Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Jun 2016 21:53 UTC
Android

Speaking of software sucks, take a look at this screenshot of Chrome for Android. Do you notice something out of the ordinary? While you look, let me give you a little history.

Way back when Android Lollipop was released, Google introduced a feature called "merge tabs and apps" and enabled it by default for all Lollipop users. Basically, what it did was turn individual Chrome tabs into application windows in Android's application switcher. If you have an understanding of how Android works, this makes perfect sense; this turns tabs into full citizens of the Android application and intents workflow.

Starting with - I think? - Android Marshmallow, Google turned the feature off, but kept it as an option in Google Chrome, so that those of us that liked it could turn it back on. Obviously, this was the first thing I always turned on when setting up any new Android device; it just makes sense from an Android perspective. It smooths out the workflow, and makes sure that tab management becomes a thing of the past; they are discarded just like other Android applications.

Sadly, starting with Chrome 51, released a few weeks ago, the Android or Chrome or whatever team decided to remove the option altogether. The release notes stated:

When Android Lollipop was released last year, we moved Chrome tabs to live alongside apps in Android’s Overview app switcher. Our goal was to make it easier for you to switch between your open apps and websites. However, we heard from many of you that you could not find the tabs you created. This was especially difficult on phones that do not have a dedicated Overview button. While considering how to make Chrome work better for everyone, we brought the tab switcher back into Chrome so you can find your Chrome tabs in a single place. Look for a new way to manage your open tabs in coming releases.

This single change has thoroughly ruined the way I use my phone. I now have upwards of 60 - and growing - "open" tabs, because the Chrome team wants me to manually keep track of and close every individual tab that gets opened while using Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other applications. I now have to keep track of not only running applications in the switcher, but also open tabs in the tab switcher, the latter of which can only be opened with a button in Chrome all the way at the top of my ginormous Nexus 6P display. The tab switcher itself, meanwhile, is a finicky clusterfuck of imprecise swipes and physics nonsense, making it all incredibly frustrating to use.

Update: this paragraph was added later as clarification. In addition, if you tapped on a link in, say, Fenix (Twitter) and read the website in the tab and then pressed back, said tab was automatically closed. This automatic closing of tabs with the back button does not happen with the inferior new method, hence the asinine clutter build-up.

Trying to switch to a specific tab I may have opened earlier in the day is an exercise in frustration now, since instead of just opening the application switcher and finding it a few swipes up (I don't use many applications), I now have to first find Chrome or launch it from my homescreen, find the tab switcher button all the way at the top, count to ten as I try to use the asinine tab switcher, and then hope I can find it somewhere among the more than 60 - and growing - "open" tabs and UI input lag caused by having to render all these tabs in that weird 3D space.

As someone who keeps track of world news, things like UEFA Euro 2016, technology news, and so on, all throughout the day, I end up with countless interesting tabs that get opened on Twitter, other social media, instant messenger, and so on. The Chrome team has actively decided to break my workflow, and there's no way for me to get it back - probably just because instead of looking at the how or why, they just looked at their precious, precious user data, and called it a day.

Looking to the future, with (freeform) windowing coming to Android, the change makes even less sense. Having tabs as part of the regular application switcher surely makes sense from a multitasking and multiwindow perspective, automatically giving Android users the ability to have multiple tabs side-by-side, in a way that is consistent with using other applications side-by-side. How are they going to implement this now? Will Android users have to deal with multiple Chrome windows, each with their own tab switcher? Where do tabs of closed windows go? What madness is this?

I find solace in that I'm not alone. Countless friends have expressed their hatred for the removal of merge tabs and apps (I've seen some of my programmer friends with well north of 100 "open" tabs), and the Chrome for Android reviews in the Play Store are riddled with angry one-star reviews. Google's forums, too, are filled with angry users. I'm hoping the angry comments and one-star reviews will make the Chrome team reconsider and bring back the option to merge tabs and apps, the Only True Android Way™ to manage tabs.

I'm sure tons of people here will consider this whining, but imagine if you're a programmer, and someone randomly took away your ability to insert tabs, forcing you to use spaces instead (or vice versa). That twitch you feel? That's us right now, every time we use Android.

For the first time in my life, I actually rated an application on an application store. Guess how many "stars" (why is it always stars?) I gave to Chrome for Android.

Order by: Score:
For every pot, there is a lid
by rafial on Tue 28th Jun 2016 23:27 UTC
rafial
Member since:
2007-12-04

It's always fascinating (but never surprising) to learn there is a whole community that was in love with a feature that totally didn't work for you.

When merging Chrome tabs into the standard task switcher was announced, I was excited, because conceptually it made perfect sense. But as soon as I started using it, I became disenchanted, because I could never find the tab I was looking for. But then I was already in the habit of keeping around a managed "active set" of tabs. So I was the one always switching that feature off during its initial "default on" heyday.

So when I saw the release note fly by that said it was gone, I shrugged, and thought "well I guess I wasn't the only one that stopped using it."

But it turns out somebody loved this feature after all!

Reply Score: 10

Swipe
by cfgr on Tue 28th Jun 2016 23:46 UTC
cfgr
Member since:
2009-07-18

Personally, I'm more annoyed by the fact that you can open this tab overview by swiping down from the URL bar. It conflicts with the "drag down to refresh the page" interaction as it's exactly the same movement. Very frustrating.

Reply Score: 2

Dismaying situation...
by dionicio on Tue 28th Jun 2016 23:49 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Remember my infancy of those old trucks indolently carrying country produce along almost deleted trails, dropping here, and there, a very good amount of cargo.

We are that cargo. UI stability is a very serious issue.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dismaying situation...
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 00:57 UTC in reply to "Dismaying situation..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

If building our own Browsers from blocks, then just a small change to the glue logic could bring back the desired behavior.
That could prove to be too much to expect from a User.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by FlyingJester
by FlyingJester on Wed 29th Jun 2016 00:13 UTC
FlyingJester
Member since:
2016-05-11

Huh. When I read the title and looked at the screenshot, I expected this:

"Now it is impossible to properly manage tabs in Chrome, since they are no longer managed in Chrome but in the application switcher. Unlike every other app with multiple views, now Chrome completely fills the app switcher from one instance. Worse, it makes it impossible to properly change apps since they are mixed in with things that are not apps at all-Chrome tabs".

I despised this feature, and gladly stuck with Fennec over Chrome when I saw this. It is inconsistent UI, and make Chrome just seem strange given how all the other Google and builtin Android apps work.

Good riddance.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by FlyingJester
by leech on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by FlyingJester"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I never use Chrome unless I have to, which hasn't ever been the case on my phone, I just use Firefox and let it do it's thing, it's worked for me so far.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by FlyingJester
by mistersoft on Wed 29th Jun 2016 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by FlyingJester"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

And it might be "outdated" but I still much prefer Android browser than Chrome.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by FlyingJester
by rft183 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by FlyingJester"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

This. I didn't mind it being an option. But I always disabled it upon installing Chrome.

Reply Score: 2

Ominous Date
by Alfman on Wed 29th Jun 2016 00:29 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

What happens on April 29th 2017? We deserve to know!

Reply Score: 6

You got what you wished for
by kwan_e on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:29 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

the Android or Chrome or whatever team decided to remove the option altogether.


I'd expect having Chrome support the two behaviours introduced AT LEAST *gasp* an extra LAYER of abstraction. Instead of choosing to support all those layers, they seem to have chosen to break your workflow instead.

