What features are missing from stock Android? What lessons could Google learn from other platforms?

June 13, 2014

Google Nexus 5 black aa 8

Part of the beauty of Android is its open-source nature, which allows manufacturers and even end-users to add on new features through customized UIs, launchers, icon packs, lockscreens, apps and the list goes on. With Android you can make your experience whatever you want it to be, but what about the out-of-the-box experience?

While there are Android users that prefer stock Android as it is — due to the clean, fast and fluid experience it provides — there are likely at least a few features that some users might feel are missing from stock Android but are present either through OEM skins, 3rd party modifications or even other operating systems.

For this week’s Friday Debate we discuss what stock Android is missing, and what features we’d like to see baked into the OS that are currently found on other platforms or through other services. Join in the discussion below and answer in our poll!

Gary Sims

Trying to ascertain what is “missing” from stock Android is actually harder than you might think. We are presented with several problems. First we need to define what is stock Android. Second we need to understand that some features which are available from third parties should never actually be added to stock Android, and third we need to start thinking out-of-the-box.

So what is stock Android? Is it the open source version of Android. Does it include or exclude Google’s apps? For example, maybe I think that the default keyboard should include the option to enable arrow keys (like SwiftKey does). Is that stock Android? Or is it part of Google’s Keyboard app? If I think the camera needs something, is that stock or again an app from Google?

At the lower levels there are things which squarely fall into the purview of stock Android. The biggest thing missing from the innards of stock Android is 64-bit support.

But leaving aside the innards for the moment, we need to ask ourselves the question. Should popular third party functionality be added to the base operating system? Apple certainly thinks so, just look at the new Messages app coming in iOS 8. It is clearly designed as competition for other third party messaging apps. Should Android have that attitude as well?

And this is where it gets complicated. Google (like Apple) wants to use its mobile operating system as a way to promote its own offerings, even when those offerings are in direct competition with other third party apps and services. If Google (or Apple) gets the balance wrong then everyone cries foul and starts using words like “monopoly.” If it does too little then users wonder why doesn’t Android have service X or Y built-in.

The other problem is, how innovative are these features that I want to see added to Android? Clearly iOS 8 is just Apple playing catch-up. The ideas have come from somewhere else. When I ask myself what is missing from stock Android, am I asking – what do other mobile operating systems have that Android doesn’t? Or am I asking – what neat thing is missing from all mobile OSes, including Android.

OK, enough prevarication. Here is a list of things missing from stock Android:

  • Full top-to-bottom support for 64-bits.
  • A standard way to access embedded security assets (something like Knox 2.0 from Samsung but for all Android devices)
  • Cursor keys on the default keyboard.
  • Better support for Internet-of-Things (6lowpan, RPL, CoAP etc)
  • A visual development tool based on a very high level language, i.e. something that reproduces what Visual Basic or Delphi did for Windows.

Lanh Nguyen

For me it’s really just the smaller details. An option to reboot, battery percentage in the notification shade, and a flashlight toggle would be great. These features seem like no brainers but you still have to flash a custom rom just to get them. Also the fact that Sims aren’t hot swappable on stock android is annoying too. Maybe integrate Sms onto the desktop like iOS has done would be nice too.

Jonathan Feist

I must echo some of the sentiments of Gary Sims. I very much feel that Android, as an OS, should focus on the most basic of core operation and connectivity, leaving the rest up to installed apps and services.

At this core level, I agree with the need for x64 support, second the desire for better support of connected Internet-of-Things and would add a preference to see a minimal GUI file explorer. The file explorer would provide specific tools for grouping app data and managing the unruly file structure that is currently allowed in the virtual SDCard.

Beyond the core OS, I ask if there is anything that stock Android cannot do? More to the point, Android is built such that the installed apps provide function, is it safe then to surmise that anything ‘missing’ from Android is simply an app undiscovered?

