Sunday, February 3, 2013

What next for Android?

Android 5.0 (or 4.3 perhaps) is coming up right around the corner. Speculation says it's going to be released at the next Google I/O in May or June. Nothing is known right now about it, but I pondered what Android really needs.

Camera improvements

While earlier versions have introduced zero shutter lag, panorama, and photosphere, stock Android lags behind greatly compared to skinned versions. I'd like to see HDR, slow motion recording, ISO options, etc. Up till now, Google really hasn't taken the camera software in Android very seriously. We have stupid options for recording video like silly faces, but nothing really practical.

File Manager

It really blows my mind that Android has no dedicated file manager. Third party ROMs like MIUI and CyanogenMod and certain skinned versions of Android all have their own unique file manager programs. The option does exist to download third party options, but something this simple should be included automatically.

Theme capability

One of the nicer things about MIUI, AOKP, CyanogenMod, and others based of these third party ROMs is they have the ability to theme virtually every aspect of the ROM by applying a theme. MIUI has designed their own specific theme engine while CM uses the open source theme engine created by T-Mobile for their MyTouch phones. Forget your average skinning, stock Android could get around these issues of upgrade delays by allowing everyone to change their look as they want. Want it to look like the Galaxy S III? Done.

These are just a few things I think Android would benefit on the whole. No doubt Google will have some unique surprises in store for everyone, but hopefully they improve some of the weaker areas in Android. It's come a long way, but there's always room for improvement.

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