Android’s Back Button

My least favorite thing about both Android and Windows Phone is the system-wide Back button design pattern. Ron Amadeo of Android Police has a good piece here illustrating how confusing and frustrating it can be. Every time I spend time with an Android phone this drives me nuts. Windows Phone seems a little more predictable, but I still think iOS has this right: let each app provide its own internal navigation between screens, and let the system provide a way to switch quickly between recently used apps.

When it does exactly what you expect, the system-wide Back button is convenient. But when it doesn’t, it’s maddening. With iOS, switching back to the previous app requires something more than a single tap (double-press Home then tap in switcher bar, or the four-finger swipe), but it’s never confusing and never takes you somewhere unexpected.

(Via Jim Seth.)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012