Google’s own set of apps and services are fairly thorough. There are the little things that I could go for, like cursor keys on the keyboard and better file management, but what I really want are things that only root can provide.

I will not fault the decision to lock things behind root permissions, much of it we just do not need access to, but I have been thinking hard since the recent permissions grouping changes, and I think I have concluded that the Android app permissions structure is broken.

I have not thought through an appropriate end-to-end repair or replacement for the current permissions model, but if there was just one thing I had to say was missing from stock Android, it is appropriate permissions.

It is unfair to suggest the ability to allow or deny specific permissions for a specific app, as that would require developers to account for functionality changes based on every given permission, but why not? Simply put, I want every app to begin in a secure and sandboxed state, of which I can opt greater permissions/system access on the fly, up to and including root level access.

Like I said, I have yet to flesh out the details… Stepping away from the deep stuff:

  • I wish stock Android allowed for icon packs and other launcher level visual tweaks.
  • I wish for power level controls for items like the GPS, cell/WiFi radios and display touch sensitivity.
  • I wish for better/dedicated music playback functions with the screen off.
  • I wish for more granular control over the display sleep timer.
  • And yes, as Gary said, a Visual Studio level IDE would be so very nice to have.

Robert Triggs

As Simon mentioned the other day, multitasking is the big one for me, but I’m not just talking about side by side windows. It seems odd that, despite the increasing power of our handsets, we still have to hop focus back and forth for even really basic things, like sending messages or sharing come content with a contact.

There are already a few good examples of how this could be done. Samsung has its multi-window function for certain apps, Paranoid Android’s Halo works great, and there are even apps on the Play Store that can bring back the familiar windows look and feel. I don’t really mind how Google would do it, but we need some way to quickly make use of other app features, especially social ones, contextually and quickly, without losing focus on the video we’re watching or the article we’re reading.

Another feature that I’m really keen on its Nova Launcher’s swipe gestures for opening up apps, etc. Global, programmable gestures would be a great way to hop to your favourite apps or contacts quickly, and could go some way to improving Android multi-tasking too. Visual tweaks, or support for a full Theme engine, would be very welcome too, but less urgent.

Finally, some integration between Android and other devices would be helpful, especially as I’m at my desktop a lot. iOS8’s integration with OSX looks like it could be quite useful, and Google could probably do something similar using Chrome. There’s already the Chrome desktop extension that could be used to display phone notifications, and AirDroid has shown how such an idea can be done through a web browser.

Lanh’s list is also pretty good. The little things go a long way to improving the day to day user experience.

Do you like stock Android and its current feature set, or do you feel it's missing something?

View Results

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Comments

  • http://gplus.to/doug.dunfee Doug Dunfee

    One of the main reasons I stick with a stock-based G2 rom is the Quick Remote. Universal remote please! Also, knock gestures, and occasionally smart stay.

    • Cuauhtemoc Sosa

      You can get the flashable zip for the remote on aosp, had mine with it on CM11, but I still went back to stock. I like the skin of it I guess.

  • Andrew

    There will always be things that could be added. We started with a portable phone, then added a camera, internet surfing, wifi, list will never end.

  • MasterMuffin

    Shameless copy & paste of my comment from few days ago for those who haven’t seen it :)

    Stock Android needs

    – Multiwindow
    – Quick settings that you can edit
    – Virtual buttons that you can edit
    – Battery % not only as a hidden feature
    – Folders in app drawer
    – Lock screen wallpaper!
    – Torch widget and quick setting
    – Like Nguyen said, reboot optio in the menu that opens when long pressing power button!

    • AnonGuy

      Which, unsurprisingly, OEMs like Samsung have been doing for years now. Stock Android needs a Co sumer oriented company to develop it. Google isn’t that. Android is hut another vector for them. This is Why Apple takes the QoL of the it customers more seriously than Google, who won’t win let you Auto Sync photos or send pictures in IM without selling yourself to them.

      Don’t hope for much.

