With Ice Cream Sandwich right around the corner we are looking forward to the next big significant change on Android handsets. While it won’t be that big a jump for tablets some of the handset feature improvements will be huge. I for one have become accustomed to the true multi-tasking ability on a Honeycomb tablet. Having gmail, a few apps, gtalk etc open and then thumbing through them on the “wheel” makes life grand.
Yes we have multi-tasking to a degree with Gingerbread, I’m sure you’ve been enjoying a game or an app, received a call and then had to go back and set the app up the way it was before the call. We’ve heard from many people “in the plex” that the multi-tasking experience will be much better with ICS.
More after the break
So what about the headline? Well I don’t want to suggest we steal anything from Apple as there is no more room on any countries court docket for another patent case. But Apple is notorious for “copying” features from Android and making it their own. I wanted to point out just a couple things that I’m hoping Android could build on from Apple. We’ve run countless stories going the other direction.
First off, with an iPhone or iPad everything is backed up on iTunes, EVERYTHING is backed up on iTunes. Titanium back up does this very well however that requires root and as you know there are many more “unrooted” folks than rooted folks. When a feature comes to Android it should be available to Android (but that’s another rant another day). So about this back up. Sure devices Android 2.2 and better can typically preserve their paid apps from device to device but what about your unpaid apps, your ringtone app settings, your preferred keyboard.
One thing I love about the Android market is that once you pay for something its yours to keep. But do you know how many times I’ve had to redownload Seesmic because it’s free and then re-set it up.
Ok so this may get under some people’s skin but if you think about it for a second you’re probably going to agree. Ask your friend with the iPhone how many times in the last year their phone or an app has “force closed” now ask someone with an Android device. A few weeks ago I was hanging out with some friends at my favorite Best Buy, you know the 24 hour one at Union Square in NY. When we hang out there the guys that work there love it when I’m there to talk phones too. So a middle aged woman comes in, freaked out because her Thunderbolt had a force close warning on it, from 7 hours earlier in the day. This woman was so freaked out by the FC that she didn’t do anything with her phone for 7 hours until she got to Best Buy.
My initial reaction was to tell her not to worry, it happens all the time. Wait, just wait a second, I just told a woman who probably spent the last 7 hours telling everyone she knew that her Android phone was totally fried over a Force Close message that this happens all the time, yes it happens all the time, do you fellow Android lovers agree, yup it happens all the time. It needs to stop happening all the time.
Do you think Ms. Thunderbolt is going to know the difference between a good force close and a bad one. What happens when she’s doing something important and data or images get lost? Really we need a little more stability….
Finally my last Android wish list feature isn’t from Apple at all in fact it can probably only be achieved on Android and I’ll bet there’s a rooted solution for it already (which I would root for this on my main phone). I want the ability to turn off the ability to receive voice calls. There are so many times that I’m in the middle of some important data operation and then someone calls me and farks the whole thing up.
This is especially true when usb tethering on a CDMA phone. A call can mess up your whole session. Ideas?