If you could change anything about Android and its ecosystem, what would it be?

August 22, 2014

oneplus one vs nexus 5 aa (19 of 28)

There’s a lot to love about Android, such as its open nature and the fact that you can pretty much tweak the experience any way you desire to best fit your lifestyle. Of course, like any mobile OS and ecosystem, it’s not perfect either.

Just yesterday a new fragmentation report was released, revealing how only 20% of devices are on KitKat and that there are over 18,000 distinct Android devices out there. There’s also often complaints about malware, bloatware, and the list goes on. While some of these issues are exaggerated and may not bother very many people, for this week’s Friday Debate we discuss what we would change about Andriod and its ecosystem, if we had the power.

Perhaps you’d like to see faster OS updates, better consistency in app design language, better tools for malware? Be sure to check out our responses and join in with your own thoughts in the comments!

Andrew Grush

When compared to other mobile OSes out there, the Android experience best fits what i’m looking for: an experience that I can mold into whatever I want. Okay, so most of the time I keep things pretty close to stock Android, but I like to play around with new apps, launchers and ROMs from time to time — and so it’s nice to have the option.

Bottom-line, it’s the freedom of choice that draws me to Android, both on the software and hardware front. But is the ecosystem and OS perfect? No, nothing ever is. If I could change anything about the experience, the most obvious thing would be speed of updates. I understand that iOS is able to accomplish its changes largely due to the fact it has fewer devices to maintain, but it would be nice if Android could come at least somewhat close to this experience. After all, I’m an update geek that loves to have the latest, and so that means I either find a device that is extremely well supported by custom ROMs (i.e., Oppo Find 7, OnePlus One, etc) or I stick to the Nexus 5 I’m currently rocking.

While OEMs like Motorola and HTC have improved their speed of updates recently, we’ll never see the situation completely addressed by OEMs unless Google forces OEMs’ hands. For example, Google could enforce measures that would require all new handsets (high, mid and low range) to ship with the latest version of Android and promptly (no more than 3 months) issue new updates for at least 24 months to continually be qualified for Google Play services. Then again, doing so would take away some of the “freedom” I love about Android and could cause Google more negative flack than anything. Still, there has to be a solution somewhere, such as OEMs and Google working more closely to issue updates?

As for other things I’d like to see differently, I’d love for OEMs to embrace lighter custom UIs, but I don’t want to see this forced on them by Google. After all, there are folks that like custom UIs and they should be allowed to have that choice. Beyond that, I’m really pretty satisfied by the Android experience. Sure fragmentation, OS updates, skins, (often exaggerated) malware issues, and bloatware bother me, but (to a degree) that’s one of the trade-offs when dealing with an open freer platform.

One thing I would like to see, however, is more developers embrace Android-first policies when developing apps. I realize that profits on the iOS side are higher, but the Android fanbase is massive and so there has to be plenty of untapped potential profits for the world’s most popular mobile OS.

Bogdan Petrovan

Like Andrew, I’d like to see more interest from developers small and large in Android. iOS still has a lead in this area, and I understand why – it’s simpler and more profitable to focus on iOS, especially if you’re app targets the US market. Still, I am sure that if developers would be more interested in creating cool apps for Android — apps that take advantage of the OS and the hardware and are more than ports of the iOS version – the overall quality of the user experience would jump.

I’d like to see more focus on user experience, rather than specs and feature-stuffing. If OEM’s focused their energy on a simple, but excellent product, they’d bring more joy to the user. Samsung is the ultimate example – it has world-class people and top resources that it kinda squanders on many little features and even entire lineups of devices that feel unnecessary.

I’d like to see even more diversity in the market – there’s a bazillion devices from dozens of manufacturers, but when it comes to getting to the store and buying a device, your options are limited to a handful of options. Depending on where you live, your budget, and your willingness to go the extra mile, you get more options, but most users don’t even know there’s a better option out there, let alone be able to buy it. That’s one factor explaining the dominance of Apple and Samsung, and without it, the world of Android would be much richer and more interesting.

The Play Store needs a little shakeup – it’s often hard to search for an app, clones are rampant, app discovery is too basic. I know it’s unfeasible, but I’d like to see a higher standard of quality for approved apps. How many apps that do nothing, try to mislead users, and are generally useless are there in the Play Store? International availability is still a big issue. There are many countries where only apps and maybe books are available. If other platforms can extend all over the globe, why can’t Google?

Joseph Hindy

This is a really difficult question to answer because many of Google’s weaknesses are also things that add to their charm. Andrew suggested updates…but is that really Google’s problem? I know OEMs and Google work together a lot on stuff but all of Google’s devices are updated pretty much immediately so I don’t see that as a Google weakness. Nor do I see fragmentation as a Google weakness for pretty much the same reason. It’s OEMs that are lagging behind, not Google.

I suppose my favorite solution to the update problem is to ban OEMs from releasing phones with outdated operating systems. For instance, now that Kit Kat is out and in full swing, device manufacturer’s shouldn’t be allowed to release a phone sporting Jelly Bean or lower. Update the devices in a timely manner or get them out of the stores. That would be ridiculous and expensive but I thought that’d be a fun way to deal with the problem.