      I’m going to the iPhone 6 if the display is 4.5″ or more. I’m over the messy services layout and user experience on Android. And as someone who likes dabbling in software development, they really can use a different option for developers. I’m not installing the JDK on my machine for security reasons and I really don’t have much interest in learning Java. Androids developer tool chain isn’t even close to being on the same level as Microsoft or even Apple at this point. It’s a steaming pile.

      App for this and that doesn’t work for core functionality. Should not need a third party SMS client just to send contact into over MMS. That is an embarrassment in 2014.

      • myepicyear

        Actually, the master branch of Android now uses OpenJDK-7. No longer do you have to install unsupported/unsecured versions of Java to compile…Unless you’re building older versions like JB, ICS, GB, etc..
        But *really*, who wants to build those versions anymore anyway..
        Oh, and the iPhone doesn’t have a “reboot” button either. And MMS works just fine..
        In all seriousness though, I do hope that you find a platform that makes you happy. :)

        • AnonGuy

          How do you send a contact card over MMS in the Hangouts app?

          I’m not installing a JDK on my machine, period.

          iOS 8 has eliminated practically all the issues I posted about when I tried the 5S. I don’t need to search for a platform. And I want a platform less messy to develop for as well.

        • MasterMuffin

          Why wouldn’t you want to develop for JB?

      • Gator352

        LOL. Well buddy I’m an android guy that decided to give Apple a try. After 3 weeks with it I’m done with it. Period. And trading it for a G2 as of tomorrow. Why? Cause there is nothing to iOS. Nothing. Sure it works. But so does my Note 3, Moto X, S4, hTc One, so the “it just works” is bunk. The level of customization on iOS is kin to Milton-Bradley. Change the background? Check. Put Apps in Folders? Check. Clear home screen off and place folders near the bottom on top of the launcher? Nada. Add a clock with weather on the home screen? Nyet. So basically, the IPhone is just a phone that holds…wait for it…icons. There is nothing to make it YOURS except the color of your case.

        • Max

          Nice to see how add a widget with weather info on the homescreen is your concept of customization …
          IOS allows a fine tuning and customization on important things like notifications, in a way android cant, that you “incidentally” missed to notice, in your try …. if it really happened.

    • Ryu

      Double tap to wake/double tap notification bar to sleep

      • MasterMuffin

        D2W isn’t a good idea IMO, because some devices get battery drain from it (for example Nexus 5).

        • Ryu

          It should at least be an option (disabled by default)

          • MasterMuffin

            Well true dat, any manufacturer with a phone that doesn’t like it could just take the code away

        • Adrien Assadian

          wait, since when does the nexus 5 have double tap to wake ?

          • MasterMuffin

            Since some month in 2013 when devs started adding it to kernels and ROMs

          • Adrien Assadian

            Oh yeah, but you have be rooted, right ?

          • MasterMuffin

            Yup

          • Adrien Assadian

            Here’s hoping it comes natively to the next Nexus. Or I’m buying a G3. Looks like a great feature.

          • MasterMuffin

            It’s not life changing, but it’s useful for big phones

    • Jayfeather787

      App Ops

      • MasterMuffin

        Second time I forgot that >_<

    • A Skylit [S]unjΔy

      Basically Cyanogenmod, lol.

      • MasterMuffin

        Basically any custom ROM has these except for the folder thing and multiwindow. Also the virtual key modification of CM is pretty bad

    • Sunny

      Oh no. You gave Apple ideas they will take it claim it as theirs and patent it!!

      • MasterMuffin

        Noh plz noh

  • Meglivorn

    Cursor on stock keyboard,
    Battery % on deafult (or able to turn on without hacks or spec apps)
    Lock screen wallpaper
    Quick toggles/switches in notification (not the quick settings just on/off)
    Settings for homescreen grid size (4×4, 5×5 etc…)
    Ability to turn off the google search bar on every screen (I can put out the widget or use “OK, Google” anyway)

  • Salman Thaw

    It’s only missing one thing, I believe – an easy way of getting stock Android.

