Since the last couple of updates, from 3.0 to 3.1 and then to 3.2, had been underwhelming to say the least I hadn’t really been paying much attention to when this update was due out for my Acer but yesterday a message popped up saying it was ready for downloading. Like the gadget geek I am I naturally dropped (almost) everything and launched the download process.
First impression is that not much have changed visually from 3.2. Sure there’s a change of system font and a few tweaks here and there but it, essentially, looks the same. There’s one major change that’s quite a step forward though. You can now stack icons on the home page by dragging one on top of another. This is really an improvement. Now similar icons (apps and shortcuts) can be available directly on the main home page without having to spread them out over several pages that you have scroll through.
Some things are not so much of an improvement. What idiot invented the three silly dots to use for the settings button/icon? It’s really not intuitive and its use is still very inconsistent with some apps having it on the lower edge of the screen and some on the upper edge.
Also, you do not seem to be able to remove notifications, like new email notifications, any more without actually opening the notifying app. The little X that used to be there for this purpose is gone. But then, maybe I have just not found the new way of doing this yet.
One very welcome thing is that, unlike previous updates, this one seems to contain some performance improvements that are quite noticeable. Opening web page and generally flicking between things just seems to be quite a lot faster. That’s of course quite a welcome improvement.
The most important question in my mind is of course is: Is it more stable? The beta quality of the previous versions of Android has been really disappointing. At this point I haven’t used it enough to tell but I didn’t have a crash in the evening after the upgrade. An evening without a crash just didn’t happen before. Luck or a permanent improvement? I also managed to open some website’s which almost always crashed the browser before without any problem after the update. So I guess it looks promising. It would certainly be about time that Google got their act together and showed something else than beta software out of their door for once.
I guess the bottom line is that this update is a much more positive experience, so far, than Android have given me anytime before since I got my tablet.