As for me personally, I don’t see much wrong with Android. Like any ecosystem where the rules are as loose as Google’s, you’re going to get some of this stuff. It just happens. There is fragmentation on almost every ecosystem. How many Windows users are running, 7, 8, and 8.1? How many Linux distros are there and which kernel are they all based on? It’s just one of those things that happens so I don’t really consider it a problem.

Perhaps my biggest beef with Google is the small things. Not displaying in-app purchases in the Play Store, for instance, is a sin to me. The fact that I have to go enable a setting in Chrome just to get text to render appropriately on some websites. That’s actually a desktop problem but when you’re trying to create a computing ecosystem that binds mobile and PC, you should probably have a browser that works equally well on both platforms, yknow?

I’m not a big fan of little things like that. Android support on Windows (and Mac) is abysmal and that means working around some stuff sometimes to get the stability I feel comfortable with. My inability to manage my device on my desktop at all has always been a huge weakness in my opinion. I wouldn’t be upset if they did a Google Dashboard app on PC/Mac that showed us things like approved devices on Google Play, our music/video/TV libraries, installed apps, etc. Basically like a Google-ified iTunes so I don’t have to enter web address after web address to manage my Android device or my Google services.

Overall, the platform is amazing and there is very little I would change. For you TL;DR people: Android could really use better mobile-desktop integration. Pretty muc none of it is any good.

Comments

  • joser116

    Updates, duh!

  • http://www.nerd-news.com Rob Boggan

    I would personally like to see more apps optimized for Android tablets. I guess this goes hand in hand with the whole fragmentation issue but still. This is really the only thing keeping me from buying and using an Android tablet full time.

    • 2bitgary

      Too true. Even some google apps default to phone/portrait. Google opinion rewards for example.

    • Captain Canada

      That will never happen Rob, I shouldn’t say never because with Android L Google has addressed the issue with the introduction of Material Design. Up until the present day Google has technically failed at making your request a reality so in a sense with Material Design there will be apps optimized for Android tablets though not in the same way they are optimized on iPad. Material Design is much bigger and more ambitious than just fixing tablet IUs, it’s about optimizing any device that displays the internet (laptop, smart phone, tablet, desktop, smart watch) so that everything looks like it’s cut from the same cloth if you know what I mean.

  • 2bitgary

    The main thing I would love to see is the ability to install whatever version of Android you want on your devices whenever you want. Similar to what we can do on the PC now. Don’t make me wait on carrier or phone maker.

    • Nathan Borup

      To do that, you would have to have drivers also be out in the open… doubt that will ever happen

      • 2bitgary

        Yes, but it wouldn’t be necessary to replace everything, just the os part. It would take a change to filesystem, or say have all proprietary drivers stored in eeprom/firmware. Android would have to know how to access them, but really it’s not gonna be like windows where there are 1000’s of different hardware combinations.

      • joser116

        Windows can do that, why can’t Google.

        • Nathan Borup

          Because some OEMs are unwilling to release their drivers, or update drivers. Remember the whole thing about the Gnex not being updated to Kit Kat? That’s because of the TI OMAP processor drivers not being available. I’m not saying Google can’t do this, I’m saying it’s not very efficient because of the OEMs not cooperating

          • joser116

            Well they CAN cooperate. It’s not like they can’t change. Google just needs to lead on this and take control of Android.

          • kg2105

            lol your reasoning is like that of a five year old, “I want that candy so GIMME GIMME NOW!” There is no benefit to OEMs to making their drivers available to everyone. And OEMs aren’t in the business of doing things to be nice. There is no reason for Google to force their hand either, and it’s not like Google has a ton of leverage.

          • joser116

            Stfu, I’m just saying. Why you gotta be a dick.

            And there is a reason for Google to force their hands in this. They need to get updates into phones. Updates improve the user experience, which improves the public’s perception of Android.

            Here is what I mean that they could do it like Windows. http://goo.gl/y72KOd

    • Shark Bait

      that would be nice, but their are many different chip sets, unlike windows, so It would be very difficult

      • JosephHindy

        That’s not the problem, the problem is the drivers, not the hardware. There are a few chipsets on Windows, but how many dozens of GPUs are there? Plus HDD, SSD drivers, dozens of motherboards, etc etc. Those drivers are freely available (even if they’re closed source) for installation whenever. Android doesn’t have that.

        Plus, yknow, OS limitations and whatnot.

    • Woe of [S]unjΔy

      Can’t we do that with custom roms?

      • 2bitgary

        To do that you need root.

        • Android Developer

          No, you need a bootloader that can flash roms.
          You don’t have to root your device, but it’s cooler and easier this way.

    • Muhd Ihsan

      when you think about it,open source os like android hv fragmentation due to different drivers,while close sources os like windows 8 can be install on almost any pc,it kind of weird right,it should be the other way arround

    • Android Developer

      I wish it was that easy, and that manufacturers would be force to open source their drivers (at least when support for their devices has finished), so that we could have the advantages of both worlds.