    On my Touchwiz device, I want an option (just like search for updates or force update) to downgrade/upgrade/sidegrade (?) to Stock Android.

    You cannot expect the average consumer to root/flash ROM… I know CM is making it easier, but this should be an option by default.

    The OEMs and carriers would never allow it… but we can daydream, can’t we?

    • wezi427

      I would love that, but it’s never going to happen. I wish that there was a way to rid the phone I paid for of the boat. It should be user choice.

      • thartist

        Android Silver is said to do that

    • AS

      I don’t see why the Google play edition of a device can’t just be a ROM that can be pushed to any version.

  • TheFluffyOne

    Based on the capabilities of the stock Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, the only features I would like to see added are:
    * Quiet hours – I remember this from Cyanogenmod and have used the not-quite-perfect Silent Time as a replacement. I think even Apple have since ripped this one off.
    * Battery percentage in the notification bar – using battery widget reborn for now.
    * ‘OK Google’ when the screen is off (apparently the Nexus 5 hardware supports it).

  • Daniel Collins

    Every feature in Cyanogenmod and AOKP. ‘Nuff said. Also the ability for apps to use window flags to dismiss the lock screen on encrypted devices, and the ability to unlink encryption passwords from lock screen codes.

  • Anonymous

    Also talked about this earlier in the month. Should be included in Stock and 3rd party OS':
    1. Universal Android Instant Message/SMS/MMS that can actually send full length videos without compression.
    2. Universal Android music playing music in speakers, car stereos, etc (Someone said micro USB does not work so might as well create a standard port like the pogo pins, even though it never caught on). It just needs the standard for playing music on other devices but oems have the choice to design it the way they want (or further enhance it).

    I think the biggest disadvantage of Android is isolation, when manufactures should unify to eliminate fragmentation (to some degree of basic functionality).

  • Brenden Keene

    Battery % is the only big one for me, though a reboot option would be nice as well. And mimicking iOS 8s family share for Google Play content would be stellar (though most android users are tightwads anyways). Having a stock file manager would be cool (and podcast app) but there are plenty third party apps that do just fine. Maybe a better Hangouts app and unified gallery/photos service? Multiwindow is becoming increasingly relevant but I’ve never been bummed out not having it. Most features I think are really forward thinking are hardware related (64bit, fingerprint scanners, waterproof, wireless charging, ir blasters, burst mode on cameras, adaptive displays, etc). Minus those hardware dependent features id say stock is fine as-is.

    • AnonGuy

      I like how Google put lens blur and photo sphere but couldn’t be bothered to develop something ad trivial as a decent burst mode in their useless camera app.

  • pas!

    we want just a good backup system.current system it is just funny

  • DarxideGarrison

    Ten customizable options I would like to see in stock Android without Root or Xposed Framework:
    1. Add icon packs to stock lancher
    2. Remove the search bar from home screens
    3. Change battery icon styles
    4. Change soft keys buttons
    5. Change hotword activation for Google Now
    6. Reboot in power menu
    7. Torch toggle
    8. Reverse short/long press in the quick settings toggles
    9. App icon resizing
    10. Multi window

  • Evriviadis Karagitsis

    Battery %, Kill All processes button (clear all) in recently opened apps, better and more customizations for the stock launcher/google now launcher, better gallery app for sure (g+ photos app is a huge mess, the old AOSP gallery is the most convenient and fast but its abandoned so we left without a good gallery app for vanilla android, better music playback controls, power control widget should include mobile data on/off and flashlight LED options too.

  • Jack Parker

    I think the major flaw with android at the moment is no matter what specs you have, dual core tegra 2 to a quad core snapdragon 801 there’s always lag, or stutter. But why? Android isn’t optimized for quad core. Where as iOS on a dual core 1.3ghz is smoother then nearly anything. Google need to do some optimisations.