But, hey - one less layer. You should be happy!

Edited 2016-06-29 06:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: You got what you wished for
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:21 UTC in reply to "You got what you wished for"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Ok, you have the point, kwan_e. But desktop work_flow should be a collection of DOCUMENTS. [As in XFCE, no need of additional layers].

Reply Score: 2

too much
by nicubunu on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:42 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

If I had 60 open tabs, each acting like a different app and they were mixed with some 10-20 other app windows, it would be a huge effort to find a specific one when needed.

Reply Score: 4

RE: too much
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:51 UTC in reply to "too much"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's the whole point. With merge tabs and apps, you wouldn't have 60 tabs, because like applications, they would just be pushed down into the stack. You wouldn't notice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: too much
by Troels on Wed 29th Jun 2016 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE: too much"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

That is exactly why i turned this thing off, i don't want my tabs to go away silently, or be hidden so far behind in the stack that they are impossible to find again. I always have a bunch of tabs open with stuff i have yet to finish reading, or stuff that i stumbled over and want to check out more in depth at work.

As i see it, it comes down to how you use Chrome. For me it is a browser and is where i spend probably 80% of the time on my phone. It sounds more like for you it is a document viewer that is opened and consumed immidiately, and it has no value 2 hours later.

When using other apps i already find that the application switcher stack gets very big, and if i need an app that is not among the first 3-4 in the stack, it is faster just finding it in the launcher. (which i have organized so all the often used apps are easy to find) So mixing Chrome tabs in there made both Chrome and the application switcher really really annoying to use for me.

For me the biggest workflow breaker in Android is actually caused by Samsung, in the galaxy S4 the button to the left of the home button was the menu button, and you had to long press home to get to the application switcher. Now that button is the application switcher and you have to hunt down the menu button in the application. Based on my usage of Chrome, the hardware menu button was much more useful than the application switcher button.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: too much
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: too much"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

As i see it, it comes down to how you use Chrome. For me it is a browser and is where i spend probably 80% of the time on my phone. It sounds more like for you it is a document viewer that is opened and consumed immidiately, and it has no value 2 hours later.


That's actually a really clever way to put it.

Reply Score: 1

insane amount of tabs
by testadura on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:42 UTC
testadura
Member since:
2006-04-14

Having open around 70+ tabs or so is totally unworkable for me. When I get above 10 tabs I start doing some cleaning. How do you even find the tab you're looking for?

I use the power of the Firefox search bar to return to the page I want.

Reply Score: 5

RE: insane amount of tabs
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 06:55 UTC in reply to "insane amount of tabs"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Exactly! Of course it is unworkable! That's why merge tabs and apps is so great, because it means you no longer have to manage your tabs. Just like applications in the Android switcher, you no longer have to manage them. They become part of the stack. Do you manage your application stack in Android? Of course you don't!

All of those open tabs are cruft. I don't want them open, but Android is now forcing me to manually keep track of them and close them, which I didn't have to do before, because the application switcher did that for me.

Edited 2016-06-29 06:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: insane amount of tabs
by crystall on Wed 29th Jun 2016 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE: insane amount of tabs"
crystall Member since:
2007-02-06

All of those open tabs are cruft. I don't want them open, but Android is now forcing me to manually keep track of them and close them, which I didn't have to do before, because the application switcher did that for me.

To be pedantic, it's not the application switcher that closed them for you, it's Android's OOM killer [1].

[1] https://android.googlesource.com/kernel/common.git/+/android-3.4/dri...

Edited 2016-06-29 08:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: insane amount of tabs
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 09:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: insane amount of tabs"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

To be pedantic, it's not the application switcher that closed them for you, it's Android's OOM killer [1].


They're not really closed, though. They effectively become screenshots that can launch apps (or, with merge tabs and apps enabled, websites).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: insane amount of tabs
by testadura on Wed 29th Jun 2016 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE: insane amount of tabs"
testadura Member since:
2006-04-14

Yeah, well I was thinking more in general, including desktop browser use. Given your statement about programmer friends having 100+ tabs open I assumed you were referring to desktop use as well. But that has nothing to do with the actual topic ;)

Can't you just start a new window instead of a new tab? Or does this not exist on Chrome for Android?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: insane amount of tabs
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: insane amount of tabs"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

. Do you manage your application stack in Android? Of course you don't!


Thom, you've never supported an applications users before. Of course there are plenty of people like me that do. We may be less than 1% of all Andriod users, but there are that many Andriod users that every possible use case is being used.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: insane amount of tabs
by rft183 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: insane amount of tabs"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

I do, somewhat, manage my application stack. I generally clear away the applications that I'm not using at the moment, so that I can easily switch between the ones that I am.

Reply Score: 1

RE: insane amount of tabs
by viton on Wed 29th Jun 2016 19:23 UTC in reply to "insane amount of tabs"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

LOL I have 100+ tabs open in two browsers. I don't see any problems with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: insane amount of tabs
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE: insane amount of tabs"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

It's a pathway. And pathways can have a lot more than a hundred steps.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: insane amount of tabs
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: insane amount of tabs"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Tab Management could be seen as Pathway Networks management.

Reply Score: 2

Screw Chrome, I want AOSP Browser back!
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 07:27 UTC
Gargyle
Member since:
2015-03-27

I personally lament the departure from the AOSP Browser UI and the installment of Google Chrome as the default browser in Android ever since Kitkat was launched.

I liked the AOSP Browser much more, because it had Quick Controls (example: http://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Screenshot_201...).

Quick Controls trump every other implementation, just because I can choose where I want the controls to be controlled from. Of course, it needs to be controlled from one of the sides, but exactly where is entirely up to you.

The other reason is that Full Screen in browser other than AOSP Browser isn't *really* full screen, it just means the address bar slides outside the view when you start scrolling down, but it's still there initially. At least in AOSP Browser, when you select Full Screen it really is full screen with no distracting UI elements that keep you from enjoying your websites. If you want UI components to be displayed, you use the Quick Controls. If not, then great!

I am seriously considering developing an AOSP Browser clone that works on Lollipop, works as a stand-alone app (so without having to compile the whole AOSP project) and uses the (since Lollipop) up-to-date webview component. In the meanwhile, I'll gladly stay on Kitkat until it's done.

Reply Score: 1

Firefox
by cropr on Wed 29th Jun 2016 09:01 UTC
cropr
Member since:
2006-02-14

Simple solution: use firefox

Reply Score: 2

RE: Firefox
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:01 UTC in reply to "Firefox"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

Unfortunately it's really slow compared to the AOSP Browser (and presumably also Chrome), so that's a no go.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Firefox
by FlyingJester on Wed 29th Jun 2016 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Firefox"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

My experience has been that it's basically the same speed as Chrome.

In general, I like it more because it defaults to opening things in the browser, instead of trying to use some other app. If I wanted to use another app, I'd have use another app in the first place.

I also find that Firefox loads youtube faster than the youtube app, which is a major plus for me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Firefox
by Drumhellar on Thu 30th Jun 2016 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Firefox"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It speeds up a bunch when you install uBlock Origin, or any of the other standard Firefox browser extensions that work with the mobile Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Firefox
by Gargyle on Thu 30th Jun 2016 05:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Firefox"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

I installed that very add-on, but still interactions with websites and the ui felt less fluent and smooth compared to the AOSP browser, alas.