    • kishan

      its better said “ability to install new updates / OS”. People want latest and greatest (some minor exceptions). People do not want to install older versions.

    • Droid user

      Yes that would be nice.

      I like Android mostly as it is but also it would be nice if:

      * All Tablets and Phablets should come with a support leg to stand in Landscape mode.
      * Full size USB port, no OTG.
      * SD Memcard fully supported like in Jelly Bean, I’m looking at u Kitkat.

      Those were my two cents. :)

  • Ivan Budiutama

    Default gallery that can play animated gif duhhh, or or default email that can have image signature.

    Nah just kidding, it would be great if those 2 things are implemented though.

    Just some crazy Ideas:
    – Some Stylus optimized app? Especially for tablet, where well maybe you can actually do serious graphic design on your Android tablet
    – Smart Flip Case that has attached physical keyboard or simply a physical keyboard with slide design, well BB already did one but maybe it will work on Android as well.

  • Reed Kerr

    GPL the whole thing, including the newer dialer, the Play store, and the other proprietary bits. Then projects like Tizen, Firefox OS, and others would really have a fighting chance at improving and furthering mobile technology in a substantial way. In the end, Android and their users would all benefit from an improved experience. I doubt that will happen though, Google has a pretty consistent track record of leveraging Open Source for 95% of their development, but keeping that 5% tucked in their back pocket so they can strong arm when needed.

    Regarding Joseph Hindy’s suggestions, please no! The less Android interferes with the hardware OEMs, the better. Let Android focus on making a great software stack, and leave it to the OEMs to duke it out however they want to leverage the software. The more variation and choices for the users, the better!

    • http://www.theveboy.com/ Mehdi

      Dude, you should be a noted genius. Seriously. The change you proposed is incredibly fundamental and all it brings is positive. But it’s highly unlikely.

    • JosephHindy

      Until someone is stuck buying a phone with 2.3 Gingerbread on some obscure carrier somewhere.

      There comes a point where those kinds of devices need to be retired bud lol. I’ve always been cool with OEM skins (I actually like them) and all that noise but there comes a point where seeing a 4.0 ICS phone “just now coming out” and thinking “my god that’s so sad” yknow?

      • Reed Kerr

        I agree that we shouldn’t have too many Gingerbread phones still floating around, but not because Google prevents the OEM from producing it. Let the customers vote with their dollars. I personally am happy to pay alittle more for a phone with up to date software, which I know will be supported with updates for a reasonable period.

        • Gonzalo

          You know It’d be great. But In The US and EU would be a couple of dollars more for an updated software, in places like south América (where I live) there may be like 60-70 or even a hundred bucks more because technolgy at least in most part of SA quite dobles the price of it un the US and it’d make phones still more exepnsive than they are right now.

        • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

          Not every buyer realizes how old 4.0 even is. These people are “duped” into this. We can’t trust OEMs to be the nice guys, so Google has to somehow force them to be responsible.

  • jayray78

    More updates through Play Services to help the update process. Steps they are already taking, but need to keep pushing. Also, removable or standalone OEM customizations, which is another thing that seems to be coming around.

  • Dimitri

    I would like to have a more consistent experience in terms of aesthetics and layout from apps just like iOS 7 has. Google is trying to do this with Android L but i have my doubts about app developers using material design.

    • Woe of [S]unjΔy

      Reddit Now is beautiful and adheres to Google’s design.

  • pseudo

    Updates, and full app installs to SD (If I was doing this, I’d run it so the user configures the size of folders on the sd manually and apps can’t expand this, they are limited to their installation folders and if the need more space the tell you to go to settings for the folder and expand it. Sort of development settings style.

  • http://dominicnaylor.com/ Dominic Naylor

    I’d like to see the app drawer removed, and all application icons / shortcuts placed on Home Screens like iOS and MIUI.

    • 2bitgary

      Oh no, that would be ugly awful. I like my screens to be minimalistic. I don’t care for icons all over the place.

    • Android Developer

      You can already do it. Many launchers have this feature.
      There are even launchers that look like IOS, for example “Espier” .

    • Gator352

      Your prayers have been answered!!! It’s called an iPhone….There’s a couple to choose from….happy shopping!

  • http://www.sethrubenstein.info/ Seth Rubenstein

    I’d really like Google to come down harder on OEM’s. Both in terms of updates and skins (especially skins). Android is about freedom. But who should have that freedom has been abused. OEM’s, specifically Samsung, have run amok on Android. Their horrible skin ruins Android, it makes it slower, and it doesnt offer freedom for users who want to skin the OS/Launcher their way. Take TouchWiz put say Aviate on it guess what TouchWiz is still everywhere. That’s not freedom. So I’d like to see Google come down harder on OEM’s in favor or consumers.

    • JosephHindy

      Sentence number 2 and sentence number 3 are completely opposite statements. You can’t tout freedom and then call for Google to take it away.

