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January 7, 2013

Some Wishes For Android 5.0

The dates have been announced for Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference. Talk about Android 5.0 is likely to dominate the three-day event May 15-17.

Below is a wish list for some features that could strengthen Android. They mostly focus on ways that would bring some synthesis to the Android experience..

Unified messaging: Android has several messaging options, but they are kind of a mess: Google Talk, Google Voice and Google+ Messenger. Combining these into one, cross-platform product that could handle text messaging, picture sharing and video chat without incurring SMS fees would be an incredible option. Apple’s iMessage is one of the areas it exceeds Android, so Google should be looking to create a better alternative.

Until it does, many users will continue to rely on SMS or turn to third-party alternatives like WhatsApp or Ping Messenger.

Find My Android: All iOS users have a built-in application for finding and remotely securing a lost device with Find My iPhone. Not the case with Android.

There are some good third-party alternatives (Lookout and AVG), but most consumers are more likely to secure their device with a native Google option. Plus, neither Lookout or AVG have the easy-to-use interface of Find My iPhone.

Improve Google Latitude: The other thing I miss about iOS is Find My Friends. It is very convenient for couples to automatically share location instead of needing to constantly message someone and ask for their ETA.

Compared to Find My Friends, Google Latitude falls substantially short. Locations are not as accurate, especially if sharing information between friends on different mobile platforms. It is functional as is, but lacks the sharpness of the competing version from Apple.

Customized text sounds by user: Ringtones for each user can be personalized, but not text tones. It is very convenient to hear a chime and know exactly who is trying to contact you. If it is someone undesirable, at least you can mentally prepare before composing a response.

Improved photo management: Much like its messaging situation, Android’s photo management options are all over the map.

This is a long list, and it’s unrealistic that all of this will make it into a new release. Yet some of these features would help tighten the utility of Android

Image Credit: Google

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