Samsung Android UI

The Android user interface has a few consistency issues. The icons can be moved around the screen by press holding the icon.

So far, so like the iPhone, minus the cute shaking.

However, the icon shelf at the bottom of the newer Android screens is not so easily altered, at least not on the Samsung Touch UI variant. The icon shelf is not editable from the ‘desktop’ at all. The desktop menu has Edit, but that rearranges the order of the screens. Nothing about the shelf here.

Press-hold an icon on the shelf? Nada. Nothing.

Press-hold the Home button, maybe? Nope. That’s recent apps and the running tasks list.

A quick google turns up the answer: the Application program. It has an Edit menu that lets you assign apps to the shelf. Except when the applications App is in list-view mode: then the edit menu item disappears without a trace.


Once switched to Edit mode, the grid of apps icons turn into buttons, but you don’t press them, you drag them to the shelf at the bottom of the screen. You can also drag icons off the shelf to the apps grid.


So we have two different ways of moving icons around: press and hold on the home screens, and drag-drop buttons in a special edit mode in the apps app.

More confusing is the involvement of the apps app in the whole thing. The shelf is part of the screens – there is no obvious link to the apps app.

A better solution would be to use press-hold on the icons on the shelf, and allow the icons to be moved on and off the shelf in the same way as the rest of the screen. The problem here is that the shelf turns into the trashcan when dragging icons. So how can you drag an icon to the shelf when the shelf disappears as soon as you start to drag an icon?

By using a press-hold action on an icon on the shelf to activate the apps app editor. This puts the editor closer to hand, and hides the application app dependency.