      One or the other, you can’t have both. You also have the freedom to not buy Samsung devices if you don’t like them. I believe you should exercise more of your freedoms instead of trying remove the freedoms of others.

    • Anothermuse

      So your definition of freedom is that everything be set up the way you like it from the OEM? You have the freedom you want, just don’t buy a Samsung or buy a GPE.

  • Anonymous

    ADS ADS ADS POPUP ADS EVERYWHERE

  • Clinton

    I’m not too sure about what i want to change about Android, but i would like to have the option of going back to older version of an app if i don’t like the new version from within the play store itself.

    • http://www.theveboy.com/ Mehdi

      It’s possible, but it’s kinda lame and boring.

      1. Grab an “Apk extractor” from Play store and extract the apks from the apps you wouldn’t live without if they break it.
      2. use adb on a daily basis to backup everything.

      • Clinton

        I do that with some of the apps. But i wish the play store itself had the option. Like, for instance, if the new version of an app has some unexpected errors (rare as they may be), it would be a good idea to have the previous in the play store itself.
        Or when the error occurs when i install the app for the first time with no former backup.

  • Will S.

    The usual – better support, security and more tablet friendly features…

  • Shark Bait

    better curated app store

    • Android Developer

      In what way?

  • Unicorn Drank

    I would like to seem better app development, I tend to find a lot of the android apps not up to par with the iOS versions and also the way they look it’s kind of off design wise. Also the heavy skins by OEMs it’s meh in my opinion, I do like the way that motorola has been doing with their version.

    • Android Developer

      How could Google force thousands (or millions?) of developers to do their job better?
      There is already a rating system and apps that follow the guidelines have more chance to get featured than others.
      This is supposed to encourage app developers to do a good job, but nobody can force you to do it…

      • Unicorn Drank

        I never said for Google to force any, not sure we’re you even read that. I just think they (app devs) need to put just a little more effort to make the apps up to par with iOS apps or even better since there is so much freedom in Android.

        • Android Developer

          ok, but how?

  • MeanDroid

    WebOS synergy,
    WebOS multitasking,
    WebOS card windows,

    • Woe of [S]unjΔy

      +1 for “

  • Nick

    Unlocked Boot loaders on all phones

  • Smileronline

    Add a desktop mode where a device streams a desktop UI to your HDTV/PC monitor with a Bluetooth mouse & keyboard as input, or use the accelerometers in your device to emulate a mouse. This could enable Android to cover most types of computing experiences and finally we could do away with this Microsoft controlled world of computing in the average household/office. And just imagine the possibility of buying a game/app for one device and you can play it anywhere on your phone or TV etc.

  • MasterMuffin

    Even though now it’s completely impossible, I’d still like to see Nokia doing Android phones! I’ll never let go of this dream :)

    “Pretty muc none” :)

  • Ashley

    UPDATES!!

  • mike

    I love android, there is nothing I want to change.

  • Favian Orozco

    Make devices rootable without a PC or computer necessary.

    There’s no forward delete key and I find that extremely annoying.

    • Android Developer

      What’s “forward delete key” ?

      • Favian Orozco

        The “Del” key on a keyboard.

        • Android Developer

          Oh, good point, but where would you put it?
          Even “Hacker’s Keyboard” app (link here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pocketworkstation.pckeyboard) that has so many buttons doesn’t have it…

          • Favian Orozco

            Easy, make it a secondary function for the return key or a part of the numerical/character keyboard.

          • Favian Orozco

            I use the Google keyboard only.

    • thartist

      Favian, download towelroot by geohot. Install the apk, press button, rooted. You don’t even have to restart.
      (Pray your device is supported)

      • Android Developer

        This is a security bug, which technically makes this app on the “dark” side (though it might not do any real harm).
        Anyway, he asks for a real feature.

        • thartist

          Yeah, like any other root method is based on a gate adorned with roses.

          • Android Developer

            There’s a difference.
            Here it’s an app that lives inside the eco system and shouldn’t be allowed to root the device. This means that normal apps could use the same technique to quietly gain root access and do whatever they wish without you even knowing about it. This is a huge security risk. I hope Google and manufacturers will fix it.
            Using other methods require you to perform the task using a computer so you are fully aware of what’s going on.

  • netanil

    More complete and easier backup and migration. There should be a universal way to do it through the Google account.

    • mrjayviper

      very easy on iOS as I used that when I restore my wife’s iPhone. would be nice to get same capabilities in the ecosystem.

  • Magnetic1

    Device driver support for anything otg.

  • Android Developer

    If you could ask Google for features and tell them about bugs, what would you do?
    Actually, you can !
    go to this website if you wish to talk about Android “L” :
    https://code.google.com/p/android-developer-preview/wiki/FilingIssues
    and this one for the rest:
    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list

    Be sure to search for other reports before you type anything.

  • Anothermuse

    How about a curated or approved section of Google play with “certified” apps that meet certain standards, which seem to be a major complaint. Really I don’t have many issues. The update issue I think the market is going to correct shortly. That is, the quicker updating OEMs will take a chunk out of Samsung’s market share, which will probably get them to tone down touchwiz some in the next version. But remember, skins are only an issue to us geeks on these sites. The average user doesn’t care.

