Nexus 7 calendar technical test: Bugs and issues

1. February 2014

In our user tests, we tested a German version of the Nexus Calendar app. In this technical test, we look at both language versions, English and German. There are some bugs and issues that occur in the German translation but are absent in the English version of the Calendar app.

This is a part of our comparative test of tablets for blind users. An introduction is provided in Tablet test with blind users: Overview.

The Nexus calendar clearly has a lot more bugs than the iOS calendar. Some issues have disappeared with the latest update to to Android 4.4 / Calendar Version 201308023, but new ones have been introduced. For example, the days in the month view of the calendar are now no longer focusable. Previously, horizontal swiping moved through individual days; suddenly this no longer works. Instead, both horizontal and vertical scrolling now moves through weeks, but without announcing the visually selected week. It was not possible to restore the original behavior through app force close, Talkback on/off toggle, or device reboot.

Legend for bugs / issues:

  • (MB) / (MI): minor bug / minor issue
  • (SB) / (SI): significant bug or issue
  • (CB) / (CI): critical bug / critical  issue

Note: This report of bugs and issues cannot claim to be comprehensive. Whether something is registered as issue or as bug and wether the issue/bug is minor, significant or critical has been determined by personal judgement; others may draw the line differently.

Month view

  • (SI) Days not selectable, neither by touch-explore nor with swiping. Instead, weeks get the visual focus, but without TalkBack output. Which means events for specific days cannot be created by direct manipulation on the month view
  • (MB) At times tapping on days has no effect; at other times, it opens the agenda with dates shown for the week where the tap occurred. This is guesswork and hardly usable anyway as days are not announced on touch-explore. It is unclear when and why behavior changes. This cannot be remedied by re-boot, Talkback switch off/on, or force-close of the Calendar app
  • (MB) TalkBack swiping focus forward runs through column headers MON, TUE.., skips them when reversing direction

Week view

  • (SI) Days are not output by date, TalkBack just provides week day and hour (depending on which info changes in touch explore)
  • (SI) Traversing individual days with swiping not possible
  • (SB) Two-finger swiping to next week works, but the output is each time “Monday zero” while the visible focus in the tiny monthly overview moves downwards to the next week row. It is unclear to non-sighted users which week is active
  • (SB) Day and date are visible in the grid’s day column header, but this information is not provided to TalkBack (neither in swiping nor in touch-explore)
  • (SB) The small month overview below the week grid moves focus points to next row / week when swiping but without announcing the week
  • (SB) Weeks and days in this small month grid do not respond to touch explore

Day view

  • (SI) The rows for hours are not traversable by swiping (in this mode, there is just one focus point for the entire list of hours), can only be focused by touch-explore ("8, new event")
  • (MB) In German version, hours are read like dates ("Vierzehnte, neuer Termin"), nicht vierzehn Uhr
  • (SB) The swiping focus order of controls at the head of calendar is at times buggy, and at times non-reversible. The More options button / Schaltfläche Weitere Optionen is sometimes skipped when swiping forward

Agenda view

  • (MI) Each event is recorded as two separate elements, one for date / day and the other for the event name, which means that the user needs to connect them mentally
  • (SI) Focus loss (focus moves to beginning of screen) when closing widget
  • (SI) X-Element Schaltfläche Erinnerung entfernen / checkbox remove reminder): no feedback that a reminder was deleted, focus loss (focus moves to beginning of screen)

New event

  • (SB) Setting date: German output with touch-explore and swiping for day 1-9 does not announce the day, just "Januar 2014" – for double-digit dates, the output is correct (but not quite: "dreiundzwanzig Januar 2014" instead of dreiundzwanzigster Januar 2014). The English behavior is correct
  • (CI, SB) Setting time: Circular slider widget / Kreisförmiger Schieberegler only operable with a very tricky two-finger gesture that requires releasing one finger after a two-finger touch followed by circular dragging / exploring with the second finger. This control simply cannot be operated reliably. Time is often set in unpredictable ways. Purposefully selecting the hour is nearly impossible without automatically moving on to the selection of minutes. In the German version, minutes value output is buggy: the values “00-09” are not spoken. On closing the time widget, focus move back to start of calendar, not the triggering element
  • (MI) Time zone: Moving TalkBack focus with swiping to Time zone, time zone button / Schaltfläche Zeitzone is read, but not the currently selected zone (Mitteleuropäische Normalzeit GMT+1)Widget / focused text field. When activating the control, (insert country name check/ Ländernamen eingeben) is not announced on opening the widget. On closing time zone widget, focus move back to start of calendar, not the triggering element
  • (MB) Guests / Gäste: Activating text field announces "Showing e-mail keyboard" / "Tastatur für E-Mail Adresse")
  • (MB) New event, reminders (German bug only): Does not read currently selected content of Repeat event button and the state of the on/off switch.
  • (MI) New event, reminders: In the widget, there is a control with a value "Nach <1> Woche". TalkBack reads, after opening widget, "Nach Woche", i.e.  leaving out 1, then, when swiping, "Bearbeitungsfeld 1" (without the control context for the value).