Google was built on the philosophy of openness, no boundaries, the freedom to change things. I get that, and it’s admirable.
But there comes a point where these principles impact too negatively on the user experience.
Google’s backup & restore solution doesn’t have the provision to save your homescreen configuration. This can be really irritating when setting up a new or replacement Android device.
The most likely reason is because Google allows all manufactures to have the ability to customise the Android launcher as they see fit. (The homescreen is the primary element of the launcher.)
The irony is that individual app developers have solved this problem. Nova provides a highly configurable launcher with the in-built capability to save, backup and restore every customisation and setting you can imagine.
Google would probably argue that if the ecosystem solves the problem then why should they worry.
If that’s true then why have Google invested in creating peer-to-peer encryption messaging solutions with Allo and Duo. This feature is well served by the ecosystem with apps from WhatsApp and Silent Circle etc.
What Google should focus on is fully optimising the user experience of the bread and butter Android platform, of which backup & restore is a fundamental.
By replicating (or acquiring, if IPR is prohibitive) the Nova style solution and integrating those features into the core platform they would accomplish two things.
- Provide manufacturers and end users the ability to customise in-line with their founding principles.
- Be able to enhance the user experience for all customers, giving the capability to flawlessly backup & restore every element of their product.
Get to it Google.