    Oh wait, I forgot. My new wish item for Android. Build support for digitizers or stylus’ into the OS so that handwriting can be used as a reliable fast input method specifically for tablets/phablets. The point of those devices is the portability so not needing a keyboard, and the ability to use it as a “pad of paper” could be huge.

    • Android Developer

      Google already has this.
      They award developers with tags (I think one of them is “top developer”).
      Also, apps that follow the guidelines have a much higher chance to be featured on the play store than others.

  • 丁氏 云梦

    UPDATES!!! and also better multitasking…

  • BatDroid

    1. There are plenty of apps in Android which should have been cloud based, and I do not use them often enough to have them in my app drawer or have a service running in background. For example- Internet FM, Instagram, Amazon, multimedia streaming, Wallpaper download apps etc. One can’t use them without internet connection so what’s the point of making them native application. I guess they do that because native apps run faster, but they are effectively bloat-wares. Instead they could have those apps designed on web based technologies and provide a separate app drawer for bookmarking them on the device, much like chrome apps, but more immersed and easily accessible. Those cloud apps should be able to push notifications to the device. Credentials for apps could be saved on the device and be later used to connect to the app. I’m not sure of security issue it could cause but I guess this is how Cloud was supposed to work.

    2. App Store is a mess. I think there should be options to sort apps by different aspects like no. of downloads, ratings etc. There are so many great apps one the market but they aren’t visible to end user. Its a basic thing. Since its not there I guess it might be a strategy to earn from promotion of apps.
    Sorry about terrible English.

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      HTML + JS performs worse than a “native” Java app, imo.

      • BatDroid

        Yes! it does. But performance isn’t really that important in these apps.

    • Android Developer

      About #2 , I also wish we could see all of the available apps, and not just the top 200 or so of each category.

  • Thomas

    The homogeneity of the os need to be improved

  • suckypii .

    software the uses less battery life so my phone can last longer than a day!!!!

    • Android Developer

      I want it too.
      make it at least as good as the feature phones.

  • Jack Parker

    Software optimisations. That’s all. I want smooth no matter what I’m doing

    • Android Developer

      you can’t. people make the apps.
      people make mistakes.
      apps can get slow sometimes because of bugs.
      only thing google can do is to try to optimize and minimize the slowness. they can’t force the code of others to run much better. most of the app’s speed nowadays is based on the app itself.

  • kishan

    Two things:

    1. Restrict OEMs and Carriers from putting their own layer on top of the OS. They may add one or two Apps. But underlaying OS should be untouched. Skin, Themes, etc. Maybe Android Silver / Android One projects are targeting this.
    2. Once above is done, take control of the updates. Instead of updates, going through OEM and then carrier, Google should do the OTA updates to the devices. It should be easy once the underlying OS is untouched (no layers, no customization, etc). If people really want something new, we have other versions like CM, PA, etc.

    These two things, in my opinion, would resolve most of the so called fragmentation problem.
    On top of these, most important thing is to make the APIs Developer friendly, while improving OS and doing incremental updates.

  • Adrian

    UIs and skins should be user-installable and uninstallable from Play. Let me run TouchWiz on my LG G3 if that’s what I want to do. Maybe I don’t get all the features I’d get on a Samsung phone, but that’s my decision. Maybe it’ll convince me to buy a Samsung my next time around if I really like it and wish I could get the full functionality. It would be like getting Office Basic pre-installed on a new computer. And the ability to uninstall all apps, skins, UIs, etc. I don’t care what comes pre-installed if I have the option of removing it all and basically ending up with a Play/developer’s edition if that’s what I want.

    But, to address OS updates, there should be a very small window after a new OS comes out during which OEMs can release new models running something other than the current OS version. Maybe a month or something. So when L gets officially released, new KitKat phones can be released for a month after that. After that month, any new phone not running L can’t access Play. Give a larger window for existing models (maybe a quarter?), after which they get cut off from Play, too. Once OEMs and carriers experience the hate of their customers for being cut off from Play, maybe they’ll learn to provide updates in a timely manner. If some OEMs do this and others don’t, the ones that adapt to the new paradigm will gain a lot of customers at the expense of those who are slow to act. If OEMs are pumping out so many new models that they can’t devote the resources to updating phones once they’re released, they shouldn’t be making so many models. I’d rather have fewer models to choose from, but know that they’ll all be supported, rather than having a wider assortment of models which will, at best, get one update. Though I suppose this is moot if skins and UIs are optional, since Google could just push the updates to everyone directly, and then let me decide whether to use a hampered skin, switch to a different one, or just go vanilla.

    Finally, I don’t care how we arrive there, but if we’re going to depend on OEMs and carriers for updates, then they need to somehow be pressured into supporting phones not for two years after release, but for two years after they stop selling the phone (even if it’s $49.99, $0.99, or however much). Someone who buys a year-old phone new shouldn’t only get one year of updates.

