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Matias Duarte Recognized as One of the World’s Top Designers, Says There’s Much More Work to be Done on Android

Last week, Google’s Senior Director of Android User Experience, Matias Duarte was named one of the Top 50 designers that is shaping our world’s future. Up there with the creative director from Apple, designers from Twitter, Facebook, and other major companies, Duarte is one of the best.

He posted a ‘thank you’ on his Google+ page and someone decided that it would be a good time to remind him that Android still isn’t perfect. Being a classy man whom we’ve had the privilege to stand next to and share a beer with at Google I/O, replied to the comment on his page, stating that there is always more work to be done and he’s only one third of where he would like to be with Android as a whole. 

It’s true, we still have a lot of work to do. Personally I feel like I’ve gotten only about a third of the way to where I want to be with regards to consistency, responsiveness, and polish.

Better get back to work!

You couldn’t ask for much more than that. Jelly Bean has ushered in a new era of smoothness and responsiveness that early Android users may not have thought was possible. If Jelly Bean is only a third of what this man and his team are capable of, then consider me a Matias fanboy all the way.

Via: Fast Company, Google+

  • jay_peter

    Matias Duarte is nothing more than a speck of dust compared to the brilliant Jony Ive.

    • jay_petersmum

      Lol yeah right. This man has a history on the classic WebOS. Wtf are you even doing on an Android site rather than troll? Jony Ive is a failure, in 2 years all they have to show is a new row of buttons. LOL.

    • Tyler Chappell

      mister “Jony Ive” is nothing more than a fairly unoriginal imitator of a Braun designer.

  • jelly bean isnt smooth, im an android fan but im not going to lie to myself and say its smooth, the iphone is still smoother than jelly bean

    all jelly bean does is hide the lag better, i do hope android 5.0 will be smooth but i dont have my hopes up

  • spunker88

    Of course theres more work to do on Android, every version keeps improving the UI and innovating. Meanwhile Apple tries to sell a 5 year old UI running on slightly upgraded hardware and calls it innovation

    • jay_peter

      Apple can do that because iOS was designed correctly from the beginning. Android has been nothing but a buggy mess ever since it was introduced.

      • hey jayson kill yourself

      • michael arazan

        Which is why apple is copying features all from android now and calling their own

    • Fattie McDoogles

      Was the shot at Apple really needed? Lets celebrate Matias for his class and his passion for design and Android.

  • Klaus

    First Android needs to become more reliable and less restrictive for such a big company it’s poor performance to not allow users to protect them selfs probably against Data Theft.
    And the Power Drain isn’t fixed yet ether.

    • mustbepbs

      Less restrictive? You’re joking, right?

  • jnffarrell1

    Consistency, responsiveness and polish? If that’s all he thinks that’s needed until humans take back the world from uppity machines then he should think again. Voice and gesture as human/machine interfaces are only half baked. Now is not the time for Icing the cake.

    Seventy years since my dad was running a payrool of 50,000 workers for Sperry on IBM punched cards I feel like a card-punch operator every time I deal with a computer. I feel like screaming read my lips I’m not happy with your attentiveness. Look at me when I’m talking to you. When my ears turn red watch out.

    Given fifty years since my dad picked up Feigenbaum and Feldman for me from Barnes and Noble in Manhattan you’d think Google could add to its interface enough artificial intelligence so that their machines stop treating me like a data entry clerk.

  • Adding to the baseless speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s Nexus phone(s) come with a point upgrade to Jelly Bean in the same vein as Eclair i.e. 4.1 to 4.2 which adds more refinements, maybe debuts reworked core apps, and adds more capabilities to Google Now. Most of these things would be app updates that would be pushed through the market but could be standard on 4.2 devices. Maybe debut a few new apps, a Passbook competitor which would really just be a massive update to Google Wallet would be nice.

    Personally, I hope the next Nexus phone(s) are forced to compete more on design and capabilities than resting on the fact they have the first exclusive for the newest Android. The Nexus phones in the past have been good but you can see where limits weren’t push and the designers said “that’s enough, the biggest things is having the newest android anyway.” Finger pointed directly at Samsung and the awful camera on my Gnex.