I tried really hard, but it annoyed me so much I started using this much less secure or privacy protected browser again, just because of its superior experience.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by albertp
by albertp on Wed 29th Jun 2016 09:45 UTC
albertp
Member since:
2016-06-13

Do you notice something out of the ordinary?


I noticed that OSNews.com needs a mobile version.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by albertp
by hornett on Wed 29th Jun 2016 09:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by albertp"
hornett Member since:
2005-09-19

mobile.osnews.com ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by Troels on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

He said mobile version, not ugly version :-)

Actually would be nice with just some css tweaks to make it responsive-ish. the articles themselves fit pretty well if zoomed so the right bar is not visible, the comments are just a bit too wide, and if the menu and header adapted and the right bar flowed under everything else, we would not need to fiddle with zoom and horizontal scrolling.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

m.osnews.com

Giving me a little problem the fixed settings [framing and fonts specially, using FireFoxOS]. My outdated LG Android 4.1? not up to the task.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by albertp
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by albertp"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Please, for the love of god, no. Mobile versions of sites universally suck. The regular OSNews works just fine in any modern mobile browser.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by Troels on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Totally agreed, special mobile versions should just die. Though a few media query based css tweaks would be nice :-P

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

The regular OSNews works just fine in any modern mobile browser.

The text, especially in the comments, is rather small for reading in portrait mode. And no, every other site works just fine the way the browser is set up, so I'm not changing text size just for this site.

Can't you make the regular site at least somewhat responsive? Or let someone else do it? Make a tournament out of it!

Edited 2016-06-29 10:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Fully agree with Thom here. There's very few things I hate more than going to a web site and having to jump through hoops to get the full functionality even though my browser is 100% capable of supporting it, just because some idiot web designer decided to check my user-agent header rather than the genuine capabilities of my browser of choice. Mobile web pages need to just die off. We don't need them anymore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by Alfman on Wed 29th Jun 2016 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom_Holwerda,

Please, for the love of god, no. Mobile versions of sites universally suck. The regular OSNews works just fine in any modern mobile browser.


If this is what you think, then please, for the love of god, stop redirecting search engines like duck duck go to the mobile version of osnews! This is what I get when I search DDG for this story (on my desktop):

http://mobile.osnews.com/story.php/29273/Google_is_actively_breakin...

I absolutely hate that layout and if you use a user agent switcher then you can see osnews.com is actively forcing some search engines to use the mobile site. This redirect is disabled for google, but other search engines are still being redirected.

There's probably just a very simple redirect in your .htaccess file responsible for this.

Edited 2016-06-29 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by albertp
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by albertp"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Oops! There's actually a mobile OSnews ;)

Works perfectly at my very little screen FireFoxOS. Thanks Alfman!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by albertp on Wed 29th Jun 2016 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
albertp Member since:
2016-06-13

Please, for the love of god, no. Mobile versions of sites universally suck. The regular OSNews works just fine in any modern mobile browser.


I use Chrome on Galaxy S7 and browsing OSNews is anything but fine.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Mobile versions really needed. Starting by bandwith and titanic JS trash. OSnews doesn't sin at this front. But 2D framing and fixed sizes are definitely a no-go at unknown renderers and screen sizes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by albertp
by The1stImmortal on Thu 30th Jun 2016 03:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by albertp"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

Lets just go back to css-free HTML3.2 and throw away all this preset formatting crap. A browser's job is to handle rendering, not the server.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by albertp
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by albertp"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

What about an XHTML3.2 draft? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by rft183 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

Very seldom do I want to use a mobile version, and that's usually when the full version doesn't work properly in my mobile browser. But usually, that's only when the website is wonky in desktop browsers, too. I hate having to beg and plead to get the full desktop version to show up!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by albertp
by mistersoft on Wed 29th Jun 2016 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by albertp"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

a gazillion times yes!

unless someone actively types a mobile website URL e.g. mobile.osnews.com can we have a web-wide push for the default even on mobile devices to be delivered the standard web page. please.

it's just better most of the time.

only tends to be some pop ups and floating windows that ruin it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by albertp
by phoenix on Wed 29th Jun 2016 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by albertp"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Please, for the love of god, no. Mobile versions of sites universally suck. The regular OSNews works just fine in any modern mobile browser.


Except that the formatting is completely out-of-whack when viewing the desktop version of OSNews in mobile browsers (like Chrome). Comment titles are HUGE, comment text is tiny, and the nesting of comments make it impossible to use a single zoom settings to read everything (double-tap to zoom a single comment to full-width, and you lose the last 10-20% of every line on replies, and you lose the last 20-30% of every line in replies to replies, and so on).

The mobile version just plain sucks, period. If the comments were threaded, it wouldn't be so bad, but the mobile version just lists them all in chronological order.

The desktop version works on tablets and other really large-screened devices (5.5"+), but it's a pain to use on "normal" phone screens.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by albertp
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by albertp"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"... If the comments were threaded, it wouldn't be so bad, but the mobile version just lists them all in chronological order..."

The chron on the logs can be 'hacked' with a few lines at the server, to be thread ordered.

Then a page refresh would do the trick.

Reply Score: 2

Seriously?
by Brendan on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:07 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

...upwards of 60 - and growing - "open" tabs

If you have a cluttered mess of > 60 open tabs; the problem is not software related. The problem is that you're hoarding trash.

You need to have your "computer operator licence" revoked.

Edited 2016-06-29 10:07 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Seriously?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:19 UTC in reply to "Seriously?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...upwards of 60 - and growing - "open" tabs

If you have a cluttered mess of > 60 open tabs; the problem is not software related. The problem is that you're hoarding trash.

You need to have your "computer operator licence" revoked.


Please read more carefully. The reason I have that many tabs open now is because they are no longer managed automatically by Android itself; you have to do it manually now in a crap tab switcher, which is a regression.

No reason to insult me just because you didn't read the article.

Edited 2016-06-29 10:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Seriously?
by Brendan on Wed 29th Jun 2016 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Seriously?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

"...upwards of 60 - and growing - "open" tabs

If you have a cluttered mess of > 60 open tabs; the problem is not software related. The problem is that you're hoarding trash.

You need to have your "computer operator licence" revoked.


Please read more carefully. The reason I have that many tabs open now is because they are no longer managed automatically by Android itself; you have to do it manually now in a crap tab switcher, which is a regression.

No reason to insult me just because you didn't read the article.
"

I did read the article. I still can't figure out why you can't figure out how "bookmarks" work, or why you think it's sane to have such a massive quantity of "tabs and/or applications" running.

Do you have 60 screens and 60 eyes? Are you rapidly switching between them in some sort of slide show? Are you simply too lazy to close things that you have no intention of using soon?

If a spoilt child refuses to clean up their bedroom for weeks and then complains because they can't find anything under the mounds of trash they've created, do you blame the architect that designed the house?

- Brendan

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Seriously?
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seriously?"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

But when the tabs were listed in between other apps in the Android Task Switcher, those forgotten tabs would be killed off by Android, thus taking the burden out of his hands and cleaning up for him.

And by tabs, I mean (probably almost always) links he opened in other apps, read and did not bother closing, because f--k you that's why.

I'm glad it doesn't do that by default, because that's *not* how I use my browser. The tabs that I keep open are meant to be left open until I've read them after which I close them. I'm slightly puzzled that other people use their browser in another manner, but that's just me.

Edited 2016-06-29 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Seriously?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seriously?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

or why you think it's sane to have such a massive quantity of "tabs and/or applications" running.