    • Android Developer

      Maybe each manufacturer would set a price for its own apps , and let their hardware (device) customers have them pre-installed for free ?

  • Zarura Zimbabgwe

    Would have liked Toshiba AT100 3G models upgradable from android 3.2.1. Its terrible I cannot install applications.

  • thartist

    Whatever people want, send this to Google!

  • Maxnoob

    One installable Android version like we do with Ubuntu or Windows on PCs for all compatible devices.

    The manufacturer allow the user to instal an AOSP version on device via PC software.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    The biggest thing I would do is fix fragmentation. I would make OEMs sign a license agreement or a promise or whatever to say that they will update their devices to the latest Android, or at least offer the upgrade, for 4 years. This would make phones a lot more “worthy” because they can be used longer while keeping modern features.

    • Android Developer

      They don’t even keep their promise of 18 months (see Galaxy S3 for example).
      What google succeeded telling them is to try hard to reach it, as the minimal time to update devices.

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        That’s not a long amount of time, sigh.

        • Android Developer

          I know . :(
          But maybe there is hope, with projects like Android Silver, and devices like OnePlus One .

          • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

            Personally, I think the Nexus devices will (and always) be the best experience of Android, on an “official” phone.

          • Android Developer

            There aren’t many Nexus devices to choose from.
            There is only one Nexus smartphone and tablet at the same time. It’s even less than what Apple offers…

  • Joshua Hill

    The fanbois! I’d make it somehow impossible for them to comment online. Some of the things I’ve read from google fanbois are as idiotic as their apple counterparts.

  • Daniel Sloan

    On tablets – I’d like to see a taskbar or floating app dock. It would have to operate on a different philosophy to the Android multi-tasking world, but on a tablet task switching is a jarring interrupting to fluent use.

    The biggest thing Google could do is implement a one-step USB back-up system like iTunes uses. Sure you can set up Google accounts and sync, but being able to do it on desktops from an iTunes style set-up is one of Apple’s huge advantages. Partly out of necessity given how often people have to replace their iPhones, but they have made it as seamless as possible. That’s what’s really going to hold Android back over time.

  • Jayfeather787

    I like Android. I think everything is fine. Not really picky.

  • MSNTeacher

    Ecosystem would be Samsung or LG…………..

  • Fawaz Gazawe

    that phone support lasts for every like the iphone4, still getting latest update over the time

  • Tim

    Fix the Play Store so fake and malicious apps stop showing up. There are a lot of idiots that buy smart phones, this makes it very hard for many of them to spot the legit apps and gives Android a bad name overall.

  • Brian Sutton Brian

    The only real thing that I would want to change about the android platform would be having it be the FIRST platform that most developers would prefer…. we all know that ios offers higher profits for developers overall, and of course this is what most developers factor in most, which is the way it should be…..I’m hoping that with time, android will become even more lucrative for developers than ios

    Other than that, im completely satisfied with the platform.Truthfully, every every moderate android enthusiast on up knows how much more powerful the platform is than the competition…….there’s no comparison in my mind……android DESTROYS ios and every other mobile platform from a functionality and raw power standpoint. It’s not even close. IOS pales in comparison. I consider it a child’s toy when compared to the raw capability of android…..I choose substance over style, and android is vastly superior to all others, period

  • Justin Lock

    A must would be to restore full SD Card/app write permission functionalities.

  • Bill de Iturrondo

    I’d like to see SD card capabilities in all Nexus devices.

  • PuzzledObserver

    bootloader must be unlocked by default.

  • pauldrew18

    I’ve been both on iOS and Android and I must say that Android is where my heart is. The only thing I want from iOS that Android doesn’t seem to “properly” have is software optimization. Android consumes way too much battery from background processes that I can’t seem to stop even by using 3rd party apps (DU Speed Booster). I go to sleep and wake up with at least 5 to 8% baterry drain. My iPad pretty much doesn’t consume any battery when not in use. I wish my phone could do the same.

  • gommer strike

    Here’s what I’d wish for Android:

    – A change in mindset where developers don’t feel forced to develop towards the lowest common denominator. There needs to be some form of consortium, or otherwise some form of standards council, which says “We’re driving a stake into the ground. From this point onwards, any and all apps must be developed for 4.2.2 and onward”. Standards guys…are needed. It shouldn’t just be the wild west where some people are STILL developing for gingerbread and older…

    – Better user control over application access to personal data and handset unique info. Yes I know this exists. But it should be baked into the OS. It should be a switch toggled on – BY DEFAULT – which obscures contact info unless the user absolutely, without a doubt, allows the app access. There needs to be better sandboxing of sensitive user info.

    – Some form of standards for the higher-end handsets. I’m talking anything in the $600 range and above. All too often we see great features…and then one compromised feature. Screen, battery life, camera, user interface – all too often at least one, if not two of these, are compromised in higher-end handsets. This needs to stop. There is no reason why we cannot have all four elements at an outstanding level of quality.

