LG G5 Hands On MWC AH 18

LG Ditching App Drawer on LG G5 and UX 5.0

February 21, 2016 - Written By Nick Sutrich

With the introduction of the LG G5, the South Korean tech giant has shown that it’s working towards making smart innovations that matter to consumers.  The new modular design on top of the unibody construction gives both better build quality and peripheral flexibility, while providing extras like microSD card slots and dual cameras help pave the way for what consumers will come to expect from future flagship smartphones.  With most flagship introductions comes a slight tweak in user interface design, and the user experience, known as UX, changes because of it.  In the new UX 5.0 that LG is rolling out with the G5, we’re seeing some very odd trends make their way into the newest handset from LG.

First off are the rounded square icons on the LG G5.  Samsung seems to have also decided to use these rounded square icons if leaks of the Galaxy S7 are anything to go by.  Besides this change, which is certainly the most obvious front-facing change of the UX when turning on the phone for the first time, is a new trend on an old design that seems to be catching fire as well.  It’s the unfortunate removal of the iconic app drawer that the vast majority of Android phones have featured since the OS’s inception.  The design of Android has always been a dedicated “desktop,” or home screen with quick shortcuts of desired apps as well as widgets that feature quick information without having to enter apps individually.

As widgets have slowly faded to the wayside the need for an app drawer has been reduced, and it seems that even Google may be considering removing the drawer as well.  This trend is certainly going to be looked upon by many Android enthusiasts as unsavory and clearly running after Apple’s market share by making something as similar looking to an iPhone as possible.  This is bizarre given how vastly different the rest of the G5 looks from anything iPhone, but LG is trying to spin this one off as a positive change.  Citing old designs as a confusing multi-layer structure, the new design follows a single-layer structure and eliminates any confusion that comes from making users to go multiple places for removing shortcuts and just uninstalling the app.  While much of this is invalid reasoning given previous UI designs, it’s nonetheless going to be what ships on stock G5’s.  Thankfully if you don’t like it you can simply change out the launcher with another from the Google Play Store, which at its heart is the most beautiful part of Android anyway; personalization.