What I Think About the New YouTube Widget

Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love the new YouTube application (well, new to me, considering I’ve been stuck with the archaic version in Android 2.1), and the application itself is a huge step forward from how the application used to be, and, I must say that it has one of, if not the best touch screen video player controls on any mobile device. However, there is one major flaw that only recently caught my attention: the style of the new YouTube widget. At first, it doesn’t look that bad. It tries to stand out by using the YouTube logo as part of the outline of the widget, and it has a very unusual gradient and outline (for the Android platform). Unfortunately, being creative and having a non-native feel are probably the worst traits of this widget. The left and right margins of this icon are very slim, causing the widget to feel cramped, and not fit in with most of the other Android widgets. In addition to that, the borders of this widget are really ‘sharp’ looking, in comparison to other widgets. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Take a look at the Google Search widget, the news and weather widget, the Google Buzz widget, the “Power Control” widget, or almost every other widget that comes preloaded with Android. Also, I don’t think I like the partial transparency of this widget, as it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right to me, since most other widgets are fully opaque with subtle transparent drop shadows and anti-aliased rounded corners. Functionality wise, the widget is great, since it’s mostly just a redesign of the previous YouTube widget.  While the widget looks great alone, when it’s on a mobile device, next to icons and other widgets, it feels cramped, the borders are too noticeable, and it doesn’t feel very native. Really, YouTube did an excellent job functionality wise with both the YouTube application and the widget, but I think there is always room for improvement, in particular, they could allocate more room for the title of the video by moving the record button under the search icon, and having them on top of each other, and moving the separator for the video information over to the right. Then they could go back to the old styling of the widget’s background, which looked similar to what was seen in the ‘power control’ widget. However that’s just my opinion on the new widget, and I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who love the new look. My biggest complaint, however, is the slim margins on the sides of the widget.

Google Adds Mobile Editing to Docs on Android and iOS Devices

This post is somewhat out of the ordinary, but this is just so cool, I couldn’t help myself from sharing it. Google just released a new feature in Google Docs that will let you edit your documents from any mobile phone running Android or iOS. Not only that, but you can also edit your document while others are editing it at the same time, with “near real-time” updates. This new feature will be available for all users on Android version 2.2 or iOS version 3.0 or greater. Users on Android can also write text using their voice. Check out the following video, it’s pretty cool.