How many times do I have to repeat that I do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, find this sane at all? The huge number of open tabs is the UNDESIRED result of the PROBLEM Google created by removing the option to merge tabs and apps. How is this so hard to understand when it's in the article several times, and in the comments here?

Are you simply too lazy to close things that you have no intention of using soon?


THIS IS THE EXACT PROBLEM. With merge tabs and apps, tab management is effectively taken out of your hands and handled for you because it's performed by the same mechanics that handle applications. Do you actively close the applications you use after you're done using them? Do you go into the application switcher to manually close Facebook, Google Docs, or whatever other application on your phone every single time you're done using them?

Of course you don't. One of the great things iOS and Android have brought us is that we no longer have to actively manage running applications like we do on desktops, thanks to save-state, quick launch, intents, and so on. All merge tabs and apps does is apply those exact same mechanics to tabs, so you no longer have to actively manage tabs like you have to actively manage apps on desktops.

If a spoilt child refuses to clean up their bedroom for weeks and then complains because they can't find anything under the mounds of trash they've created, do you blame the architect that designed the house?


Your refrigerator automatically keeps things cool. Would you be angry if a software update forced you to actively shovel ice cubes into your fridge 30 times a day?

Edited 2016-06-29 11:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Seriously?
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Seriously?"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

Do you actively close the applications you use after you're done using them? Do you go into the application switcher to manually close Facebook, Google Docs, or whatever other application on your phone every single time you're done using them?

Of course you don't.

Um yes, yes I do! Why? Because if I don't, it sometimes causes battery usage leaks (in my case K9Mail), and I tend to think to notice (is this construction valid?) that my phone gets slower the more apps are opened.

Edited 2016-06-29 11:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Seriously?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Um yes, yes I do! Why? Because if I don't, it sometimes causes battery usage leaks (in my case K9Mail), and I tend to think to notice (is this construction valid?) that my phone gets slower the more apps are opened.


But the minute gains from closing it all the time is negated by the additional time spent manually closing it and especially by having to cold-launch the app every single time.

I'm sorry, but this makes no sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Seriously?
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

My browser (AOSP Browser) is smart enough to remember its own state prior to having it closed, so even when it's closed it just starts where I left off. It'll have to reload every tab though, but that's not an issue for me because it will only reload the tab that I select and delays reloading of other tabs to the point where I open that other tab.

K9Mail will forget where I was, but that's not important since I only use it by clicking its notifications.

Other apps: I don't really know, because I tend to not use other apps that require their state to be saved.

I must agree, though, that my way of using a smartphone isn't very broad nor common.

Edited 2016-06-29 12:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Seriously?
by phoenix on Wed 29th Jun 2016 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Seriously?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I must agree, though, that my way of using a smartphone isn't very broad nor common.


No, that's pretty common.

While I don't swipe away every app from the Recents list as soon as I'm done with it, I do swipe away apps that I know I won't be using again for a long-ish time. I prefer to keep my Recents list short and manageable, as I do use it for rapidly switching between apps (mostly for cut/paste) and don't like to scroll through even 20-odd screenshots to find things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Seriously?
by rft183 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

Actually, they aren't really minute gains. They can be pretty significant, especially if the app uses GPS. If I don't manually close those programs, I notice my phone using GPS quite a lot.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Seriously?
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Seriously?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Yeah, GPS is a big one. This is something that I, personally, feel that iOS handles better than Android. If an app wants to use your GPS in the background, you have to explicitly permit it to do so. Otherwise, location services only work while said app is in the foreground. With Android, it's either allow or do not, without a distinction. Android needs a massive overhaul of its permission system, but that's another discussion entirely.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Seriously?
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You might consider looking into better e-mail clients. I had nothing but trouble with K-9. I found Aquamail Pro to be the best for my needs personally. There are a lot of e-mail clients out there, ones that do not leak battery life.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Seriously?
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

I know that there are better clients, but I'd rather take the red pill and go with a FOSS project rather than a closed source one with naught but their word that they're to be trusted.

I know it's tinfoilhatty, but it's for my own peace of mind.

Why would I ever use a GAPPS enabled Android phone, you say? Well, I do block almost every app and service that I don't trust with a IP-tables powered firewall, and put Google Play Services (GPS) to sleep with Greenify and Tasker, and deny GPS any real info by scrapping their permissions using the AppOps Xposed module.

The problem is that Android isn't such a rich experience with everything google locked down. But it's that or selling my soul to Google.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Seriously?
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

The gains in battery life are almost certainly smaller than you think. Almost all decent apps that run things in the background have dedicated services for it that keep running even if you close the app, so the only advantages you get are making the task switcher itself slightly faster, and using less memory. There is no Android system I know of that powers down unused RAM, so saving memory space isn't helping (Android itself will sanely manage things anyway), and if you weren't opening the task switcher to close things all the time, that wouldn't have almost any impact anyway.

That said, I close apps when I'm done with them manually myself, but for other reasons. I don't like leaving open sessions on anything, and in most apps, it's quicker to close the app than to tell it to log out and then leave it running.

Either way, this absolutely _is not_ a typical workflow for an average user on an Android system, most of them just leave everything open and let Android manage things (although quite a few probably don't even know that Android is managing things for them).

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Seriously?
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

The gains in battery life are almost certainly smaller than you think.

I meant that if I don't kill K9Mail, it will keep my phone awake (you can monitor this in the battery stats) resulting in much more idle drain than usual.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Seriously?
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Seriously?"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

Then that's an issue with K9Mail, not Android. That's actually one of the reasons I don't use it on my phone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Seriously?
by Brendan on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Seriously?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

How many times do I have to repeat that I do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, find this sane at all? The huge number of open tabs is the UNDESIRED result of the PROBLEM Google created by removing the option to merge tabs and apps. How is this so hard to understand when it's in the article several times, and in the comments here?


You need to repeat it until you realise that couldn't give a rat's butt if you have "60 open tabs" or "60 open applications" or "30 tabs and 30 applications" or anything else. It's the fact that you've got 60 websites (in tabs or in applications) that I find repulsively retarded, not whether they're tabs or applications.

THIS IS THE EXACT PROBLEM. With merge tabs and apps, tab management is effectively taken out of your hands and handled for you because it's performed by the same mechanics that handle applications. Do you actively close the applications you use after you're done using them?


Yes. How else can the OS know if you have or haven't finished using the application?

Do you go into the application switcher to manually close Facebook, Google Docs, or whatever other application on your phone every single time you're done using them?


Yes. Why would I want crap I'm not using cluttering up my screen (or list of apps, or browser tabs)?

Of course you don't. One of the great things iOS and Android have brought us is that we no longer have to actively manage running applications like we do on desktops, thanks to save-state, quick launch, intents, and so on. All merge tabs and apps does is apply those exact same mechanics to tabs, so you no longer have to actively manage tabs like you have to actively manage apps on desktops.


Um, what?

Because smartphones are too weak (and their batteries too small) to handle true multi-tasking, they had to implement silly work-arounds (e.g. "save state" and shut the app down, and restart it using the previously saved state if/when you switch back to it later); and you think having to manage "open but not actually running apps" (instead of having to manage "actually running apps") is some sort of miraculous bonus?

Your refrigerator automatically keeps things cool. Would you be angry if a software update forced you to actively shovel ice cubes into your fridge 30 times a day?


