Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Android 11 Feature Or Bug?

13 Jun 2020

Day 48 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

Every Android release, I try to get in on the beta program. I’d love to use a more FOSS option, but my phone does double duty as my person phone and my phone for work, and work requires either Android or iOS. I’ll always choose Android in that scenario. I installed the new Android 11 beta a couple days ago.

I’ve noticed something with the installation that I feel like should be a bug, but I have the feeling is a “feature”.

Android 11 has a new option to have a row of “app suggestions” at the bottom of the screen. This is how Google has described that feature:

Easily access your most-used apps right on the Home screen. Suggestions will change based on your routines. Apps on the bottom row will move up to your Home screen.

More information on that here.

This seems pretty straight forward, and since they’re tracking that information anyway, I feel like I should at least get a feature out of it. So I turned that on.

And here’s the “bug” (feature?). This is my “suggestions” bar on my phone. All of those suggestions are apps that I’ve used if not regularly, at least recently.

Except Chrome. I haven’t used Chrome since the Vivaldi browser came out for mobile. I don’t remember when that was, but it wasn’t recently.

I thought that maybe it would take a hint and go away if I just didn’t use it, but after days and days of use, that Chrome icon is still there. It’s really the only one in the “suggestions” that just doesn’t go away.

I want to feel that this is a “mistake” on Google’s part. They’re not suggesting their app despite the fact that I don’t use it for anything just because it’s theirs, right?

I want to feel that, but I also remember that this is Google, and that’s probably exactly what they’re doing. They’re using their OS to promote their other products. I can’t prove that for sure, but it sure seems like that’s what’s happening.

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