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Android Headliner: Will Google Make Better Use Of A Large Display In Android L?

September 28, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Android, even with its shortcomings(like any OS)has still been my favorite mobile OS for many reasons. There is lots to offer and you just can’t beat the openness of customization and features that can be had by a device running the Android operating system. That of course is a subjective statement to a point and it is my own personal opinion which draws from my own personal experiences. Up until now, Android has been the main mobile OS to put out devices with large screen displays. Devices like the Galaxy Note series made phablet sized phones more popular and mainstream, and now Apple has jumped on the trend and is finally offering  large screen iPhones with the 6 and 6 plus. Bigger screens are great, and they offer plenty to the consumer who really wants to get the most out of their device. All that screen real estate. It’s great for games, movies, videos of any kind, and even for reading ebooks from one of the many different options out there and available. It even makes browsing the web on mobile the most enjoyable it’s ever been, as there’s less pinch to zoom needed.

While there are many ways to implement such things, one native feature that Android has been missing is a way to easily and more conveniently interact and make better use of the massive screen sizes that some of us have on our phones. This would be one of those shortcomings. As I said, yes they are ways around this through third party home launchers, ROMs(root required of course)and other apps to help the user more conveniently and efficiently interact with their large display, but in its native state out of box this is something that isn’t really available. With rumors having been floating around that recent image leaks of a certain large device we’ve seen are of the Motorola branded Nexus phone that is to get released this year, it begs the question of whether or not Google has plans to build some sort of native way to more easily interact with a screen so big. Need an example? Dragging down the status panel(notification shade, notification bar, status tray etc.).

This isn’t an issue for everyone, people with larger hands mainly. I’d be willing to bet though that a decent number of individuals who own a phone with a screen size of 5.5-inches or larger probably use the device one handed often enough, and find it to be a little more cumbersome than it could be due to having smaller hands. Watching my girlfriend use the Galaxy Note 2 with one hand it became clear quite some time ago that using certain functions on the phone with one hand is just something that isn’t  really possible, or at the very least easy. Our thumbs don’t reach that far for many of us and that makes reaching up to the top of the phone screen to drag down the status bar to read a list of notifications, or interact with the quick settings quite a task, usually resulting in just grabbing the device with two hands, even if it means we might have to put down something we’re carrying in the other hand, all just to reply back to an “urgent” text message.

I truly believe Google can find a way to implement it equally if not better than the way Apple has done things with the latest version of iOS, which is iOS 8, but the recent feature add in the latest software which allows double tapping the display to bring down the notification window was a smart move, as something like that makes sense on a phone with a larger screen. Since this is something that is baked native into the OS, any other device running that OS version should have it too. The same would go for the new version of Android.  Even if the new Nexus ends up being quite smaller than what recent leaks have depicted, there are still many Android devices out there that have massive displays and would benefit from having a function like this. There needs to be a more intuitive and native way to interact with a large screen to complete simple tasks or functions like simply opening up the status tray.