I have no idea how this gibberish is supposed to relate to the paragraph it's replying to, or the topic being discussed in general.

If you don't clean up after yourself (whether that is closing "actually running apps", or closing "open but not actually running apps", or closing tabs, or doing dishes, or tidying up your bedroom) then you've chosen to live with clutter and have no right to blame others for the clutter you're directly responsible for causing.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Seriously?
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

You need to repeat it until you realise that couldn't give a rat's butt if you have "60 open tabs" or "60 open applications" or "30 tabs and 30 applications" or anything else. It's the fact that you've got 60 websites (in tabs or in applications) that I find repulsively retarded, not whether they're tabs or applications.

If you would actually read, you'd see that you both agree about this. It's not intentional, it's a result of a regression in how Chrome on Android handles tabs. Prior to this change, the phone itself handled cleanup of old tabs, and therefore he didn't have to worry about it, now he has to do so manually, and he has not yet gotten used to the new workflow that's necessary to do this.

Yes. How else can the OS know if you have or haven't finished using the application?

You rather obviously have a very limited knowledge of how the OS works. Android tracks what you've used recently if you haven't used something recently and need more memory, it copies the application state out to persistent storage and unloads most of it from RAM, and then reloads it when you try to access that app. It doesn't need to care if your done with the app or not, because that app then won't have almost any impact on the system.

Yes. Why would I want crap I'm not using cluttering up my screen (or list of apps, or browser tabs)?

And this is not a typical behavior for an average Android or iPhone user. Many people I know don't even go to the app switcher to switch, they go to the home screen and tap the app icon itself (I also know a lot of people who used to use iPhones though).

Um, what?

Because smartphones are too weak (and their batteries too small) to handle true multi-tasking, they had to implement silly work-arounds (e.g. "save state" and shut the app down, and restart it using the previously saved state if/when you switch back to it later); and you think having to manage "open but not actually running apps" (instead of having to manage "actually running apps") is some sort of miraculous bonus?

Persistent state setups like this have been around for years. It's not some new 'smartphone thing', the only difference here is that Android does it transparently so you don't have to worry about it. This isn't just some hack to deal with low processing power (quite a few flagship phones can actually outperform equivalently priced desktops and laptops on almost every level except graphics), it's also a feature that a significant majority of users actually want.

I have no idea how this gibberish is supposed to relate to the paragraph it's replying to, or the topic being discussed in general.

There's this thing called an analogy. This one is admittedly somewhat hyperbolic in nature, but it's otherwise a good one. The point is that you expect any numbeer of things in the world to manage themselves automatically, why shouldn't your phone do so as well?

If you don't clean up after yourself (whether that is closing "actually running apps", or closing "open but not actually running apps", or closing tabs, or doing dishes, or tidying up your bedroom) then you've chosen to live with clutter and have no right to blame others for the clutter you're directly responsible for causing.

You obviously don't get this. The logic here in wanting a feature like this is exactly the same as the logic behind the Roomba, robotic lawnmowers, self-cleaning ovens, and any number of other similar things. It's the same logic behind people hiring others to clean their house for them. It's also the same as the logic behind having automatic memory management in programming languages. Humans, whether they realize it or not, have a natural tendency to prefer things that simplify their lives and improve upon the amount of free time they have.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Seriously?
by Brendan on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,


If you would actually read, you'd see that you both agree about this.


No, we don't.

It's not intentional, it's a result of a regression in how Chrome on Android handles tabs. Prior to this change, the phone itself handled cleanup of old tabs, and therefore he didn't have to worry about it, now he has to do so manually, and he has not yet gotten used to the new workflow that's necessary to do this.


Wrong. Prior to this it converted tabs into "open but not actually running" applications, and therefore converted "obscenely large number of tabs" into "obscenely large number of applications" while not actually solving anything and not cleaning anything up because there's still an obscenely large number of something somewhere (e.g. an obscenely large number "saved application states").

You rather obviously have a very limited knowledge of how the OS works. Android tracks what you've used recently if you haven't used something recently and need more memory, it copies the application state out to persistent storage and unloads most of it from RAM, and then reloads it when you try to access that app. It doesn't need to care if your done with the app or not, because that app then won't have almost any impact on the system.


And for some unknown reason you think there's a difference between a system cluttered up with heaps of "saved app states" and a system cluttered up with heaps of running applications or a system cluttered up with heaps of tabs? In all of these cases it's still cluttered up with something because someone is too lazy and/or stupid to clean up after themselves.

It seems like what Tom wants is a "close tabs when they haven't been used for a while even though I might be planning to use them soon" feature that actually does get rid of the clutter (at the risk of closing tabs that might still be needed soon despite not being used recently); but because this has never existed he's been (ab)using something completely different that only hides the clutter and never cleans it up.

The point is that you expect any numbeer of things in the world to manage themselves automatically, why shouldn't your phone do so as well?


Because a phone is not able to read your mind and figure out the difference between "still wanted" and "unwanted" without being told?

You obviously don't get this. The logic here in wanting a feature like this is exactly the same as the logic behind the Roomba, robotic lawnmowers, self-cleaning ovens, and any number of other similar things. It's the same logic behind people hiring others to clean their house for them. It's also the same as the logic behind having automatic memory management in programming languages. Humans, whether they realize it or not, have a natural tendency to prefer things that simplify their lives and improve upon the amount of free time they have.


You're right. I don't understand how people like you can be so stupid that they repeatedly fail to understand the difference between "converting a cluttered mess of tabs into a cluttered mess of applications" and "reducing clutter"; and keep bringing up extremely moronic false analogies that make the assumption that "shifted" is the same as "gone forever (whether you wanted that or not)".

Do you buy a new Roomba every month because the old one is clogged full of dirt, or do you have to empty the Roomba and clean out its filters because the dirt was only shifted and wasn't gone forever?

- Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Seriously?
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Seriously?"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I'm going to just skip the first two items because there's obviously no way I'm going to convince you that neither of you want such a large number of things open, and the second item is pretty clearly explained by my final two replies in this post.

And for some unknown reason you think there's a difference between a system cluttered up with heaps of "saved app states" and a system cluttered up with heaps of running applications or a system cluttered up with heaps of tabs? In all of these cases it's still cluttered up with something because someone is too lazy and/or stupid to clean up after themselves.

There's actually a pretty significant difference. Persistent storage is cheap, RAM isn't, and most of the time, the application state takes up less space on persistent storage than in RAM (I'll be happy to explain why if you want, but I'm not wasting time on it if you don't care).

It seems like what Tom wants is a "close tabs when they haven't been used for a while even though I might be planning to use them soon" feature that actually does get rid of the clutter (at the risk of closing tabs that might still be needed soon despite not being used recently); but because this has never existed he's been (ab)using something completely different that only hides the clutter and never cleans it up.

Actually, I'm pretty certain that Android does clean up functionally stateless apps (which would include any webpage that was fetched with a GET request, which is a significant majority of them) when things get untidy.

[/q]With the old system, each tab could individually be frozen by the OS, and did not need to be reloaded when you pulled up a new tab in Chrome. Now, they are either all frozen or none are frozen, and opening chrome causes it to try and reload everything. Additionally, it was easier to close tabs when merged, because you could close individual tabs without reloading them and without having to go into chrome itself.

Because a phone is not able to read your mind and figure out the difference between "still wanted" and "unwanted" without being told?