    • mudleyblind

      The Camera on Galaxy Nexus is still way much better than iPhone 4s. My friend (iPhone 4S) and I (Gnex), took a picture and uploaded it to FB. Mine looked clear and better! And no comparison with the Video on Gnex.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      I believe Google is only releasing software versions at I/O now. I think they said they were going to slow things down to help quell the fragmentation issue. Because Jelly Bean is out and ICS still has a long way to go before it beats out GB for time software version.

  • Trevor

    I agree, that was a classy response by Matias. Glad to see he’s on the Android team.

    • TrevorSP

      I agree Trevor, it was classy.

  • ryanallaire

    Whoever told him android isn’t done, is probably an isheep…

  • joejoe5709

    Good stuff Matias! Thanks and great job on what we have so far!

  • Josh Fisher

    I doubt we will see Key Lime Pie this year, probably My guess would be sometime around March/April of next year. ICS was a huge upgrade. Jellybean was really ICS optimized with Google Now and new notifications. I’m expecting Key Lime Pie to be a major upgrade similar to ICS so I don’t expect it anytime soon but of course I’m guessing so I could easily be wrong.

    • Mapekz

      Also it would be a bitch for the carriers and OEMs due to incoming complaints that their devices are now 3 builds behind the latest just as they start getting ICS onto these devices.

      The reason JB launched as is was to help push Android tablets and that buttery smoothness is very important for such a large screen and content-focused form factor. Like you said we won’t see KPL until spring earliest because the Android team will want to introduce a lot more to the OS with their next iteration.

    • joejoe5709

      Agreed. I don’t think we’ll see a new major version for at least another six months. Android has Apple/iOS exactly where they want them and I think they can slow down the pace a bit for a more substantial update. I’m wondering if we’ll see a Nexus this holiday season? And if so, will it be Key Lime Pie or simply the Jelly Bean non-tablet flagship? My upgrade isn’t up until 9/21/13 so I could care less. Lol.

      • Nexus brand needs new hardware since OEM flagships have gone ahead considerably in specs. A new Nexus will come before holiday season with Ky Lime pie

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      I do agree with you. ICS was the second best upgrade android has had. Froyo was the best upgrade.

  • mustbepbs

    Hard to imagine we’ll be seeing the “K” iteration in a few months. Jelly Bean feels so new.

    • …and Jelly Bean is only new to <2% of Android users.

      • Cowboydroid

        Try something like more than 20%.

        • TrevorSP
          • Cowboydroid

            My bad, I meant 4.0.

            The next version is likely to be 4.x, so 4.1 is a less important target than 4.0 for OEMs.

            Regardless, it’s only Nexus for me from now on.

          • TrevorSP

            I wish I got a nexus :/ but I like the battery life on my maxx a lot too

          • Fattie McDoogles

            @TrevorSP:disqus you made the right call… you can always get an ASOP rom on your MAXX… but you can’t get that battery on a Nexus

          • I love my Nexus, but at this point I carry TWO high capacity batteries with me.

  • paul_cus

    I like how he’s throwing bits of webOS into Android. He’s a top notch designer, for sure.

    • Michael Jon Carter

      Yeah, he added alot of great features to android with his experience on webOS.

  • Dan

    You guys think there will be another android release this year?

    • RedPandaAlex

      There should be another Nexus release this year, and I don’t think they’ve ever released a Nexus without a new version of Android.

      • nwd1911

        Do you think they will have the next major version available before year end? Perhaps an announcement by year end and a device early next year? There have been phones released with JB, but none as a Nexus.

        • Justin W

          They released the Nexus 7 with JB, which us their one device for this version. There will definitely be a new version if the OS this next quarter.

    • DanWazz

      I can see another incremental release. JB came fast after ICS. I can see them doing a every six month release cycle. One in the fall/winter released with nexus phones, then one in the Summer with nexus tablets. Could give people a good reason to start buying nexus phones.

    • Mapekz

      I wouldn’t expect KLP until spring earliest but the new Nexus/Nexi later this year could ship with a 4.1.2 release or some other incremental upgrade over 4.1.1 that contains tweaks.

  • Christian

    Can’t wait to see what kind of polish is in Key Lime Pie now 😉