Android 11 officially launched earlier this week and introduced a slew of new features, and one such feature is App Suggestions.
App Suggestions is without a doubt the worst feature in Android 11. If you want to see our picks for the top features, we've put together a list of the best ones that Android 11 introduces. And they're really all great. Except for App Suggestions, which isn't on the list.
Objectively, I do see the benefit one could derive from having App Suggestions at their disposal. Having said that, I dislike it very much. I know, I know. You can just turn the feature off. But it's on by default and that has made for a very annoying first full day with the software because I wasn't quite sure where to find the setting.
App Suggestions is the most useless feature in Android 11
While this post is a bit of a rant, there's also some reasoning behind my stance on this.
App Suggestions definitely has the potential to be useful for someone. But how many people are constantly removing apps from their homescreen dock? The point of App Suggestions is to provide you with a suggestion of a new app to keep in the dock when one app icon is removed.
This works best if you actually swap out apps. But again, how many people are actually doing that enough to where this makes sense as a feature to have enabled? When you set up your phone, you probably already know which apps you're going to want in your dock.
Unless this is your very first smartphone, you probably have apps in mind that you want the quickest access to. If that's the case, then App Suggestions is not much use.
Because you likely won't be swapping out any apps. And if that isn't happening, then App Suggestions isn't doing its job. Which is quite literally the definition of useless. Even when you do decide it's time to swap something out, chances are you already have another app in mind for this too.
Accidental app removal is the partner in crime
Why am I so against this feature? Mostly because before I disabled it, I was accidentally removing apps from the dock when going to either swipe up to open the app drawer, or swipe up to open recent apps.
App Suggestions would then toss a new app into my dock. I'd then have to add something to that spot along with it, then remove the other one to change it back to being one app instead of a folder.
This led to many moments of me shaking my fist at the sky like an old man who just wants those damn kids off his lawn. You know the feeling.
This was happening more often than I'd care to admit while I was using the most recent beta. Prior to the full launch (and even after the launch for most of Tuesday and Wednesday). It was what got me wishing Google never added this feature in the first place.
The toggle is deceptively easy to find
Maybe it's just me, but I initially found the setting to toggle this off a bit of a challenge to find.
Tracking it down is deceptively easy. But my first instinct was to go straight to the actual settings menu on the phone. I wasted a good ten minutes there looking for anything resembling a menu that would contain App Suggestions.
To no avail. It finally dawned on me to use the settings menu search bar. That also came up with nothing.
Then it hit me. It's probably in the home settings menu. Which you actually access from the homescreen by long pressing on it. So I checked and there it was. Success! Goodbye App Suggestions.
Obviously, this is something I should have picked up on right away. But for whatever reason when I started my search to turn off this feature, I didn't.
Google means well
App Suggestions is something that is intended to help people use their phones more efficiently.
Google means well with most of its feature adds. And it did so with this one here. But I still personally feel that for my own uses, App Suggestions is unnecessary and made using Android 11 less efficient and not more.
Between accidentally removing apps and having to put the ones back on the dock that were removed, and trying to track down the feature to turn it off, I've wasted more time than if it simply wasn't there in the first place.
Google could have easily fixed this though. Instead of having App Suggestions in by default, the default setting could have been to have it disabled. If users really wanted it active, they could put forth the effort to enable it.
But it feels a little like Google was just forcing users to try it out first. Which shouldn't have been the case.
In the end, App Suggestions may not be my own cup of tea. But it may be yours. Maybe you love it. And that's enough. Even though I personally feel the feature us useless and the worst one this version of Android offers, maybe you think it's the best thing to happen to Android in a long time.
In which case, enjoy it.