Microsoft: What Is the Inspiration for Google Action Blocks?

May 22, 2020

Years ago, an outfit connected to the Microsofties invited me to a meeting. The meeting took place before the zippy Windows phone tile interface took the world like a mild mist on a spring morning. The big colorful tiles appeared in the Windows desktop interface. One thing for sure: Flashing tiles catch the eye and suck up bandwidth and CPU cycles like a fast growing dandelion.

I thought of this Windows tile thing when I read “Google Action Blocks Would Make iPhone Simple Again.” The title makes it clear that hurling digital tiles in an action filled way will klonk the iPhone and nick the Redmond empire.

The article reported:

Google Action Blocks can turn several steps into a single step – one button tap.

Tap on what?

Good question. The action block thing converts an iPhone into a semi Windows phone. Android phones are just so easy to use the way the Google intended.

The article is definitely excited about this latest me too from the Googlers:

But why, you might ask, would I need a button to open an app? Can’t I just tap the app icon? Yes, you can, but Action Block buttons can be made large. Action Blocks creates Widgets, Widgets that are resizable – as resizable as you desire. You could open a specific app with a button that’s as large as your display – it could be massive!

Innovation is alive and well at Alphabet. Users of the iPhone who work at Microsoft will experience a moment of nostalgia when Action Blocks are tackled.

Stephen E Arnold, May 22, 2020


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