Machine learning is a lot better than you think. Figuring this out is often not hard to do heuristically with almost zero effort based on usage patterns. For most people, it's enough to just close anything that's been open but not part of an active view for a couple of days.

You're right. I don't understand how people like you can be so stupid that they repeatedly fail to understand the difference between "converting a cluttered mess of tabs into a cluttered mess of applications" and "reducing clutter"; and keep bringing up extremely moronic false analogies that make the assumption that "shifted" is the same as "gone forever (whether you wanted that or not)".

Requiring someone to sort through multiple things to clear out clutter is not an improvement. I don't like clutter (to a point), but I also don't like having to go everywhere to clean it up. Tom may or may not have the same opinion on this, but I liked this feature because I had to go to exactly one place to clean things up, instead of having to potentially open Chrome itself, and then wait for it to reload everything, and hope it doesn't hang, and maybe finally get to the point where I can start scanning through the tabs to close them by hand.

Do you buy a new Roomba every month because the old one is clogged full of dirt, or do you have to empty the Roomba and clean out its filters because the dirt was only shifted and wasn't gone forever?

Counter argument: Is it easier and less time consuming to clean out a Roomba once a month or to manually vacuum your house every week?

Tom may or may not have gone in manually to close tabs, but a lot of people who use this did, and it was a lot easier for most people and significantly more efficient than the 'new' way.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Seriously?
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Seriously?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

If well remembering, Windows already gone through this, some years ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Seriously?
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...It's the fact that you've got 60 websites (in tabs or in applications)..."

Sounds [very] bad, specially if containing active code. Deactivating prefetch could help at security side, but still bad. Tab management has to come back.

Also on the security field, pause should be mandatory on all scripting and dynamics, except for the page the User is actually interacting with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Seriously?
by Drumhellar on Thu 30th Jun 2016 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Seriously?"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Your refrigerator automatically keeps things cool. Would you be angry if a software update forced you to actively shovel ice cubes into your fridge 30 times a day?


Maybe at first, but, I could use the extra exercise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Seriously?
by Verenkeitin on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Seriously?"
Verenkeitin Member since:
2007-07-01

Do you actively close the applications you use after you're done using them? Do you go into the application switcher to manually close Facebook, Google Docs, or whatever other application on your phone every single time you're done using them?

Of course you don't. One of the great things iOS and Android have brought us is that we no longer have to actively manage running applications like we do on desktops, thanks to save-state, quick launch, intents, and so on. All merge tabs and apps does is apply those exact same mechanics to tabs, so you no longer have to actively manage tabs like you have to actively manage apps on desktops. ...


What iOS and Android have brought to us is the double junk drawer metaphor of task switching. Every single time you want to switch from an app to another, you can choose from two crappy options.

1. You can hunt for the right app icon from the launcher's sea of flat featureless icons, or
2. You can hunt for the right app screenshot from randomly ordered stack where it may or may not be found.

Jolla's Sailfish OS version 1 did this right. On Sailfish, you had the unavoidable single junk drawer app launcher and a few (1-9) running apps you can switch between quickly. When you were done with an app for now, you swiped it away and it was gone from gluttering up the work space. When you knew you'd be back to an app soon, you let it sit on the home sceen.

The only good thing about the way app swiching is done in iOS and Android is that it distracts you from noticing how slow it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Seriously?
by darknexus on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seriously?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Random order? On iOS at least, the order of applications is extremely predictable: they are ordered, from right to left, the most recently opened app to the least. What's so hard about that?
The thing I hate about iOS' app switcher though is that a ridiculously few screen shots display at a time, even on larger iPads. This causes me to have to scroll more than I should have to, even to go into an app that's only a few apps back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Seriously?
by Verenkeitin on Thu 30th Jun 2016 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seriously?"
Verenkeitin Member since:
2007-07-01

Random order? On iOS at least, the order of applications is extremely predictable: they are ordered, from right to left, the most recently opened app to the least. What's so hard about that?


True. Random is a wrong word for it. The order is absolutely predictable in the way it changes on every app switching. For toggling between two apps, that doesn't matter, but if you were switching between three apps, the order could just as well be random. You can't develop a habit of tapping or gesturing that would take you to a specific app. This is all academic anyway, what whit the way these list of recent/open apps are designed in iOS and more recently in Android.

Sailfish OS 2 had this right. It had a static list of open apps that you could order as you liked. That meant you could develop a habit of always having certain apps in certains positions and switch between them far faster than what's possible in iOS or Android (you can set up a row of app icons on the home screen on iOS/android, but its not nearly the same thing).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Seriously?
by umccullough on Wed 29th Jun 2016 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seriously?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I did read the article. I still can't figure out why you can't figure out how "bookmarks" work, or why you think it's sane to have such a massive quantity of "tabs and/or applications" running.


Obviously you have no clue what Thom is talking about - the precise issue he has documented in this article has caused no end of issues for myself and my wife as well.

Having to open chrome separately and then go clean out the "tabs" is a pita, where it was ridiculously easy in the app switcher. I found my wife's phone with > 80 tabs open the other day and she didn't even realize it was happening. They open without it being obviously, and I believe they also persist between reboots, which is really bothersome.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seriously?
by phoenix on Wed 29th Jun 2016 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Seriously?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm confused about how your Android device is configured that clicking a link in an app opens a new tab in Chrome, but clicking the back button to return to the original app doesn't close the tab.

That's how it works on my phone. Open RSS reader, click link to open article in Chrome, read the article, click back button, and the tab is closed in Chrome, and the RSS reader appears onscreen again. No tab clutter to worry about.

Reply Score: 2

Another merge tabs user here.
by tkeith on Wed 29th Jun 2016 11:33 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

I am right there with you. With merge tabs I had the most recently used tabs available easily to me, and others faded into the background. Personally I find this also improves chrome load time immensely, since it doesn't have to try to load the other tab information. I understand making it an option, but to remove it is plain lunacy. BTW it's always been disabled on tablets, which is again, asinine.

But I'm guessing this has to do with Google's plan to limit apps in the overview for N. I'm not sure the logic behind this, other than appeasing the lowest common denominator users.

Reply Score: 2

I totally agree
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:16 UTC
ahferroin7
Member since:
2015-10-30

I absolutely loved this, but what I liked even more was the ability to choose whether or not I used this. I always turned this on, but I entirely understand some people didn't like it. I'd be willing to bet though that this has something to do with the impending merge of Android and ChromeOS, although I have no idea what.

What bugs me more though is that I've started having performance issues with Chrome that started at the exact same time this update hit, so there's obviously a lot more they changed than just this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I totally agree
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:22 UTC in reply to "I totally agree"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'd be willing to bet though that this has something to do with the impending merge of Android and ChromeOS

Wouldn't this be exactly the opposite of what they'd want in this case? It seems the merged tabs would be closer to what ChromeOS already does.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I totally agree
by ahferroin7 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: I totally agree"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

In theory yes, but considering that ChromeOS is based on mainline Linux with a Gentoo based user-space, while Android is, well, Android, I would not be surprised if they have completely different ways of handling this.