    They also need to take some notes out of apples books. Have hangouts like Imessage, let me know if the person has seen my text and let me know if they’re replying.

    If apple can copy nearly everything from everyone else and not get any grief then google can take a few too.

    I just want a smooth OS when I do everything, even on the power saving features.

    Come on google, make android 5.0 a whole new OS

    • AbbyZFresh

      Because iOS is optimized into only 2 products by it’s parent company Apple, the iPhone and iPad.

      Android is used in hundreds of different brands of phones with different specs and components. It’s too complex with no single common ground outside of Google Play Services. That alone will never get Android the iOS-level optimization. Too much fragmentation.

      • AnonGuy

        Then Google needs to optimize for QC and leave the rest to the OEMs. It’s that simple. Most devices at the mid to high end are using QC CPUs. Microsoft took this path and Windows Phone is about as smooth as an iPhone. No one said to lock out others, but there has to be better priorities and processes at Google.

        Right now it doesn’t matter what the device runs once you start adding widgets and more apps things go bad.

        Also, a bit more app sandboxing and permissions denial for the user would be good from a security and privacy perspective. They want everyone to use their cloud but even Apple is out implementing them from that perspective these days.

      • Jack Parker

        That’s true. But google can optimize it. I know they can. Then manufactures like Samsung etc should then optimise it with their skins on top.

        I’d say only the smaller manufactures would leave google like archos and other small company’s. Sony HTC etc can’t afford to leave if they want people to buy their phones

      • thartist

        That’s oem “skins”. Try a nexus and tell.

      • sixline

        You are right that they have to optimize for just two devices, but also, iOS is smooth because there isn’t any real multitasking there. Just a grid of apps without any widgets, live wallpaperspapers should be smoother needing less resources. Android on the other hand is a power house with so many features. But yet I haven’t noticed the lag on high end devices with stock roms people complaint about. Yeah there is lag on devices with dual core cpu like my LG with stock roms but after flashing any aosp rom that was gone. So, I think google must not worry about lag but its the manufacturers with their skins like touchwiz and LG UI etc. Stock android runs really smooth.

    • Azeem

      I don’t experience any lag on my Android phone. They have improved a lot since 2012.

      • Jack Parker

        I’m using a xperia Z2, so its not laggy as such but there are delays when pressing the on screen buttons.

        So not really down to Google. More of a Sony issue but if android was optimised it wouldn’t happen

    • Nathan Buffington

      Never experienced lag at all in my year old Nexus 5. NEVER. End of discussion. I’ve experienced plenty of lag trying to multitask on ios 7

  • AbbyZFresh

    When I think about it, Google’s been catching up to Samsung in some regards.

  • Fabian Taveras

    There are tons of things we all want on stock android but something that I definitely want is the tool box feature on cm locker. Where at the bottom left corner of the screen there will be an icon were you touch and then pull up a mini menu And in the menu you get options like a flash light toggle or a calculator toggle and a few other toggles and it would be great if Google would also allow custom toggles so you can add or delete whatever toggle you don’t want. In my opinion I think this is great because instead of opening up the lock screen to get to what you need you can simply access this from the lock screen

  • Filip Zacek

    Apps are not as good as actually implementing a feature into the OS. They cause extra battery drain and do not have a uniform interface…

  • Jayfeather787

    I think Stock Android is pretty awesome and sexy, but it needs a couple features. MasterMuffin put together an excellent list.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Android is good as it is. Google should not mess up with the OEMs coping them , because they will run away.
    If ppl want something good with great functions out of the box, they buy Samsung(millions of them don’t root)
    Multi window
    Knox
    Black & White battery saving mode
    IR support
    Many sensors support
    S Pen
    Apps to SD
    Hovering
    and many more……
    If they don’t like some features……they dissable them

    • abazigal

      Which begs the question – run away to what alternative platform? Tizen?

