Fairphone OS suggestions

Continuing the discussion from About the Software and Apps category:

I found few “weirdness” in the functionality of the phone that I would like to share. I come from the Nexus family so please tell me if you think I am been biased because of that. So here are my suggestions:

First: The back button should be at the left.
I thought it was basic UI design and at least it is for website but apparently several phone designers decide to put it at the right. What are you thoughts about it? Do you think that we get used to it?

Second: The other button that looks like two screens should show the opened screens/apps.
I use a lot the function of changing between opened screens/apps and rarely I use the settings button (until now that it appears all the time by accident) therefore I would suggest to assign this button the function of showing the opened screens/apps.
Indeed, the button looks like the classic button to change between apps or screens, so I am thinking that maybe the Fairphone designers changed their mind for some reason in a late stage. (the settings button usually looks like this: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRYLfg0dD8WjKJEAnDO2NTkzWbrLSbVLL1IrJwlJevtuJEzxRjO3w )

Third and last: The quick access should be somewhere else.
Indeed I never liked “Quick Access” gestures or buttons. What could be quicker than tap an icon in the main screen?
Anyway, the reason I think it should be somewhere else is because it is the same gesture to move across screens than to open the Quick Access therefore I open it by accident a hundreds times in a day (yes, I am exaggerating but I use a lot my phone : ). The only different between both gestures is that one is in the border and the other should be more at the centre (Do you turn the pages of a books from the centre of the page? No. So neither you swap screens from the centre of the screen. That is my logic).

Please let me know your thoughts about these three topics.
(I have a couple more but I think three is a magic number to keep it simple :))

Fernando Hidalgo

Maybe you already know, but you can access the screen you mention by pressing and holding the home button.

I do think that this is the classic Nexus way of using the buttons, which indeed is widely used in Android world. The FP being my first smart phone, I would be bewildered, if the buttons would change their functionality to something more “nexus-like”; I would also need some time to get acustomed to another smart phone. Try to be a bit patient with how the FP works! :wink:

And if you really want to change the button’s functionality I am sure, there are apps (Gravity box maybe?), which can help you achieve this goal.

If you don’t like the quick access, which is part of Fairphone OS launcher, just install a different launcher. You can find some examples here: How are your home screens set up?

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I don’t care about that. It just takes some getting used to it. But all manufacturers do it differently anyway.

I don’t think it’s only “the nexus way”. It’s the Android way. Since Fairphone is an Android phone, it should adhere to these standards. I was really bewildered when I used the button for the first time and it did not do what the icon suggests it does.

Also, I am in this like @Fernando_Hidalgo, in that I use the app switcher much more often than the settings menu. Therefore it would be much more convenient for me to have the correct function attached to that button.

I agree. But maybe it would be still better to rectify an wrong setting and try not to confuse even more future fairphone users.

Anyway, in future iterations of Fairphone this should be fixed (either by changing functionality of the button or by changing the icon).

I personally like the quick access. I would love if this was a system wide setting (meaning I could open the quick access by swiping from right or left within any app). However whenever a friend is using my phone this they are really frustrated because they can’t find the app drawer.

I definitely agree that it’s sometimes cumbersome to enter the quick access menu when trying to change to another screen. And - granted - this might be even worse if it would work within any app. So probably it’s not a good idea after all :slight_smile:

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Hi mate, thanks for this info! I have been an Android user for long time and it never crossed my mind that changing the launcher was so easy!

Just for the record, I had an HTC Hero, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5… so yes, I am kind of used to Nexus but also I installed CyanogenMod a couple of times in my first two phones and I loved it! It is a pity phones manufacturers are not totally open about their specs therefore these mods not always fully work on these phones.

Cheers for the comments guys.

The menu button on te FP has the wrong icon. It’s the recent apps icon. This is indeed an error, but it can’t be changed anymore as far as I know. Maybe a FairphoneOS update can make it so that the button has the functionality that the icon portrays.

As for the order of the buttons, you’ll find that this differs per manufacturer. Samsung, for instance, uses the same order as FP, while HTC has (or used to have) the order Home, Menu, Back(, Search).

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There is an unofficial port of CM 11 to FP. You could try that one out, but be aware that it might be affected by the shell shock bug!

Thanks for the suggestions. @anon12454812 on the team is working into UI (user interface) so he’ll note down your comments.

Thanks again-

I very much like the Quick Access Menu. It takes some time to get used to it but when you are, it is very easy and fast.

A suggestion: have you considered having two Quick Access Menus? One at the left side and a different one at the right side? Would be awesome.

Thank you for your feedback guys!

After using the phone for a couple of months I have noted something else that is pretty annoying.

When I am typing a word and I choose a correction, it pop up a box to choose several words. I think the issue is not the text input system, it is the sensitivity of the screen.

I found out in several places that when you touch the screen it does not generate a solid touch. It is more like a touch and a tiny move (upwards usually), so it is hard for example to “click” in HTML text links.

Not sure it happens to everyone or is it an problem with my phone?


This happens to me too.

It is already being discussed in this topic.

I also had a similar idea for improvement of the Edge-Swipe-Menu / Quick-Access-Menu, by including the “Most-Recent-Apps”. I posted my [suggestion in the XDA forum][1] some time ago.
Here again my thinking in a bottom line as graphical visualization. Maybe it will implemented one time…
Furthermore right/left user configuration would be also nice!

Cheers, Robert
[1]: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=50775837#post50775837