Jun 7, 2013

3 Social Media Android Apps That Need To Go Flat

I have always thought the iOS version of Twitter was better than the Android version until Twitter's embraced of the full capabalities of Android's Holo design (the user interface for Andorids that was introduced with Ice Cream Sandwhich or Android OS 4.0) in an update. The flat design also sped up the app a little for outdated Androids running Gingerbread (or Android OS 2.3). Scrolling through tweets was no more of a chore because Twitter also improved the resfresh speed and smoothness of scrolling. Twitter continued with its flat design when it finally ported Vine, the new social network launched by Twitter that makies it easy to create and share short looping videos, from iOS to Android.

But then I thought of a few other social media apps should follow in Twitter's footsteps and go with a flat redesign. It could improve their apps' functionality and set it apart from their iOS versions. 

1. Facebook

Oh yes, I said it. Facebook's Android app sucks. It's slow. It's glitchy. And the 3D effects in the design look horrible. It makes it less enjoyable to go on Facebook on the go and many teens are agreeing as they turn to other social networking apps.

But it has come a long way from how it looked when it was just released. Back then, it resembled the design of the Facebook app still used on old Blackberries today.

However, Facebook doesn't any signs of flattening out the design because it's copying its mobile user interface so that the web version looks just like it. Their first step towards this was the new Graph Search which does look beautifully modern (if you ask me). And yet, Google+ embraced its mobile UI for its web UI faster than Facebook has. I'm just saying...

But don't give up yet. Apple is rumored to be finally flattening out the look of its mobile OS in iOS 7. Facebook (and Twitter) are highly integrated with iOS so Facebook on iOS could be flattened out with the redesign, forcing the Facebook team to flatten out its app on Andorid, too.

2. Instagram

For those of you who don't know, Instagram was an photo-based sharing app that was originally released for iOS. Later, it was ported onto Android and bought by Facebook for 1 billion dollars. Now, don't get me wrong. The Instagram app for Android is a masterpiece. It does need a little flattening though but not too much becuase that would make it look awkward. 

Instagram could also take some ideas from its parent company and Pinterest. An option for the menu to be on the left side of your screen and it to appear by you swiping right would be ideal. Plus, an option to see photos in profiles and your newsfeed in a two column format wouldn't hurt either.

3. Mashable

If you don't know what it is, Mashable is a Scottish-American technology and social media blog founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005. It is a very accurate source for all your social media news. It receives 2 million monthly visitors and has 3 million Twitter followers. However, it is notorious for its horrible Android app. In fact, their app on iOS and Kindle is also horrible because they're the same thing. 

The design needs to be flattened but besides that it's just a horrible app overall. When you tap the All tab, the oldest articles always display first. This wastes cache and memory on your phone. You can't read full articles offline which means to read full articles or see galerires and videos (which Mashable uses often) you have to click the link at the bottom of the excerpt the app provides you and use your browser to see the rest. It's kind of a shitty tactic to gain more traffic to their website. The comments don't load correctly and if you happen to encounter these bugs all at once on newer Androids, the app crashes. 

The app just needs a huge revamp. It's clearly shown through it's 3.3 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store.

So are there anymore social media Android apps you would like to see flattened out and simpilified? There has to be one that you think needs the opposite of a facelift.