They're essentially small windows on your Home screen. Each one of them represents a minimized application (not currently in full-screen state). The same function is found from any desktop OS, in form of a task bar or an application dock, that show all your applications that are running in the background.
On the first encounter, they kind of come across like widgets. And it's no wonder, since they actually pull double duty. Primarily, they're used to maximize an application to full-screen, but also allow user to interact with common features without the need of entering the app.
design both supports and takes advantage of our unique capabilities.
Whether you use all the potential through these gestures or not, is up to you. Each of us takes tools we use to different levels of efficiency. Some push them all the way to their limits, while others are comfortable in casual use. Both are equally correct.
However there shouldn't be separate locations for these two ways of use. In Android, the requirement for widgets comes from the poor multi-tasking performance, as well as system complexity. It's nicer to have multiple home screens filled with widgets, where user can perform frequent tasks. However, that's just adding more complexity by fixing the wrong problem.
By solving how minimized applications allow different degrees of user focus, and reduce the need to enter an application, the need for a separate location for widgets is removed. It both makes the OS simpler and leaner, and greatly increases task handling speed, since various user needs can fulfilled in the same location.
Responding to user required level of efficiency and control.
Thanks for reading and see you in the next post. In the meantime, agree or disagree, debate or shout. Bring it on and spread the word.