My life is good as for the regards to my cellular phone. I own the Nexus 4 which means I will always get the most recent version of the Android Operating System. With Android 4.2, I found a number of features that I really like, but I personally will like to see some features integrated with Android that would make the phone OS, a more capable system.
Now, I am sure that Google isn’t going to read this blog and say he is absolutely correct, and we need to do this. However, I am still interested in putting out my thoughts on what I think Android should include. I will be entering the features I will want to see from priority of importance.
Reliable Update Path
The Nexus has a reliable update path. In other words, the phone will receive updates of the operating system as long as the phone will support it. This is not an issue with most people until it affects them. We need to consider our smart phones, and media tablets as computer devices for the respect of needing to keep the device up to date to prevent issues of outdated operating system.
Companies such as HTC, and Samsung may have a pity fit about it, but they can simply allow their UI interface to be downloaded to qualifying phones, or at least offer a means to remove it. This will allow the standard Android OS which should make updating phones easier.
Integrated Call Management
Google Contacts allows an user to put people into groups. For example, family members can be in the Family Group. This is already in Google Contacts. Now, if the capabilities can transfer to the phone easily, and with Integrated Call Management, imagine one being able to make it so family members are the only ones that will ring the phone in the middle of the night.
The call management should also allow for people to set how and when to answer unknown and anonymous calls. This again can essentially be done with Google Contacts. One should be able to also make management features online, and simply have it automatic download to the phone.
Selective DND can also be a pleasure. One should be able to select a group or just a white list where only their calls, email and SMS will make noises during times when one will likely not want to be bothered (such as sleeping)
Better Call Capabilities
Using a cellular phone has a reception problem. If Android had a better SIP client, and integrated Wifi Calling, the call reception problem can be solved. Think of this. When there is poor cellular coverage, the phone can switch to Wifi Calling. Google bought Gizmo which was a SIP service, so they could allow Google Voice users to carry calls over wifi automatically.
In addition, Google needs a better SIP client capabilities. When compared to even low end clients, the integrated client is essentially un-usable. Google would simply need to revamp their SIP client that’s integrated, and offer a means in connecting with Google Voice. Allow the owner to add SIP providers, and outgoing calls can simply carry over Wifi and Google Voice’s capability. Google will still have to do a few other things with the SIP client, but this could go a long way.
If you are used to a media program that supports smart playlists like iTunes, or Windows Media Player, then you will know that the Google Play app simply put is incompetent. In addition, there is no management of videos, or other files, and as it seems that phones are phasing out the expandable memory, it will seem that the best way to keep the phone’s value is to allow the user to make the most of the phone’s limited memory.
Google could simply create a Linux/Mac/Windows app, or maybe even a Chrome App where it will integrate with a smart phone (with the same credentials), and allow for the management of smart playlists, and better management of other media. This is one area where the iPhone puts Android to shame, and no one can deny that iPhone+iTunes is better than what Android has to offer.
Another consideration is better backup of things that aren’t stored in the cloud. App data, and SMS are a couple of things that comes to mind immediately. And another thing will be to allow the phone to communicate with a PC to allow for management of the phone via the Computer. And I am not talking about something that does a half-ass job like Air Droid, but instead, full phone control with the desktop.
One example will be to add directions and navigation on the desktop, and have automatically pushed to the phone. This information should also be backed up in the event that one has to do a phone reset, or acquires a new device, everything can download to the phone, and function as if it was the device that the user has always been using. This data can simply be stored in the Google Drive service.
Device Protection Capabilities
I have an app, and a service which helps find my phone, locking my phone and even get it to scream. If I want to wipe out my data, or have better features, I have to pay more money. This leads to problems with insurances, and fraud. In the meantime, iOS has a service that does most of what I noted which is free. Again, this is something that is lacking behind. And when MSRP prices of high end Android phones are as much or more expensive than an iPhone, this should be unacceptable.
So, there you have it. Some of the features that I personally feel should be in the next version of Android. The sad thing is I don’t think any of these features will be in a version that is beyond 4.2.x. Nonetheless, these are features I will feel to be a worthwhile and valuable features that most if not all Android device owners can appreciate.