    – Navigation apps parity between iOS and Android. I’ve seen this happen over and over, where you have apps such as Transit, CityMaps2go…which force close under the strangest circumstances on Android. The same does not occur on iOS. This is unacceptable. Where is the QA here. Google Maps might be fine, but we need navigation offline GPS apps to work reliably and not force close.

  • just a guy

    i would add filters to the playstore to allow you to filter searches by things price, update date, and rating. for a company that’s main staple is searching, searching within apps is lacking

  • StraightEdgeNexus

    I would have took steps against Piracy.

  • DroidMe

    What I rally missing is real backup on non rooted devices. U can do it on iOS, why cant android do the same and where is the problem with full backup?

  • CleanlinessisnexttoFordliness

    Oem’s and carriers are the biggest culprits for Android’s fragmentation over the years. Google, just stop making Gui changes require a new version of android. Make everything an apk and I mean everything, what I’m talking about is pure unadulterated selection. Let us choose our own multitasking menu, notification drawer, settings menu, on screen navigation buttons, etc. Essentially remove the need for custom Rom’s, that way everyone has access to the complete “Google Experience”. We are already seeing examples of this, one is Google making their GEL Launcher available to everyone on the playstore. Already Google has dominant control over Play Service updates, why not apply this to everything else? Let the users decide everything. Obviously people are dumb and would install faulty settings menu’s, multitasking, notification drawers, etc.. so make it a developer option and hide it.

  • beatles

    Android skins
    Samsung LagWiz suck$

  • Bone

    Samsung’s multi-window, Oppo’s on-screen/offscreen gestures, LG’s knock code and Motorola’s off-screen voice controls all included on all devices by default.

  • Cicero

    Easy to say hard to do it. Large base of OEMs and hardware available. And also the price selling point of phones. This is available to all systems. Tech and innovation is moving up. ios support is for 2 years old hardware (full specs). The same is with android (an S4, almost 2 years old, which is getting the last software and I hope it will get L).

  • jeannwhitefield

    s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ ᴡor­­­­­­­­­king ᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ home ᴡit­­­­­­­­­h Google! It­­­­­­­­­’s­­­­­­­­­ by-fᴀ­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­ t­­­­­­­­­he bes­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ job I’ve hᴀ­­­­­­­­­d. Lᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ ᴡednes­­­­­­­­­dᴀ­­­­­­­­­y I got­­­­­­­­­ ᴀ­­­­­­­­­ br­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­nd neᴡ BMᴡ s­­­­­­­­­ince get­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ing ᴀ­­­­­­­­­ check for­­­­­­­­­ $6474 t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ – 4 ᴡeeks­­­­­­­­­ pᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­. I begᴀ­­­­­­­­­n t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ 8-mont­­­­­­­­­hs­­­­­­­­­ ᴀ­­­­­­­­­go ᴀ­­­­­­­­­nd immediᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ely ᴡᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­ br­­­­­­­­­inging home ᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ leᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ $77 per­­­­­­­­­ hour­­­­­­­­­. I ᴡor­­­­­­­­­k t­­­­­­­­­hr­­­­­­­­­ough t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ link, go? t­­­­­­­­­o t­­­­­­­­­ech t­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­b for­­­­­­­­­ ᴡor­­­­­­­­­k det­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­il

    >>>>>>>>>> Cort.As/Ft4e

    ==================================

  • Alex

    All I want to understand is why a Windows HTC has a longer battery life than an Android version. My Nexus 4 lasts less than my old iPhone 4. I am hoping the upcoming version of android will fix this because I am looking to upgrade to a Nexus 6.

  • Brian Samuel

    Imagine if you just like computers can build your own dream mobile and then install Android on it. It would be so cool !

  • David J

    While four years of OS upgrades – like Apple – and a consistent design in apps would be really great, the biggest thing that bugs me is the incoming call screen. Just change it Google. Please.

  • http://zci.sf.net/ Zamroni

    Our thumb is closer to the thumb of the top area of screen rather than lower part. Keyboard and button should be put on top area of screen.

    • gommer strike

      Then how would you read what you’re typing? Your hand would be obscuring the screen. There’s a good reason why not a single keyboard drops down from the top. Why would you want to block the screen off?

  • mcbere

    What needs to change for android is samsung with their poor design and lack of user friendliness. Samsung has the money and should know what screen sizes to focus on and they should know what features get used. Also cameras to convince iPhone users to switch and figure out a way to get iOS developer snobs to bring apps to android. Which probably means a combo of tv advertising, App Store promotion, and a huge amount of cash

  • http://anoniverse.com/ thenumbersix

    I wonder if forcing any sorts of conditions suggested in the article on OEMs wouldn’t have unintended consequences. For example we already see some upstarts like OnePlus coming out with a Cyanogenmod version.

    Would forcing rigid terms on OEMs not push them towards adopting customs ROMs?

  • Tony Lara

    I think the only think that needs to change is the custom skins. Like the Samsung skin, it’s so ugly I have to do customer launchers to make it look normal. Just make the OEMs do minimal changes to the OS to support the Note’s pin and that’s it.