Reply Score: 1

updates good at all?
by -Carsten- on Wed 29th Jun 2016 12:55 UTC
-Carsten-
Member since:
2016-06-29

while I have read here for many years and I am often thankfull for Thoms oppinion, the one topic on which I have always diagreed is the call for updates that gets voiced here, especially by Thom, again and again. especially in regard to Android.

this is a prime example of why I absolutely do not want a vendor to constantly, intransparently and unrequestedly update any of the software on any of my devices.

other prominent examples might be:
- removal of my dedicted SMS-app in favor of something unwanted named "hangup"
- removal of my deicated mail-app in favor of gmail
- worsening of Google Maps by several magnitudes in every possible regard during the last 10 years
the list goes on.

yes, I would like the vendors to provide security or bug-fix-related patches to his software on my devices. preferably more often and more consequent than they do today. but this has to be strictly separated from the functional delta there might be between major versions of an application, let alone an operating system. buying a device with Android 4 and getting this device updated to 5.x over night is like going to sleep owning a VW Beetle and waking up to a new VW Golf in my garage. yes, it might be more modern. it might be a technical superior car in nearly every regard. but I still prefere a Bettle to a Golf. I bought a Beetle on purpose.

I really really hate this always-update mentality. especially on mobile operating systems where I use the device more as an everyday utility and am not that interested in customizing every aspect like on the desktop. I won't get into whether I like meterial design or not. changing even UI stuff like that - including introducing completely new control types and visualizations - is like exchanging the complete instruments in my car with a different layout upon an inspection appointment.

I understand that is not in the best interest of the responsible vendors to separate functional upgrades from security updates. but if I cannot have one without the others I'd rather stay with my old Beetle, shortcomings and defects and all, than to get a Golf.

I guess we all agree that nowadays the software is as much a functional and aesthetic part of many devices we buy today as the hardware. why should I accept that any other party than me has control about this functonality and design? if I have bought a toaster I would like the toaster to look the same tomorrow. if I have bought an Android 2.3 handheld I want to look and function the same tomorrow as it was when I bought it.

the OS vendors are changing - and taking away - features all the time. I cannot comment on the Windows 10 issues that seem to be similar because I lack experience with that, but why do you judge Android different? every other week I see some complaints about market share among Android versions being too segmented and 'too much devices still on obsolate versions'. why do the same people complain about this that criticise Microsoft for pushing updates on Windows users?

* disclaimer: I use a Android 6.x device today (Moto X Play) and have used Nexus devices before. still, I rather liked the UI paradigm in Android 2.3 more. I am all for choice for the people that want to update, but I don't agree to the assumption everybody should upgrade just because there is something new.

** and don't get me started on devices that again and again try to make me update them although the device gets broken in the process (I own a Nexus 7 (2012)).

*** and I am really uncomfortable defending Microsoft here. I left MSDN in 1995 when Win 95 came out and have been on OS/2, Solaris and Linux ever since.

Reply Score: 1

RE: updates good at all?
by dionicio on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:40 UTC in reply to "updates good at all?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...buying a device with Android 4 and getting this device updated to 5.x over night is like going to sleep owning a VW Beetle and waking up to a new VW Golf in my garage. yes, it might be more modern. it might be a technical superior car in nearly every regard. but I still prefere a Bettle to a Golf. I bought a Beetle on purpose."

Love This!

Putting your Beettle in the Garage the previous evening, and then HAVING TO Pull and Drive a damn Golf to that all important Meeting the next day!

.....

[What if I prefer to keep driving Beettles?].

Beettles can be kept up to new Mobility and Environment Regulations, by the way. Just keep buying them. Materials are not the same. Engineering is no more the same. Gosh! is not the same engine anymore. But its a pretty fun sedan car, my Beetle. Did you know?

UI stability.

Reply Score: 2

Buses vs cars
by Savior on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:43 UTC
Savior
Member since:
2006-09-02

This was one of those things ("features"?) that had me stop using Chrome a few minutes after I gave it a try. Good riddance.

An analogy in public transportation would be if instead of buses/trams/trains we just provided a separate car to each passanger (driven by a driver from the PT company). Sure, it might make sense for small villages, but for a city, 1 bus vs. 50 cars is a very bad deal. Even 10 tabs fall, for me, to the city category; I have no idea how Thom could ever switch to another application with 70 Chrome tabs lingering in the task switcher...

Edited 2016-06-29 14:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Buses vs cars
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:56 UTC in reply to "Buses vs cars"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

This was one of those things ("features"?) that had me stop using Chrome a few minutes after I gave it a try. Good riddance.

So in other words: I don't like it, so fsck you all! What harm did it cause to have the option there for those who did like it?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Buses vs cars
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 14:58 UTC in reply to "Buses vs cars"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I have no idea how Thom could ever switch to another application with 70 Chrome tabs lingering in the task switcher...


ARGH.

I never used to have 70tabs lingering in the task switcher - the large number of "open" tabs is the undesired outcome of this change! How many times do I need to repeat this?

Goes to show: never use screenshots for articles on the web, because they cloud people's ability to read, and gives them a simple, bite-size point to focus on, disregarding the much more attention-intensive (but more important!) text.

Edited 2016-06-29 15:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Buses vs cars
by Gargyle on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Buses vs cars"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

Goes to show: never use screenshots for articles on the web, because they cloud people's ability to read, and gives them a simple, bite-size point to focus on, disregarding the much more attention-intensive (but more important!) text.

You have never explained the 'magic' behaviour of the task switcher that you have relied on until the people at the Chrome Dev team decided to deny you the possibility to have your tabs shown in the task switcher.

So, please elaborate: what happens if too many tabs are listed in the task switcher? Are they automatically dismissed and removed from the list? Because this hasn't been explained explicitly before.

Edited 2016-06-29 15:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Buses vs cars
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Buses vs cars"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, please elaborate: what happens if too many tabs are listed in the task switcher? Are the automatically dismissed and removed from the list? Because this hasn't been explained explicitly before.


The application switcher is a timeline. This means that the higher up you go, the less likely you are to ever need it. You can go back eons in that list, especially because in Marshmallow, it persists across reboots.

I rarely scroll up more than 5-6 entries in the recents timeline, so I don't actually see any of those tabs, other than the very most recent ones (1-2). In addition, if you tap on a link in, say, Fenix (Twitter) and read the website in the tab and then press back, said tab was automatically closed. This automatic closing of tabs with the back button does not happen with the inferior new method, hence the asinine clutter build-up.

Merge tabs and apps is just better in every possible way for the way I use my phone, and it bothered nobody to have it as an option, or hell, a f--king Chrome flag (there are flags for the most obscure pointless shit that nobody ever uses!).

Edited 2016-06-29 15:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Buses vs cars
by rft183 on Wed 29th Jun 2016 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buses vs cars"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

I know it isn't automatic, but there is an option in the Chrome tab switcher to close all tabs. That way you don't have to do it manually, one at a time.

It seems to me that this is primarily just a difference in the way people use their phones. I can't stand for my Android app switcher to go on and on, and so I do close them. Therefore, the feature made no sense for me. It's a shame that they didn't leave it as an option, though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Buses vs cars
by phoenix on Wed 29th Jun 2016 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buses vs cars"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

In addition, if you tap on a link in, say, Fenix (Twitter) and read the website in the tab and then press back, said tab was automatically closed. This automatic closing of tabs with the back button does not happen with the inferior new method, hence the asinine clutter build-up.


Something is broken in your Android setup, then, because that is exactly how it works on my phone. Click link in App1, new tab opens in Chrome, hit back button, tab is closed, and App1 is shown onscreen again. No tab clutter to worry about. This is the exact workflow I use everyday, and it works beautifully (RSS reader --> Chrome --> RSS Reader; Facebook --> Chrome --> Facebook; GMail --> Chrome --> GMail, etc).