      • The-Sailor-Man

        Google are not so stupid like MS that push away the OEMs with Nokia. I mean RT and WP.
        Google will not do the same. This article is iBS to make intrigue between Google and the OEMs .
        Samsung and the others are not running away.
        Tizen is something else.

        • abazigal

          I think that early on, Google didn’t really say much about how android was used by OEMs because they were focused on expanding market share. Now that Android has a majority market share, and OEMs are more or less locked into the Android ecosystem with no real alternative to switch to, Google can start looking at how it wants to lock down the OS and push for its own changes as it deems fit, and there’s really nothing the OEMs can do about it.

          It seems that Google is looking at consolidating their software and pushing for a more unified look. They may not say it out explicitly, but it seems all that skinning and forking is kinda irritating them. They spend so much time to develop stock Android, only for OEMs to undo all that with their own skins.

          I won’t be surprised if moving forward, Google makes Android (defined here as Android with Google’s services) more closed, in that OEMs have less say in how they want to modify the OS.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Stock Android-Nexus have never meant to be high end device. And will NEVER be.
    It’s meant to be great cheap device for geeks and poor ppl.
    For reach geeks , there is Google Edition.
    End of the story.

  • AS

    A low level multiwindow implementation is really my primary hope. I would really like to be able to make the device work as though it had 2 completely independent screens.

  • Roj Beraña

    how about the devs? anything can google do to help in making android app development better???

  • K2

    I hope the touch responsiveness/experience gets even better. These are touchscreen phones after all.

  • Will S.

    64 bit support and some of the more useful Sammy features.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      64 bit support ??? Useful???? LOL
      In few years- may be.

  • lee miles

    Integration with tablets

  • Barend Stapelberg

    The ability to use chapter marks in enhanced podcasts…

  • Jay Monstrous

    Battery Percent as a default option!

  • Na7noo7

    I want multiwindow!

    • The-Sailor-Man

      There will be.
      That’s why Google made a contract with Samsung.
      Ppl that want the best of Android , buy Samsung high end device, and disable what they don’t use . Millions of ppl.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Separate charging support. So the usb to be free for use for tablets.

  • hzd

    - Meaningful Battery icon ( Stock is pretty useless between 80-50% battery : Circle or Percentage)

    – Cursor Keys on keyboard

    – User definable Brightness control ( for night time situations a.k.a if Time is between 11:30PM and 5AM then screen wake brightness should be 10% unless ambient light over a set amount )

    – Reboot / Recovery options hidden in developer settings to enable on power key long press !

    – Option to install stock android VIA OTA for your device ( again in developer settings )

    – Custom LED notification Control

    – Proper WIFI managment, it sucks power while looking for WIFI if you leave it on and leave range of router(s)

    – Touchless Control ! ( PIPE DREAM )

  • P3H04

    The only tweaking I did to my Nexus 5 is enable double tap to wake (haven’t experienced significant battery drain from this) and installed Xposed. These weren’t necessary changes, just small adjustments that I tried out and ended up liking. I think that’s what makes Android so great – you can try out lots of different options in customization, and stick with the ones you like the best. If they offer too much, there’s going to be someone who says it’s too cluttered; conversely, if they offered less, there’ll be someone who says it’s not enough. I’m happy with tweaking stock Android to the way I see fit – anything I could possibly want, there’s literally an app/kernel that will do it. The only thing I wanted on my Nexus 5 was external SD card support but that was for pure convenience, and I’ve found it’s not integral.

  • monkey god

    More power saving features such as control over cpu speeds and auto brightness. Smart power saving modes like ones found on Samsung phones. A basic file manager that can see more than just the Downloads folder. Active display and always-on hotword detection as found on Moto X. Better syncing and notification on the PC without having to run Chrome. Similar to what Pushbullet is doing but w/o having to install a chrome extension. Wifi direct file transfer features like what Superbeam has been able to do. Ability to hide or reorganize widgets. 1-step access to quick settings and customizeable quick settings.

