It’s that time of the year again when we begin speculating about new smartphones and the next major release of Android. The reason for excitement is more considering the fact that the next major release of Android is only four months away (May 2013), which isn’t a lot of waiting in the tech sphere. As with any new operating system or an update, there are certain things we like and we don’t like. There were a few things that people wished they had on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Google brought a few of those features with Jelly Bean. In the same way, there are a few features we wish Jelly Bean had. But not all features can be bundled into an OS as it’s an evolutionary process which perfects itself over time.
Google’s announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean managed to take us all by surprise, mainly due to the amount of changes it brought forth considering it was merely a small bump in the OS version. So one can imagine the amount of changes coming through with Android 5.0 or Key Lime Pie as it is known in the rumor mill. The Key Lime Pie moniker has been floating around in the internet ever since Jelly Bean was announced, and since Google has a tradition of naming Android versions after desserts, we weren’t too surprised. There’s still no confirmation as to whether this is the actual name of the upcoming Android version or if it will be known as Android 5.0. Whatever it may be, we have a few things on our mind that we would like to see on the next major version of Android. So here’s our wish list.
Vanilla Android packs a punch whilst being minimalistic and pretty standard, and we have seen plenty of other manufacturers improve the UI in many aspects from the stock Android experience. Samsung’s TouchWiz UI which makes use of features like Multi Window, Pop Up Play has certainly raised the bar when it comes to manufacturer customization. This is why we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II sell like hotcakes in the market. We hope Google implements some of these features into the Android system with the next major upgrade, as this would go a long way in making stock Android even more likable. Sure it will still lack the bells and whistles of OEM customization, but it shouldn’t hurt Google to bundle in some of these features right from into the system.
This one is very subjective, so not all might be open to this idea. Well, we all know how Microsoft handles its OEMs. These manufacturers are given a specific set of hardware to choose from and they have to work around it. There’s no limit with respects to the size of the smartphone as long as the resolution is supported. Similarly, with regards to the chipset and the processor, Microsoft advises manufacturers to work with a list of chipsets and processor architectures, which isn’t much of a problem in my opinion. Google should do something like this to improve uniformity among its smartphones and tablets. If you own a Nexus 7, you might have noticed that even today, most of the apps are merely bloated up versions of the mobile app. This should change and the developers should be given a fixed set of display resolutions to work with. But we fear all of this will merely remain a dream. I speak about imposing restrictions because, even though Google has launched three major updates since Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a majority of users are still running this Android version and that’s mainly because the manufacturers have left them at sea altogether. This is unavoidable now and the marketshare of other versions of Android can only increase with time.
Improved Voice Assistance/Google Now:
Google set its foot into the speech recognition game big time with the introduction of Google Now back in June 2012. However, this voice assistant can’t do a lot of native tasks with as much ease as Siri does on iOS devices. This feature I feel will make Google Now a much better option than Siri. Google Now completely overshadows the performance of Siri when it comes to searching, and that’s all thanks to the thousands and millions of data on Google’s servers which are fetched within a matter of seconds. Despite not being able to manage native tasks, Google Now can give you information about weather as well as sports scores. So basically, it can answer your questions without a hitch as long as the question is related to something on the internet. So basically we want Google Now to be smart and intuitive like Siri to give users a feeling of an actual personal assistant helping us out with our queries.
Ability To Add Third Party Widgets In Lockscreen:
Google introduced something known as lockscreen widgets with Android 4.2, which is a pretty neat addition to the OS. However, if there’s one gripe we have with this, it’s with the fact that it doesn’t support third party widgets. Widgets that are supported with the lockscreen are Gmail, Clock, Calendar, Photos. Sound Search etc, which are basically native apps. I’m sure there’s a workaround or a hack of some sort to make third party app widgets appear on the lockscreen, but that’s something Google should allow officially. Some of these widgets, especially Gmail gives users a preview of the last few emails received or any other labels you decide to choose. So this means that if you’re handing out the phone to a friend or a stranger who wants to just check it out, there’s a high possibility that they would read all your personal emails without even unlocking the device. So I don’t see any reason why the Gmail widget should be there as a lockscreen widget as it doesn’t protect the user’s privacy. But of course, you can disable it and choose not to show the widget there.
This is basically what we want from the newest iteration of Android. There is certainly going to be a lot of other changes coming on board, mostly related to bug fixes and malware protection, but even these features hold significance. If you have something in particular you want to see with the next version of Android, make sure you sound off in the comments box below.