4?
This is supposed to be the future people!
I look forward to the day when I can plug my whatever-OS “phone” into various docking stations hooked up to various and wonderdous display and input gadgetry and get to work.
Relax. Relate. Release. Phew much better.
It’s not a bug. Android truncates the names of programs on the Home Screen. If someone named their program “My super duper application for Android” that too would be truncated.
Anything more than 8 – 10 character will get truncated. I believe even the iOS truncates the names of the icons on it’s Home Screen (or at least it did). Please correct me if I am mistaken.
With that said, there are probably better ways to deal with this issue as not every application will fit nicely into < 8 characters.
This is something that would be interesting to study in a usability test. Did Google or Motorola ever test this particular situation? If they did, did it prove to be a non-issue for users? Did users reject it?
If the users accept it, quite frankly that is the gold standard I would employ and I would gladly ignore all the so-called “design experts” who say this sucks.
Milan: You’re missing my point. Look at the snapshot of the app panel again. How many characters are in the word “Calculator”? By my count it’s 10. How many in “Messaging”? By my count it’s 9. So, based on your reasoning, why wouldn’t Calculator also be cut off and ellipsis added?
I would take such minor foibles of an Android and still enjoy the tight integration that android provides with the wonderful google services. Especially Google voice and Google Satnav, best of the class and free.
Mike: I don’t know what kind of font is used, but my guess is that they’re not using monospaced or fixed-width fonts. So some words of equal character length will occupy less/more space. I tried typing “Messaging” and “Calculator” in MS Excel using Arial and could see that one is “physically” longer than the other. I think that should explain it. Again, I wouldn’t call it a bug in the traditional sense. I think this would qualify more as a “paper cut” or a usability bug. It’s still unattractive whatever you wish to call it.
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