When the Galaxy Nexus phone came to Sprint, I decided to get one to replace my perfectly good and working Samsung Epic 4G.

My main reason was to get this new 4G LTE that Sprint is offering – Sprint claims it’s in the Dallas/Fort Worth and it is, just very spotty – certainly no where near our house and only a few places we travel through.

The Galaxy Nexus phone had ICS on it when I got it – it was updated to JB last week.

I also have a Nexus 7 Tablet – very, very nice device – beats my old 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab in all categories.

Using these more modern devices, I notice some changes in Android over what I was used to with GingerBread that was on my Epic and 7″ Galaxy Tab – it seems more polished, faster – finally, Android is growing up.

But I can’t help but think we’re missing out on some major UI improvements. I also think that some of the UI “improvements” in ICS and JB are heading backwards.

One of my pet peeves with Android is this whole idea of a “long press” versus a “short press”. The power button comes to mind – “short press” it and it sleeps the device – “long press” it and you can do a few things like shut down the device, toggle airplane mode, toggle silent mode, etc.

But, “short press” just a fraction of second too long and you end up with the “long press” dialog – which doesn’t include the option to sleep the device like I get with the “short press”.

That seems dumb to me – oops sorry, you pressed too long, so now you have to hit the back button and try again hoping you don’t “short press” too long and end up on the “long press” dialog.

It’s a relative simple thing to add to the “long press” dialog – an option to “sleep” the device.

And while I’m on the subject, we also need an option on the “long press” dialog to “Reboot” the device. During normal use of an Android device, I think few people have a need to actually “power off” – having a phone that’s “powered off” is pretty useless. I think most of us “power off” the device so we can subsequently “power on” the device – in essence, we reboot it.

Now, once the option for “sleep” is added to the “long press” dialog – there is no longer a need for a distinction between a “short press” or a “long press” of the power button – problem solved.

As an app developer, I am moving away from any UI element that requires a “long press” – mainly because I think there should be some kind of indicator built into the Android OS – a mark or distinctive color that Android automagically adds to any UI element that has a long press option.

Without that, most users have no clue which elements allow a “long press” – it’s a hit/miss situation. I know I could do that kind of stuff myself – I just choose to do it without the need to long press anything.

My other current gripe is with the Holo Theme colors – that light blue on dark gray background that is used in the notification bar is very hard to read – we’ve moved away from contrast, shrunk the text size, and made it harder on old folks like me to enjoy my device.

One last thing that I find annoying with this Galaxy Nexus – I tend to use a Bluetooth headset 99% of the time. My headset of choice is the Motorola H17txt. Worked great with my Epic.

Not so great with the Galaxy Nexus. I get this annoying beep about every 5 minutes that makes no sense at all. It’s not really metered at 5 minutes though, it might beep twice in 5 minutes and then not again for another 10.

I’ve tried hooking up the device and watching the DDMS console in Eclipse – seems to be related to an issue with this DDMS message but it doesn’t do it every time.

D/AlarmManagerService(294): Kernel timezone updated to 300 minutes west of GMT

Other changes in ICS and JB I am enjoying though. The Chrome for Android browser is a major improvement over the browser I had on Gingerbread – or even the stock browser that was on the Galaxy Nexus phone.

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