  • nocme

    I would change the colors of the tablets.

  • steelew

    Add some switches to the developer options. 1st: remove OEM customizations (Touchwiz, Sense…). 2nd: Root/unroot, Password protect root access, make superSU part of that experience (or something like it), 3rd: add pro, intermediate, beginner options, a lot of people will say there are too many options and thats fine, don’t show those options to them but show them to ME! Make the lockscreen easier to interact with. I don’t want to have to swipe down to see more info on my lock screen, if I wanted to swipe down, I would just unlock my phone and view info that way. Make GEL launcher more customizable (without xgels) and/or allow 3rd party Launchers like Nova or Apex access to the google now page. If you are going to change the so much about the operating system, why not change the way Android labels internal and external storage? Provide an easier way to tell if something is a sim link or really there (like the windows shortcut arrow…but not window’s shortcut arrow).

  • gjs

    Fix the SD card debacle!

  • Dimitrios Pandioras

    It would definitely be for apps to have a more unified feel. Coming from iOS, I do miss how apps felt right at home within the OS itself. Hopefully developers follow suit with the release of Android L.

    • abazigal

      Won’t that be unified only with stock android? What then happens when an OEM skins Android? Won’t those “optimised” apps then look jarringly out of place on say, Touchwiz?

      • Dimitrios Pandioras

        Sorry, yeah I was speaking about stock android. I should have mentioned that. Even so, if apps took the style of Google’s app design, they wouldn’t feel out of place at all.

        • abazigal

          Not to mention that stock android is actually found only on a small minority of android devices. Following that logic, the last thing any rational app developer would do is optimise their app to look good for stock android. Going one step further, since touchwiz enjoys the largest market share, it can be argued that apps should be optimized for touchwiz instead!

          • Dimitrios Pandioras

            That makes sense. I’d be happy with that too. As long as there’s some sort of unification with app appearances.

  • nancysvalenzuela

    s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ ᴡor­­­­­­­­­king ᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ home ᴡit­­­­­­­­­h Google! It­­­­­­­­­’s­­­­­­­­­ by-fᴀ­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­ t­­­­­­­­­he bes­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ job I’ve hᴀ­­­­­­­­­d. Lᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ ᴡednes­­­­­­­­­dᴀ­­­­­­­­­y I got­­­­­­­­­ ᴀ­­­­­­­­­ br­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­nd neᴡ BMᴡ s­­­­­­­­­ince get­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ing ᴀ­­­­­­­­­ check for­­­­­­­­­ $6474 t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ – 4 ᴡeeks­­­­­­­­­ pᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­. I begᴀ­­­­­­­­­n t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ 8-mont­­­­­­­­­hs­­­­­­­­­ ᴀ­­­­­­­­­go ᴀ­­­­­­­­­nd immediᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ely ᴡᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­ br­­­­­­­­­inging home ᴀ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ leᴀ­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­­­­ $77 per­­­­­­­­­ hour­­­­­­­­­. I ᴡor­­­­­­­­­k t­­­­­­­­­hr­­­­­­­­­ough t­­­­­­­­­his­­­­­­­­­ link, go? t­­­­­­­­­o t­­­­­­­­­ech t­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­b for­­­­­­­­­ ᴡor­­­­­­­­­k det­­­­­­­­­ᴀ­­­­­­­­­il

    >>>>>>>>>> http://xu­­r­­l.es­­/a­­b­­g8m

    ==================================

  • Ayatollah Vladimir

    Screen size in android Phone obviously

  • Groud Frank

    Native NAND backup, the ability to choose between stock and skinned when a device is being set up for the first time and most important iOS level firmware updates.

  • thomas sim

    I’ll hope for Google to take back control over overall UI design. Current sea of Android looks so different and most of it looks ugly ( point over small manufacturer but not exclusively )

  • Leif Shantz

    I would change the way manufacturers update devices, I would force manufacturers to rollout upgrade plans one month after any new android version SDK comes out, it must cover devices from high end to low end, old and new. Manufacturers must rollout updates before the 6 month limit that starts on the SDK release. Even for skinned and unlocked and carrier branded devices and tablets, so this practice would speed up the update process and make manufacturers spend more money on the software updates. If they go past the 6 month limit, manufacturers would have to pay Google a fine and increase fines 10% per month if delayed.

  • mrjayviper

    easily change my country without creating a new account. In iOS, this can be done EASILY!

  • http://www.androprogrammer.com/ Wasim Memon

    I like 2 changes.
    1. Recently google have updated permission module and it is worst for user. user don’t know what sort of data app is using and what they send to servers or to author. they have to make it more powerful and secure. Apple recently make changes and made IOS more secure while google have done it in reverse manner.
    2. soft key auto hide feature so you can set full screen wallpaper and widget…

  • Christian Collet

    Unified notifications in that if you swipe away on one device, it’s also removed on other devices with the same account. I thought push bullet could do that, but not really. Only display notifications from other device.

  • Kevin Wang

    Every device with stock UI option