Bottom Tabs On Android

Note (added 2016-03-21): The original post has been updated with clarifications in the intro and a link about accidental touches.

A little while back, Google updated their design guidelines to include tabs as an option at the bottom of an app on a mobile device. They refer to this as bottom navigation, citing a few times when you might consider this pattern. Given that Android already has a pattern of displaying tabs at the top of the app, two obvious reasons to shift those to the bottom stand out:

  • The bottom of the screen is often easier to reach on a large phone.
  • Putting tabs at the bottom gives the design visual balance.

Google seems to consider this a supplement to the navigation drawer as opposed to a change to traditional tabs, which is probably the reason they’re calling this bottom navigation. Of course, the average user will see this as tabs.

A lot of the cries against bottom tabs come from people who have associated that navigation pattern with iOS, but we shouldn’t disregard a pattern just because it comes from iOS. In fact, being able to create consistency across operating systems when it makes sense is a good thing; however, analyzing this pattern reveals several problems.

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Simple UX Analysis Of Twitter For Android

About two weeks ago, I decided to give the official Twitter Android app a try. I have tried it briefly here and there over the years, but the last time I used it was probably five years ago. I have always jumped around with third-party apps, so I was fairly curious how the official Twitter app had changed.

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Blog Changes

I’ve been blogging for around 10 years now and my habits have changed over time. When I first started blogging, I had a personal site where I covered a little of everything from technology to politics to art. After a few years, I decided I needed a separate site to focus on technology and this site was born.

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Camera Sensors And Pixel Size

With the new Nexus 5X and 6P as well as Samsung’s S6, Android phones are finally taking some impressive photos. Google has emphasized the importance of the 1.55 micrometer sensor pixels and most blogs have picked up on the importance of the larger pixel size and run with it. All things being equal, larger sensor pixels will allow better low light photos as well as reduced motion blur at the cost of fewer total pixels in the final image. Given that smartphone cameras are usually 12mp or more (above what the typical user needs), the trade off makes sense.

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Scrum Is Embracing Change

It seems like most startups and even many larger companies have adopted some form of agile software development with scrum being very prominent. Although the degree to which “true” scrum is properly followed varies, many younger software engineers haven’t ever had to experience heavyweight methodologies such as waterfall.

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