Many of us are still excited about getting Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.0 – on our devices, but what do we want in the next version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system? Let’s take a look at 10 features we’d love to see in Jelly bean – Android 5.0.
1. Full Chrome Browser: Yes, the changes to the stock browser in ICS are welcome, bringing the fancy tabbing from Honeycomb and speed improvements too. Still, we are waiting on the best browser around, Google Chrome, to come fully to Android – with no limitations. Other platforms have done this for example: iOS uses Safari, Windows Mobile uses Internet Explorer, so why doesn’t Google have Chrome on our beloved Android devices? Here’s to hoping we get it in Android 5.0
2. File Manager: Some manufacturers have started placing a file manager on their phones in their stock ROM, with Samsung being one of them. I’d love to see how awesome a file manager built by Google would look, and act, and work for us. We shouldn’t have to search the Android Market for a file manager, come on Google.
3. Keyboards: The Gingerbread keyboard brought some nice improvements to the default Android keyboard, but with great keyboards like Swype and Swiftkey X – my personal favorite – Google should be able to bring us a better keyboard. How many of you have a custom keyboard installed?
4. Clear Upgrade Path: This is perhaps the biggest change we all want to see. I’m sure everyone is just as tired as I am of waiting for upgrades to new versions of Android, right? I mean some phones are still on Froyo – Android 2.2 – and Android 4.0 is now announced and will be available soon. Hopefully Google and manufacturers can get this together for Jelly Bean. I don’t want to have to wait 8-12 months for my upgrade, and neither does anyone else.
5. Android 5.0 Lite: I love to have fast technology, that’s why I have a quad-core laptop and a dual-core phone, but what about those of us who cannot afford to buy a new phone every 6 months? It’s unfair that they cannot get upgrades to the new versions of the OS based on their phones’ computing speed and size. Google, please make a light version of Jelly Bean for those of us who have just bought phones now, so when Jelly Bean is announced – perhaps Google I/O 2012 – we can move on into the future.
6. User Interface on/off Toggles: Every HTC phone that I have owned has had different toggles available in the widgets section to turn off 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc., and it would be awesome if Google could put these on all Android phones, so everyone can enjoy this awesomeness. These toggles make it much easier to try and save battery.
7. Power Efficiency: Learn from Apple, they have great battery management on the iPhone, while some Android phones cannot even last the entire day on moderate use. I’d love to be able to get a good 18 hours off of my phones’ battery. I know I use my phone for almost everything, and only getting around 10-12 hours isn’t enough for me.Yes, battery has improved over the last few major updates but it could still use more improvement.
8. Theme options: Yes Gingerbread, Honeycomb and now Ice Cream Sandwich all are starting to look beautiful – especially when compared to Eclair or Donut – but give us options! Not everyone wants it all black with blue highlights, as found in Android 4.0. Who else would love to use different colors and/or themes without rooting or downloading other applications?
9. Widgets on the Lock Screen: This is available in Sense 3.0 and 3.5 on HTC devices, and I really love it. I wish that there were more choices for widgets but I’m sure they will come with time. Now it’s Google’s turn, let’s see what they can do for lock screen widgets. Maybe add the weather, stocks, or a custom clock? I’d like to be able to pull down my notifications from the lock screen, but that may not work if you have a passcode or a pattern, for security reasons.
10. Faster OS: I’d like to see Google making the Android OS faster and perhaps lighter, so that we don’t need dual-core and quad-core processors in our phone’s to make Android run fast and smooth. Android is pushing the envelope of mobile technology unlike any other mobile operating system in the world. Currently, Android is a little more sluggish then iOS and WP7, and I’d like to see Android blow these competitors out of the water, come Jelly Bean!
Also, for a trip down memory lane, check out the screenshots below that show the huge improvements Android has made over the years, from Android 1.6, to Android 2.1, to Android 2.3, and finally to Android 4.0!
And then onto Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which represented a substantial improvement over the previous generations.
And now, onto the best of Android yet – Android 4.0! This iteration is significant because Google will be opening up the source code, and because it is arguably the most advanced mobile operating system in the world. Expect a ton of improvements, performance increases, and mods to come from the development community too.
Isn’t it cool? What do you hope to be in store for Android in the future? What are you most looking forward to with Android 4.0?
Are there any other features we missed? Tell us about them in the comments.