  • Max

    I like vanilla kitkat on my Nexus. Actually the only Android devices I like are those running GPE or Nexus devices. Motorola UI is quite there … Every other OEM skin, especially from Samsung and lg, are crappy.
    But I’d like to have a couple of features included, like a better multitasking manager, multiple windows and a better app draw.

  • [A]dri[A]n

    What’s missing? Hmm, only everything…

  • Da Fuq

    I don’t want more features on Android, just the opposite! It has to be as light and smooth as possible!

  • Ruz

    There are many things which ae missing in stock android and would not like to go with stock android.. Ability to find installed apps, no sorting of apps, changing icons, better interface and layouts, etc

    • Ruz

      multiscreen, folders option for homescreen, etc

  • longhairbilly

    Holding the Volume up button to skip to the next track in google Music. Such a simple feature that for some reason has never been added.

  • http://www.cm3-shop.de/wlanrepeater Martin Repeaterr

    More integration with a Wlanrepater.

  • mggOptimusG

    Android needs a lot of things. The one thing I would like seeing is enhanced security to control what applications are allowed to do. I do not mean only network or local file level access. I want to be able to control what is allowed for an application to do: background running, updating or fetching internet info, waking up on it’s own, scheduling stuff without me knowing, storing too much data locally, and the list goes on forever I think.

    Does this mean I am a control freak ? …

  • Ανδρέας

    1. Battery percentage
    2. Clear all in recent apps
    3. Better gallery app (G+ photos sucks)
    4. Power control widget should have an option for mobile data on/off
    5. Customizable LED
    6. Cusstomizable quick toggles
    7. Reboot option in power menu
    8. Multi-window which I don’t use but there are a lot of people who want it

  • TheTechnoToast

    I think it’s missing the ability to do computer-level things, with programs such as Vegas Pro or Adobe Illustrator non-existent on Android. Adding 64 Bit support would drive up the RAM capability, and we might just be able to see ‘real’ programs on Android.

    I’d love to be able to run full Steam games such as TF2 or Garry’s Mod on Android at some point.

  • nishantsirohi123

    Yes, what is wrong with addition of features.
    some features i want to see are:
    – sony style stamina mode, real management of multi tasking, the windows phone 8.1 has got it and it is great to block certain apps
    – Multi window built in, but it should be decided by screen size of the device (and processor), else, for device less than 4.5 inch shall be a poor experience
    – the notification area, there are several notifications that are permanent (BBM icon) they often crowd up, since jellybean the two finger swipe to show hidden toggles, that area should take the permanent notifications
    – ability to uninstall bloat (windows phone allows that)
    – ability to use icon packs, or customize the icons(LG UI)
    – the arrow keys in keyboard, during document editing it is great.
    – screenshot button shortcut, flashlight shortcut, mobile data shortcut, and more quick settings toggles as options in notification toggles

    – battery % always visible
    – keeping the stock interface, layered with the ‘skin’ as a launcher, that shall be easier to have updates and addition of features.

  • http://www.friendlyphotozone.com/ Friendly Photo Zone

    I have an HTC One M8. I thought it would be cool to do a full conversion to a GPe device. So for a while there, I got to experience the masochistic pain that is stock Android. Simple things that we all take for granted just don’t exist in stock Android, like being able to reboot the phone without turning it off altogether. It didn’t take long before I ran screaming back to Sense 6. Android is a fine base to start from, but on its own, it sucks balls. Phone manufacturers should be commended for their effort to provide users with features we now take for granted but that STILL don’t exist in stock Android.

    Also, Google blindly ignores all user feedback. Take for example the lack of an auto-rotate quick setting on phone devices, and the way Google handled a request to have it added:
    https://productforums.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!msg/nexus/o9GpE8GwEKU/gBtsXsDDAKIJ

    That’s downright condescending.