Merge tabs is the first "feature" I disable when Chrome is installed.

Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android 6.0.1.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Buses vs cars
by darknexus on Wed 29th Jun 2016 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Buses vs cars"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

This is the problem with Android. Behavior has no standardization. What works one way, say, pressing back closing a tab may not work that way on another manufacturer's version of the operating system. I know Samsung and LG both modify the behavior of their back button in some odd ways. Samsung, in particular, does some seriously wonky things with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Buses vs cars
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Buses vs cars"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"Behavior has no standardization."

Behavior shouldn't. That's the very purpose of using intelligent devices.

Behavior should be personalized to each User perspective of optimization.

What lacks standardization are the needed processes to inherit those personalized behaviors in between updates|upgrades.

.....

The old bottler instructing the new personnel the philias and phobias of the house master and his/her circle.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Buses vs cars
by Savior on Thu 30th Jun 2016 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Buses vs cars"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I never used to have 70tabs lingering in the task switcher - the large number of "open" tabs is the undesired outcome of this change! How many times do I need to repeat this?


You don't have to repeat it, I know that pressing "back" closed the tab (which is damn confusing, by the way). But you wrote an article about "not having tabs as apps" as being bad, not about how uncomfortable it is that Chrome doesn't provide an easy way to close the current tab. Because apparently that is all you need.

And BTW having many tabs open is not uncommon for people (myself included), so my original argument still stands, even if not for you.

Goes to show: never write an article (or comment, in my case ;) ) without thinking first.

Reply Score: 2

F**k Chrome
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 29th Jun 2016 16:17 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

After an unexpected 2 week hospital stay recently, I finally got fed up enough with Chrome to ditch it on the one Android device I own (a Motorola Xoom). The final 2 straws were: 1) the stupid catch-22 situation where, every time I use the browser to visit any Google site, I get an pop-up saying "This version of Chrome is out of date, update now" - but if I try, I just an error message from the Play store saying that the latest version is not compatible with my device... thanks Google/Motorola failure to release any Android updates for the Xoom past 4.1 (especially galling, since the Xoom was originally supposed to THE flagship/reference Android tablet).

The second straw was a combination of the increasingly-obnoxious ads on youtube videos, combined with the mobile version of Chrome not allowing extensions/add-ons & not allowing media playback in background tabs or with the device screen off. I'm sure none of those deliberate anti-features and it's just a complete coincidence that Google is now also hawking their own streaming music service (with surprisingly lackluster ads, for a company that owns a huge advertising network).

Fortunately, the mobile version of Firefox has none of those limitations - and its UI has improved vastly since the last time I tried it a year or two back. So in summary: the mobile version of Chrome can go f**k itself.

Reply Score: 2

Best wishes
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:12 UTC in reply to "F**k Chrome"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Best wishes for You to get better, Stephen.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Wed 29th Jun 2016 17:09 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

Google is actively breaking my Android workflow


how can you break an oxymoron?

Edited 2016-06-29 17:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Nested contexts
by The1stImmortal on Thu 30th Jun 2016 03:37 UTC
The1stImmortal
Member since:
2005-10-20

I turned off the whole merge tabs thing within half an hour of encountering it. I thought it was horrid.

When your phone is on for a few weeks at a time, and you leave 5-10 tabs open at any time, your recent apps list can get HUGE if you include the tabs.

From my point of view, the tabs inside chrome make sense as a natural grouping - the chrome is effectively a "folder" containing the web pages I have/had open.

Mixing everything into one big list is as bad as Windows 8's flattening all the start menu folders into a single list.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nested contexts
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:15 UTC in reply to "Nested contexts"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Maybe an 'Alzheimer' slide control ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nested contexts
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:26 UTC in reply to "Nested contexts"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

A module of Neural memory quickly becoming an unaboidable need of personal computers. [In order for PCs to be -well- truly personal].

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nested contexts
by dionicio on Thu 30th Jun 2016 18:30 UTC in reply to "Nested contexts"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Neural MEMORY! Not going to mess Neural Computing with the classical concept of OS.

Reply Score: 2

Application switcher is like bash history
by masennus on Thu 30th Jun 2016 05:44 UTC
masennus
Member since:
2011-02-11

This got me thinking. I have always thought of the android application switcher as a completely broken version of the desktop alt-tab switcher. Broken meaning that it needs regular 'cleaning' to not be so cluttered that it becomes useless.

But now when I finally understood Thom's point of view here I suddenly saw the light; it's not an application switcher at all, it's like bash history!

I've naturally never ever been bothered by an ever growing bash history and when thinking about the android 'previously used applications' list this way it sort of makes sense. Apart from that there is no shortcut that I know of to switch to the last used app directly without first opening the whole list (like 'up arrow' in bash), or if the back button is supposed to do that then it most often does something else.

I probably thought of the app switcher as a broken alt-tab because I'm used to phones that really does multitask instead of just keeping a list of screenshots of previously used applications. For me it makes much more sense to be able to choose when I leave an application to either close it completely (swipe down) or leave it running if I need it running (swipe left). The android way of shutting down programs behind my back that I left running, while allowing programs to run that I never opened never really worked for me.

Edited 2016-06-30 05:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Every task require of a regular path of calls. What if bash history could map all of your regular mesh of paths in a single shot?

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Apart from that there is no shortcut that I know of to switch to the last used app directly without first opening the whole list (like 'up arrow' in bash), or if the back button is supposed to do that then it most often does something else.


That's one of my favourite feature in pretty much all AOSP-based custom ROMs. In the Developer Options (or the ROM options), there's usually a couple long-press options for the navigation bar. Long-press back to kill the current app. Long-press recents to switch to the most recently-used app.

That last one was a time saver and a half, and something I really, really, really miss with Samsung's Touchwiz. I keep long-pressing the capacitive buttons and getting the stupid multi-window crap coming up instead of switching my apps. ;)

Reply Score: 2

joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

So I've got a freshly updated version of Marshmallow. I had Lollipop before, and the phones basically work the same with respect to browser workflow.

Browser tabs don't show up in my recent apps list. My workflow is:
1. Launch chrome.
2. Type a few letters of the website address.
3. Select the website from the top of the list.

I've got no idea why Chrome keeps a list of things I've previously opened as "tabs", as I have not asked it to create a tab. I've typed an address into an address bar. In the desktop version this would result in one and only one tab.

So I mostly just ignore the presence of tabs - it's a mostly useless feature to me. I also don't much like the recent apps feature as well. I usually just have my favorite apps on my home screen and launch from there.

Reply Score: 2

behaviour
by Izkda on Fri 1st Jul 2016 03:04 UTC
Izkda
Member since:
2016-06-29

I tried to replicate your use case and got 3 different behaviours:

1) Opened a link from an app, pressing back closed the tab.
2) Opened a couple of links, switching between the app and Chrome. Pressing back closed the tab and switched to the launcher, worked with all the tabs I had opened.
3) Same as two, but I closed Chrome after opening the links. Pressing back switches to the launcher but it doesn't closes the tab.

So yeah, the back button still behaves weird.

Reply Score: 1

70 tabs on Chrome, Thom?
by Sodki on Sun 3rd Jul 2016 20:21 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

70 tabs on Chrome, Thom? That's cute. On my mobile Firefox I have the infinity symbol. That's what happens when you go 100 or above. :-)

Reply Score: 2